If you’re still feeling disturbed by the biblical teaching on hell, I don’t blame you. It bothers me quite a bit. In fact, if this biblical teaching doesn’t bother you, I think something might be wrong with you! Let me explain by looking through a few Scriptures.
Consider God’s words in Ezekiel: “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? (Ezek. 33:11 NLT).” Here, we see the very heart of God in regards to people who reject him. Will God judge these people? Yes. Will he enjoy judgment? No.
In Isaiah chapter 28, we see that God is going to send judgment. But, what is interesting is that God calls this judgment “his strange work” and “his alien task” (Is. 28:21 NIV). In other words, this work isn’t natural to God. In the New Testament, we see the same thing. Peter writes, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 NASB). Here is the will of God! He doesn’t want anyone to be separated from himself (see also 1 Tim. 2:3-4).
Do you see why hell bothers our conscience so much? Do you see why it is only natural that we would feel so disturbed at the thought of someone going to hell? Do you see why hell is so troubling to even think about?
It bothers us, because it bothers God.
God takes no delight in losing a single person to hell, and yet, he respects their freedom to choose it.
Return to original article: “Is Hell Divine Overkill?”