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Tinky

What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment?

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By: Tim Challies

How can you believe in a God who would condemn people to suffer the torments of hell eternally? I have been asked this question many times and, if you are a Christian, you probably have too. If you haven’t, you would do well to get working on an answer because the question may not be too far off. Hell is no laughing matter, despite cartoons and lampoons to the contrary. In all the world, in all eternity, there are few matters weightier than this one, and to every man and woman there is no issue more urgent.

You’re Asking the Wrong Question

How can you believe in a God who would condemn people to suffer the torments of hell eternally? I reply with a question of my own: “How can you believe in a God who would not?”

To ask the first question is to fundamentally misunderstand the very nature of God; it is to re-form God in the image of man, because here’s the thing: If you want a God who is good—truly good—and if you want a God who is just and holy, then you must have this God, this God who condemns people to suffer the eternal torments of hell. You cannot have the God you want unless there is a hell.

You cannot have a God who is all-knowing and all-powerful and so very good. God’s goodness doesn’t negate eternal punishment in hell; it demands it.

Scripture Is Clear About Hell

On what basis can I so strongly and confidently assert the necessity and existence of eternal, conscious torment in hell, even if my heart naturally cries out in rebellion against the thought? Only because God’s Word is clear on the matter. The Bible describes hell as a place where God pours out His wrath on people who have been created in His image (Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Revelation 14:10–11; 20:10–15). God the Father has appointed His Son to be the eternal Judge who will condemn people to hell (Matthew 25:31–34, 25:41; Acts 10:42). This is not momentary or temporary torture dispensed by Satan or his demons, but eternal torment poured out by God Himself. This punishment will be inflicted upon conscious human beings, people who know who they are, what they were, what they have done (Luke 16:22–31).

It is truly, literally impossible to imagine a worse reality than this one. Yet the Bible, the best of books by the best of authors, the perfect book by the most trustworthy of authors, tells us it is so. If this is His judgment, then anything less wouldn’t be worthy of an infinitely holy, just, and good God.

Who am I to question God? If this infinitely holy and just God declares that hell exists and asserts that hell must exist, then rebellion against His will reveals a failure in my own understanding of justice and goodness. Do I know better than God? Or is it possible that I am far worse than God, infinitely worse, and that I fall woefully short of a complete understanding of God’s goodness and sin’s wickedness? To ask the question is to answer it.

God’s Eternal Holiness Demands That Hell Be Eternal, Conscious Torment

Why Eternal? The eternal, neverending nature of the sinner’s punishment is directly related to the infinite and eternal nature of God. When you sin against an infinite God—and all sin is primarily oriented toward God—you accrue an infinite debt. This is the only way to explain the Father’s decision not to spare His Son but to deliver Him to suffer in our place (Romans 8:32). An eternal, infinite being was needed to bear the weight of an infinite punishment.

Why Torment? The torments of hell are directly related to the transcendent holiness of God. Those who face that weight of condemnation have sinned against a God who is truly, purely holy. God’s holiness is unable to tolerate anything or anyone that is unholy; His holiness is like a gag reflex that acts out in wrath against all sin (Romans 1:18) so that on the Cross even Christ had to cry out in His forsakenness, cut off from all that was good and pure and holy (Matthew 27:46).

Why Conscious? Those who have sinned consciously must also bear their punishment consciously. The Bible tells us that we have not been passive in our rebellion against God, but have been willing participants, active rebels. In some mysterious way we were even willing participants in the sin of Adam. Justice demands conscious punishment, not mere annihilation of the person or his or her sin. What clearer example do we have than Jesus Christ who consciously bore God’s wrath against sin? If Christ’s suffering for our sin was conscious, so too will be the suffering of those who bear their own sin. God will not ask less of them than He asked of His Son.

The God every person wants is a God who is good, a God who gives good things to the ones He loves. But to have a God who is good, we must first have a God who is holy. God’s goodness flows out of His holiness. The God of the Bible is a holy God. This attribute of God draws attention to His otherness, His set-apartness, the vast gulf between Creator and creature. It tells us that God must be separated from sin, and it says that He is committed to seeking His own honor. God is unimaginably holy, utterly perfect to the greatest degree and the farthest extent. And because He is holy, He is good.

What a stark contrast we make. We human beings are sinful in body, mind, and spirit—no part of us has escaped or remained undefiled. It is only God’s restraining grace that keeps any of us from pursuing our sin to a greater and greater degree, from becoming as utterly and horribly sinful as we could possibly be (James 1:14–15; Romans 1:28–32; 8:2). Only the grace of God stands between any one of us and the vilest of sins. We are not this way because God made us this way, but because this is what we have chosen for ourselves (James 1:13–14). No one has forced us into such unholiness, such moral depravity. This is what we have desired and the path we have taken. Our moral freedom has led us to utter moral corruption.

