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Why Would God Send People to Hell?

Updated on June 28, 2017

What is Hell like?

Is this what Hell looks like?
Is this what Hell looks like? | Source

Is Hell Real In the First Place?

"Why would a loving God send someone to Hell?"

At one time, most people wouldn't have dared to ask this question, at least not out loud. As times change, as we become more sophisticated and try to shake off our reliance upon traditional mores, this question is asked more frequently - as it should be.

Why Would a Loving God Send People to Hell?!

There's a certain amount of judgment built into this question. That judgment being - "If God really loves us, why would/how could he punish us this way." In other words - "The existence of Hell proves that God is not a loving God."

To adequately address the question, I think we'll have to define what Hell is.

It should be noted that the Bible doesn't answer this question directly; if it did, there would be no reason for this publication. The Bible does give us clues and we're told to seek out the truth. What you'll find here is my studied and prayed upon belief.

What's really important is not the Hell that I avoid, but the Heaven that I receive. If you don't know what I mean, contact me.

To purchase the above artwork, click Hell.

What is Hell?

What is Hell?

Some readers will believe that Hell is a fictitious place born of man's fears and desire to control the masses. For purposes of this publication, we'll have to presuppose that there is a Hell, for how can we study why a loving God would send someone to a place that does not exist?

There are three basic beliefs as to what Hell is:

  1. A place where sinners go after they die to be punished for eternity by God.

  2. A place where evil people go after they die to be tortured for eternity by Satan/the Devil.

  3. An after-death separation from God.

Which of these do you believe best describes Hell?

See results

Your Answer May Reveal More About Your View of God Than You Realize.

1. The first view is that God actively tortures His creation - indicating that God is mean and vindictive. That's not love.

2. The second view is that God passively allows the torture - this seems to indicate that God doesn't care what happens to us. Again, that isn't love.

3. The third doesn't seem all that bad on the surface - if I didn't need God in life, why would I need him in death? This is not what most people envision when they think of Hell.

#1 God Will Punish

This is how many non-Christians view the Christian God – mean, vindictive, arrogant and bossy. As a Christian, I can tell you that this would be hard for me to reconcile in my own mind - if it were true. The bottom line is - it’s not true. The Bible doesn’t say it and I don’t believe it.

#2 Satan Will Punish

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." - Revelation 20:10 NIV

Hell is a place designed to hold Satan and his demons but Satan doesn't rule it. This quote shows that Satan will be among those tormented. Note that this passage does not tell us who will be doing the tormenting, just that Satan will not.

#3 Hell is Eternal Separation from God

Throughout Scriptures, separation from God is shown to be the ultimate punishment and this is what I believe Hell to be.

So, you may ask, "What about the Lake of Fire and the Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth?"

The World's a pretty messed up place: thievery, violence, anger, injustice. Sin surrounds us and seems to run unchecked, but it does not run unchecked. God's presence is in this World and that presence restrains sin. Imagine what would happen if God's presence were to be removed - then sin would run a muck. This World would very quickly become a living Hell.

What is Hell? Hell is the one place in all of creation that God chooses to not be.

God loves us dearly but He also respects our Free Will, the very free will that He's given us. He wants us to seek Him but he won't force us to. If we don't accept God's forgiveness during our natural life, then we're asking to be removed from God's presence and He honors our desire. He doesn't want us to, but God loves us enough to let us choose to be separated from His presence, from His mercies, from His Son, from His love.

What would it be like if God would allow unredeemed soul into Heaven?

In many places, the Bible says that Sin cannot bear to be in the presence of the Holy God even now that He partially veils Himself from us: demons shriek and beg for mercy, men try to hide, even the sin-tainted Earth itself will flee from God's presence in the end times.

If an unredeemed (therefore, still sinful) man were allowed to enter Heaven (the unveiled presence of God) that would indeed be cruel punishment!

God does love us.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

Please read this webpage before posting your comment.

As basic as this request may sound, many of the comments posted here come from people that obviously have not read the page. I think that sometimes people read only the headings and assume that they know what the paragraph says without actually reading the paragraph.

I don't sensor legitimate comments but, I just don't have time to defend arguments that I haven't made or positions that I don't hold. I appreciate your understanding.

Readers' Comments

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    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @neoglitch17: I understand what you were trying to do which is why I tried to direct you toward another webpage that's more on-target for the subject that you'd like to discuss.

      Bible scholars have been pondering the "Free Will versus Predestination" issue for thousands of years. Without going in to too much detail here (again, I have other postings on the subject) let me say that:

      - God is omniscient and omnibenevolent.

      - Humans have Free Will.

      You've not addressed a flaw in my argument; you've started on an entirely new discussion.

    • profile image

      neoglitch17 4 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: I was addressing a flaw in your argument about hell. You say at the end that we choose to go to hell by not accepting yahweh's "forgiveness".

      Truth is, we don't get to choose. If christianity is true, and your god is omniscient, then we DON'T get to choose if we go to hell or not. Your boss decides.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @neoglitch17: This posting is not a Free Will versus Predestination debate. For more on that, try http://christian-motorcycle.com/calvinism-arminian...

      Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      neoglitch17 4 years ago

      "God loves us dearly but He also respects our Free Will, the very free will that He's given us."

