It’s no surprise that many people hate hell. Nobody loves punishment!
Hell is synonymous with evil, because hell is the abode of those who reject the one true and living God. Those who reject God are, by nature and in essence, evil. They are evil since they have not repented of their sins, so their sins are unforgiven.
Heaven and hell are consequences for man’s life on earth. If there’s no hell, people can do what they want and how they want. Those who do not want consequences for their actions hate hell.
It doesn’t matter whether we like or hate hell. If it is there, it is there.
Why the hell? Instead of asking “why should there be a hell?” we could ask “what would happen if there is no hell?”
So if there is no hell, there would be…
No Punishment & No Justice
Hell is the perfect punishment for evil. Since evil exists, punishment should prevail. If there is no hell, there will be no perfect punishment for evil.
Human justice system is not omniscient. So some offenders will always escape the clutches of the human justice system. Moreover, corruption is rampant everywhere, and that includes the human justice system. Corruption entails that innocent could be punished and the guilty go scot-free.
Whatever the case may be, lack of punishment is effectively the lack of justice. How can there be justice when evil people go unpunished and innocent people suffer?
Therefore, if there is no hell, evil would remain unpunished. Hence there would be no justice.
Sovereignty of Evil
Evil people prosper in this time and age (cf. Psalm 73: 3). If evil people prosper, the weak and innocent would suffer deeply.
The movie “Purge” depicts a synopsis of a world where evil rules the good for a brief period of time. One day in a year is earmarked to “purge.” There would be no consequence for crimes (evil) that day. People could go berserk and unleash evil for 12 hours on that day where all crime is legal. Purge was a vent to unleash one’s concealed evil into the world and a means to an artificial population control.
During “purge,” evil is sovereign. This would be the perpetual state of the world if there is no hell.
When evil rules, evil would be the superior moral. If there is no consequence for evil deeds i.e. if there is no hell, good cannot be the superior moral (good need not be stronger than evil). If evil rules over good, evil would be the sole standard for life. Hence evil will pulverize the good.
Evil rules when there is no punishment. If evil is sovereign, this world would be amoral (evil would be the only superlative moral). Wouldn’t morality cease when the right-wrong moral distinction is erased?
For the sake of this discussion let us categorize evils as lesser and greater. The lesser evils could be gossips, jealousy, bad temper leading to minor offenses, rivalry, factions, party-spirit, and envy.
The greater evils could be the horrendous evils. Christian philosopher and priest, Marilyn McCord Adams lists horrendous evils, “…the rape of a woman and axing off of her arms, psychophysical torture…betrayal of one’s deepest loyalties, cannibalizing one’s own offspring, child abuse…child pornography, parental incest, slow death by starvation, participation in the Nazi death camps, the explosion of nuclear bombs over populated areas, having to choose which of one’s children shall live and which will be executed by terrorists…I regard these as paradigmatic, because I believe most people would find in the doing or suffering of them prima-facie reason to doubt the positive meaning of their lives. …” 1
Predicated on the fact that life is more valuable than materials, it might be of less significance to the victim and the society if a thief who robbed a pen was not convicted of his crime. But it is of a great significance if a murderer of a child remains unpunished for his crime.
The thief who habitually steals pens could progressively deteriorate into robbing millions. During this progressive deterioration, the thief could also become a killer. Thus the possibilities for the lesser evil to transform into greater evil are endless.
What prevents a man from committing petty crimes when evil rules? Man, on an average, may not commit horrendous evils always. But man is totally susceptible to committing the lesser evils such as, sexual immorality, gossips, quarrelling, jealousy, rivalry, factions, party-spirit, and envy, which in turn could lead to horrendous evils.
The lesser evils would also increase in intensity and magnitude. When lesser evils increase, the society would be exceedingly volatile. Living under these conditions would be unbearable. In other words, we would be living in an amoral world under constant suffering.
If evil rules, violence would be rampant and peace would cease, for the world we live in would be amoral.
A world without hell could only be postulated under the condition that God does not exist i.e. an atheistic paradigm. It is very reasonable for evil to prosper and justice and peace to be non-existent in the atheistic worldview.
The atheistic paradigm would not (or cannot) offer any reasonable or logical answers to the problem of evil. Such is the moral bankruptcy of atheism.
Ask an atheist to explain the presence of evil. More often than not, they would quote Richard Dawkins in his work “River Out of Eden” and say “there is no such thing as evil.”
Mind you, it is Dawkins and his followers who brand the God of the Bible as evil. On one hand they say that there is no evil, but on the other hand they contradict their statement that there is no evil to assert that the God of the Bible is evil.
God forbid, if a calamity befalls these atheists, who claim that there is no evil, would they enjoy their calamity or suffer through it in pain and tears? Evidently, no sane human would enjoy evil but only suffer through it in pain and tears, for pain is inherent in evil.
So an atheist who denies God’s existence will deny evil and will deny hell. He has no other option. So if there is no hell, there is no god.
If there is no hell, then:
1. Evil would be unpunished.
2. Evil would be sovereign (rule over good).
3. World would be amoral.
4. There should be no God (for hell is only plausible if God exists).
But this is the existential reality. Sovereignty is singular. There cannot be two sovereign beings i.e. two maximally great beings. When a being is sovereign, all other beings are subjugated.
We are not living in a world where evil is sovereign. We are living in a world where God is sovereign. Although Satan is the temporary ruler of this world, the sovereign God is in total control.
We know that God is in total control since our world is not amoral. There are punishments for evils. Evil does not rule over good.
Good still rules over evil. This is precisely why a good number of people enjoy a rather peaceful existence. The presence of God entails peace.
God has temporarily allowed evil to reign. But HE has assured us that not a hair from our head will perish.
God is good. God does not tolerate evil.
If we repent of our sins, believe and remain in the Lord and Savior Christ, we will be saved. Those who do not believe in Christ remain evil, since their sins remain unforgiven because of their conscious rejection of Christ.
Such an evil person sins against an infinite God. Sins against an infinite God mandate an infinite punishment in the form of hell. Hell then is the eternal abode of all those who reject Christ.
In case you have not received Christ yet, please pray and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your God and savior. I pray that you repent of your sins and ask Christ to forgive you. The merciful and loving Lord will forgive you and you will be with God forever and ever. I pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.
1Marilyn McCord Adams, “Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God,” The Problem of Evil (ed. Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 211-12.