Folks wonder why God has to send man to hell for eternity — why not for just a season? Wouldn’t that be punishment enough?
Why doesn’t He simply make those who reject Him go through a punishment similar to what He went through to redeem man from sin?
One must 1st understand the nature of God to understand eternal punishment. God is eternal. (1 Timothy 1:17) “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Eternal is defined as “lasting or existing forever; without beginning or end.”
When God created the angels, he created them to be everlasting, meaning He created them to last forever. They are not eternal as God is eternal. They have a beginning, but no end.
Likewise, we are created to be everlasting. In other words, when we die, our soul and our spirit will last forever.
With that being the case, it is understood that God did not create hell with us in mind. “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:49 KJV)
God had to create a place of everlasting punishment because the angels, whether they are part of the one-third who rebelled and followed Lucifer when he attempted to over God or the two-thirds who stayed and fought with God.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)
It was never God’s intention to send His people to hell, but after the serpent deceived Adam and Eve, the result of mankind being given a free will; man was then given the right to choose who he would serve.
And since the beginning, those who elected to make their allegiance with Satan also made their eternal destiny with the devil and his angels.
And being created to be everlasting being, wherever we choose to spend our life after death, it is therefore a decision that will last eternally.
With that being the case, those who choose to commit their lives to serving with Satan they also are choosing to spend eternity with him and his demons, imps and his cronies in eternal punishment. Then, of course, those who choose to serve Christ will spend eternity in heaven with their eternal rewards.
Having created both, the angels and humans as everlasting beings, God had no choice but to deal with fallen angels on a basis of punishment lasting for eternity.
As far as humanity is concerned, we can opt out of everlasting punishment simply by accepting God’s plan of salvation through the shed blood of His Son who sacrificed Himself to pay the price for man’s redemption. God never intended for mankind to spend eternity in hell.
Each of us have been given an opportunity to decide where we will spend eternity. But there are only 2 options. If the thinking is that eternal damnation in hell is way too harsh of a punishment, I would concur completely.
That’s why I spend my time preaching sermons, writing columns and talking to whoever will listen. It’s not because I feel I have got it all together and it’s not because I feel I deserve heaven over hell. But it’s because I have thrown myself in the Grace of God, knowing that the only way I could ever make it to heaven is to confess that I am a sinner and need a Savior.
And I really don’t want to see anyone go to a place of everlasting punishment — especially when there is such an amazingly wonderful alternative called heaven and the very Son of God Himself has sent you a personal invitation and personally paid everyone’s fare to get there.
How can anyone refuse such an offer?