Is eternal punishment in hell a case of serious overkill – What is sin, and why is it so serious
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Hell, Eternal punishment, Consequences, Self-deception, sin
- Ankerberg: Another question that comes up, Dr. Geisler, is that if we get a parking ticket, we don’t expect the electric chair. But for the sins we do here in a 70 to 80-year period of time, God says it’s eternal hell. Some people say, “Man, that’s a serious case of overkill, isn’t it?” Why such a serious penalty? And how can that be just and fair?
- Geisler: Well, first of all, temporal sins deserve temporal punishment. A sin against the Eternal One, deserves eternal punishment. It’s not just a temporal sin, it’s a sin against the Eternal God who is holy, who is impeccable. Five years from now, He can’t change and not be holy, so He’s going to be just as much against sin five, ten years, or a hundred thousand years from now and for all eternity. So, if someone is in rebellion against God, they’re in a rebellion against the Eternal God and they’re going to have to suffer eternal consequences for that.
- Ankerberg: You had an interesting survey of statistics that were just taken about what people in America think about hell. Tell us about that.
- Geisler: Yeah, I just saw that last year. Seventy percent of the people believe in hell, which I thought was very interesting. I thought, Wow! This is pretty high. Only two percent believed they were going there. Now, that tells you something about depravity right there.
- Geisler:It shows how sinful we are, that we think we’re that good. Well, good people go to hell. Repentant sinners go to Heaven. So, they are on the wrong side of the issue. It’s serious because God is unconditionally, unchangeably holy. It says in the Bible that “God cannot lie” [Heb. 6:18]; “the God who cannot lie” [Titus 1:2]. He’s so holy [Hab. 1:13] He can’t look approvingly on sin. The angels say, “Holy, holy, holy” in His presence [Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8]. We’re forgetting that we’re dealing with a holy, eternal, spotless, sinless God. Now, He can’t let one sin go by, can’t blink His eye. If He blinked His eye on one, He wouldn’t be perfectly sinless. If He let somebody into Heaven that didn’t fit and was sinful and wasn’t covered with the blood of Christ, He’d be unjust to do it. He can only do what justice and His mercy demands. Justice demands hell for those who don’t repent; mercy offers Heaven for those that do repent.