Monday, March 19, 2012

why create people destined for hell?

This question was referred to me by a friend for his grandson. The question reflects the complications of the theological concept of omniscience. God knows all. We are taught this in scriptures like Psalm 139. God knows everything. He knows the reason for every thing and person's existence and he knows the end from the beginning. Yet, if some of his creatures will end up in eternal damnation, wouldn't it be better if they never lived at all?

Here are some reasons why it wouldn't be better for them to have not existed.

     1- Each person is created in God's image and is a unique expression of God's creative genius. To leave them uncreated would be to stifle the creativity of God. You are a live worth living... even if you choose not to follow God!

     2- Each person deserves a chance at fulfilling their divine destiny. God doesn't always get his way. That may come as a shock but God has limited his will and made it contingent upon the will of his creatures. No one will enter heaven against their will. God clearly says to us that his will is that "all men may be saved" 1 Tim 2.4;2 Peter 3.9. So to not create those who end up in hell, is to strip them of the opportunity of heaven.

    3- Some may be basing this question on the assumption that God has predestined some for hell. This is a theological error. God clearly wants men to be saved... but he will not kidnap anyone to bring them with Him to heaven. We are each given the right of choice and self determination- ie., free will. Otherwise heaven would be populated with automatons.

   4- Human existence, even if it ends up in damnation, is still worthwhile. Christians should be careful not to minimize the blessing of life in this flesh for the purpose of looking forward to heaven. 1 Tim 6.17 tells us that this life is a blessing from God and has been given to us to richly enjoy. Of course, life eternal is blessed beyond our ability to even understand!

   5-In a sense, God even gets glory from those who will stand on the last day and testify to his faithfulness in offering them the Saving Gospel (though they rejected it). God will shine forth as faithful. Even those who reject the gospel message will fall to their knees and recognize verbally his Lordship. Phil 2 says every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. The hellishness of hell may be that recognition that the opportunity to be with Him for ever is lost!

God knows the end from the beginning, clearly. But this doesn't mean he CAUSES a person to choose a destiny. That choice is left up to the individual. for instance, I may know that a child will rebel when I tell them not to touch the hot stove. I may give warnings, etc. But I am not responsible for the act of defiance that burns those little fingers. Though I suspected it would happen, I was not responsible for the event because I had warned against it. So too the choice is up to you. Who will you serve?

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