Is God real? If yes, why does He allow His creation to suffer and then go to hell?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcripts Generated:

Speaker 1
Bengil asks, is God real? And if yes, why does he allow his creation to suffer then go to hell. Jay, did you want to jump on that one?

Speaker 2
Yes. I actually didn’t know that one was mine, but I’m more than happy to tackle it. So first of all, I heard this interesting explanation by an individual that actually used to be an atheist about whether God is real. He ended up becoming a religious believer, but he ended up converting to Islam. But his interesting perspective that he shared was the following about whether or not there is a God. He said, if everyone collectively decided to believe in this idea of a God, it’s just everybody else would be the world would be better off. The idea of principle, of obedience, of adhering to a higher power, it just has a way of being more convenient for the morality and the protection and the overall walk of one’s life. So he’s like, even if you weren’t going to believe in God, just knowing that it would be better for the collective existence of humanity is one of the rationale that you can use whether there is or is not a God, just to know that, okay, well, you can decide. As Christians, we believe that there’s lots of evidence and miraculous evidences and biblical historical evidence that there is in fact a God.

Speaker 2
But if you were to just remove all of that and just look at the morality and the idea of obedience and connecting with a higher power and all of that, it just makes sense if you were going to look at it very rationally to believe in God. And then the second part of the question, can we look at that again? And if yes, why does he allow his creation to suffer, then go to Hell. So Tina will agree with me on this. We believe in something called the Great Controversy. And part of that belief enlists this huge, maybe overwhelming concept that there is this large war that is happening between good and evil and there are other life forms, if you will, other maybe planets, dimensions. We don’t exactly know how to articulate it because it’s so beyond our human understanding, but we are kind of like to simplify and dumb it down as much as possible. We’re kind of like at the center of some cosmic development and act, if you will, and there are other beings watching to see what is going to be the outcome of what seems to be quite a divisive, difficult to understand realm of good and evil.

Speaker 2
What is this thing? And so part of that process involves viewing this outcome, understanding this outcome. And so we believe that according to the Bible, god has to allow for the full fruition of the plan, the other side of God’s plan. God meant for good and love and peace and joy. Satan, who is the opposite of God, is this force that is trying to destroy God’s beautiful plan, or at least is trying to make it look like his plan is better. So in order for us, to us and other worlds to understand, well, maybe there is something to Satan’s plan. Well, they need to see the result, the outcome of it. So if God was to interfere with that process, that would tarnish the overall vindication that his name requires and that his name demands. So therefore, part of that means he needs to step back and allow for Satan to unfortunately exercise his evil powers and that includes the suffering of good people. And so that’s kind of like Tina, you can chime in whenever you want, but I’ve come to understand a really.

Speaker 1
I appreciate your answer and I think this is like a very much a discussion kind of a question because this.

Speaker 2
Is something so fundamental, why does bad things happen to good people? It’s such a huge question to answer.

Speaker 1
Absolutely. And I mean, when it comes to the first half of the question from our brother who’s asking this, is God real? And honestly, that’s funny you say that because that’s one of the first things that when I had my first encounter with God, I was 13 years old and I really felt like God is real. And I asked God, I said, I prayed in my heart, lord, if you are real, you have to be real to me. You have to be something that’s not just an idea, not just a theory, not just a thing. You have to be very real in my life. And God has always shown up and been real in my experience with Him. And honestly, the biggest and best way to experience the realness of God is by taking Him at His Word. And the thing is, with God and His Word, that’s where miracles happen because that’s where faith comes into place, because what are you putting your faith in? You’re putting your faith in what God said. And for example, when I was younger, I didn’t have the means to do things, but God showed me a verse in Psalms chapter 34 that says, the young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but those that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

Speaker 1
And I had wanted much of my life, but I grew up around not always having everything that I wanted. But I kept bringing this verse to the Lord saying, lord, you promised this, I’m going to take it by faith. And by faith I saw miracles happen, things happen in my life that money came out of or things that I needed came out of literally nowhere and nothing. And God made miracles happen. And a thing also about God’s word that I think it’s irrefutable to show the existence of God is you look in Isaiah chapter 46 and verses nine and ten, he says, remember the former things of old for I am God. And there is no other. I am God and there is none like me. And verse ten, God says something very specific. He says, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times, things that are not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure. So basically what God is saying here in Isaiah 46 is that he already knows the future. He can give us prophecy and we can trust the God that knows what’s going to happen in the future.

