Sunday, January 23

Why Was Hell Created?

It is a question asked by many. "Why would God create such a horrible place, if he is supposed to be a perfect God?" Indeed God is perfect, and the Bible makes it perfectly clear why Hell was created. We often question God for his reasons about certain things, especially in the area of Hell, pain, suffering and Death. (Photo credit to: StarrySkies)

In Matthew 25:41, Jesus makes it clear that Hell was created for Satan and his angels. "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Hell was not created for man, but for the fallen angels. It was not the original plan to be the eternal destination for the unsaved, as Man was created to live forever with God in Heaven. If this is so, then why do the unsaved end up in Hell upon death?

Bill Wiese describes it as such: "Man is a spirit, he possesses a soul (mind, will, and emotions), and he lives in a body. For the ease of discussion, I will use the word soul to represent both soul and spirit. The soul cannot die, in the way we think of death. Death to the soul means to be separated from God. It does not mean cease to exist. If man rejects the only way provided for entrance into heaven, then there is no other place for the soul to go. Our physical bodies can only exist on this earth. They cannot exist in outer space or under the water. In the same way, our soul was built to exist in one of two places - heaven or hell."[1]

Hell is a place utterly void of God's presence. Once we understand that God is good (Psalm 25:8, 34:8, 100:5) and that God is love (1st John 4:16), as well as the fact that all good things come from Him, we come to understand that when all of these things, including God's influence, goodness, and His attributes are totally removed, all that remains is utter destruction, death, chaos, fear, despair, evil, and hatred. Once God is removed, all good things go with him, this is why Hell is utter destruction and despair.

In other words, God did not have to create Hell as such a horrible place, but once His presence was removed from the equation, Hell became desolate, because God's glory, grace, goodness and love were all removed from it. Henry M. Morris, PhD and Martin E. Clark state, "Essentially, Hell is a place where all aspects of the presence of God will be completely withdrawn forever.... Thus, in hell there will be no love, for 'God is love.' There will be no light, for 'God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.' There will be no peace, or rest, or joy, since these are all attributes of God. On the contrary, there will be eternal corruption, strife, rebellion and hatred."[2]

Without the presence of God, a place will automatically be desolate and horrible. Another point we need to consider is that Hell is where God's wrath is poured out. We have already established that Hell was created for Satan and his angels. Hell is still meant for that, but now, because of the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, sin corrupted God's perfect creation, and Hell is now also a place of punishment for the unsaved who reject God and do not follow Jesus.

However, you do not have to go there. God gave us free will, so that we may make our own choices in life. If he did not give us free will, we would all love him automatically, and we would be as robots. But God, in His loving mercy, gave us free will, not so that we would wind up in Hell, but so that we may make the right decisions and that we may love Him willingly.

God has warned us over and over that there is a punishment for sin and wrath to come. (see Romans 1:18, 6:23; Ephesians 5:6; 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 20:15) We could think of this in another way. If your country's leaders built prisons to house to criminal, would you call them bad? Prisons are built to protect the innocent from the criminal. For example, when the Europeans first came to North America, they saw a land beautiful and saw the potential for growth and production, they did not come and say, "I wonder how many prisons we can build here?"

Hell was not God's intent when everything was created. It was made due to Satan's rebellion along with his angels. (see Isaiah 14:12-20, Ezekiel 28:12-17, Luke 10:18) It is our choice whether we go to Heaven or Hell. If we are ignorant of the law and choose to disobey, we are without excuse, we remain responsible for our own actions. Understand that God does not send anyone to Hell, you send yourself there. 

As said by Dr. Bruce W. Dunn, "Fire burns. Gravity kills. Water drowns. And you can say, "God is love, God is love, God is love," until you're blue in the face. But water will still drown you, fire will burn you, and gravity will kill you, and sin will damn you no matter how much you say about a loving God. God just set up life that way. He set up the rules. He set up the laws by which we are to live. And if we break those laws, they break us, and we pay the consequences."[3]

James 2:10 tells us, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." We have all broken God's Commandments, and since "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Romans 6:23) we are in need of a Savior. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23) (See entry: "The Ten Commandments - Have We Followed Them All?")

