What purpose does hell serve? If it is punishment for sinful actions, shouldn’t it be used for correctional purposes? Seeing as how you burn forever, you will never get out of hell to show that you have learned your lesson. Would it make sense to live a faithful Christian life glorifying the Lord and to accidentally sin by saying a curse word the instant you smash your car into the back of a tractor-trailer, thereby being condemned to burn in hell forever?
This completely misrepresents, or at the very least entirely misunderstands, the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins offered within the Christian world view.
Christ’s sacrifice is not yanked out from under our feet, like a rug on a smooth hardwood floor, the first time we commit the smallest of sins. And where does it say we will burn forever in Scripture?
As Christians, we are to be Christ like to the best of our abilities, but since we are not perfect, we will never be able to live sinless lives. The whole reason Christ died for us is so we can be forgiven and have eternal life, despite imperfections. Sound too good to be true? Yes, it does sometimes.
Who among us does not want someone who wrongs us or others to pay for their deeds? Ever get cut off by a reckless speeding driver and then hope to see them pulled over a few minutes later? I do every time. If someone commits a murder for private, or selfish gain, and they are caught, we can and do expect them to be put behind bars for life, if they don’t receive the death penalty. We don’t expect that kind of person to be corrected in a correctional facility and then to be set free. We expect them to be punished for a very long time, possibly for the rest of their life for the murder committed.
What is so hard to understand that a perfect and holy God cannot abide by anything less than a perfect and loving character? We expect people to live up to our standards and abide by the laws that govern our society. When the laws are broken, or our own version of ‘what is fair’ and ‘right’ is upset, we righteously expect there to be a consequence for the wrong done to us or others.
If there is a perfect and holy God, and I believe there is, then why can’t He expect a consequence for wrongs done? Yet, unlike a murder committed in our world, those of us who commit murder can plead forgiveness and live an eternal life with our Creator.
In all other religions, we must work toward God and make efforts to bridge the gap that is between us and God. In Christianity, Jesus bridges the gap, because without him it is impossible for us to meet the conditions. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever use the Lord’s name in vain? In Matthew 5: 27-29 it says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Whoa! So if we just think about it, we are sinning? If you are a guy like me, good luck with that one! None of us can meet these conditions, any more than someone can run the mile in 10 seconds, or lift 10,000 pounds.
In the King James version of the Bible, the word hate is used a total of 87 times as opposed to the word love, which was used 310 times in both the Old and New Testament. The word hell is used 31 times in the Old Testament and 23 in the New Testament, again in the King James version. The word heaven is used 327 times in the Old Testament and 255 in the New Testament. I can’t help but think there is a bias slant portrayed by atheists and skeptics who focus on the punishment rather than on the forgiveness offered.
The fellow who posted the 50 Questions Christian’s can’t answer, (this is number 15) misses the point time and time again.
Christianity offers forgiveness that is everlasting, so we can live an eternal life with our God the Father. The world offers its version of forgiveness, but after you pay for the crime, and sometimes the payment is a life. Where have we heard that before?
Hell – the ultimate correctional facility by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://www.knowingforsure.com/category/blog/.