      Brimm, the god you believe in is omniscient. He knows absolutely everything that can be known. He knows the past, present and future of every living being that has been, is and will ever be.

      This means that yahweh knows your every move BEFOREHAND. He knows every decision and action you will ever take. And that means he knows, beforehand also, if you are going to be "saved" or not. And he knows all of this before he creates you.

      If your god is omniscient, then your destiny is predestined by him. And that means you have no free will. There is no alleged Free Will in Christianity.

      But you know what the worst part is? That your "omnibenevolent" god yahweh/jesus creates souls that are dammed to hell from the VERY BEGINNING. If some Buddhist monk is dammed to hell he had absolutely NO CHOICE in the matter, given that his destiny was predestined by yahweh.

      Only a malevolent god would create souls from the beginning knowing that they are dammed to hell beforehand, whether hell is eternal punishment or eternal solitary confinement as you and most Christian apologists believe in... even when the Bible stipulates otherwise.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      jesus mentions hell so there is no argument.like it or not hell is real

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: "our souls will not join God until we embody the absolute, pure love and light of which he is. If we do not learn it here, we will keep going to school; until we do" - This is a works-based doctrine and I don't find it in the Bible. If we could achieve the "absolute, pure love and light" that God is, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die for us. We can't so He did.

      "Jesus Christ was the true embodiment of what we are meant to be. How Beautiful He is!!!!" - agreed!

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: At no point did I say that Earth is Hell.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am not familiar with the xian god. Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Then you would have made a great robot, one that has no choice but to act as programed. You are also saying without realizing it that you would never have children because you are taking the same chance that instead of loving you they will despise you and turn from you and your beliefs. And why should the bad choices of some keep me and those who do want to be in his presence and to love him from experiencing his love.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The Bible says as much about man as it does about God. I don't believe in a "hell", but do believe our souls will not join God until we embody the absolute, pure love and light of which he is. If we do not learn it here, we will keep "going to school" until we do. Jesus Christ was the true embodiment of what we are meant to be. How Beautiful He is!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: Brimm,

      Where do you do your studying? You make assertions that are blatantly false.

      "The traditional view of Hell is that itâs a place of suffering for those that have previously committed sinned/been bad/not reached the proper level of development/etc.

      If the earth is Hell, then everyone would be conceived both in and into Hell. This means that everyone would be conceived into punishment despite their having committed no previous sin."

      This is untrue. If you are going to talk tradition then you must include the OT and hebrew scripture where hell is non existant. This is a pure Greek implementation that goes against tranditional teaching.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: Your logic is very flawed Brimm. Everything you posted leaves out one major factor when discussing the xian god. What needs or benefits do we fulfill as imperfect beings to a perfect being?

      And yes, we can blame your god for our mistakes because he already new what those mistakes where and created us anyway and then slammed up for making choices it already knows we are going to make.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      of course

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Notice how the Threat of Hell diminishes our free will? Notice how it also turns many away from God (repulses people to such a degree they chose not to believe. Just what Satan wants). Could it be possible that such an expression in the bible is caused by miss translation (by man and the devil, after all; The bible is Man Made). Only we say the Bible is Gods word. Yes there are scriptures about Gods word and how they stand for ever (and of course, they will regardless of how we write them or translate them or chose which ones are his word) they will always stand and come to pass, regardless of how we perceive them or devise them. God's only begotten son; Jesus says: 'my sheep hear my voice' (out of all the voices in the world and man deemed 'scripture'?) One desciple of Jesus also taught that; 'we need not that any man teach us, for the spirit will lead us into all truth'. Jesus also taught us to seek, and you shall find'. I don't think this just meant looking in one place (the man made Bible). It meansto seek him, (ask him, call upon him, question him with a genuine heart) and he will reveal the truth, when he see's your heart is Ready to receive the truth. (Just like he did with his deciples. (I'm not saying all scripture is incorrect,but that we need to seek God regarding all truth, as he is the source of it all). We created the bible with our free will. Food for thought. My point is, we shouldn't be arguing and debating truth amongst ourselves (to prove who is right) we should be seeking God for it wholeheartedly and not stopping until truth is known!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Biblical references are not exactly as sparse as you might suppose. There are plenty, if you include the not-so-obvious and the indirect ones. Also, the concept of an afterlife with or without the god or gods has existed for a very long time; men have believed in an after life of some sort for all of recorded history. As far back as Gilgamesh and the Egyptian pyramids anyway. Gilgamesh's culture believed in a house of dust and darkness, under the earth, away from the presence of the gods. Christ spoke of hell, and the book of Revelation speaks of it in frightening detail. The etymology of the word 'hell' doesn't matter so much as the concept itself. They all mean similar things. The question is how close are these ideas various people have had to the truth? What, in fact, is the place, or state, that we call hell?

      Your observation about the light source is pretty apt. We have free will, and God gives us the tools we need, so to speak, so then it's our job to work with Him. We can't grow closer to Him without His help, without knowing Him, without trying. But we have to do our part. It is totally worth it. Hard, but stick it out. It's worth it. All good things are worth waiting and working for.

