How could a loving God torture people in an eternal hell?

The concept of hell is difficult for our human minds to comprehend or understand. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches the existence of a hell as well as the existence of heaven.   

Scriptures contain many metaphors that attempt to describe hell as a place to avoid at all costs. Fire, darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth are just a few examples. In fact, a term the Bible uses for hell (gehenna) was actually a valley outside of Jerusalem that was used as the city’s major garbage dump. The reality of hell vividly expresses the repulsiveness of sin by depicting it as a place for the refuse of humanity. Hell is the ultimate destiny of people who chose to reject God. They become “garbage” and are “cast out” forever from God’s household. 

We have to remember that it is people who put themselves in hell, not God. The Bible says that God does not want any to perish, but all to repent and come to faith. It becomes apparent that if anyone goes to hell, they go to a place originally not prepared for them. It is against God’s will. God tells us, “I take no delight in the destruction of the wicked.” People willfully rebel by determining that God must be a liar. God’s judgment is simply giving sinners their own way. As a result, the unrepentant sinner misses out on what life was really all about and suffers the eternal torment of their own choosing. 

The most important thing about hell is not to understand or explain it, but to avoid it! The only way for us to avoid the nightmarish reality of hell is to grasp on to the Savior. God’s great love for is revealed by giving us our only hope to avoid hell and that is through His Son, Jesus. We can think of it in this way; if Jesus willingly died for us to avoid hell, then it must be a terrifying experience!

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