Why is there a Hell?

Let’s take this slowly.  First, is there a Hell?  Well, Jesus said:

 “You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades.” – Luke 10:15

Most English Bibles use the word Hell as a translation of the word Hades.  Hades is the Greek word and was translated from the Hebrew word Sheol.  Both Sheol and Hades were the same place, approximately.  What was Hades?  It is a place of darkness to which all of the dead go.  What is Sheol? It is a place of darkness to which all of the dead go.  It is a place of darkness and stillness that is cut off from God.

 “In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.” – Luke 16:23

So, the state of being cut off from God is a torment.

“So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 13:49-50

So at the end of the world, all who are still in Hades are basically burned up in the fire of God’s presence and is exist no more.

He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  Luke 3:16-17

The unquenchable fire is the burning presence of God’s Love.

This brings us to the next part of the question of why is there Hell.  If God is all forgiving, why is there even a Hell?

Because it was asked for.  Hear me out.  When the spirits who would become Angels and Demons came into being and with knowledge of forethought and freewill were asked if they wanted to be with God or away from Him, the Demons picked away.  So God granted that to them which created Hades/Sheol/Hell.  Now, people, Children of God, also have freewill to choose to be with God or away from Him, as we saw previously –

In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.” – Luke 16:23

So why are the Children of God not forgiven?  They are.  Then why are some in Hell?  Because they choose to be.  God can forgive but it is up to you to accept it.  Have you ever done something that you wished never happened?  That nags at you?  That you will never forgive yourself for?  That is what it is like to not accept His forgiveness.  God knows you any everything about you.  He knows what you’ve done and what you’ve failed to do.  He knows your thoughts, your hope, your dreams and your regrets and nightmares.  And…

God loves you and forgives you.

If you accept this forgiveness you are choosing God.  If you reject it, you are denying Him.  I think that C.S. Lewis put it very well when he wrote:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened.”

But what about people who die in sin?  What about people who have never heard of Jesus?  Aren’t they in Hell?

No.  For you see God’s forgiveness extends past our finite physical lives.  So, if people are in that place of darkness and seek the Light, they will find it.  If they strive for God, even without hearing about Jesus, they will find Him.  If you accept forgiveness, with full knowledge of what you have done and the repentance that goes with that, it doesn’t matter if you are still physically alive or not.  God has no limits to His love, no limits to His forgiveness.

Peace be with you.

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