It is this contrast that makes hell a horrible necessity. The holiness of God demands that He remain separate from sin, that those who commit sin must be kept out of His presence. How could such holiness mingle with such impurity? Holiness flees from sin. They are incompatible, irreconcilable. And so sinners must be cast out, and they must be kept out of God’s presence.

The Hope

The Bible leaves us no option but to recognize that hell is the punishment due to sinners who have rejected the goodness of an infinitely good God. But there is hope. God has not left us without a means by which any of us can be rescued, by which our sinfulness can be taken from us and exchanged for true goodness. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became man and served as the substitute for sinful humanity, taking upon Himself the guilt of our sin and then facing God’s curse against that sin. Amazingly, astoundingly, the infinite Son of God suffered infinite punishment upon the Cross.

What is so remarkable and so praiseworthy is that He did this for others instead of for Himself. He had no sin but took the punishment for the sin of others; He took that sin upon Himself and now freely offers forgiveness and His righteousness to all who will receive it (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 1:12; Titus 3:5–7). He Himself is the way, He is the door, He is the escape. And all He requires is that we put our faith, our trust, in Him, trusting that He is God, that He has made that way. To these people He now offers all the joy of an eternity of holiness, an eternity basking in His pure and holy presence. This is grace, this is God offering what we so badly need but could never do for ourselves.

Conclusion

When you cry out against a God who punishes people in a place like hell, you cry out against the God who has revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture. You cry out against His goodness, holiness, and justice; and all the while you minimize your own sinfulness or the sinfulness of others. Those who understand hell best, those who grasp it most deeply, are those with the greatest sense that they deserve to be there. They marvel at the grace that has called them from that place to a place that is far, far better—infinitely better!

To wish away eternity in hell is to wish away eternity in heaven. It is not that they exist in some kind of mutual dependence so that one can only exist alongside the other. But sin demands eternal punishment, while grace calls for eternal love and joy, the re-establishment of the good and holy relationship that our Creator intended to enjoy with us forever. How can I believe in a God who condemns people to hell? I must believe in this God, for He poured out the punishment of hell on Jesus Christ through whom I have hope.

http://www.answersin...eternal-torment

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yeah and I wonder why God did not destroy the devil when he rebelled against ...instead God created a place for him the

place called hell.

In the old testament peoples' sins were forgiven by God only through the sheading of blood. ( an animal sacrifice)

In the new testament peoples' sins are forgiven by God only through Jesus. His dying on the cross, through His blood shed ..He was

the lamb of God that takes away the sins of people.

Jesus is the only way to get to heaven.

(quote)..Tinkys' article

How can you believe in a God who would condemn people to suffer the torments of hell eternally?

God made hell for the bad, satan and the bad.

Bad people send themselves to hell, those who don't change and won't accept Jesus as their savior.

Jesus saves us from the pit of hell.

Thank you Jesus !

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In answer to the title question....the kind of God who is unendingly patient, eternally loving and forever optimistic toward His creation. He gives everyone every opportunity to come to Him and forgives us for everything we do if we will only repent. The unrepentant and followers of satan have no place in His Kingdom. Hell is for those who reject Him and He is justified in sending them there.

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Morning Glory ...I notice you have multiple posts.

That just happened to me when I hit the quote button ...it took a while to get the page ...

then I saw mutiple posts of the other member .... I just erased them ...to leaving just one...quote...it worked.

Don't know what did that.

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By: Tim Challies

How can you believe in a God who would condemn people to suffer the torments of hell eternally? I have been asked this question many times and, if you are a Christian, you probably have too. If you haven’t, you would do well to get working on an answer because the question may not be too far off. Hell is no laughing matter, despite cartoons and lampoons to the contrary. In all the world, in all eternity, there are few matters weightier than this one, and to every man and woman there is no issue more urgent.

You’re Asking the Wrong Question

How can you believe in a God who would condemn people to suffer the torments of hell eternally? I reply with a question of my own: “How can you believe in a God who would not?”

To ask the first question is to fundamentally misunderstand the very nature of God; it is to re-form God in the image of man, because here’s the thing: If you want a God who is good—truly good—and if you want a God who is just and holy, then you must have this God, this God who condemns people to suffer the eternal torments of hell. You cannot have the God you want unless there is a hell.

You cannot have a God who is all-knowing and all-powerful and so very good. God’s goodness doesn’t negate eternal punishment in hell; it demands it.

