What is the purpose for the existence of hell
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, Punishment, Justice, God’s love, eternal punishment
- Ankerberg: The question we want to look at today in connection with that topic is, if God is all loving, do you think that He could send people to a place called hell? What is the purpose for the existence of hell in God’s good universe? And my guest who is going to be answering these questions biblically and philosophically is Dr. Norman Geisler. He is a philosopher; he is a theologian and he is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. And Norman, I’m glad that you’re here. What is the reason, what’s the purpose for the existence of hell?
- Geisler: Well, same purpose of a jail. You have to punish people who do evil, and sin against the Eternal One deserves eternal punishment. A capital crime deserves capital punishment, and an eternal crime, an eternal one against the Eternal Being, God, deserves eternal punishment. So, it’s a matter of God’s justice.
- Second, it’s a matter of God’s love. You can’t force love down people’s throats. You can’t force anybody to love you. You can woo them, you can persuade them, you can do everything in your power, except tamper with their free choice because they’re free beings. So, there is a hell because God is just and He must punish sin, and there’s a hell because He is loving and He can’t force anyone into Heaven.
- And thirdly, there is a hell because if He allowed people to go to Heaven whose hearts had not been changed, who didn’t want to be there, it would be worse than hell. For example, you’ve all had unsaved friends that can’t stand an hour in church. How would you like to go to church forever? You know? You can’t stand praising God. How would you like to be in the room forever with the person that you hate the most, that you didn’t want to spend any time with when you were here? C. S. Lewis dramatizes this in his book, The Great Divorce. So there are three reasons right there why there has to be a hell.