      About what you call 'organized religion' -- you seem to be using the term as derogatory. But in fact you have to have some sort of organization, or unity of persons, or something, to transmit the truth. Because lots of people who say they believe in God or the Bible come up with totally different ideas. You must have some way to make sure that what you are understanding is the right thing, that it's true. So it makes sense that God could establish a church that would carry on the mission of giving the truth and the means of walking with God to the world. It would be this institution, which would have to be somehow protected by God from teaching something false, which could tell us what hell really is.

      Someone once said that if a sinful soul entered heaven, it would be painful for him or her, and he would voluntarily leave, because he couldn't stand being in God's presence. So that was an interesting observation. And, Heath, God is not illogical, and there is never a contradiction between truth and truth, but if we misunderstand things, it's easy to see how there could look like a contradiction. It takes study and some patience to understand things.

    • NeverTooLate2012 profile image

      NeverTooLate2012 5 years ago

      You did a good job on this lens. The way you used scripture to back up what you are saying is the way to do it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Your free will I supposed to see it the way it is writton or protrayed in your eyes

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I totally agree we or the drug dealer made his choice which was bad using his free will. Yet if I choce to to walk past a person laying in the street starving hungry or someone sitting alone in need of comfort I would not face trial yet would this be a right action. And yes it could most definitely be said their could be far greater torments than being a life on Earth yet we would be foolish to blame god for us having the free will to past the man going hungry the man living alone in tiers. Apart from the obivious wrongs can we blame GOD for the other and hell would be a separation from GOD yet life is a way we can walk to find him but why would GOD place any here in the first place even once we find GOD who values all life we could stand up to defend GOD then look at who would hold the GUN to fire upon him so back to square one is this HELL

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: But this is what I'm saying he diden't The will of man did. God is love God is everything. I could see life as being dead in hell which is everything man made of the earth yet it is Obivious GOD values life yet man does not. I don't understand why is what I say. If we see life as hell who created hell as we can agree GOD would not yet if I try to come to your way of thinking we would be robots as GOD would tell us to do exactly his comandedments and this debate would be impossible as we both no life must have a value

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: God gave the the will of man. Man made the hell not GOD. Yet God created the heavens and the Earth and says every life is perious yet man doe's not see every life as preious. Not that I have witnessed anyway so how can you say GOD is responsible for giving us the free will to create his hell. Its the same as saying GOD why do you let millions stave ? He would simply say Why do you ! Man made money not GOD man made WAR not GOD man brought suffering NOT GOD so how can god be responsible for man having free will

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: What is proves is if GOD sent his son to save us. Who would pull the trigger first

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @clifRad: We should fear GOD. This is correct. Yet how we interpt the bible could have a million different views so would be lost in argument

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I see you way of thinking. Yet why would GOD even give us life to begin with. Life must have a purpose other than to walk to GOD. I mean in life it is so easy to see the Devil. The hell is arueable weather this be here or a place even worse (Lothve the thought it is possible even) Yet even if you are gifted enough to see or come near the real love GOD has. He stand before you on judgement day and says, Well in my case. Why would you want to come into my kingdom? I turn to him and say Father because I repent I have walked in shame I have stole I have cursed your name I have sinned greatly and I have wept tiers of dispare. I beg your forgiveness and know you are the one true GOD who has love for his children. Yet Father if I may be so rude I cried in pain and you came to comfort I walked in shame and you walked with me. Yet I could find no point to the prious gift you call life. I want to go back to Earth for your love is far beauty than any beauty I will ever know yet I have never felt the love of man. So he turns and says there is no love in man. but sends me anyway. So now back on Earth or hell I look for the LOVE of man to find their is none. I could walk back to GOD and say sorry Father I was wrong their is no love on EArth or in the heavens above the Earth can I come back into your kingdom as I relise either you or man has made an error in a life having value as all I saw was hatred greed even when saying they speak in your name. But please Father could you answer one ? is their a value in a life as even knowing your their and walking towards you I found none so why would you want to help man

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      If life is not in the human form. Maybe life as in the vessal we walk is hell that life is lived in hell as can it be worst than life on earth. We walk in shame we kill we fight we say we repent yet kill again in Gods name. We say GOD is Crawl we say GOD is Bad we say God does not care perhaps he says Why do you allow these things. So what can be learnt in life which is really death and a seat beside the devil in hell on Earth. Who is GOD in your eyes would be the more obivious ? as life seems to be how much you can suffer how much you can collect in greed how much you can turn away of giving love how much you can hate then say I love god and repent so YOU can go to heaven lol YOU ME live in hell and its called life in death. Or could you see different please let me know as I see hell everywhere I look and not one who could say why God would keep destoying man to recreate him and every time tell us ever life is precious not just YOURs

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: I feel sorry for you. Your explanation of Free Will by itself is a joke. It doesn't, for one thing, take into account the centuries of knowledge gained since the Bible was written.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: What you've proved, mainly, is that God is not a god of love. At all. You quoted scripture to prove it. It would easy to quote much more.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Sorry, don't believe in hell at all, but I appreciate your thoughtful coverage of the topic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Heath go back to the original Greek in Mathew 25:46, you can find as good an explanation as any here http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/EternalPunishmen... but you may look for yourself instead.