Scripture Is Clear About Hell

On what basis can I so strongly and confidently assert the necessity and existence of eternal, conscious torment in hell, even if my heart naturally cries out in rebellion against the thought? Only because God’s Word is clear on the matter. The Bible describes hell as a place where God pours out His wrath on people who have been created in His image (Matthew 10:28; 25:46; Revelation 14:10–11; 20:10–15). God the Father has appointed His Son to be the eternal Judge who will condemn people to hell (Matthew 25:31–34, 25:41; Acts 10:42). This is not momentary or temporary torture dispensed by Satan or his demons, but eternal torment poured out by God Himself. This punishment will be inflicted upon conscious human beings, people who know who they are, what they were, what they have done (Luke 16:22–31).

It is truly, literally impossible to imagine a worse reality than this one. Yet the Bible, the best of books by the best of authors, the perfect book by the most trustworthy of authors, tells us it is so. If this is His judgment, then anything less wouldn’t be worthy of an infinitely holy, just, and good God.

Who am I to question God? If this infinitely holy and just God declares that hell exists and asserts that hell must exist, then rebellion against His will reveals a failure in my own understanding of justice and goodness. Do I know better than God? Or is it possible that I am far worse than God, infinitely worse, and that I fall woefully short of a complete understanding of God’s goodness and sin’s wickedness? To ask the question is to answer it.

God’s Eternal Holiness Demands That Hell Be Eternal, Conscious Torment

Why Eternal? The eternal, neverending nature of the sinner’s punishment is directly related to the infinite and eternal nature of God. When you sin against an infinite God—and all sin is primarily oriented toward God—you accrue an infinite debt. This is the only way to explain the Father’s decision not to spare His Son but to deliver Him to suffer in our place (Romans 8:32). An eternal, infinite being was needed to bear the weight of an infinite punishment.

Why Torment? The torments of hell are directly related to the transcendent holiness of God. Those who face that weight of condemnation have sinned against a God who is truly, purely holy. God’s holiness is unable to tolerate anything or anyone that is unholy; His holiness is like a gag reflex that acts out in wrath against all sin (Romans 1:18) so that on the Cross even Christ had to cry out in His forsakenness, cut off from all that was good and pure and holy (Matthew 27:46).

Why Conscious? Those who have sinned consciously must also bear their punishment consciously. The Bible tells us that we have not been passive in our rebellion against God, but have been willing participants, active rebels. In some mysterious way we were even willing participants in the sin of Adam. Justice demands conscious punishment, not mere annihilation of the person or his or her sin. What clearer example do we have than Jesus Christ who consciously bore God’s wrath against sin? If Christ’s suffering for our sin was conscious, so too will be the suffering of those who bear their own sin. God will not ask less of them than He asked of His Son.

The God every person wants is a God who is good, a God who gives good things to the ones He loves. But to have a God who is good, we must first have a God who is holy. God’s goodness flows out of His holiness. The God of the Bible is a holy God. This attribute of God draws attention to His otherness, His set-apartness, the vast gulf between Creator and creature. It tells us that God must be separated from sin, and it says that He is committed to seeking His own honor. God is unimaginably holy, utterly perfect to the greatest degree and the farthest extent. And because He is holy, He is good.

What a stark contrast we make. We human beings are sinful in body, mind, and spirit—no part of us has escaped or remained undefiled. It is only God’s restraining grace that keeps any of us from pursuing our sin to a greater and greater degree, from becoming as utterly and horribly sinful as we could possibly be (James 1:14–15; Romans 1:28–32; 8:2). Only the grace of God stands between any one of us and the vilest of sins. We are not this way because God made us this way, but because this is what we have chosen for ourselves (James 1:13–14). No one has forced us into such unholiness, such moral depravity. This is what we have desired and the path we have taken. Our moral freedom has led us to utter moral corruption.

It is this contrast that makes hell a horrible necessity. The holiness of God demands that He remain separate from sin, that those who commit sin must be kept out of His presence. How could such holiness mingle with such impurity? Holiness flees from sin. They are incompatible, irreconcilable. And so sinners must be cast out, and they must be kept out of God’s presence.

The Hope

The Bible leaves us no option but to recognize that hell is the punishment due to sinners who have rejected the goodness of an infinitely good God. But there is hope. God has not left us without a means by which any of us can be rescued, by which our sinfulness can be taken from us and exchanged for true goodness. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became man and served as the substitute for sinful humanity, taking upon Himself the guilt of our sin and then facing God’s curse against that sin. Amazingly, astoundingly, the infinite Son of God suffered infinite punishment upon the Cross.

What is so remarkable and so praiseworthy is that He did this for others instead of for Himself. He had no sin but took the punishment for the sin of others; He took that sin upon Himself and now freely offers forgiveness and His righteousness to all who will receive it (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 1:12; Titus 3:5–7). He Himself is the way, He is the door, He is the escape. And all He requires is that we put our faith, our trust, in Him, trusting that He is God, that He has made that way. To these people He now offers all the joy of an eternity of holiness, an eternity basking in His pure and holy presence. This is grace, this is God offering what we so badly need but could never do for ourselves.

