Omnibenevolent God Creating Hell?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benjamin, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,668
    Likes Received:
    79
    Can an all-loving God exist and there still be hell? God’s nature is both perfect justice and perfect love. I trust in God’s justice, He is totally fair; no one will get a bum decision at God’s judgment seat; every human is guaranteed absolute righteous judgment.

    Here-in lies the problem; God’s justice exposes man’s inadequacy. The Bible says every person has failed to live up to God’s moral law and has sinned, none is righteous, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3) and we find ourselves under divine justice. You reap what you sow and the wages of sin is death. This is “pure” justice.

    Nobody is good enough or measures up to God’s moral laws and by dependence on His justice we are all guilty. Therefore, we must cast ourselves on God's mercy. Even though we are guilty and deserve to die, God still loves us. Some people think God evil to create hell but the Christian has a different perspective of God from the Bible:

    (Eze 18:23) Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

    (Eze 18:32) For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

    (Eze 33:11) Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    (2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    (1Ti 2:3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

    (1Ti 2:4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth .

    God pleads with people to turn back from this self destructive course and be saved. God has a dilemma on one hand is justice and holiness and on the other love and mercy. God can not be compromised, He does not lie. In His love He voluntarily took upon Himself the death penalty that we deserve.

    (1Jo 4:10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    Here is the wrath of God that Jesus endured hell for us and in order for us to receive forgiveness we need to place our trust in Christ. Thus in a sense our just God doesn’t send anyone to hell. His desire is that everyone be saved, and He pleads with people to come to Him. But if we reject Christ's sacrifice for our sin, then God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell--but we will send ourselves. Our eternal destiny thus lies in our own hands. It is a matter of our free choice where we shall spend eternity.

    There is no inconsistency between our all-loving God and some people going to hell. God has created us with free will, it follows that He cannot guarantee that all persons will freely give their lives to Him and be saved as He abides in truth. Some people may go to hell despite all-powerful God’s loving desire and efforts that we be saved. He can not force us to be freely saved.

    When all-loving God created the world it was for the good; if there was Adam all by himself and nothing to compare against him; a world with a population of one it would not be good. (Gen 2:18) On the sixth day God created BOTH male and female,

    (Gen 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    And God said it was very good!

    (Gen 1:31) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    I would think it obvious why God said it was not good that man should be alone; all-loving God is not compelled to prefer a world with a population of one and is free to create a balance.

    The opponent of an all-loving God creating a hell may consider the alternative.
     
  2. lindell dunning1

    lindell dunning1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2002
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Benjamin,
    If all of your post is absolute truth,then how should I view Psalm 105:25?
     
  3. mnw

    mnw
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

    I personally believe a person can make their own choice. If they chose to harden their hearts, as Pharaoh did in Exodus, then having made up their mind God may harden them further.

    All I know for an absolute is that God has given choice. Soveriengty and Free will may be hard to grasp, but they are both their.

    MNW
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,925
    Likes Received:
    111
    My co-worker delights in his unbelief.
    Regarding our omnipotent Creator, he regularly asks, "Can God create a rock so heavy that he can't lift it up?"

    My simple answer, (that he has yet to fully understand) is, "God can not do anything against His nature."

    Benevolence and justice are two different attributes that may contridict each other at times.

    We may not completely understand the way our God works out his justice and love but we do know that we can rely upon His grace for our salvation if we only believe.

    Rob
     
  5. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pharaoh hardening his heart in Genesis is proof indeed that man, even dead in sin, can make choices. God had hardened Pharaoh's heart the previous times, but after the death angel swept through Egypt, Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

    Hell is real, and hell is prepared, not for man, but for the devil and his angels. Man is going to feel out of place there. A guest in someone's home that he can never leave from.

    God is a loving God, but God is also a just God. Sin will be judged, and judgment for sin is the lake of fire for all eternity.
     
  6. mnw

    mnw
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    As it has been said: Hell is a prepared place for an unprepared people.
     
  7. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hell is the only option for those who don't want Christ. With Christ is, however, all that all men long for: peace, love, fellowship, joy, forgiveness, meaning, total satisfaction, etc. When one walks away from Christ, one also walks away from all that.

    What is left? Torment, being ignored, lonliness, despair, justice without mercy, meaninglessness, permanent spiritual hunger and thirst.

    How much worse, really, could hell get? Being the absence of Christ is enough!

    edit: I know that is not 'everything' about hell, biblically, but just think -- isn't being without Christ really hell in the long run, at least for a human being?
     
  9. Ransom

    Ransom
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Benjamin asked:

    Can an all-loving God exist and there still be hell?

    God is "all-loving" in the sense that love is fundamental to his nature. It doesn't mean that he loves all without distinction, which your question appears to imply.
     
  10. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    God is Love.

    God so loved the world.

    'nuff said.
     
  11. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,400
    Likes Received:
    238
    25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.

    In context He turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate the Hebrews.

    I believe thats different than turning their will to hate them (and their God).

    Later in the Psalm we see all kinds of incentives for their repentance and personally I believe they (or some) were given the ability to repent as well.

    Instead:

    38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.

    So, God was glorified and perhaps some did repent because it is said

    Exodus 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

    HankD
     
  12. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Benjamin. :cool:

    Hell is a punishment not a nutural consequence. Luke 3:9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

    God created it.

    It can hardly be free will can it since freedom is negated when coercion is involved. Coercion is involved, "Love me or I will send you to Hell." It is coercion isn't it? It is forceful isn't it? A physical threat for disobeying is not a choice of free will. Accept me or don't accept me would be a choice. :cool:

    It is an act of God to those He hates. Rev 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    The tormenting day and night will be an everlasting punishment. I see this omnibenevolence does not extend to the Devil and his lot. :cool: Nor can I see any omnibenevolence in everlasting torment how can you, so attuned to love as you are, see love in the existence of Hell? God created it.

    john.
     
  13. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    0
    Benjamin, ol' buddy:

    My quick reading of your post says you got it.

    But further, a key issue is that we are created in God's image. God respects his image enough to allow it freedom. What would he be doing to his image if he forced us to do something against our will? Think of it this way: There are people who are miserable at the thought of going to church one hour a week. What kind of God would force them to go for all eternity?

    Deacon:
    The question from your co-worker is a classic, but it is an absurdity. It's based on some idea that "I found something God can't do!!" But we know that God can't do illogical things..........he can't make a square circle, or a stick with only one end on it, or cease being God, or sin, or many other things. And, if he made a rock as big as all space, there would be nowhere to move it. So the short answer is no, he can't make a rock that big and move it. But God can exist, and answer hard questions in his word, the bible.
     
  14. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    My quick reading of your post says you got it wrong Humblesmith. :cool:

    Your 'we are created in God's image' paragraph is speculation and misinterpreted scripture. We are not created in the likeness of God but in the likeness of Adam. Gen 5:3. How can His image not be doing His will?

    john.
     
  15. Benjamin

    Benjamin
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,668
    Likes Received:
    79
    Hell is a punishment not a nutural consequence. Luke 3:9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

    God created it.

    It can hardly be free will can it since freedom is negated when coercion is involved. Coercion is involved, "Love me or I will send you to Hell." It is coercion isn't it? It is forceful isn't it? A physical threat for disobeying is not a choice of free will. Accept me or don't accept me would be a choice. :cool:

    It is an act of God to those He hates. Rev 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    The tormenting day and night will be an everlasting punishment. I see this omnibenevolence does not extend to the Devil and his lot. :cool: Nor can I see any omnibenevolence in everlasting torment how can you, so attuned to love as you are, see love in the existence of Hell? God created it.

    john.
    </font>[/QUOTE]And why shouldn’t I be so attuned to love??? God demonstrated just how great His love is from the beginning in His knowledge of the truth that His creation would fall in sin. He provided the way to be perfectly good by freely paying for our sins Himself and through that sacrifice of pure perfect love for us our Father provided life with Him, through Him. God knew in truth that good could not exist without evil for a balance? 2+2=4 that is truth. It’s not that difficult John, love is good and hate is evil. God abides in truth and allowed evil to exist for the good, He didn’t create it, He allowed it.

