Hell: Fantasy or Finality?

A while back I had a post here in which I mentioned Hell.  In that post I based arguments on some assumptions that were given’s up front in my discussion and I purposely did not offer a definition or an explanation of Hell for the stated reason that I wanted to revisit the subject of Hell in more depth one day.  Let’s make that day today.

But before I get to the actual subject of Hell itself, which I may actually have to address in several separate posts,   Please allow me to lay some groundwork with a short examination of why I believe we have both good and evil in the world.

I had a friend of mine (my friend is a lawyer and is quite intelligent.  He passed the Florida Bar the first time he took it.) once tell me that he believed people were born in a neutral state.  That is a person comes into this world without any disposition towards good or evil.  As time goes on, a person is then influenced by good and evil forces within their lives and they are pushed and pulled towards one side or the other.  Kind of like Star Wars.  You either choose the light side of the force or the dark side of the force.  It is amazing to me the number of people in the world (I would guess the vast majority, although I have no definitive statics on this) that have this exact same philosophy.  There is one religion in the world that does not teach this, and that religion is Christianity.  And thus it is even more amazing to me the number of Christians that seem to hold this basic belief.

There are a couple of fundamental problems I believe you should have with this thinking.  The first is “Where did the first evil person get their influence from?”  For that matter where did the first good person get their influence from?  If we indeed started out neutral, and are still born that way today, how did good and evil come to exist to begin with?  And who was it that first defined what was good and what was evil?  I’ve addressed this conundrum of morals in this previous post.

The second problem I believe you should have with this philosophy is that you should ask yourself the question “Which side is winning?  Good or evil?”  Is there more good in the world today or is there more evil in the world, and why?

People want to believe that both forces have existed from the beginning of time (they have, from humanity’s standpoint) and that the great struggle is for humankind and we are caught in the balance waiting to see who will win, the forces of good or the forces of evil.

Christianity however teaches that people are born into sin.  That is they are alienated from God.  Having a propensity towards evil and that there is no good in them.  Paul of Tarsus made this argument rather eloquently in Romans and every Christian should be familiar with it.

But were good and evil always present?  Meaning did they both exist equally before the beginning of time?

Let’s see if we can ask some theological questions that will help us with this question.  The first question I would like to ask is: Where did God come from?  A Christian’s answer should be God has always been and always will be.  He had no beginning and He has no end.  God Is.  My second question would be: Is God good, or is God evil?  And once again, a Christian’s answer should be God is good.  My third question would be: Is there any scenario ever where God’s will is not fulfilled?  Now before you answer that, think about it very carefully. Is there anything (anything at all) that God does not know is going to happen or exactly how it is going to happen?  Is there any scenario where God could ever lose a battle?  Is there anything that could ever surprise God or catch him off guard?  Is there anything that God could not change should he so desire?  By definition, God is in absolute control.  It is His show.  It is His creation.  He is preeminent.  He, and He alone is supreme.  Therefore, your answer should be No.  God’s will is always fulfilled.

So my next question would be: Where did evil come from?  Well if it existed before time, wouldn’t God have been aware of it?  He should have been.  And would not God have been able to erase it?  Why wouldn’t He?  He is, after all God.  It does not theologically follow that evil existed either prior to or current with God’s own existence.  Evil has not just always existed without beginning or end.  Evil came into existence just like anything else in creation with God’s full knowledge and approval.

So the real wonderment then becomes the understanding that it was created along with the everything else.  Now I personally don’t believe that God, in a single act just brought Sin into existence.  What I believe he did is, he created the avenue for Sin to come into existence knowing full well that it would fulfil the course he set it on.  This is explained in Romans Chapter 9.  In Romans 9:21 Paul asks the question as to whether God has the power and the wherewithal to make both good and bad vessels.  Paul concludes that he does.  I believe God created Satan for the express purpose of bringing Sin into existence.  He created him as a vessel of dishonor.  Why would God do such a thing?  Paul answers this question in Romans 9:17 and in Romans 9:22-24.  God allowed Sin to come into existence through a vessel of dishonor that he created in order to show his great purpose.

And what of HellHell is God’s containment vessel for that Sin.  Hell is the holding place where he is going to keep it locked up for eternityHell is the prison that will separate the unrighteous from the righteous for ever and ever.

And from that consideration – Hell is very much a finality and not fantasy.  Next – Further Considerations of Hell.



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