Category Archives: Apologetics

Why is Hell Eternal?

Why is the punishment for sin eternal hell?  Why cannot God just punish people in hell for a time and then allow them to graduate to heaven?

Answer

This objection is addressed right within the Why Jesus approach to sharing the Gospel.  Ultimately, salvation is more about loving God than going to heaven.  Matthew 22:36-37 says, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Those who love Christ are part of His body, the Church.  The Church will one day be united with Jesus in a special loving relationship as His bride.

  • Revelation 19:7b “… For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”
  • Revelation 22:2 “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
  • Revelation 22:9b-10 “‘…Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.’  And he carried me away in the Spirit to ‘a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down our of heaven from God.'”
People either love God or they don’t. Those who love God want to be with Him in a loving relationship forever.  Those who do not love God, including those who love false gods in false religions, do not want to be in a loving relationship with the God of the Bible and He will not force them too.  In fact, this is something God cannot do because forced love is a contradiction in terms.  Love has to be given freely, not forced.  Forced love is no love at all.

What about genocide and slavery in the Bible?

Such as God ordaining:

  1. Murder of Canaanites by the Jews
  2. Slavery, especially sex slavery

Answer

  1. Man is not the owner of life.  God is: He gives life and takes it away.  He therefore has the right to end life and indeed He does so for all lives, not just those in God-ordained wars.  Mans life has no ultimate purpose apart from God.  For those who do not believe in Him, whether they live 1 year and 100 is irrelivant – their end is all the same.  God ordered all the Canaanites be killed so He could raise up the Jews to be His messagengers to the world and bring forth the Messiah.  Allowing the Canaanites to live would contaminate the Jews with their pagan religions.  Since the Jews made treaties is some of the Canaanites instead of obeying God, that is exactly what happened.
  2. For most Americans the word ‘slavery’ means one thing: kidnapping Africans and shipping them to America.  In Israel slavery was most commonly bonded indenture, where a person would voluntarily enter a household as a slave to paid off a debt or make a living.  A similar thing happens today in America: it’s called the military.  People enter the military voluntarily for a time of service and cannot change their mind later on to get out.  While there are examples of the Israelites marrying slaves in the bible, there are no examples of slave masters being permitted to sexually use slaves.  To do so, at a minimum, would be against the Mosaic Laws prohibitions concerning fornication and adultery.