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DOCTRINE QUESTION 44
If God is merciful and wants to save people, why did He create hell?
That God is merciful and wants to save is clearly taught from one end of the Bible to the other. The above question seems to pre-suppose that God made hell for people. God gets the blame for all the bad things in the world and in eternity. God never created man for hell, neither did He create hell for man.
When God created man He made him to represent Himself. He is the only creature made in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27). This is why when you kill a man you are destroying the only one that represents God on earth. This is clear from Genesis 9:6 we read, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for (because) in the image of God made he man." God made man for His own glory. Psalms 8:5, "For thou hast made him (man) a little lower that the angels, and hast crowned him for glory and honour." Man lost this in the fall. Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Hell, was not made for man. In the Old Testament it is said to have been made for the king (Satan) "For Tophet (place of burning) is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared." - Isaiah 30:33. In the New Testament it is stated, ". . .it was prepared for the devil and his angels." - Matthew 25:41. Others will be there because of their neglecting God's only remedy for sin, "the blood of Christ", but this will not be God's doings.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen