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How is Hell a fair punishment for sin?

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How is eternity in hell a fair punishment for sin?

This is an issue that bothers many people, and it stems from an incomplete understanding of three things: the nature of God, the nature of man, and the nature of sin. As fallen, sinful human beings, the nature of God is a difficult concept for us to fathom. We tend to see God as a kind, merciful Being whose love for us overrides and overshadows all His other attributes. Of course God is loving, kind and merciful, but He is first and foremost a holy and righteous God. So holy is He, in fact, that He cannot tolerate sin. He is a God whose anger burns against the wicked and those who disobey Him (Isaiah 5:25; Hosea 8:5; Zechariah 10:3). He is not only a loving God; He is love itself! But the Bible also tells us that He hates all manner of sin (Proverbs 6:16-19). And, while He is merciful, there are limits to His mercy. “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Man, in his unregenerate state, 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 by praying something interesting: “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, and, 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 continually before Him and must be continually punished in order to satisfy His holy justice.

No one understands this better than someone in hell. A perfect example is the story of the rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Both died, and the rich man went to hell while Lazarus went to heaven (called Abraham’s bosom in 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 doesn't say, "Did I really deserve this?" "Don't you think this is a little extreme? A little over the top?" He doesn't say any of that. He only asks that someone go to his brothers who are still alive and warn them not to come there.

Like the rich man, every sinner has a full realization of his wretchedness in hell, a fully informed, acutely aware, and sensitive conscience which becomes his own tormenter. This is the experience of torture in hell—a soul fully aware of his or her sin with a relentlessly accusing conscience, hammering without relief for one moment. The guilt of that sinner produces shame and everlasting self-hatred and loathing. The rich man knew that eternal punishment for a lifetime of sins is justified and deserved. That’s why he never protested or questioned being in hell.

The realities of eternal damnation, eternal hell, eternal punishment are frightening and rightly so. But this is for the good of the sinner, that he might, indeed, be terrified. While this may sound grim (and it is!), there is good news. God loves us (John 3:16) and wants us to be saved from hell (2 Peter 3:9). But because God is also just and righteous, He cannot allow our sin to go unpunished. Someone has to pay for it. In His great mercy and love, God provided His own payment for our sin. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross for us. Jesus’ death was an infinite death because He is the infinite God/man, paying our infinite sin debt, so that we would not have to pay it in hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:21). If we confess our sin, ask God’s forgiveness, and place our faith in Christ, we are saved, forgiven, cleansed, and promised an eternal home in heaven. God loved us so much that He provided a means for our salvation, but if we reject His gift of eternal life, we will face the eternal consequences of that decision.

article: gotquestions.org
 
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So I pray, 'thank you Lord jesus Christ for saving me through your precious blood'.
amen johnpaul.
 
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How is eternity in hell a fair punishment for sin?


No one understands this better than someone in hell. A perfect example is the story of the rich man and a beggar named Lazarus. Both died, and the rich man went to hell while Lazarus went to heaven (called Abraham’s bosom in 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 doesn't say, "Did I really deserve this?" "Don't you think this is a little extreme? A little over the top?" He doesn't say any of that.

He only asks that someone go to his brothers who are still alive and warn them not to come there.

Awesome truth!
 
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A point of interest

Does a sinner who dies without belief in Jesus Christ know his / her fate in hell at the point of death or sometime after?
Also, is there any further chance for redemption prior to judgement?
I'm particularly thinking of people who commit grave sins due to mental illness.
 
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Does a sinner who dies without belief in Jesus Christ know his / her fate in hell at the point of death or sometime after?
Also, is there any further chance for redemption prior to judgement?
I'm particularly thinking of people who commit grave sins due to mental illness.

We do know that 'God is mercyfull'

That would be full of mercy and slow to anger. (bible)

I am absolutely sure and without doubt that God will do what is right.

There is a place in the bible where it says that "in the midst of wrath....God remembers mercy" Mercy is a 'trademark' of God.

We are accepted before God.....because of Jesus.

"for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life"
John 3: 16
 
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John Paul,

In response to your question about the sinner who doesn't know Christ, I think the answer lies at least in part in whether or not he/she had the gospel effectively preached to them. I try to avoid firmly fixing in my mind whether or not any individual went to heaven or to hell at death without firm evidence of either fate in my possession. Since every person has until the very last second of conscious thought to reach out to Him,God alone is the final decider of a person's eternal fate.

SLE
 
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Thank you for your answers. The Holy Spirit has enlightened me through you. The reason for me asking the question was that my father was an athiest all his life, but confessed to Jesus the day he died. I dearly hope he is now with the Lord.
 
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Thank you for your answers. The Holy Spirit has enlightened me through you. The reason for me asking the question was that my father was an athiest all his life, but confessed to Jesus the day he died. I dearly hope he is now with the Lord.
Were you present when he made his confession of the Lordship of Jesus? If so, did he seem sincere? If he was sincere, I'm certain he's with the Lord now.

SLE
 
Member
was i present?

Were you present when he made his confession of the Lordship of Jesus? If so, did he seem sincere? If he was sincere, I'm certain he's with the Lord now.

SLE
Sadly, no. But my son was. He was 11 years old and said "Grandpop really meant it".(confessing that Jesus is Lord).
 
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I am glad I came in to read this thread Praise God, and from the lips of an eleven year old comes this news he gave you, johnpaul.

How marvelous, how wonderful is my Saviour's love for me (us)
 
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How is eternity in hell a fair punishment for sin?

It scares people for good reason. They know, deep within their hearts, that hell is the only place for people who refuse to give God glory while they are alive.

I am sure there are many people who have come to terms with their impending death, be it cancer or the electric chair or what have you, that have a gnawing inside as they get closer to death. I am sure a few of them have realized that they are heading for eternal damnation, and whether they are 100% sure or not, they try to make their peace with God. Faith as small as a mustard seed is all it takes. We can only pray that they are truly sincere and truly repentant of their sins, because we know that God wants them there.

Thank you, Chad, for this post.
 
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