      Now as for Mark, and there is some debate as to what Jesus meant, the word he used in the Greek is geennan or Gehenna and the name is derived from the valley of Hinnom, a ravine outside Jerusalem where Ahaz practiced human sacrifice (2 Chron. 28:3; 33:6; Jer. 7:31; 32:35). King Josiah brought such practices to a halt by declaring the valley unclean and using it as a garbage dump (2 Kings 23:10).

      Jesus used this as a metaphor, as the concept of personal 'cleanliness' through ritual observance was HIGHLY ingrained in the Hebrew mind back then. Just as the concept of 'eating something unclean' was so repugnant to Peter that he had to have a vision and explanation to allow the gentiles into the fold.

      So again your position, while understandable on the surface with the 'traditional' not the 'real' but rather a tradition that was created due to the belief of man and then taught father to son ( or priest to priest ).

      Change Luke 12:5 again, where the Jewish understanding that even in death a body can be defiled after that fact and rendered impure by throwing it into the area of Gehenna.

      Anyway, I doubt that anything I say will hold sway on your thought. While the belief that God punishes people seems to many to hold a great deal of sway, I believe in the end that Man is more than capable of distancing himself from God without any aid from God.

      Anyway in the end we can discuss hell and its meaning. However I find it far better to simply concentrate of learning of God and his precepts, here a little and there a little and growing in knowledge and understanding rather than worry about the consequence of those who choose not to heed Gods will.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Not bad, I would suggest a couple of additional things that can be inferred though I admit that the biblical references in this case are tenuous at best. Imagine a light source, oh say the Sun, and that the amount of light and understanding is proportional to your distance from that 'light' source. God is in a fixed position and it is up to us to decide how 'close' we want to be to Him.

      Now add to this that the concept of 'Hell' is one in which some theologians created rather than it actually being in the bible and you can understand how many have started to place faith in organized religion. The concept of 'Hell' does not REALLY even exist, it having been translated from a myriad of words, such as the Hebrew word Sheol, and the Greek words HADES, GEENNA, and TARTAROO all of which are translated in various other ways in other locations in the bible other than the word 'Hell'.

      So look in the end each of us must walk the path toward God, or as many will, choose not to walk the path. It is not an easy path to walk. Yet for those who have started down the long road back to God it seems like it is worth it.

    • nephthys lm profile image

      nephthys lm 5 years ago

      I think hell is not an afterlife, but the unseelie court, and it's not 'bad' at all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @clifRad: If you scroll down and read the scriptures I have posted you will see without doubt that my "perspective" is in fact directly out of the bible. Therefor it is not just perspective... but is actually Gods word.

      Here's one:

      Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to

      eternal life." Is this a metaphor? this is directly God punishing people for eternity. If your explanation for scriptures talking about hell and the punishment that takes place there are all just metaphors... I would challenge you to explain to me what else in the bible "is" or "is not" a metaphor. This excuse can be applied to everything. I do not believe the bible was written to use as a big metaphor. There are clear examples in the bible of parables and stories that are clearly to be used as metaphors, but the scriptures on hell and eternal punishment giving out by God are not parables thus I believe them not to be metaphors. Nowhere in the bible does it even come close to saying... hell and eternal punishment is a metaphor, it actually says the opposite: "Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the

      killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him."

      Finally if the bibles definition he "hell" is in fact a metaphor... what is it a metaphor for? Do you get what I'm saying? You can say there's not really "fire" in hell... and its just a metaphor.. but even as a metaphor it has to be just as bad as fire burning your flesh. "Eternal punishment" is directed by God it is clearly stated throughout the scripture. You want to give god credit from saving you from something he made? This would be like me loading a gun and holding it up to someones head and telling them if they accept me as the person saving them from a bullet to the head... I will let them live. Any justification for the contradiction of Gods love and his eternal punishment is clearly faulty.

    • profile image

      clifRad 5 years ago

      You're perspective isn't derived from the Bible but what you prefer God to be like. This is usually derived from fear. Good luck with your hypothesis.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: Im sorry if you think im angry or mad at you or God... I am not even though it may come off sounding that way... You may think my comment is arguing something far from your version of hell.. but your belief in: " hell being only being separation from god and not a punishment" is debunked by the scriptures. I would love to see one scripture that supports the idea that hell is not a place of torment and pain. If you say "these scriptures are metaphors" I will ask you to explain to me: A. how you know this B. if "hell" is a metaphor eternal separation from god and no more.. how does anyone know how to differ from what is metaphor and what is not.

      I already brought up scriptures showing clear statements about what takes place in hell: Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." This is not "separation from God... or "death" for sinners who don't go to heaven... this is clearly God punishing people for eternity. You have to justify Gods word in order to make your belief in your version of hell work. and as i stated before... never does it even slightly imply that the bibles interpretation of hell is a metaphor... it doesn't even so much as hit this... it does in fact clearly state it is eternal punishment directed solely from God. My entire point was If you can logically say God created the world... and could have created it in any way with what ever rules he wanted to... he could have taken care of the "hell" problem... and not made a catch 22 for himself.

      you state...

      "He could have created a different way but it wouldnât have been better. He could have created mankind to be completely obedient but, instead He created us to have free will."