Speaker 1
And we’ve seen every single thing. Somebody’s talking, Faye, I think your phone’s on or your mood’s on or your MIC’s on, but just saying that God knows already the future. And if God knows the future, he is an omniscient, all knowing God and he’s somebody we can trust. And we see. You know, Daniel chapter two, god showed us a timeline of the future. Same thing with Daniel chapter seven. And in Daniel chapter eight, he gave very specific nations that would rise in sequence and they’ve all come to pass in the same order, in the same way. And all the time prophecies have hit every single one on the money and every messianic. Prophecy about Jesus, which there are hundreds, have all been fulfilled in Jesus. And so there’s just no shadow of a doubt that God is definitely real. His Bible, his book is full of things that give you evidence that you cannot refute because it’s all come to pass. So that would be yes. Does God exist? Is he real? Yes, he is. And you can experience Him through his special book, the Bible. And the second part to your question, why then does he allow people to go to hell?

Speaker 1
Well, God doesn’t want anybody to go to hell. That’s not his will for anybody. He says, I’m not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And so it’s really our choice. We choose which fate we want. And God, the Bible says in Romans 623, for the wages of sin is death. So that’s like Faye was saying, there is a great controversy, there is a battle, a war between Christ and Satan. And you see that in Revelation twelve. That Jesus and this red dragon, which is the devil and Satan, they are fighting because they are basically fighting between two philosophies, which is one is that is God real? And should we obey Him or should we just do whatever we want, which is Satan’s route? And in the end God is saying, look, I already know, I know the end from the beginning. I’m telling you, choose life which is in Christ. And so it’s up to you whether or not you want to have salvation or not. Because the gift of know the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Speaker 1
So God has provided a way of escape from that fate of hell. But just one quick thought because I know we’ve spent a good amount of time on this question. One quick thought I want to implant with you is what is your idea of what hell is? Because a lot of people think hell is this eternal burning of suffering and misery forever and ever and ever and ever. But that’s not found in the Bible. It’s not biblical at all. And so if you look at it and you go, wait, that’s what I’ve been taught my whole life in church. Well, I’m sorry, but I think that is one of the strongest devices of Satan that he has ever presented, which is thus thought that God would create an eternal hell place of misery, suffering and burning. That’s not true. And if you look in your Bible, look to even the most basic Bible verse, John 316, which says, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish. What does it mean to perish? Perish means to be done away with, to die. And that’s why the Bible says in Revelation 21 that those that go into the lake of fire suffer the second death.

Speaker 1
They die. Hell is a place where, yes, you burn temporarily, but you are burned up and then you are done. And there are so many evidence this to this in the Bible, you look in the book of Jude talking about the eternal fire of Sodom Gomorrah, you might say, well, it says it’s an eternal fire. Yes, the eternal fire of Sodom and Gomorrah. When it came down, it burned things up eternally and they are done no more, they will never be resurrected. That’s what it means by perishing. And there are so many other verses. Look in the book of Malachi, it says that the day of the Lord shall burn as an oven. And in the book of Psalms, those who are the wicked shall consume, they shall consume away. They shall be as ash under the soles of your feet. So again, hell isn’t an eternal place of suffering for a life of 60 years. That wouldn’t be a fair, just God. So I encourage you to continue to study your Bible and see and study it out for yourself. Make sure you know what I’m saying is true because I want you to make up your own mind about this, that if God does allow somebody to go to hell is because one, it’s their choice that they wanted to separate themselves from God.

Speaker 1
Because two, hell is not an eternal place of burning and suffering and torture. That’s a view that’s popular but not incorrect. And Jesus says, I want you to follow the narrow way, I want you to follow what my word says. And the truth of the matter is that hell is a place where people are consumed in the lake of fire, they burn up and that’s it. Then they’re done and so again, if you aren’t convinced you want some more Bible text, be sure to go to our website, bibleass.org. And we have tons and tons of questions and answers about the state of what hell really is like according to God’s word. I hope that helps you with your question.

For more on this topic check out The Fate of the Transgressor.

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