Why do the people who reject Jesus Christ have to end up in hell? Why can't God create someplace other than hell for sinners to go when they die? Couldn't God make it less horrible? Couldn't He send them somewhere much less terrifying?
We hear variations of this question all the time. It appears many people are uncomfortable with the idea of anyone suffering for all eternity, even the person who many feel deserves to be punished. Something about the terror and permanency of hell makes people look for an alternative. Something about hell makes even the most uncaring, hardened person withhold a wish for anyone to suffer this kind of punishment.
Our natural inclination as humans is to ask, "Why can't there be an another way?"
First, let's remember that God is not sending anyone to hell. He left that choice up to us. He tells us clearly how to stay out of hell, and then He warns us where we will go if we refuse to repent of our sins, rejecting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. That's why Jesus said in Matthew 12:37, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Understand that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for man. If men reject the only way into heaven, there is no other place for the soul to go. In addition, God is just, and He deems hell a justifiable place for someone who rejects the provision He made for our sins through Jesus. Revelation 21:8 says all unbelievers will have their part in the lake of fire.
If you believe that there should be another place for sinners to go besides hell, there is. It's called heaven. God prepares a place for us there. When He completed creation, He said it was very good. At that point, hell did not exist. Otherwise, He wouldn't have said everything was very good. He prepared hell shortly after creation. Hell was not prepared for man but for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). The word "prepared," according to Strong's Concordance, means "to make ready or secure." This is not the same as being created. God did all the creating He was going to do at creation. The Bible says He was finished (Gen. 2:1). He will not violate His Word and make another place now.
Another thing to understand is that any new place created would be apart from God. We already know that God dwells in heaven. This new place would be absent of all good, since all good comes from Him. You can't have the good without God. Just as our bodies can only survive and exist on earth, our souls can only exist in heaven or hell. There is no other place for the soul to dwell. If we refuse the only provision for our sins, Jesus, we are rejecting the only way for our soul to be saved and to enter heaven. We send ourselves to hell.
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