Conclusion

When you cry out against a God who punishes people in a place like hell, you cry out against the God who has revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture. You cry out against His goodness, holiness, and justice; and all the while you minimize your own sinfulness or the sinfulness of others. Those who understand hell best, those who grasp it most deeply, are those with the greatest sense that they deserve to be there. They marvel at the grace that has called them from that place to a place that is far, far better—infinitely better!

To wish away eternity in hell is to wish away eternity in heaven. It is not that they exist in some kind of mutual dependence so that one can only exist alongside the other. But sin demands eternal punishment, while grace calls for eternal love and joy, the re-establishment of the good and holy relationship that our Creator intended to enjoy with us forever. How can I believe in a God who condemns people to hell? I must believe in this God, for He poured out the punishment of hell on Jesus Christ through whom I have hope.

http://www.answersin...eternal-torment

What Kind of God Would Condemn People to Eternal Torment?

Thank God that we are saved by grace and therefore have the hope of assurance and eternal life with Jesus ,the Bible is very clear that nobody who didn't accept His Son in their life as their Savior will have eternal torment, the good news is that's it's not too late to make the decision to live for Jesus and to accept Him in your life,He's the only way to heaven. :)

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I believe the wicked are destroyed. Eternal punishment means they're destroyed forever, never to be brought back. Only those with faith in God get eternal life. The wicked don't get eternal life, not even in a place called Hell. Fire isn't an instrument of torture, but is a symbol of destruction.

"Hell", hades, means the grave, where the dead know nothing. Jesus's parables of "Hell", genna, aren't to be taken literally.

But that's what atheists would have us believe, that after death there is nothing. It is what "comforts" them.

So to you, your belief is there is heaven or nothing? That doesn't sound so bad now does it?

Care to elucidate a bit on your comment on hell, and show us with scripture why you so believe?

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If your question is simply how I can believe in a God that would send someone to eternal torments in hell, I would simply question why that is so hard to believe? Why is it easier to believe in a god that would not do something like that? God is God. He is who he is. We can't simply fashion him into the image we desire and make it so. God could be the most hateful being imaginable, and he would still be god. Of course, I am not saying he is hateful, but just making a point. That is like the person who has an earthly Father that beats them and is verbally abusive. Can you ask the question, how can you believe this person really exists? Of course he exists. Wanting him to be differen't won't make him that way. We know God from the Bible. If you read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, you get a pretty good idea of what he is like. You see him as a loving God, and a God that executes judgment. Just as a person is usually more complex than just someone who is loving or vengeful or caring or unfeeling, and you can't just use a one word description, neither are they the same in all situations, God is more complex than just a God of love.

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I believe the wicked are destroyed. Eternal punishment means they're destroyed forever, never to be brought back. Only those with faith in God get eternal life. The wicked don't get eternal life, not even in a place called Hell. Fire isn't an instrument of torture, but is a symbol of destruction.

"Hell", hades, means the grave, where the dead know nothing. Jesus's parables of "Hell", genna, aren't to be taken literally.

Eternal life is not merely a length of time, but also speaks to a quality of existence. The dead will live forever, but they do not have "eternal life." Eternal life is Jesus Christ. He is both the Gift and the Giver.

Jesus' parables about Gehenna, are completely consistent with the view of hell during the first century in ancient Israel and in the rest of Scripture. When the Bible speaks of eternal desctruction, it is referring to an ongoing state or condition. To exist in a state of constant destruction. It isn't torture. It is destruction. It is the consequence of rejecting Christ and finished work of the cross.

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But that's what atheists would have us believe, that after death there is nothing. It is what "comforts" them.

So to you, your belief is there is heaven or nothing? That doesn't sound so bad now does it?

Care to elucidate a bit on your comment on hell, and show us with scripture why you so believe?

It's Heaven or judgement and execution.

The prevailing attitude among even fundamentalist Christians is that execution off sinners (aside from the most extreme criminal offenders) is excessive. If execution is excessive, why isn't execution enough?

Once again, perhaps you can produce scripture to prove your assertions. You cannot speak for the majority of 'fundamentalist' Christians, unless you, yourself, have spoken personally to the majority of them. The fate of the un-redeemed cannot be simple destruction or execution when almost every passage about hell illustrates quite clearly that the torment of the un-redeemed is eternal in nature. The redeemed enjoy eternal life through Christ. Without Christ, the un-redeemed suffer eternal separation from God and eternal torment. The concept may be unpleasant, but those are the biblical facts.

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Let's examine the "execution' theory. This idea would allow me to live as much of a sinful life in the flesh I wanted to and when my life was over, poof ... gone, no remorse or consequences, just gone. What is there to loose for living this life?

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