Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

The purpose of eternal damnation

QUESTION:

And what is the point or purpose of eternal damnation if there is no second chance. How or why would a God of love do this?

David of Scotland

To best understand the purpose of eternal damnation is to recognize our position before God, before we are saved. Generally, we think that we people are good, and surely don’t deserve eternal punishment. However, measured before God’s standards, we are anything but good. According to the Bible, we are not good people who deserve a second chance. Romans 3:9-23 shows over and over that there is none who are good.

In Romans our condition is described as ungodly, sinners, under the wrath of God, enemies, unreconciled (cf. Romans 5:6-10). We are told that the unsaved are, “hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7, 8). Paul again describe our condition as, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Jesus said it this way, “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). In other words, the unsaved do not want to go to heaven.

They deliberately choose to reject the way of salvation provided for them. God simply lets them go where they want to. It is against this backdrop that we must understand God’s love. The fact is no one deserves salvation. We all deserve judgment, and it is only by His love, mercy, and Grace that any of us are saved.

While it is true that one of God’s attributes is love (1 John 4:16), His fundamental attribute is holiness (cf. Isaiah 6:3-5). God’s holiness is the ultimate standard of right and wrong in the universe. Think of it this way. We humans think of love as not hurting people, doing what is right by people, or giving people a second chance. But, what standard shall we use? If we say it is ok to cheat on our spouse because I “love” another person, it is still wrong. Love must be guided by some standard. What would we say to a drug addict who says, “If you really loved me you would give me more heroin.” No, to give the poor addict more poison is not an act of love – even though they would claim it is love. Loving acts must be guided by some standard.

Look at it another way. Would God be “just” to let violent, wicked criminals go free? Would we call Him “just” if He let Hitler and Stalin go free? Absolutely not. What would we think of a human judge who let a mass murderer go free on the basis of, “Oh, I love the criminal; consequently, I am letting him go free.” We would be outraged!

Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). By definition, grace means underserved favor, but more accurately, it means underserved favor toward those guilty ones who actually stand under deserved sentence and condemnation.

We all deserve hell, but by His grace (motivated by love), God provided a fair way of salvation, and offered it to the world. If people choose to reject His provision, then the consequences, liability rest firmly upon them – not on God.

David, I hope these answers will at least give you more food for thought. I appreciate you interest in these deep subjects. I will get to you other questions later. This is enough for now.

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