    An omniscient God must logically know that evil will exist as a balance for His created world to be good. Does that mean He created evil? In a good sense it does because He had no choice within His nature of Truth but that doesn’t necessarily mean He created evil for a purpose other than to only allow it to exist as a logical truth for good existing. God must abide in truth as part of His nature, do you deny this? Before the world began our omnibenevolent God knew evil would exist for there to be good and this is a greatest example of just how perfectly omnibenevolent His nature is; He gave Himself for a living sacrifice so we could be perfect as He is and live in His kingdom. Show me the hate in this action.

    (Gen 2:9) And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    Think about it; He made the world pleasant to the sight, and good for food, food is for growing, we must be pleasant to the sight of God who is “perfect in His ways” to be in His sight, and to live in His kingdom.

    the tree of life also in the midst of the garden,” and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    He gave life through His sacrifice (because of His all-loving nature) in the midst of the “garden” (where things grow) He placed the tree of life! Praise God (Eph 1:12)

    and the tree of knowledge of good and evil .”

    And!!! the knowledge of good and evil (because of His truth nature and will that good exists)

    You conclude that omnipotent God could go against His nature of love and truth and attempt to present that 2+2=5 and He must be evil and hate. Rebellion from man by not accepting God’s gift freely given from his Creator so that he could live with Him in “His” pure and perfect kingdom is what caused the necessity for hell to exist in this truth as an alternative. This is necessary and evident to mans own free will to rebel against God as men through knowledge make the wrong "imperfect" choice and some are too stubborn to bow to their Lord and Creator as they themselves want to be god. Therefore, they sin and keep “themselves” in hell, the lock to the door of hell is on the inside buddy; don’t blame God and call Him hate because you feel the need to make your system fit; He gave us the key with instructions. Jesus prepared a place for us in His Father’s kingdom and when Thomas asked Him the way, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    You throw out verses of trees getting chopped down for not producing good fruit and make claims against God’s character and say that it proves He hates instead of recognizing the truth of the almighty omnibenevolent God as Love in Truth, God is Love, these verses are instruction for the good to grow in His love. If one wants to be in God’s everlasting kingdom (or sight) he must be perfect, free from sin as God is and He provided us a way through His all-loving nature in truth (which He abides in) we have a choice to except it or rebel against it.

    We are to preach the good news of God’s love for us and yes my friend I do see the love of God in the existence of hell, He allowed it for the good to exist. I’m glad He allowed us to exist through His love and look forward to living with Him. Amen

    (Eph 1:11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    We “the believing” have obtained an inheritance, His plan was predestined before the beginning of the world with a purpose to work things out after the “council” (advise) of His own will,... advise about that purpose and the promise behind is/was His will.

    (2Pe 3:9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    (Eph 1:12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

    (Eph 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,

    Coercion??? That is a sad way to look at returning love and desire to live with our omnibenevolent God, I return His love freely, joyfully as He gave it. All should praise the Glory of the Creator for it is good that God is Love.
     
  16. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,400
    Likes Received:
    238
    Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

    James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

    HankD
     
  17. johnp.

    johnp.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello HankD. :cool:

    I would ask you first why it is, when you say we are made in God's likeness, we need to be transformed into it? And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18.

    That is indisputable. :cool: Or I think it is.

    GE 9:6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.

    God was talking to the survivors of the flood therefore only those being transformed were in His image and the only ones on the earth.


    JAS 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.

    We curse those who participate in the divine nature, other Christians.

    john.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    The 'image of God' means we are spiritual beings, as Jesus told the woman at the well, "God is Spirit" (John 4:24).

    But we who are believers are being transformed into the likeness of Christ, which has to do with our characters.

    There is a difference.
     
  19. HankD

    HankD
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    14,400
    Likes Received:
    238
    johnp, all I can say is that I disagree with your premise that these passages which I referenced (Genesis 9:6, James 3:9) are speaking only of the regenerate.

    Especially Genesis 9 where Noah is viewed as the progenitor of the entire post-flood human race:

    5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
    6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
     
  20. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    And that certainly would have included Ham...
     

Share This Page

Loading...