      This directly implies that if God created the earth and humans another way.. "it would not have been better" that is a huge assumption on its own... but even crazier is the idea that God has to have a "hell" (or eternal punishment) to give someone free will... this is by far one of the most lamest excuses I have heard people argue.. why does anyone argue this? simple... they are trying to defend "God" and his decision (according to the bible) to punish someone forever. I take the bible literally... Maybe you don't... either way i posted before a bunch of scriptures that state what hells is... and why people go there... and who sends them there. I got no reply on those.

      you said: "Am I to understand that youâre saying itâs Godâs fault that people break the rules because He made the rules? "

      Never did i imply it is Gods fault for someone breaking his rules. God is the fairest judge it says in the bible... and all loving. yet some how he can "punish" someone for ever. A great example is a judge who is convicting a person who was a big time drug dealer.. clearly the man who committed the drug crime knew he has broken the law (or sinned) and it was directly his fault for doing so... the judge did not make him do this.. this is solely on the drug dealer.

      When the man gets in front of the judge the judge looks down on him and says... "I am convicting you of dealing drugs.. and your punishment is... eternal punishment in hell... where you will never die.. only scream and watch your body burn for eternity"

      Is this the drug dealers fault???? I would say it is his fault for dealing drugs when he knew there would be a punishment. but he surely does not deserve this punishment.... to be tormented forever with no redemption??? This is directly the judges fault... he is obviously not a fair judge.. because the punishment does not fit the crime... and if that happened anywhere on earth the judge would be thrown out of his court room instantly for even thinking of doing something like that.... In the same way God created the rules of heaven and hell... when he easily could have changed things a bit... and still kept us with "free will" there are many alternatives without effect humanities free will.

      You call this a typical view of hell.... I call it the bibles version. And that's exactly why i bring the hell topic up in this way... because there is no biblical evidence to support that hell is just separation from god...

      You call my intellect "pop culture" When you are the one who is twisting the words of God into something that fits your own version of a religion.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Did you read this webpage before posting your comment? You argue against an entirely different understanding of what Hell is than what Iâve detailed here. My points are Biblically based and my opinions are fundamentally Christian. You argue against what a non-Christian thinks a Christian believes; not what I really do believe and not what Iâve written here.

      âHow can someone possibly say that âGodâ the one who is capable of creating anything and made us with âmoralsâ in his own image expects us to understand and justify an eternal punishment for a mortal sin?â

      - I am not so bold as to say that I completely understand the ways of God and certainly, no man can justify Godâs decisions. This posting is merely intended to offer what I believe to be a reasonably accurate understanding of Hell.

      âA. If you can logically say: God is just, loving, fair, and capable of doing anything and creator of all laws.â

      - I did not say that God is the creator of all laws; there are many laws that I find to be unjust, unloving, unfair and unGodly.

      âB. Then you must logically say: Its directly Gods fault for making the "rule" or decision to send people to hell for eternity.â

      - âIts directly Gods fault for making the âruleâ." Am I to understand that youâre saying itâs Godâs fault that people break the rules because He made the rules? Are you really saying that laws are bad because no one would break the law if there was no law to break? Rules/laws are designed to keep people from doing certain things that they want to do. If no one wanted to commit a certain offense, there would be no reason to have a law against that offense.

      âlogically and morally fails to justify God for creating an unjust, eternal, evil, hateful, heartless place of punishment.â

      - Again, donât try to justify God â you will lose. Again, the view expressed by me in this webpage is that Hell is a place of separation from God â the very separation that non-Christians desire. My understanding of Hell is not that God tortures the souls in Hell but rather that uncontrolled sin causes the pain in Hell.

      âwhy couldn't an all possible "god" create an outcome that doesn't end in unfair judgement.â

      - He could have created a different way but it wouldnât have been better. He could have created mankind to be completely obedient but, instead He created us to have free will. Why, I donât know - but He did. He could have created us with a mortal soul that would just disappear upon death. That plan may suit the desires of man but, not the perfect plan of God. He could have created thousands of alternative type of mankind but, He created us as we are, to suit His purposes. We can speculate all that we want but, in the end â our speculations are only a way for us to try to benefit our own personal positions and to justify our own personal decisions.

      There seems to be a level of hostility in the tone of your comment. I suggest that you try to understand God and His love rather than digging-your-heels-in against stereotypical Christian religion. Religion is manâs attempts to understand God and to translate God to others. When a man has sin/hate/anger in his heart, religion can sometimes become just another way for that man to express his sin/hate/anger. It isnât Godâs fault that man misuses religion. Try learning what Godâs really like by understanding your Bible rather than by letting pop culture dictate what you think.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      How can someone possibly say that "God" the one who is capable of creating anything and made us with "morals" in his own image expects us to understand and justify an eternal punishment for a mortal sin? If a judge did that to anyone he would be shunned out of the court room without a doubt. Does God somehow escape the same morality that he gave us? Is there some exception to logic and morality that magically lets God off the hook? You know for sure that if anybody ever tried to punish someone on earth in that manner they would be labeled, unjust, selfish, hateful, unloving.. among many others. But this is not what the bible says of God... in fact it says the opposite! he is Just, selfless, loving, not spiteful... how can he be both?

      He can't.

