Skip to comments.Rejecting God Because of Hell Is Illogical
Posted on 01/09/2014 9:09:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
"I could never believe in a God who sends people to hell." This common objection, while sincere, is nevertheless untrue and illogical. How can you say it is "untrue" Dan if someone really means it? This is how. Just walk through the reasoning with me if you will.
First of all, think about what the person is saying. He is saying that if the biblical teaching about heaven and hell is correct, then he would never believe in a God who allows people to spend eternity in a place of suffering. This rationale is both illogical and irrational. His objection is based on a premise that the biblical teaching about hell is correct, which is a premise he already rejects.
It's like saying, "I could never believe in a God who sends people to a place which I am convinced doesn't exist." Huh? How do you know you could never believe such a thing when you do not yet even believe in hell, yet alone believe in Christ?
An unbeliever is someone who does not believe in Jesus as Savior. And I have yet to meet an unbeliever who is convinced that hell as described in the Bible is real. So an unbeliever's lack of faith has to do with a lack of faith in Jesus, rather than a lack of faith in hell. He is first an unbeliever in Jesus, and only later an unbeliever in hell.
We can all agree that the following statement is true: "The biblical description regarding hell and those who go there is either true or false." So the objection is that the person would never believe in God if the biblical description is true. I disagree, and I think you will too in a couple minutes. Here is why.
The biblical teaching, as well as the personal experience of Christians, is that a believer is given a new heart and begins to love God because of what Christ has done to save his soul. Millions of Christians believe in God while also believing the difficult doctrine that God sends people to hell. It is not only possible to hold these two positions, but many Christians accept both of them simultaneously.
So it is possible. It does happen. I, for one, believe in Christ as my Savior, and also in the reality of hell as described in the Bible.
It is irrational to say, "I could never believe in a God who sends people to hell." It's like saying, "Even if millions of others claim to believe in both Christ and hell, I could never believe such a thing myself." That is untrue. You could believe it.
Let's say you were convinced that both heaven and hell are real places where people spend eternity. If you were convinced of that fact, it would be absurd for you to say, "I would rather go to hell than believe in God." No you wouldn't. You don't really mean it. Five minutes in hell would convince you otherwise. If you truly believed you were going to spend eternity in the same place of misery and agony where you spent the previous five minutes, you wouldn't stick to your unbelief and your rejection of Christ. You would know at that point that hell is real, and you would want any way out.
There is no way you would choose to stay in hell "just to prove a point." It wouldn't happen. You would become a believer very quickly. And you would see that you can indeed believe in a God who sends people to hell. There is no one who despises his soul so much that he would choose eternal punishment in hell over eternal pleasure with God in heaven.
And there is no one, except Satan, who hates God so much that he would spend five minutes in hell only to say, "I still don't want that new heart, and that new life, and that peace in paradise." It simply isn't logical or rational to say that a person would stick to this flawed position "just to make a point." In that situation, you would swallow your pride, bow your knee to your Creator, and accept Christ as your Savior and your only path to paradise.
If you are going to reject God's love for you as demonstrated in the death of His Son on the cross, it is because you are choosing to reject Jesus as the Messiah and Savior. But it is not because of what the Bible teaches about hell. People only think that is one reason they don't believe in God, but it isn't. It is not a logical position to claim such a thing. It is completely unreasonable. Man loves his personal comfort way too much to stick to that position "just to make a point." It wouldn't happen. If he could get it, man would definitely ask God for a lifeline after just five minutes in hell.
But of course the Bible does not offer a shred of hope that such a lifeline will be available to people after they are sent to hell. Once a person enters hell, reality quickly sinks in. People then see that their perception while on earth was terribly wrong. They see that they could indeed have previously believed in a God who sends people to hell, even though at the time they may have sincerely said they "could never believe in such a God."
Do you know why Jesus spoke at least as much about hell as He did about heaven? Because heaven and hell are actual places where people do exist forever. The biblical teaching about hell is probably the second toughest thing in Scripture to grasp. So what's the first? Here it is: God loved you enough to send His only Son to die in your place on the cross. Seriously, who does that? God did.
The Lord wants you in heaven forever and not in hell. If you repent of your sins and receive Christ as your Savior, you will be saved and safe forever, period. (see Mark 1:15, John 3:16, John 1:12, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, & 1 John 5:13)
At the same time, if you continue to reject Christ, that's on you. But either way, it is nonsensical for someone to make the illogical statement, "I could never believe in a God who sends people to hell." And I suspect you now see why that premise, albeit sincere, is false and illogical.
