Hell is too harsh. God is love, and He would never make a place like hell. Or so many people say.
But it’s God’s infinite love and goodness that makes hell reasonable and logical.
If God loves people, He hates murder. He has to punish murderers. If someone raped and killed your loved one, you would be angry. You should be. Rest assured that God would be angry, too. If God cares about justice, He would have to punish murderers. His place of punishment is hell.
God is so good, holy, and righteous that his justice extends beyond punishing murder. He’s going to punish rapists, thieves, and even liars. This is because God has laws, and breaking these laws, or sinning, violates his holy and righteous nature. For example, God says that if you’ve ever told a lie, you’ve broken the ninth commandment, and without Jesus, you will have your part in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8), along with murderers. (By the way, most of us can’t even escape God’s murder charge. According to the Bible [1 John 3:15], if you’ve ever hated someone, you’re a murderer at heart.)
While many believe that the Bible is vague about hell, it is actually quite clear. Consider these Bible passages that refer to hell as:
- Shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2)
- Everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)
- Weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:51)
- Fire unquenchable (Luke 3:17)
- Indigation and wrath, tribulation and anguish (Romans 2:8-9)
- Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
- Eternal fire…the blackness of darkenss forever (Jude 7-13)
- He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone..the smoke of their torment ascended up forever and ever: and they have no rest day or night (Revelation 14:10-11)
Hell is scary. Jesus said you should go to extreme lengths to avoid it, including even cutting off your hand or gouging out your eye if they cause you to sin (Matthew 5:29-30). It’s better to go to heaven with one hand and one eye than go to hell with two hands and two eyes.
However, God loves us so much that even though everyone born has sinned and thereby severed their relationship with God, He provided a way for justice to be served while also restoring our relationship to Him and opening the door to heaven. Jesus (who is God in the flesh) lived a sinless life. God punished Him on our behalf by His death on the cross. Amazingly, it pleased the Father to do this (Isaiah 53:10). He was raised from the dead on the third day.
God is infinitely just—and He is infinitely full of love. You can take your punishment, or you can let Jesus take your punishment. If you repent (turn from sin) and put your faith fully in Jesus, the Judge will set you free.
People who think hell is unreasonable don’t understand that God has a set of laws, and if you break them, you have to be punished. When they understand these laws, and how blatantly they have broken them, the idea of hell becomes much more reasonable. The law is a schoolmaster that brings us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).