If God Is Just, Why Does One Sin Merit Eternity In Hell?

hell 2

The Bible says that hell is eternal (Matthew 25:46). Many people struggle with the justice of that. They question how it is just for God to punish a person for eternity in response to only a human lifetime of 70, 80, 90, or even 100 years of #sin. How does a sinner’s finite lifespan merit an infinitely long punishment?

There are two #biblical principles that clearly declare eternity in#hell to be the just punishment for sin, no matter how long one’s earthly life lasted.

First, the Bible declares that all #sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4). The extent of the punishment depends, in part, on the target of the crime. In a human court of law, a physical assault against an individual will usually result in a fine and possibly some time in jail. In contrast, a physical assault against the president or prime minister of a country will likely result in a lifetime in prison. And this is the case despite the fact that the crime was a one-time offense, not a continual, on-going action. Humanity is corrupted by sin, and that sin is always directly against #God. When David sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba and having Uriah murdered, he responded with an interesting prayer: “AGAINST YOU, YOU ONLY, HAVE I SINNED AND DONE WHAT IS EVIL IN YOUR SIGHT…” (Psalm 51:4). Since David had sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, how could he claim to have only sinned against God? David understood that all sin is ultimately against God. God is an #eternal and #infinite Being (Psalm 90:2). As a result, all sin requires an eternal punishment. God’s holy, perfect, and infinite character has been offended by our sin. Although to our finite minds our sin is limited in time, to God—who is outside of time—the sin He hates goes on and on. Our sin is eternally before Him and must be eternally punished in order to satisfy His holy justice.

Second, the idea that we cease #sinning after death is not taught in the Bible. Are those who go to hell suddenly sinless and perfect? No. Those who go into eternity without #Christ will be confirmed in their #wickedness. The hard-hearted will be eternally hard-hearted. There will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” in hell (Matthew 25:30), but no #repentance. Sinners in hell will be given over to their own nature; they will be sin-infected, evil, immoral, and depraved beings for all of eternity, forever unredeemed and unregenerate. The lake of fire will be a place of eternal rebellion against God—even as that rebellion is judged (Revelation 20:14–15; cf. Revelation 16:9, 11). Unsaved people do not only sin for 70, 80, 90, or 100 years. THEY SIN FOR ETERNITY.

No one understands this better than someone in hell. A perfect example is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Both died, and the rich man went to hell while Lazarus went to #paradise (Luke 16). Of course, the rich man was aware that his sins were only committed during his lifetime. But, interestingly, he never says, “How did I end up here?” That question is never asked in hell. He does not say, “Did I really deserve this? Don’t you think this is a little extreme? A little over the top?” He only asks that someone go to his brothers who are still alive and warn them against his fate.

Like the rich man, every sinner in hell has a full realization that he deserves to be there. Each sinner has a fully informed, acutely aware, and sensitive conscience which, in hell, becomes his own tormenter. This is the experience of torture in hell—a person fully aware of his or her sin with a relentlessly accusing conscience, without relief for even one moment. The #guilt of sin will produce shame and everlasting self-hatred. The rich man knew that eternal punishment for a lifetime of sins is #justified and deserved. That is why he never protested or questioned being in hell.

What it comes down to is this—if a person wants to be separated from God for eternity, God will grant that desire. #Believers are those who say to God, “Your will be done.” #Unbelievers are those to whom God says, “Your will be done.” The will of the unsaved is to reject #salvation through #JesusChrist and remain in sin; God will honour that decision, and its consequences, for eternity.

He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.

M.J. Knight

Original Post can be found HERE.

Leave a Comment