Everything just makes more sense when you are trusting Jesus to forgive your sins.
-- Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.
The premise is illogical and not just in the “hell” example. What the person is saying is “I could never believe in a God that doesn’t behave exactly how I personally would want God to behave.”
I disagree. It's not a binary. Different Christians interpret the Bible differently on this point.
I think people who say that really mean, “Any God who would create/allow Hell is not good but evil, and you say God is good.”
The Muslims believe that good is what Allah says it is - and that he could say anything. If he decides to say giving alms is evil and stealing is good, it is so.
Suppose the Muslim concept of God and goodness were true, not the Christian one. I suppose most of us would become Muslims to avoid hell, if we knew that was the only way - but wouldn’t the heart you have now cry out against the teachings of Islam, slavery and conquest and murder, cry out that it was still evil?
Cases in point: Detroit, Venezuela, North Korea.
Even if God did not make a hell, His mercy and justice would demand such a place.
The Muslims certainly do not reject Allah because of Jahannam (the Koran’s “Hell”).
God does not send people to hell. People send themselves there because they do not want to be with God for eternity. They would rather be with the alternative.
Where else is Christ going to put those obstinate folks that don't want to be with Him? The place is called hell.
I’ve been to Hell, twice. Once in Michigan and once in Norway. Both places are quite logical and do freeze over in the winter.
“Hell” to me is being separated from God. It does not have to be literally “Dante’s Inferno” but it does exist in a form where Satan/Devil has hold of one’s soul and thus keeps a person/soul from believing that their salvation is possible through Jesus.
Again and again the Bible tells us the punishment for sin is death.
It is illogical to say death = eternal life, but with agony.
The biblical construct of “hell” is not as tradition has taught.
According to the bible there is a Lake of Fire in which the wicked, the Beast, the False Prophet and the Devil himself are thrown into. (Revelation 20)
The Devil is the only one who will be tormented forever and ever (Revelation 20:10)
The wicked shall be ashes under the feet of the righteous (Malachi 4:1-3)
There is a White Throne Judgement, and those not found in the book of Life are thrown in the lake of fire. The judgment is permanent (forever) - meaning the judgement is final. Similar to when God sealed the door of the ark and the judgment was final on all those who were not in the ark.
Modern American Churchianity has no balance. They are rushing from one erroneous tradition (hell) into another false tradition (no judgment). There is a Judgement upon all - even the Angels themselves. There is a penalty for sin - which is DEATH. Eternal death, the Second Death.
Belief in hell is not a Salvation issue. Believing on Him who can save us from the Second Death, and His death for our sins and resurrection into His life is the Gospel.
That said - scaring people into faith does not produce an anchor as powerful as a people rooted in faith looking forward to the resurrection that Christ is bringing with Him as our reward.
They are not rejecting “God”. Rather, they are rejecting the message. They are saying they don’t believe such a God exists and is a fairy tale.
Interestingly, the New Testament has many clear messages. One of them is the message to willingly come to the Lord. Yet the “eternal torture in Hell” message is clear coersion. It is the equivalent, in human terms, of telling someone to sign the contract or you will blow their brains out. It is called coersion. It is also illegal.
But more importantly, it flies in the face of Jesus’ teachings. I did not become a follower of Christ because he threatened to torture me for all eternity. I became a follower of Jesus because I want to spend eternity in the presence of my creator.
I came to the Lord through desire, not fear. And fear is the opposite of faith.
When was Hell created?
Even if God did not make a hell, His mercy and justice would demand such a place.
You’re missing my point.
God permitting hell is a moral scandal to some people. To them, if that God existed he would be an evil God. People stand up to worldly dictators sometimes and are tortured and killed for it but most lay low and appease them. Suppose the dictator were eternal and all-powerful - that still wouldn’t make him good, would it? You could not gain anything by opposing him, not even non-existence.
I don't think God 'sends' people to hell, I'm pretty sure they drive themselves there.
God set up the rules, and gave us 'free will' to choose our path. Many choose this path.
The problem of of hell is that it assigns infinite torture as punishment for a finite number of evil deeds committed during a finite life.
It’s only a “moral scandal” to those that hate the idea of the existence of an all-powerful god, evidently.
As for God’s law as Christians know it, that brings freedom rather than slavery. The freedoms that the USA brought are evidence of that; the Founding Fathers wanted the country to be biblically-based in terms of law.
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