I like the God of love, I take God at his word,—God is love. I believe in a loving God. The question must arise, “how is it possible for God whose exact essence is love, consign anyone to Hell?”
Perhaps, an even more difficult question is this, “how is it possible for a God of justice to totally and completely overlook incomprehensible evil, and outright rebellion?”
Is he the God of Love or is he the God of Justice?
God has only bad to say about Hell. He describes it in ultimate terms using language that should cause the hair on the toes of any human to curl and bristle with terror. He uses descriptions like utter darkness, flames, smoke, separation, fiery lake of burning sulfur, a place of destruction of the body and soul, a fire that never goes out, a place of weeping, a place filled with such terror that teeth will grind and grip in fear and pain, within an atmosphere of deep gloom. God describes hell as the second death (from which there is no resurrection), bound by chains in darkness. God guarantees hell to be the final destination of everyone whose name is not in the book of life. He promises hell’s duration as eternal.
Many cannot imagine such language and intentions coming from God. How can such intent come from the God of Love?
Once again, I find myself trying to define God who is beyond human understanding. The best I can do is to reflect on the God as revealed through Scripture. God’s character cannot be compromised or contradicted. When his essence is defined as creator, omnipresent (being everywhere), omniscient (all knowing), eternal, love, and justice, he is all of these.
God cannot know everything and not know everything. God cannot be everywhere and not be everywhere. God is either the creator or he is not God. God cannot love sin and hate sin. God cannot be a God of justice and overlook rebellion.
How can God love humanity without exacting the death penalty?
Both man and woman knew God’s instruction. Should they eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death was certain. Man did not understand all of the ramifications of disobeying God, yet I have to believe they understood they weren’t to touch the tree.
When man disobeys the creator, God must respond with justice or he is not God.
What are your reflections? Stay tuned.