For years in the pews of a Southern Baptist church in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA I listened carefully to the preacher who proclaimed wildly that “all those who don’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior” are doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire. Sweat beading down his forehead and the occasional “HayMEN” from the congregation confirmed that everything he said was true.
Even as a young and devout believer I struggled with the concept of Hell. Why did an all knowing and loving God create such a place? Could the same God that walked the Earth as Jesus also create a place where people go to suffer forever? The contradictions go on and on.
An All Knowing God and Hell
God, by its very nature is all knowing, all encompassing, and perfect. So where does Hell fit in?
The logic doesn’t follow:
1. An all knowing and perfect God created humans.
2. God, being the all knowing and all powerful creator, knows that some humans will not meet his standards. Furthermore he created us that way. We had nothing to do with it.
3. God sets the punishment for not meeting his standards as Hell. An eternity of suffering.
4. Thus, a “perfect” God created humans purposely flawed and already knowing that most of us will go to hell.
Does that make sense to anyone?
The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Another problem I have with the concept of Hell is that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. How can even an entire lifetime of evil constitute and eternity of constant suffering?
Crime: Man eats too much food and lusts after women for 100 years. He finds religion harmful to society and rejects it.
Punishment: Burning in fire forever. That’s more than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 years. FOREVER!
Am I missing something?