In this third sermon in a series on hell, our founding pastor, W. Graham Smith, answers questions about hell. Many people say hell seems contrary to God’s love and justice. Here are some excerpts:

“…Many people who offer objections to the biblical doctrine of hell do so, not in any presumptuous or arrogant fashion, but simply because they are sorely perplexed, and crave to have their questions answered in such a way that God’s character is not defamed. They love God, but these questions haunt them, and they look for answers.

Questions about Hell

It is to these questions and objections that we turn our attention this morning.

1. “Hell seems clearly contrary to the love of God. How could a God of love create or even tolerate such a torture chamber?

The answer is — Of course hell is contrary to the love of God. Just because God loves us, He created us with free will… It is this free will of ours that chooses hell. As I said in Sermon One, God loves us so much that He will never force you to go to heaven against your will.

2. “Hell seems contrary to God’s justice as well as His love, for the punishment does not seem to fit the crime.  How can 80 years of sinning on earth justly merit eternal punishment?

“…[W]hat possibility is there that the wicked, serving out their sentence in hell, can ever come to a change of heart toward God and His holy law? Remember that in hell they are completely cut off from God’s presence: The Holy Spirit, Who alone can bring about the new birth and regenerate the sinner’s heart, is not present in hell to convict them of their sin…”

 3. “Not only does hell seem to contradict God’s love and justice, but also God’s power.

“…Even an omnipotent God could not have created a world of human beings with free will and yet no possibility of committing sin, simply because the word “freedom” includes the possibility of sin within its very meaning. God, as I have said, cannot act in contradiction to His essential nature…”

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Graham has a lot more to say about this topic. If you would like to learn more, please download and read the attached transcript of the sermon, as the above excerpts do not even scratch the surface. If you would like to do a word search on the transcript, download the file, and then open the file with your web browser after downloading and use your browser’s find feature.

July 31, 1994

Romans 9:20

Rev. W. Graham Smith

Download Transcript (PDF)