In my last article, I asked and answered the question, “Why God specifically chose to create you and me?” After all, from a traditional Christian perspective, if God has the ability to create an infinite number of souls and there are a finite number living on the earth, what criteria does God use to decide which souls are created and which remain only as potential souls He has yet to create? This article goes a step further by asking, “What happens after we die?”
Most traditional Christians would answer that we face the Last Judgment and that our eternal destination is determined by our answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” But if God is unwilling that any soul should perish as long as we come into repentance, how are we to resolve that conflict? The Bible also says God’s will is not mocked. The problem there is that sending a non-repentant sinner to an irreversible hell does nothing to keep God’s will from being mocked. It may serve to “even the score,” but the scorn and ridicule of an unrepentant sinner’s life still stands against God’s will regardless of even an eternal penalty paid for living a selfish life on earth.
We’ve all heard that if we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we will qualify for heaven because our sins will be washed away. But what about those who don’t qualify? Is it “fair and just” to condemn someone to an infinite hell for a finite amount of sin? And what purpose would such an eternal sentence serve? Punishment without hope of redemption is defined as torture. Loving human parents would never give up on nor torture their children, so why would we believe that to be true of our Father of unconditional love?
I’ve often asked if anyone believes that a soul burning in hell would reject Jesus if given another chance. Even the traditional Christians I ask that question say, “Of course not.” So if we believe that God already knows how to get everyone to eventually repent their selfish ways for making loving choices, why would He ever give up on achieving His will that not one soul should perish? But if we believe that God can convince us all to repent (become loving souls) through torturous means, isn’t there an oxymoron in there someplace? Perhaps there is a different, more loving and patient approach God uses to achieve His will that not one of us is lost?
Finally, what time limit is there on the Christian creed’s belief regarding Jesus dying in expiation of our sins? The typical answer is that we have the length of our human lives to answer the “Jesus Question” correctly, dying but once on earth and then the judgment. Does that mean that God put an arbitrary limit of our ever-changing human lifetimes to indicate when it is right to give up on His beloved children? Do loving human parents quit wanting the best for their own children after death? Also, knowing we don’t all have the same life span, nor are we born with the same talents, families, opportunities or challenges, our God of justice appears to unfairly favor some of us over others before we ever draw our first breath. This too makes no sense to me.
And so the questions I posed above have many unresolved conflicts as I measure such against the traditional Christian answers. In my next article, I will offer a perspective that resolves those conflicts while still defining God as unconditionally loving, omniscient, omnipotent, and always perfect in His patience and mercy.
I welcome your comments at [email protected]