I am confused as to the reason why God would see  fit to torment someone forever. On the flip side it would seem that would be something the devil would do. Again in my limited capacity which God has given me I am still not left assured that God would do such an act to the very week and poor souls he has created. As a human being I could not create, or put my child in such a dilemma/ situation. The ”choice” you speak of appears not to be a good one. It seems so unfair knowing that God knows the outcome of the test he is putting his creation through. He knows the vast majority will not accept him for whatever reason. His project/experiment with human lives seems to be a failure. But, that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that humans with suffer God’s wrath for eternity because they are weak and faulty. If we were to use the little common sense which he has given to us we all would say this seems not of God, but of man, the same weak and faulty beings he has created.


Again, I do not have a simple answer, but I do think you may be mischaracterizing the situation to some extent (although the trust of your dilemma does remain). First of all, it is not correct that God torments people in hell. They are tormented, but I have always assumed that this is because they are separated from God. The idea of God torturing people in hell is simply not found in the Bible–anywhere. Those who are separated from God do not experience his love as those who are in a relationship with him. To some extent life here on earth as humans is not completely unlike this because humans have “fallen” and lost their close connection with God, which explains much of the evil and suffering and “torment” in human lives. So, I believe you are quite inaccurate in your implication that God will torment people in hell. God does not torment us in this life, although he does discipline those he loves (Hebrews 12) I do not know very much about hell, but it is possible that your suggestion that Satan will torment people in hell may have a grain of truth. What I can say with confidence is that God will not do the tormenting.

Next, you talk about those “weak and poor” souls he has created being unfairly judged. I will definitely agree that we, as humans, are certainly weak and poor in comparison to God. However, in my opinion, you risk being a bit sentimental in your description of the human condition. Those “weak and poor” people who give in to greed, selfishness and pride to steal or rape or to kill people through driving while drunk we do not hesitate to find guilty and hold accountable. Similarly, God loved us and gave us great authority over our lives. That he will hold us accountable for what we do with what he gave us is not unjust. Like I said before, I do not plan on rebuking God for the fact that he holds us accountable if we willfully refuse his love and his efforts to have a relationship with us. I believe that I am NOT so innocent, poor and weak that God has not right to judge me if I reject his love.

You find it difficult that God gave us such a terrible choice, and I agree with you that, in a sense, the choice is “terrible.”  However, the alternative would be for God to not give us choice.  We could have not been given free will.  We could be automatons–robot-like, but God gave us great dignity.  God gave us authority in our own lives and the ability to choose whether we would obey and love him.  He did this because he respects and loves us.  I agree that the implications of the choice are terrible, but this choice is given out of love.

We are not separated from God in Hell because we are “weak and faulty” but because we are stubborn, willful and ungrateful to the one who made us, gave us life, offered his love and affection, but who chose to reject God’s love for us. Like I said, God does not choose for us to go to hell, we choose this fate when we say no to God.

I will admit that the argument from the relative number who are saved and who are lost is not easily ignored. It is hard to accept that so many will be lost and relatively few will be saved. I do not have a logical response to this concern, but I can say that God hurts more over our decision to reject his love and to disobey him that we do. As a parent, I can understand in part the anguish of God over those who reject him. The words of Jesus as he looked over Jerusalem comes to mind (Matthew 23:37). O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stonethose sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under your wings, but you were not willing.” I believe that this passage characterizes accurately God’s feeling about those who are not saved and who will be in hell.

Another point is that you seem to be assuming that the torment in hell lasts literally for an infinite amount of time. I will be honest with you, I am not sure about this, but the thrust of passages on the afterlife implies that those who reject God will be judged, will suffer, but will then cease to exist. There is much disagreement on this question in Christianity, but there is much to suggest the idea that the suffering and separation in hell has eternal consequences but it does not continue for eternity. The most common word associated with what happens to those in hell is the word perish. John 3:16 may be the most well-known verse in the Bible. It describes the opposite of eternal life as perishing. So, your characterization of God tormenting people forever is likely inaccurate on two grounds–first in that God does not torment anyone, and second because the suffering is most likely not forever. A book on this topic which I would like to suggest to you is one by Douglas Jacoby “What’s The Truth About Heaven and Hell?” It is available from Harvest House Books.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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