John 3:16-18 tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

Consider what is said in Romans 1:18-23, 25. "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal human beings and birds and animals and reptiles... They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen."

We are without excuse, and we know that Christ is the key to salvation. As put by Chuck Colson, "In a sense, the concept of hell gives meaning to our lives. It tells us that the moral choices we make day by day have eternal significance, that our behavior has consequences lasting to eternity, that God Himself takes our choices seriously. The doctrine of hell is not just some dusty theological holdover from the Middle Ages. It has significant social consequences. Without a conviction of ultimate justice, people's sense of moral obligation dissolves, and social bonds are broke. Of course, these considerations are not the most important reason to believe in hell. Jesus repeatedly issued warnings that if we turn away from God in this life, we will be alienated from God eternally. And yet, although "the wages of sin is death," Paul also says that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). While breath remains, it is never too late to turn to God in repentance, and when we ask for forgiveness, God eagerly grants it."[4]

How can we be saved? As mentioned many times on this blog, but it holds the same power, "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) We also must repent - and confess our sins to God. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1st John 1:9) Understand that contrary to popular opinion, "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Christian author and Apologist, C.S. Lewis, once stated, "I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside. All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened. And yourself, in a dark hour, may will [a grumbling] mood, embrace it. Ye can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood..."[5] 

Understand that none of this is said to make anyone angry, but to show that we are certainly in need of a Savior, and why Hell was created. It is a very real place, a literal fire, Hell was created for Satan and his angels, but because of the sin of humanity, we are condemned to Hell without a Savior: Jesus Christ. Thank you for taking the time to read this entry of "The Truth." Feel free to comment below, email vexx801@yahoo.com, the ministry team at thetruth.ministryweb@gmail.com, visit the facebook page, or visit the Ministry homepage. Take care, and may God bless! Troy Hillman 

Sources:
[1] Wiese, Bill. "Hell: Separate Truth From Fiction And Get Your Toughest Questions Answered." 1st ed. 1. Lake Mary: Charisma House, 2008. 51-52. Print.
[2] Henry M. Morris and Martin E. Clark, "The Bible Has the Answer." Nashville, TN. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996. 246.
[3] Dunn, Bruce W. "HELL - How can a God of love send anybody to Hell?." Christian Answers Network. Christian Answers Network, 1999. Web. 23 Jan 2011. .
[4] Colson, Chuck. Answers to Your Kids' Questions. Prison Fellowship Ministries, 2000. Print.
[5] Lewis, C.S. The Quotable Lewis. 1st ed. Tyndale, 1989. Print.

14 comments:

  1. This blog explains the reason for hell very well. God is love and if love is not there, everything around you will fall and be perverted(turned upside down) We can't love with out the presence of god. Jesus is the only way the truth and the life. I can't even imagine how it would be like if God totaly removed his presence from my life. It is so important to have a personal relationship with jesus while you are in your physical body so that you can get back to who you where created to be and live with God for eternity once you leave your body.

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  2. Great Reading Thanks for Sharing.

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  3. I am a seventhday advenist, and I believe that the prophecy of Daniel and the Revelation is almost finished. There are rough times coming on the people of God soon. The mark of the beast, the national Sunday law and the one world order will create major problems for God's people.The president has signed the NDAA Act on December 31, 2011, and christians are not paying any attention to what's going on.

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  4. We as christians should be studing the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and know of the things that the man of sin is coming soon.The same thing that happen from AD538-AD1798 will be repeated.The statue in Daniel chapter 2 reveals that we are entering into the toes which represent Church and state combined once again Daniel 40-45;12:1.Please take note of Revelation 13 and Revelation 17:1-12;18:4.

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  5. Thank you and may God smile upon you.

