Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Is Conscious Eternal Torment Reasonable?

          A common objection that we hear to the doctrine of an eternal hell is that it makes God cruel, unloving, and unjust. However, it is presumptuous for us as creations to put our standards above that of our Creator. If we are servants of God, then we submit to Him on His own terms. Moreover, the reason that hell exists is that God is holy and just. It does not exist to merely torture innocent people. The degree of punishment that one receives for a crime depends on the standard violated. Sin is an offense against God whose glory and dignity is infinite.

          It does not require much effort to see that eternal salvation corresponds to eternal punishment. The idea, though terrifying and unpleasant, is perfectly reasonable. What we should find shocking is the fact that God even sent His Son to redeem us stiff-necked people from the sentence that we so deserve. We cannot simply water down His character to make Him pleasing to ourselves and other people. As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ spoke more concerning hell than He did heaven.

           Annihilation is an inadequate theory on how God deals with unrepentant and unbelieving people. If the wrath of God is satisfied, then why should He destroy the soul of the sinner in the first place? If a person has served his due sentence, then would that not mean that he has been justified? If the wrath of God has not been satisfied, then why should He put an end to the designated punishment? A person who does not exist cannot be punished. God would be compromising His holiness by destroying people who have already paid their due sentence.

          There is much more to Christianity than merely escaping from the wrath of God. That is only one of the consequences of entering the faith. Conversion marks the beginning of us being reconciled to a holy God. As regarding the immortality of the human soul, only God is eternal in the sense that He is uncreated and self-sufficient. Our souls continue to thrive after physical death for the reason that they are sustained by His power. The doctrine of eternal conscious torment was never intended to be a pleasant idea.

1 comment:

Justin Horn said...

Hi Jesse. Yes, there is far more to being a Christian than just escaping the fiery torment we all deserve. Now that we are redeemed we become a new creatures and strive to do His Pleasure instead of our own. Of coarse we all make mistakes along the way but the righteous fall seven times and get back up. I agree that we can't just sugar coat or misinterpret bible passages to suit our audience and while the idea of eternal punishment isn't pleasant it is a true biblical doctrine that needs to be addressed.