eternity in hell is "fair" punishment?
"The idea that
a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to
me. The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed! I don't want to
have anything to do with such a God."
eternal damnation fair punishment for not believing that Jesus died for
eternity of punishment for perhaps no more than seventy or eighty years
of unbelief has many times been suggested as seeming quite unfair. There
is a very good response to this false perception that God is inequitable.
Consider our own system of justice.
If someone were convicted
of having gone on a ten minute killing spree, about how much time would
the law require them to spend in jail? An equal ten minutes? Obviously not.
The punishment for any given crime addresses the quality of the
crime, not, or not just, the quantitative aspect of the crime.
In the Bible's case,
the key crime that sends anyone to hell is unbelief. Unbelief rejects God's
ultimate sacrifice and is, in effect, equivalent of crucifying Jesus Christ.
From a positional perspective, one's spirit is either on that cross crucified
with Christ, or is outside of Christ, sided with the world that
necessitated his death and bearing their own sin debt. So in a sense
it is the infinite quality of Christ's life for which unbelief exacts
a correspondingly infinite consequence. An infinitely long sentence
for the infinitely bad crime. Simple
By contrast, the reward
of eternal life for even the shortest life lived in true belief has a far
greater appearance of being unfair - unfair to God, that is. Without surprise,
there is no objection to this side of the coin. Consider the thief who confessed
his belief just moments before he died on a cross beside Christ. He received
an infinite reward for...what? For simple, true belief. He received an
infinitely good consequence for true belief, thanks only to the infinitely
good quality of the life of Jesus Christ - the object of that belief.
is likely the nature of hell?
were sacrifices all about?
can mass-murderers go to heaven, but unbelievers cannot?