      A. If you can logically say: God is just, loving, fair, and capable of doing anything and creator of all laws.

      B. Then you must logically say: Its directly Gods fault for making the "rule" or decision to send people to hell for eternity. (or to destroy them which is not biblical, it clearly states they will be punished for eternity)

      if A. is true B. has to be true. (aka logic)

      God made the rules and God gave us logic and morality to understand those rules... and when we apply our morality and logic to "hell" it logically and morally fails to justify God for creating an unjust, eternal, evil, hateful, heartless place of punishment.

      ultimately people who believe in the bibles version of hell must come to the realization the punishment does not fit the crime and sadly God created hell, (a place of torture) with the freewill and knowledge that people would suffer forever... when he did not have to do that. He could have easily created anything other than that.... and if you argue God could not have made another alternative to hell... I will ask you why... why couldn't an all possible "god" create an outcome that doesn't end in unfair judgement.

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      Ilona E 5 years ago from Ohio

      you tackled a very difficult and complex topic. Have to give you credit for that!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      the bible clearly states there is punishment given to sinners directly from god...

      Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to

      eternal life."

      Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you

      to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire

      never goes out.

      Mark 9:45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to

      enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

      Mark 9:47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you

      to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be

      thrown into hell,

      Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the

      killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you,

      fear him.

      why would there be such threats of hell if it was not a real place of punishment? it says its better to cut off body parts then be sent there... what does that tell you? its like a planet with all non believers??? i think not... far from the mild picture that has been painted of the bibles hell.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My points exactly:

      - We have children despite the downside. The reward of parenthood justifies the heartache.

      - Nobody that wants to experience God's love and presence is excluded. The key is that if we REALLY want to experience God, we will acknowledge that His ways are better than ours and we will seek Him according to His path, not ours.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Actually the Bible describes the wicked as being burned up as ashes under your feet. So it is true that the wicked will perish. (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. John 3:16) Perish means death. However God loves us and will do His best to save as many as will let Him.

      You can find some excellent Biblical information on hell when you but the words, âhell amazing factsâ in a search engine.

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      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      All I know is that God LOVES us so much that He gave us His ALL. I don't think scaring people about hell is the best choice, but rather LOVE them to Jesus, there's more power in that. May our hearts be open to what the Holy Spirit is speaking and leading us to... so that our hearts are opened to the LOVE and LIFE of God. Blessings to you ToTheBrimm, keep up the good work. :)

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: âWhy create man?â

      - Are you really criticizing God for creating life?

      âWhy allow Adam & Eve to be tempted?â

      - Are you really criticizing God for allowing us to make choices?

      âWhy would a loving God allow sin from the very beginning?â

      - Are you really blaming God for the mistakes that WE make? Are you blaming God because we do the very things that He told us were dangerous, unhealthy, unproductive and destructive?

      âI am only human, and if I had the power I would not make a life-form only to test if they would follow my rules or not.â

      - Children are messy, expensive and disobedient; parents know this but birth their children anyway. Why? Because the benefits outweigh the costs. We have children because we love them. We love them before theyâre even born and despite the heartaches. God loves us the same way, thatâs why He is called âFather.â

      I pray for you and your journey.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Why would a loving God allow sin from the very beginning? Why allow Adam & Eve to be tempted? Knowing that they would/could fall from grace. Knowing that from that point throughout the ages that millions would suffer and die in sin. Why create man? If so many would sin and suffer a horrible after-life.

      I am only human, and if I had the power I would not make a life-form only to test if they would follow my rules or not. Then only to subject them to an eternity of torment.

      I spent the first 24 years of my life in a Christian church.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @Kylyssa: âDon't different sects of Christianity believe different things?â

      - This publication is not meant to teach about Christians, but rather to teach about God.

      âI think most atheists think that Christians believe in Hell as a place where God tortures people...â

      - I agree and this is the primary reason for my having published this webpage. There are many misconceptions.

      âI get several messages per week from Christians either sad because I'm going to Hell to be torturedâ¦â

      - I have several comments to this point: 1) Iâm sorry that youâre made to feel uncomfortable. 2) I suspect that the aggressive/antagonistic nature of the emails you receive is a worldly reaction to the aggressive/antagonistic nature of the writings that you publish. Very often Christian act more like the Apostle Peter (aggressive, defensive, impulsive, afraid) than like Jesus. 3) Since Christians believe as we do, weâd be pretty horrible people if we didnât try to help others to avoid the Hell that we believe theyâre headed to.

      Christians suffer, too. We respond differently because Jesus told us to expect persecution.

      Thank you for your comments. Itâs important for Christians to remember that âwe are the only Jesus that some people will see.â

      Be Blessed

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      Kylyssa Shay 6 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Don't different sects of Christianity believe different things?

      I think most atheists think that Christians believe in Hell as a place where God tortures people different from them because of what Christians say to us. On average, I get several messages per week from Christians either sad because I'm going to Hell to be tortured by their God for eternity or glad that I'm going to Hell to be tortured by their God for eternity. Some of them describe the torture in loving detail. Others express their desire to start the process early for me. A few offer to kill me and let me find out for myself.

      Why is it surprising that atheists think Christians believe what they tell us they believe?

      ""Why would a loving God send someone to Hell?"

      At one time, most people wouldn't have dared to ask this question, at least not out loud." Examine the reason for this. I'm sure you know why people couldn't ask such questions; they faced harassment, arrest, or even death if they questioned religion in any way.

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      Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      God loves all His children and His wish is for all to turn to Him. It is a choice to believe that God sent Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for EVERYONE. His mercy is beyond my understanding...that is why I love Him so. I used to feel unworthy of the sacrifice Jesus made for me, but Jesus wants everyone to know they are worthy of being "Forgiven" and to live with Him in eternity forever. Jesus is my friend, Lord, and Savior. I will never understand (totally)all the ways of God and who am I to say Hell is wrong.

      Great page and debate!

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @betta addict: I do believe that Hell is an expression of God's love for us.

      I don't believe that it's wrong to ask "why" as many Biblical characters asked and were blessed through the question: Job, David, Abraham. Jacob went so far as to wrestle with God and he was blessed.

      Curiosity is natural and God created; God wants us to be genuine when we pray, so I say that if you want to know "why" then ask.

      Thanks for your comment

      Be Blessed

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      betta addict 6 years ago

      Believe it or not hell is an expression of God's love. Hell is designed not to burn people, but to burn everything that hinders love, including Satan and his cohorts. The Bible also tells us that Jesus came not to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be saved. John 3:17 And it's wrong to ask "why does God send people to hell?" because He doesn't. He simply gives us the freedom to choose between fleeting pleasures and pleasures forevermore, which is His Presence.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: âBut surely we have no free will and are all sinners deserving of Hell? God has sovereignly decreed some to life and others to death.â

      - We have free will. âThis is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2: 3-4 âFor the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.â Luke 19: 10 âhow often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.â Matthew 23: 37 We should not view Godâs omniscience as our lack of having a choice, nor may we use it as an excuse for our sins.

      âthe only way I can attain Heaven is by God's Grace not my own meritâ

      - Well said.

      âEither God saves me independently and totally by His own power and merciful grace or I save myself by choosing to go to heaven.â

      - A man has an illness and goes to a doctor. The doctor treats the illness and the man is cured. Did the man cure himself by choosing to go to the doctor? Of course not; the doctor enacted the curing. If the man could have cured himself, he would have had no need for the doctor. If we could redeem ourselves, Jesus wouldnât have had to do it for us. Our only contribution is to acknowledge that we need saving and to go to the great physician for His cure. Of course this analogy breaks down at a point, as all analogies do, but I think that itâs an easily understood word picture.

      âAs for Hell, surly it is a place of torture for sinners whereby there are eternally separate from God and suffer fiery torment?â

      - I agree - except for the question mark.

      I think that we agree on the most important point. I really did not intend for this thread to turn into a debate on dogma within the Christian community. Itâs meant more to address a very basic and important concern of those outside the Christian community and/or the new converts that are trying to better understand their new faith.

      Be Blessed

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      But surely we have no free will and are all sinners deserving of Hell? God has sovereignly decreed some to life and others to death and the only way I can attain Heaven is by God's Grace not my own merit (or choice as the author puts it). Either God saves me independently and totally by His own power and merciful grace or I save myself by choosing to go to heaven.

      As for Hell, surly it is a place of torture for sinners whereby there are eternally separate from God and suffer fiery torment?

    • profile image

      Aponi 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Jesus did not write the Bible - but He was a prophet and a teacher of the Old Testament during His time on Earth. And He said that He wasn't here to disprove the Law (the Old Testament) but to fulfill and surpass it. So, the Old Testament is the prophecy of Jesus' coming, and the New Testament is the story of His coming.

      I can see what you're saying, but I think you're mistaken.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: What are you disagreeing with?

      As quoted from above: "He doesn't want us to, but God loves us enough to let us choose to be separated from His presence, from His mercies, from His Son, from His love."

      Did you even bother to read the page before posting your comment?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Disagree strongly. This view does not come close to what I have studied and learned. This is a post-Dante version. But then, views of damnation and punishment have changed and fluctuated for millennia, so you are welcome to yours. Religion is the touchiest of all subjects, so I only wish peace and love to those with whom I disagree (and who disagree with me).

      Darcie nailed it - sin is separation from God and Jesus did not write the Bible.

      Christianity is the religion ABOUT Jesus, not the religion OF Jesus.

      - Rev. JLH, MDiv.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      It is so nice but yet so sad that a few people understand this concept! Hell traditionally was only a place for Satan and his imps to be tortured! We were not supposed to be there with them. However because of our separation from god through sin, we were automatically condemned to go there! The gracious and loving god we serve does not want his children to go there so Jesus Christ, his son, was sent on the Earth to redeem us from such damnation! God has allowed us that second chance to be with him. Thus, providing that hope that we would not have to go to hell! That second chance again is a choice we can choose either to live for eternity or die for eternity! Great lens indeed!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @ToTheBrimm LM: Amen Brother! Thank you for telling the truth. Our commission from Christ is to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think you have done a marvelous job describing our God of Love. It comes down to CHOICE folks. God does not force His love on us, we have a choice. I had a hard time with Hell for a looooooong time. I refused to believe it but scripture doesn't lie. If you search the scriptures like you have done, you will find that God has done EVERYTHING a loving God could possibly do to help us avoid hell. He sent His only son to die for us, that's love!! That's the purest form of love. I wouldn't do that for you!

