Why does hell exist?

ChristianForCats

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My mom, a Methodist who was raised Presbyterian, does not believe hell exists just because God is love. It makes no sense that the most loving Person in the world would want to make any dead people suffer excruciating pain forever. After all, look at how many miracles God performed on people for the purpose of eliminating physical and psychological suffering, even on people who do not know Him.

Recently, non-Christians have been telling me if hell is real, we believe in a "wicked" god and it is better to not to be a Christian because of our belief all non-believers will suffer this way after a physical death. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, I was taught being a Christian requires believing in a literal hell at an evangelical church.

What can I tell non-believers to make them understand the existence of hell does not mean we believe in an evil God?

Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)
 
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HTacianas

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My mom, a Methodist who was raised Presbyterian, does not believe hell exists just because God is love. It makes no sense that the most loving Person in the world would want to make any dead people suffer excruciating pain forever. After all, look at how many miracles God performed on people for the purpose of eliminating physical and psychological suffering, even on people who do not know Him.

Recently, non-Christians have been telling me if hell is real, we believe in a "wicked" god and it is better to not to be a Christian because of our belief all non-believers will suffer this way after a physical death. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, I was taught being a Christian requires believing in a literal hell at an evangelical church.

What can I tell non-believers to make them understand the existence of hell does not mean we believe in an evil God?

Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)

First off, God doesn't send anyone to hell because they never knew of his existence. The only thing that gets someone tossed off into hell is their own conduct. And there is conduct people know to be wrong but they do it anyway. Anyone knows that murdering another person is inherently evil, but people do it every day. If you read the old testament all those people who are truly hated by God are pure evil. What we would think of as outlaws from the old west. Outlaws in the old west knew what they were doing was wrong but they did it anyway. But whether they end up in hell for it is entirely up to God.

To your second point, the existence of hell -or heaven for that matter- does not influence a person's beliefs. Wishing that hell didn't exist doesn't change anything. Things are what they are.
 
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Trusting in Him

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The bible says that Hell was created for the devil and his angels.

Then shall he say unto them, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
 
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RileyG

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Depends what you mean by hell. If you think it is literal fire and brimstone, then yes, that makes God look cruel. IF you think it means separation from God that is self-inflicted, then that is different.
 
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Der Alte

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My mom, a Methodist who was raised Presbyterian, does not believe hell exists just because God is love. It makes no sense that the most loving Person in the world would want to make any dead people suffer excruciating pain forever. After all, look at how many miracles God performed on people for the purpose of eliminating physical and psychological suffering, even on people who do not know Him.
Recently, non-Christians have been telling me if hell is real, we believe in a "wicked" god and it is better to not to be a Christian because of our belief all non-believers will suffer this way after a physical death. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, I was taught being a Christian requires believing in a literal hell at an evangelical church.
What can I tell non-believers to make them understand the existence of hell does not mean we believe in an evil God?
Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)
Genesis 7:21-23
(21) And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
(22) All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
(23) And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Genesis 19:24-25
(24) Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
(25) And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Matthew 25:41
(41) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
 
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RileyG

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In other words, your mother is a Christian universalist? I am pretty sure the Methodist Church (nor the Presbyterian Church) accepts this. Is this her own personal belief based upon her experience with God? How did she come to this conclusion?
 
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Trusting in Him

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God put His own Son upon the cross and He did that for us. God is not like a man, He is God and we should not judge what He does according to our own human reasoning! We should be thankful that He is not like us!
 
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ChristianForCats

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In other words, your mother is a Christian universalist? I am pretty sure the Methodist Church (nor the Presbyterian Church) accepts this. Is this her own personal belief based upon her experience with God? How did she come to this conclusion?

Simply by not knowing the book of Relevation. She also thinks because the Bible is so old the word "fear" in Jesus saying, "Fear the One who . . ." does not necessarily mean unbelievers should be afraid of where they will end up after their physical deaths.

I mentioned her denominational history just in case that means anything.
 
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ChristianForCats

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Depends what you mean by hell. If you think it is literal fire and brimstone, then yes, that makes God look cruel. IF you think it means separation from God that is self-inflicted, then that is different.

I believe hell is a literal place because both Jesus and Revelation say that.
 
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SavedByGrace3

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Romans 1:18-32
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30. Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31. Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
 
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Trusting in Him

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God is righteous to punish the wicked who will not repent, so that we will know that His gift of salvation through the death of His Son is not cheap salvation. It is His priceless gift to those who are being saved, we who are being saved need to understand the terrible future from which we a being saved. This is an infinitely great salvation and God is worthy of all the glory, honour and praise which we can give Him. This is why heaven is going to be filled with His praises and we shall be in awe of what God has done for us!
 
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SavedByGrace3

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Escaping hell is so easy. He has done all the work. Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord SHALL be saved. His name is Jesus. Just do it!
 
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rwb

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Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)

We can't lay the blame on God CFC. If God had wanted suffering for people, why did He create them in His own likeness and image, then call them "very good"? Man was created with complete autonomy (free will). They were given a choice obey God and live or disobey Him and die. Since man chose death rather than submitting to God for life how is God to blame for man's freewill choice?
 
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SavedByGrace3

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Salvation is so simple that it would seem that only someone wanting to reject it as an act of rebellion will be lost.
Sometimes little kids will stub up against their parents. They will be chastised for something, and then mom will have pity and try to give them candy or a present, and the kid will pout and stomp their little food and refuse to accept the love gift.
I dunno; it seems that is the attitude of some who refuse the free gift of God.
But it is also an act of humiliation to submit to the gospel. The act of calling on the Lord for salvation is an admission that you are lost and need to be saved. I think some will bristle at the thought that they "need" to be saved." Almost a pride thing to rebel against the free gift. (I am thinking of someone in particular).
 
