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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Would a loving God really punish humans with a fiery Hell?


The Bible tells us that "God is love." (1 John 4:8) And Psalm 33:5 says that God "loves righteousness and justice". Man is "in God’s image" (Gen. 1:26) in that he was created with moral qualities like those of God, such as love and justice. (Col. 3:10) So just as burning someone alive is not an acceptable punishment for wrongdoing to us humans, so too, a loving and just God would not condemn someone who has lived 70 or 80 years to everlasting torment.

There are many misconceptions about death. The Bible describes Jehovah God as a loving God. When someone dies, that person will simply cease to exist:

"The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all." (Eccl. 9:5)

"His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts ["thoughts," KJ, 145:4 in Dy; "all his thinking," NE; "plans," RS, NAB] do perish." (Ps. 146:4)

But the Bible talks about a promised hope in the future for the righteous:

"The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus'] voice and come out." (John 5:28, 29)

At that time "no resident will say: 'I am sick.'" (Isaiah 33:24)

God "will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

For more, see:

Bible Answers to Questions About Hell

What Happens After You Die?

The Misconceptions of Death and Hell