Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is It Fair for God to Punish Eternally in Hell? by Martin Wiles

Series: Hey God…I Have a Question

How do you measure eternity?

I’ve heard different definitions for eternity. Evangelists have stood in churches my father pastored and attempted to explain how long eternity is, hoping to encourage the unsaved to believe. One illustration involved a bird and a mountain made of the hardest diamond. Every one hundred years, the bird approached the mountain to sharpen its beak. When he had finally worn away the mountain, only one second of eternity had passed. Unfortunately, these and other similar illustrations are attempting to relate eternity to time. Eternity can’t be measured in chronos (chronological) time because it is concocted in kairos (God’s) time. But the message gets across. Eternity is a long time to spend in hell apart from God.

Anyone who fails to believe in Christ by faith spends their eternity in hell. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15 NLT)

Hell, in itself, may seem unfair in my mind. To put someone there eternally with no hope of escape or relief may seem even more unjust. But I don’t make the rules; God does. I’ve heard the statement: “It doesn’t seem fair for God to send someone to hell.” In reality, God doesn’t assign anyone to hell. I make this eternal choice when I refuse Jesus’ payment for my sin. 

Some choices have eternal consequences, and whether to choose or refuse Christ is one of them. From the beginning, God established the guidelines. As Creator, he has the authority. Accept him and abundant life and eternal life in heaven is mine. Reject him, and misery and hell will follow. I may wish it another way, argue with God that it should be, or even refuse to believe he exists, but such vain attempts won’t change anything. Reality is what it is. 

Since God has established life’s guiding principles, it’s fair for him to punish eternally those who choose to walk another way—snubbing their noses at him in the process. Personally, I’ve chosen the brighter path. How about you?

Prayer: Thank You merciful God for making the way possible for us to escape the eternal punishment of hell.

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