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Mink61

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My mom, a Methodist who was raised Presbyterian, does not believe hell exists just because God is love. It makes no sense that the most loving Person in the world would want to make any dead people suffer excruciating pain forever. After all, look at how many miracles God performed on people for the purpose of eliminating physical and psychological suffering, even on people who do not know Him.
God does not "want" to make anyone suffer excruciating pain forever.

Recently, non-Christians have been telling me if hell is real, we believe in a "wicked" god and it is better to not to be a Christian because of our belief all non-believers will suffer this way after a physical death. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, I was taught being a Christian requires believing in a literal hell at an evangelical church.
I don't think that belief is so "unfortunate"...

What can I tell non-believers to make them understand the existence of hell does not mean we believe in an evil God?
First of all, the non-believer likes to blame God (!) for all of the suffering and evil in this world. They're all about what this almighty, all-loving God "should" have done and/or "COULD" have done. When you listen to them talk, they basically believe that if God was "all-loving", God would never allow all the evil and suffering in this world or the next. And, if they do something that would cause them pain, God "should" be there to stop them...or, make it so they wouldn't do those things in the first place.

In essence, it's their idea of love that is skewed. As a parent, I had the 'power' to do my child's homework for her, making sure she would get an 'A'. But if I did that, what would she learn? Of course, I love her, and don't want to see her fail. But if I try to help her, and she pushes me away...and THEN fails...am I to be blamed for not "loving" her?

If I teach my son, as best as I can, and my son dismisses my teachings...falls by the wayside...gets in with the wrong crowd and becomes a criminal, going on a murdering spree, he will probably end up in prison for life. But does that mean that I don't love him? I may recognize that his hatred for people (and God) would make him unfit to live among those who willfully following the rules of society. What kind of person would I be to insist that he be set free, knowing fully well that he will murder again? By allowing him to remain in prison, doesn't mean that I no longer love him. I would LOVE for him to use his free-will for GOOD. But as long as he uses it for evil, and sees nothing wrong with it, it's best that he stays someplace where he can't hurt others.

Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)
I believe that God has different rules for those who never knew about his existence or had a chance to love Him. Those rules are "written on our hearts." Most people know that it's wrong to murder, even if they never heard of God.

And God will judge them accordingly.
 
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ChristianForCats

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Escaping hell is so easy. He has done all the work. Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord SHALL be saved. His name is Jesus. Just do it!

Nobody "escapes" hell. We can only avoid going there in there in the first place.
 
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SavedByGrace3

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Nobody "escapes" hell. We can only avoid going there in there in the first place.
Understood. I meant to escape going there.
Thanks for the clarification.
 
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ChristianForCats

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We can't lay the blame on God CFC. If God had wanted suffering for people, why did He create them in His own likeness and image, then call them "very good"? Man was created with complete autonomy (free will). They were given a choice obey God and live or disobey Him and die. Since man chose death rather than submitting to God for life how is God to blame for man's free will choice?

God created one man and one woman in His image. Everyone else who did, does, or will live has multiple flaws. How can all humans be made in His image if none of them were, are, or will be perfect except two?
 
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d taylor

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My mom, a Methodist who was raised Presbyterian, does not believe hell exists just because God is love. It makes no sense that the most loving Person in the world would want to make any dead people suffer excruciating pain forever. After all, look at how many miracles God performed on people for the purpose of eliminating physical and psychological suffering, even on people who do not know Him.

Recently, non-Christians have been telling me if hell is real, we believe in a "wicked" god and it is better to not to be a Christian because of our belief all non-believers will suffer this way after a physical death. This is totally understandable. Unfortunately, I was taught being a Christian requires believing in a literal hell at an evangelical church.

What can I tell non-believers to make them understand the existence of hell does not mean we believe in an evil God?

Why would an all-loving God want billions of people to suffer eternally just because they never knew about His existence or had a chance to love Him? (Yes, I know God wants people to love Him, but there's no way that can be done now with nearly 8 billion people on the planet.)

Here is a little reading. it may help.

Clearing up Confusion about Heaven and Hell — Revelation 20:11–21:4 – Grace Evangelical Society

Hollywood’s Hell – Grace Evangelical Society
 
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DavidPT

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If I teach my son, as best as I can, and my son dismisses my teachings...falls by the wayside...gets in with the wrong crowd and becomes a criminal, going on a murdering spree, he will probably end up in prison for life. But does that mean that I don't love him? I may recognize that his hatred for people (and God) would make him unfit to live among those who willfully following the rules of society. What kind of person would I be to insist that he be set free, knowing fully well that he will murder again? By allowing him to remain in prison, doesn't mean that I no longer love him. I would LOVE for him to use his free-will for GOOD. But as long as he uses it for evil, and sees nothing wrong with it, it's best that he stays someplace where he can't hurt others.

But comparing that to what God allegedly does, that He allegedly tortures humans in literal hellfire forever, is not my idea of someone that still loves the ones He is allowing to be tortured like that. Those God has cast into the LOF, regardless what happens to them after that, God hates every single one of these, otherwise He would not be able to do what many allege He does to them, tortures them beyond belief for forever.

If I had the power to cast others into literal hellfire and have the power to torture them forever, could I or would I do it? Absolutely not since someone would have to be the most sadistic person on the planet to do that to someone. Even though I hate the likes of Hitler, Jeffery Daumer, to name a few, I still couldn't torture them in literal hellfire forever, even if I had the power to do so. So, where did I initially get this idea from that to be sadistic beyond belief is not good, nor reasonable, nor acceptable, or where did anyone get that idea from if they agree? Could not have received this idea from God if those are things He actually does Himself.
 
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