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  6. Was Hell included in the works which the Lord pronounced in Gen 1:31 as "VERY GOOD?" Since Hell was created for satan and his angels,did the Lord change his mind somewhere along the line to include the vast majority of all humanity to suffer never ending insane torture? The Lord does not change. Read Malachi 3:6

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    1. nothing surprises GOD and when GOD created the universe He never when back. so I believe hell was also created in the beginning (He is the beginning and the ending, the first and last, He is all knowing)

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  7. Anonymous,
    Thank you for your comment. Agreed, God does not change. Numbers 23:19 also says, "God is not a human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind." Psalm 55:19 conveys, "God who is enthroned from of old, who does not change," along with Psalm 102:27, "You remain the same, and your years will never end," James 1:17, "the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change," and so forth. Scripturally, we are taught that God does not change, nor does He change his mind.

    How then do we explain the creation of Hell, particularly when all of His creation was declared perfect after creation week? The question itself presupposes that we have all of the knowledge available to us with which we can determine the answer. This, however, would be fallacious thinking, as God has not revealed everything to us. Thus, we are limited in our reasoning to attempt to understand the problem.

    There are several possible explanations to this "problem." One will be addressed. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and when "God saw all that he had made... it was very good" (Genesis 2:31). We also know, based on Scripture, that God does not change His mind. Without delving into an examination of the copious references to Hell littered throughout the Biblical text, the Bible appears to describe Hell's location as the core of the earth.

    With this basis, we can then conclude that God created the core as part of the earth during creation week, and at that time, it was indeed "very good," as it served simply as the core. With His omniscience, however, God was well aware of its future usage. Just as God used a pre-existing object to symbolize His covenant with Noah (a rainbow) as well as Jesus' symbol for the New Covenant (wine), we find that God has used pre-existing elements to achieve a means, or more succinctly: He used His resources.

    When it comes to Hell, based on various estimations derived from Scripture, Satan and his angels did not fall until after creation week, sometime after day 7 (perhaps day 8-10 of the universe's existence). As such, it seems that God "used His resources" when "Satan [fell] like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18) with his angels - God used to core of the earth as the location of Hell. What was originally "very good," due to the corruption of sin, was then utilized as something entirely different.

    Thank you, and God bless.

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  8. If hell is a place totally void of God, then why do we teach God is omnipresent, in all places at all times...?


    The other issue is the majority of humanity since Christ has never heard the gospel, millions died before the gospel even spread to Europe...

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    1. Anonymous,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. To your second point, on the surface it may seem an issue, but perhaps another articles will clear that up: http://thetruth-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-were-people-saved-before-jesus.html and http://thetruth-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-about-people-who-have-never-heard.html

      As for your first point, it is certainly a valid question, and one worth exploring. Perhaps it would be best to write an article on this topic as well. To briefly answer your question, yes, God is omnipresent at all times (Jeremiah 23:23-24; Acts 17:24-28) and according to Psalm 139:7, we cannot flee from His presence. However, this does not mean that God takes up all of the physical space in our universe. Consider, God is present on His throne in heaven (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2; Revelation 21:5), His “dwelling place” from which He hears the prayers of His people (1 Kings 8:30). God is also said to be present in (and among) the church (1 Corinthians 3:16). And although God has hidden His face from sinners who have separated themselves spiritually, (Isaiah 59:1-2), He still fills the Earth with His presence, and sees and knows everything that transpires (Hebrews 4:13; Jeremiah 23:23-24). If this is the case, wouldn't God's presence also be in Hell?

      According to Psalm 139:8, "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol [Hebrew equivalent of Hades in the Greek], you are there." Clearly, God is in Sheol. But in a sense, it is also devoid of His presence. Hell is indeed eternal separation from His mercy and His grace, but His presence is still there in the sense that His justice and wrath are there. Otherwise, what is there to fear about Hell? Although the wicked will be separated from God's presence forever - His mercy and grace (Matt. 7:23; 25:41), they will never be able to leave His ever-present and everlasting judgment, which is indeed present in Hell. If you require further clarification or Scriptural support, we may continue. Thank you again for your comment, take care, and God bless you.

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  9. Hi! Great article! (:

    Just wna be clear about the article. Ppl go to hell because they sin and wages of sin is death and because they do not have Jesus in their lives, sin is not washed away and thus punishable. Because hell a place devoid of God's presence, it fulfils the condition of being separated from God. Question: So because of that, people who sin are "naturally directed" to hell? Like it's some kind of law? Why is hell used for punishment then? Isn't it supposed to be for Satan and his angels?

