Bible Question:

Since the sins each person commits are done in a temporal world, why did God decide to send such a person to an eternal, burning fire? It is a very sadistic act to torture a soul in hell, and it is also unfair because the punishment is eternal while the sins the person committed are only temporal and earthly. Where is the fair judgment of God?

Bible Answer:

The judgement of God is a subject that many are questioning today. The answer(s) to these questions can be found in four assumptions behind the questions. The first and most important assumption is given to us by the God of the Bible.

You thought that I was just like you. (NASB) Ps. 50:21

Many of us believe that God is in some way like ourselves. He should have the same or greater moral values that we do. He should love us – as we do – but with more love. He should rescue us from our problems because we deserve it. We want God to be like us only “better.” That is one major assumption but there are three others.

Assumption – Our Moral Standard

The next assumption is that God’s moral standard is NOT holy nor absolute. The questions appear to have already assumed that His moral standard should at least include our moral standard. But we must ask, “Is our moral standard higher than God’s standard?” “Should our moral standard be included in God’s moral standard?” If we are wrong, we have made a most serious error. Listen to the God of the Bible.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (NASB) Isa. 55:8-9

So the question we must ask is, “How do I discover truth or God’s moral standard?” The answer to the question is found in supernatural events that point to supernatural truth – the Bible!

Even if we are right, how does the creature challenge the Creator? The truth is that God is not subject to our review or evaluation.

Assumption – Sin Is Acceptable

The next point the questions inherently assume is that sin is acceptable. Most of us have a guilty conscience when we do something wrong. Often our sense of right and wrong comes from our culture. Culture impacts or influences our moral judgment. But cultures do not necessarily reflect God’s high moral standard. Cultural morals reflect the view of a group of created beings whose thinking changes with time. The cultural morals of society change as the population’s opinions change. Their morals are not absolute. What was considered to be morally correct in the past may not be considered morally correct today, nor morally correct in the future. But God is a holy being and we are sinners with a crooked view of sin and holiness. Sin is something we live with every day. We are used to it. But it is interesting that even as sinners, most of us believe that war, murder, hatred, vengeance, rape, and torture are wrong. Yet, we do little about it in our life. We rarely become upset with such events. Yes, these are evil events but we are comfortable with them unless they become personal. Should we really think that a holy being who sees sin as more evil be indifferent? Would He not see sin as worse and more wicked than we do? Should we be surprised if a holy God concludes that it must be eliminated?

Assumption – God Has A Choice

The final assumption is that God has a choice. But we must ask, “Does a holy God have a choice to not punish sin?” Can a holy God allow a sinful, eternal person, who rejects Him, to exist forever without punishment – a person who has rejected God? If we believe that God should not punish a person forever, then we need to ask, “How long should one be punished?” It does not matter what answer we give to this question, someone may think it is too long. The problem is our sinful point of view. God sees sin differently than we do. It is a colossal mistake to apply our distorted moral judgment to a holy Being we do not understand – a holy God, -our Creator. He knows truth from lies and right from wrong. His moral sense is not distorted by sin. We are comfortable with sin because we are sinners. But the Bible makes it clear that holiness and sin are like night and day, light and darkness. They do not mix. They cannot coexist.

Conclusion:

The ultimate answer to your question is found in spiritual truth, in a book supernaturally written by a holy God – the Bible. God has made a decision to rescue us from hell. He does not want to send any of us to hell (2 pet. 3:9). That is why He sent Jesus Christ to our planet to die for our sins. This means that while God cannot allow sin to go unpunished it does not mean He does not love us! By our simply believing in or depending on Jesus to forgive our sins, our sins are forgiven and we are rescued from hell. God has shown us His love. The only sin that will place a person in Hell is rejection of Jesus Christ.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Rom. 5:8-10

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB) Rom. 6:23

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved. (NASB) Acts 4:12

The decisions made by a God Who cannot sin are correct , right and good.