Sunday, August 5, 2012

Understanding Hell

How, some ask, can a loving God possibly send His beloved children into a fiery pit of torment to live for all eternity? Why create Hell at all? Why not let everyone into Heaven?

This is one of the hardest teachings for those who believe in a good and loving God to understand.  My own acceptance of the reality and necessity of this teaching has been a long time in coming, but I came a step closer to fully understanding Hell over the last couple of weeks.  I understand it better, because I have been put in the position of enacting it.

You see, I have three people who are currently staying in my home. Two of these three sinned against the third in a matter so serious there was no way I could overlook it.  I could not allow the sinners to remain in the household.  They were a danger to each other and to everyone else there.  I had to make them leave. I knew that they had no where else to go. I knew they had no money to buy food and supplies, and I didn't have any money to give them. They were going to be facing torment internally and externally, but the sin they had committed left me with no choice but to put them out and keep them out. I did not create the hell they must now live in, they created it by the choices they made.  I simply refused to allow them refuge from it.

One of the two sinners returned to me, repented, and begged forgiveness from everyone.  This one was allowed to return on the grounds that she was no longer a danger to the household.The other not only refused to acknowledge that what he did was wrong, but even tried to coerce the second to continue the actions that had gotten them put out in the first place. This one remains a danger to my household and cannot, for this reason, be allowed to return.

I could allow him back in my home only if I cast out the other two first, but this would be an injustice of incredible magnitude. Do I still love the unrepentant sinner? You bet I do. It grieves my heart to know that he has chosen a path that divides us, but the choice was his to make.  The responsibility for his actions is entirely his own. It is his choice to be outside of our care and protection.  So long as he remains unrepentant, he remains a danger to us and can not return. This is how a good and loving God can cast people into Hell.  He must, in fact, do so in order to protect those who are good and obedient from the harm that would be caused by those who remain unrepentant in their sins.

Popular Posts