      Jesus is reality, don't be fooled by Satan. There is a constant battlefield of the mind happening all the time. This lens is such a blessing. A huge, huge, huge blessing!

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @bigjoe2121: I just canât see this theology standing up to scrutiny.

      1. The traditional view of Hell is that itâs a place of suffering for those that have previously committed sinned/been bad/not reached the proper level of development/etc.

      If the earth is Hell, then everyone would be conceived both in and into Hell. This means that everyone would be conceived into punishment despite their having committed no previous sin.

      I suppose the previously committed sin could have happened in a previous life except that by this explanation there is no previous life because after death everyone would have gone to Heaven.

      2. If Hell is for human souls, then what are all these animals and plants doing here?

      3. Are we as a species really so depraved as to purposely bear children into Hell?

      4. Of those people the Bible tells us were brought back to life after theyâd died (Lazarus being the most well-known but there are many others) were they brought back from Heaven to be resentenced to Hell?

      The only way that I can understand this opinion is if weâre considering a non-traditional definition of Hell, but the concept of Hell is so well established that to take a non-traditional view would mean that weâre not really considering Hell at all, but rather something entirely different.

      Thank you for your comment; I welcome your reply.

      Be Blessed

    • bigjoe2121 profile image

      bigjoe2121 6 years ago

      I think hell only exists on earth, and it is a pre-death separation from God. I think once we die everyone is with God, no matter what.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @anonymous: âThen they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.â - Matthew 25: 46

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hell and Paradise are temporary for the soul, either for torture or for rest. Good day and God bless.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @sallemange: The English word "Hell" is derived from the Norse word "Helheim," but the concept of Hell predates Nordic culture.

      Again, as was laid out in the text and has already been discussed: "Some readers will believe that Hell is a fictitious place born of man's fears and desire to control the masses. For purposes of this publication, we'll have to presuppose that there is a Hell, for how can we study why a loving God would send someone to a place that does not exist?" Again, this argument was answered before it was raised.

      If you have a specific item of mythology that you'd like to reference, please leave it here and I'll do some research.

      Thanks for the comment

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      Isn't Hell a Nordic Mythological construct that found its way into Medieval English religion as a way of institutionalised social control?

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image
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      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      @tripler5064 lm: I disagree on several points:

      1.Whether a person does or does not go directly to Hell after death is unimportant. Eternity is a long time and the short period that may exist between death and judgment is inconsequent.

      2.The Redeemed do not face Judgment, thus the word âredeemed.â Jesus has already paid the price. As for your comment that the Saved will live on Earth, not in Heaven â whoâs to say that Heaven wonât be on Earth? Your point is mute. We will be in the presence of God â commonly referred to as âHeaven.â

      3.Hell is eternal and will house human souls.

      -Daniel 12:2 â âMultitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.â

      - Revelation 20:15 â âAnyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.â

      The argument usually given against the existence of Hell is that the Bible doesnât actually contain the word âHellâ in the original languages. Well, the original language of the Bible doesnât contain the word âGodâ either, but it uses other words, from the original languages, that mean âGodâ just as the Bible uses words that mean âHell.â

      4. The lens clearly states, to all that will read it, âSome readers will believe that Hell is a fictitious place born of man's fears and desire to control the masses. For purposes of this publication, we'll have to presuppose that there is a Hell, for how can we study why a loving God would send someone to a place that does not exist?â In other words, I answered this argument before you presented it.

      5. No, I didnât âmiss the whole point.â The point is clearly stated as âWhat's really important is not the Hell that I avoid, but the Heaven that I receive. If you don't know what I mean, contact me.â

      You are spreading dangerous doctrine. Christians already have their beliefs on Heaven and Hell; if you want to debate your point with spiritually-mature Christian friends, then have at it.

      Not everyone that reads this lens is a Christian; some are unsaved people looking for answers about their fate and their relationship with God. Donât mislead those that are unsaved into thinking that theyâre going to be OK.

      Offered in Christian Love

    • tripler5064 lm profile image

      tripler5064 lm 6 years ago

      You as many Christians miss the whole point. You cannot go to heaven or hell when you die. The Bible clearly states that there will be a judgment of all of mankind, but this will be sometime in our future. The point being that you need to be judged first and that judgment does not take place until a particular point in time in the future. When the incorrigibly wicked are judged, they will get their ultimate punishment, eternal death. Nobody suffers through eternity, that is a twisted doctrine. The rest of mankind will get their reward according to the life they lived and then will live through eternity in the Kingdom of God which is on earth, not in heaven.

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      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Yup- the only sin is the separation from God. Jesus teaches the way back Home- avoid anything that isn't love. God is peace and love, and nothing else. We've anthropomorphized God/Love/Truth/The Unmanifest to the point that it has a name, and human characteristics (ie judgment or approval- and the Unmanifest has no investment in such matters). To me, this lens outlines the difference between believers in the Old Testament, and believers of The Way - that Jesus taught. Jesus did not write the Bible. The old testament is what's full of hellfire and brimstone- astral falsities made up by entities that fear God's love will dissolve them (which it would). Any prophetic doomsdays and 'ends of the world' apply only to falsehood. It seems I could keep talking forever on this topic- thanks for bringing it up -:)