    Thank you!

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    1. Chris,
      Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to comment, my deepest apologies for such a delayed reply. As I noted in the article, according to Matthew 25:41, Jesus makes it clear that Hell was created for Satan and his angels, yes - "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Hell was not created for man, but for the fallen angels. It was not the original plan to be the eternal destination for the unsaved, as Man was created to live forever with God in Heaven.

      Be that as it may, why then does man go there? Consider: when God decided to use the rainbow as a sign that he would never flood the entire earth again, it was already in existence, he just assigned it a different purpose. The same occurs when Jesus initiates the New Covenant - wine already existed, but he used something that was already in existence as a sign. Similarly, the core of the earth already existed upon creation but after Lucifer's fall it was given the purpose of being the final place prepared for Satan and his angels.

      When Satan successfully was able to make Adam and Eve fall into the same temptation that he fell to - to become "like God" - they became corrupted by sin, and the proper place for sin according to Scripture is in Hell.

      Put another way, yes, if an individual makes the choice to deny God's offer of salvation from sin, the default is essentially hell, yes.

      I hope these considerations further answer your question!

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  10. Troy....you said:

    "However, you do not have to go there (Hell). God gave us free will, so that we may make our own choices in life. If he did not give us free will, we would all love him automatically, and we would be as robots. But God, in His loving mercy, gave us free will, not so that we would wind up in Hell, but so that we may make the right decisions and that we may love Him willingly."


    I submit to you that it would be better to be a "robot" and automatically love God and be loved by God and accepted into Heaven than to suffer this "game" of free will where so many will be damned. I fear God and damnation. I have attachment to sin of the flesh. I have the questions of why so many different religions exist in the world, why God would allow so much doubt to cloud our minds, and therefore confuse our hearts. It is easy to say "have Faith", yet all that surrounds me causes confusion and doubt. God does not NEED our love, correct? So why are we treated as pawns in a game of "free will"? What is so great about free will if it damns you? How are we to ever know we have done what is required to be "saved"? I have read the Bible....not simply passages, but books, though I have not yet read it all. I find that the more I read it, the more confused I get. I hear the "free will" argument over and over in my search for Truth. It makes me sad and disheartened. Why would God make things that are "sins" so pleasurable here on Earth to our human bodies so that we would choose to sin? We are all sinners, as scripture says! Again, I go back to wondering why we would be pawns in such a cruel-seeming game. I want to have Faith and believe in Jesus Christ as my Redeemer. I want to BELIEVE I am Saved. However I know that God if he is there knows the hearts and minds of all men and would know my doubts and fears. I would rather be a blissful robot loved by God and incapable of sinning than a tortured man of free will at risk for eternity.

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  11. You know without our freewill what would be the point in creation..?Don't you think it would be even crueler to have man actually be a pawn on a chessboard,not to be an individual ..?God does not need ANYTHING from us..he wants us to be happy and have a personal relationship with Him.Remember we are his children and he is our Father.
    Remember the parable of the mustard seed,from such a small thing great things abound.He is a jealous God,maybe at one time he was a lonely God.The world is only as cruel as we let it be,remember Satan is the thief,liar,tempter,destroyer..the prince of the power of the air..Jesus saw he fall like a lightning bolt to earth.This is his realm...we just have dominion. We were created to be obidient and have a relationship with God.He is a just God and will not force himself on anyone.As to what is required to be saved,read the new testament...this is the new covinant God has made with us...the jew and gentile.We are a royal priesthood a peculiar people...because we seek what is rightious and good.Remember NO AMOUNT OF WORKS CAN GET YOU IN GODS KINGDOM...good or bad.The only sin that can not be forgivin is blasphemy against. the Holy Spirit.Even Jesus had doubt and fear and asked of the Father to please pass this cup on if possible.But yet you are a blissful man loved by God and forgivin theough Jesus and guided by the spirit.Remember it is rebellion and Satan who cast doubts.God just wants our obidience and loyalty to his kingdom.Threre are many pleasurable things in life beside sin,the love of family...the times a father spends with his son.The freewill of good times and the beauty and awe of our surroundings.

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