The existence of hell

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Monday, April 21, 2014


I WAS reading a comic book the other day – and its story was, to me, so theologically profound that I had to write about it. In the comic book, Lucifer (yes, that Lucifer) abdicates from hell and leaves its key up for grabs to whoever wants it. Many of the old, forgotten gods like the Norse Odin, the Egyptian Anubis and the Japanese Susanoo-no-Mikoto argue and vie for the abandoned realm to claim it as their own, probably in the hope that mortals will fear and worship them again, but in the end, the Almighty Creator sends two of His angels to retake hell in His Name, ordering the two angels to take Lucifer’s place as the ruler of hell.

The reason: “There must be a hell. There must be a place for the demons, a place for the damned; hell is Heaven’s reflection. It is Heaven’s shadow. They define each other; reward and punishment, hope and despair. There must be a hell, for without hell, Heaven has no meaning.”

Some atheists argue that “a good God would not have created a hell.” The argument there is that if God was good, then why would he create a place of eternal suffering for His own children? The argument against it is that it gives incentive for believers to do morally good things on earth.
Man was given free will, and if there was no hell, and only a place of eternal paradise that you went to when you died, in theory, no small number of believers would commit suicide just to get there instead of living boring, unfulfilling, depressing existences on earth.

Instead, hell was created to serve as a warning to people, and a place to punish the truly, truly evil. Nobody wants Hitler goose-stepping through Heaven, right? Since people have free will, and can willfully turn away from God’s love and disobey His commandments, then there should be a place for them.

What about the Angelic Rebellion? Well, God is an omniscient being, knowing all things past, present and future. It seems that Lucifer’s rebellion and his downfall were all part of the grander scheme of things. What about the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who introduced Adam and Eve to original sin? Without that serpent, He would have had no need to send down Jesus, and there would have been no need for Him to die on the cross, to show us how much He loved us. A God without the sacrifice of His Son is hard to fathom.

Well, we all have our own theories and opinions and reflections to think about Easter. This one is mine. Read it, reflect on it, dismiss it – do what you will. But at least use it as food for thought.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 21, 2014.

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