In my last couple of posts I’ve espoused the idea that Hell is God’s holding place for Sin for all of eternity. But I haven’t fully explored what that entails. Particularly, will we (humanity) find ourselves there? It is a reasonable question after all, because we know there is evil in the world and if Hell is God’s prison for evil, will we (any or all of us) find ourselves there?
Unsurprisingly, this question haunts a lot of individuals in the world today. Dr. Stephen Hawking is so disturbed by it, he has devoted his life to trying to answer it. And if you think I stretch the bounds of reason here, look at the last few pages of his book The Grand Design. S.W.Hawking and L. Mlodinov (Sep 2010), ISBN-13: 978-0553805376. Look at the last few pages of the vast majority of any Evolutionist’s book. They usually conclude with the thought that if evolution is true, there is no God, and if there is no God, there is no Heaven, and by contrast, if there is no Heaven, there is no Hell. Ahhhhh finally!! We’ve escaped Hell. The Evolutionist’s means of escaping Hell is by disproving it. By-the-way, the Agnostic’s means of escaping Hell is to ignore it (after all, what do they care? An Agnostic is impartial by definition). The Theist however escapes Hell by trying to understand it. It is up to you as to which path you choose.
The Creator’s answer is yes, some of humanity will find themselves locked away in Hell for all of eternity. Jesus Christ himself told the story of a certain rich man who found himself in a place of torment (Hell) in Luke 16:19-31. Here we have a man alive on the earth who died and found himself in Hell. So if we are to take the Creator’s word for it, the answer would seem to be yes, we (humanity) can definitely end up in Hell.
However, knowing that mankind can end up in Hell, does not necessarily mean that Hell was created for mankind. Actually Peter tells us that it is God’s desire that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9). In other words, God does not desire to see anyone in Hell. That doesn’t sound to me like God created Hell for humanity. Rather that he is saddened that some of humanity gets swept into Hell along with the rest of the evil host.
I was asked to lead a singles Bible study about 16 years ago in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, One of the members of that study asked me what I thought the difference between angels and humans was. The question really boiled down to whether or not an angel could experience mercy and grace. I do not (personally) believe they can. We are two different types of vessels, In the case of humanity, we have the distinct privilege of being made in God’s own image. When God created us, He made family, His family, I, for one, am more than happy being the weaker of the vessels. An angel will never know the honor and the privilege of being a part of the family of God. Angels certainly get to watch God’s plan play out on a stage and an scale I could only hope to understand. But that is not worth trading to be a part of the family of God,
So I believe that God created Hell for the vessels of dishonor He created for the purpose of introducing Sin into creation. Mankind was created as God’s very own family and then was allowed to be put to the test with that Sin. Adam, on behalf of all of mankind (yeah, I know, but before you give Adam a bum rap, consider that you or I would have done no different), failed that test,. And God then had to set his plan into motion to rescue us by paying the price for that Sin in our stead. Had we never been in that Sinful state we wouldn’t have needed rescuing, and by not being rescued we would have never known God’s Mercy, and Grace, and Love.
A few years ago, Rev. Rick Warren wrote a book titled The Purpose Driven Life. You may take several things away from that book, but the one thing that kept hitting me in the face was It’s not about me, it’s all about God. People keep asking question like “If God did not want anyone to perish, why didn’t he just put us all into Heaven to begin with?” Well, it is His show, His plan, His design, and it is for His Glory and His Honor. It is all to Glorify Him. And that alone is good enough for me. But my theology also allows me to reason that perhaps God wanted a family that actually knows Him on a personal level, that understands His Mercy and His Grace. And knows of His Love like none other in all of creation. And that required us to know what was NOT Him to begin with.
But God did not want just want dedicated servants. I believe he has those with the Angels. Both the ones created to serve His purpose in good, and those created to serve His purpose in evil. No, God wanted his family to choose Him because they desired to of their own free will. And thus he gave us a choice., We may choose. Choose rightly, and spend eternity in Heaven, choose wrongly and spend eternity in Hell.
Astute theologians should recognize at this point that we have a paradox,. The Youth Pastor and Worship Leader of my home church growing up pointed out to me that perhaps I was asleep during certain studies and that there actually is a study of these paradoxes in theology, My Youth Pastor was Rev. Mitch White and he has been a great friend and mentor over the years. The study he recently introduced me to is antinomy, literally two competing but equally true ideas.
I don’t know how it is that God can be 100% in control and that at exactly the same time you and I have the free will to live our lives and to either choose or reject Him. Louie Giglio said in one his Passion Series that it is a great mystery that God can be completely in control and mankind can have free will at exactly the same time. We cannot resolve or know all paradoxes in this life. But I do know this, you and I have a choice, and that choice is Heaven or Hell. And the choice is final, for all of eternity.
Hell: A Finality? Very much so. I would surmise that it takes an eternal Hell to offset an eternal Heaven. I choose to believe on Jesus Christ, that He is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. I believe with all my heart that I have chosen wisely.