Why Was Hell Created?

We are in the midst of answering the question, Why do people go to Hell (which began with the post Is Ghandi in Hell)?  Like most questions, this is one that engenders many others such as, Why was Hell created?  If we can shed some light on why God created Hell we can perhaps begin to understand its purpose. 
It may be surprising then, to know that the Bible reveals to us that Hell was not created as a place for the eternal punishment of people.  In a series parables explaining the nature of the Kingdom and the judgment, Jesus describes Hell as, “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41).” 
What can we glean from this?
1.   We know that God is the creator of all things (Gen. 1:1) and certainly we can ascribe the creation of Hell to Him. 
2.  Yet Gen. 1:1 gives us no reason to assume that Hell was included in the original creation.  Thus we can say that, in its original state of “very good (Gen. 1:31)” there was no provision made for the punishment of sin and rebellion against God. 
3.   Hell, or an eternal place of torment, was not created until Satan rebelled against God (Isa. 14; Eze. 28).  This rebellion took place sometime between creation and the temptation of man, or Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 3:1.
4.   Creatively then, we can say that God did not create man for damnation in Hell.  Something happened between man and God that made Hell a possibility for man.
It is here that we begin to unravel why people go to Hell.  From a survey of relevant passages, many of which are not listed here, we find connection between the reason Hell was prepared for Satan and the demons and why man can also be condemned to Hell.  The connection is in rebellion against God.  1 Timothy 3:6 makes this connection plain for us.  In describing the qualities of someone who serves the church as overseer, Paul writes,
“He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
More to come


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