Contrasting Doctrines

Eternal Conscious Torment and Infinite Love

by Aaron Locker

The compatibility (or lack thereof) of popular, supposedly scriptural doctrines has been interesting me for a while. I will compare and contrast a couple of doctrines that are commonly held by Christians, and examine whether it is possible to hold both of the doctrines as true at the same time.

Here we have two doctrines that a majority of the Christian world believes. Firstly, they believe that not only is God loving, not only is He eternally loving, but that He is love. I agree with this. I believe that love is not only the most prominent natural trait of God which will always be the foundation of His decisions and plans, but that God can be summed up with one word: “Love.” God’s love is forever. It won’t wear out, it won’t seek aft er its own good; and as sin abounds, God’s love in grace will abound much more.

Secondly, we have the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment. This doctrine teaches that those who die in this lifetime without accepting Christ as their Savior will spend eternity in the afterlife being tormented. Now, this torment isn’t just being forced to watch commercials for ever; no, this is torment that even the sickest human mind couldn’t imagine. This torment will make Hitler look like a saint. You and your loved ones will be put into a bottomless pit filled with fire. You will scream and beg for death as will your mother, your children and plenty of other people you love who wouldn’t believe. You will even be able to smell your mother’s flesh burning. You will want to die, but you won’t be able to do so. Eventually, God will dump you and the majority of creation into a place that makes hell look like Disney Land - The Lake of Fire. Here you will swim around in fi re so hot that it is liquid and you will never find land. Birds will come and pluck out your eyes. You will spend most of your time trying to stop people from using your children as flotation so that they can have a couple of seconds out of the lake.

Sick, isn’t it? The same people who believe that God is love also believe in a place so terrible that, even when talked about, it makes you cry. The worst part about this is that our eternally loving God apparently created these places. His perfect plan that He made before the beginning of the world was that He would send an overwhelming majority of His creation into this unbelievably terrible torment to stay there forever. The amount of time that these people will be tortured will make the trillions of years that evolutionists talk about seem like the blink of an eye.

Obviously, eternal love and eternal punishment don’t mix. When a father punishes his children justly, his goal is for the growth and well-being of the child. It would be a terrible monster of a father who would punish his children forever, especially if it only took a short moment for the child to repent. So, you can either accept a God of love Who strives for the bettering of His children, or you can accept a monster of a god who created a world full of people, just to torture almost all of them forever - but believing in both is contradictory.

B I B L E S T U D E N T ’ S P R E S S ™
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Taken from the Bible Student’s Notebook™, a weekly Bible study publication available in two formats (electronic and printed)

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