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Why would a perfect God create the system of heaven and hell?

Why would a perfect God create the system of Heaven and Hell? The Christian view of an afterlife allows for some “good” people to eternally suffer while some “bad” people can live in paradise. Furthermore, how would it be moral for any person (regardless of what finite sin/crime(s) they committed) to be punished forever?

This appears to be even less merciful than the “eye for an eye” punishment system that our own society has deemed unhelpful. The Christian afterlife process seems to punish someone with an eternity of suffering for something as simple as believing in a different God or no God at all. How would an “all-knowing and perfect” God see Heaven and Hell as moral and why hasn’t he changed it?

 And what about all of the generations that came before Jesus?  What about those who have never HEARD of Jesus? And all of those people who died before being able to comprehend him, like children? What about the mentally challenged who can’t understand anything about him?  What about the entire Jewish nation God loved so much in the Old Testament?  Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David – all of His faithful ones he personally dealt with.  Where are they?  

Add it all up and it means literally BILLIONS of people – who through no fault of their own – do not have Jesus in their lives. If they were thrown into an eternally burning pit with no way to learn and make a conscious decision about following Jesus in righteousness, then Christianity is nothing but a miserable failure and God’s plan is suspect.  This is NOT something even an imperfect human father would do to his children.

We have such peace after studying and harmonizing literally every scripture that could even remotely conjure up such a horrific, satanic fate from a self-proclaimed God of love.

Traditions and fables have perpetuated a fear-based Christianity that is NOT what is taught in the Bible.  The Hebrew word for hell in the Old Testament, sheol, signifies a burying of covering over. It is the state of being dead, without feeling or awareness.  There are several Greek words for it in the New Testament that with careful study all point back to that same state of nothingness, likened by Jesus as sleep.

As a very brief summary, the Scriptures teach there will be a resurrection of ALL because of Jesus’ sacrifice. 

ALL means ALL – Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Jews, handicapped, those who lived and died without ever hearing his name – or upon hearing his name did nothing about it.  

They will be resurrected on earth and have, most for the first time, an opportunity to hear about Jesus and the wonderful provisions God has made for them.  We have a ton of scriptures for this, but 1 Timothy 2:4 says God would have all men to be saved and THEN come to a knowledge of the truth (not the other way around – this is very important). 

While the Bible tells us there will be consequences for what we have done wrong, all will be done with the goal of rehabilitation and reconciliation and not useless, senseless torture.  We are told Satan and his influences will be bound and not allowed to interfere in man’s healing and learning and growing. While a small number of faithful followers will go to heaven, the Bible teaches that the vast majority of humankind will be resurrected on a perfect earth.

There are so many texts that show this and what we can expect in God’s kingdom where there will be (Revelation 21:4) no more sorrow or tears or death or crying because “the former things have passed away.

To learn more about why we believe hell is not part of God’s plan listen to our series, “Is the Hell of Christian Tradition Taught in the Bible?”  

To learn more about God’s plan for humanity listen to our series, “Did God Make Heaven and Hell Humanity’s Destiny?”