Q. Somewhere in the Bible it says God is love. If God is love why would there be a hell where he eternally torments people. Think about it. When a judge sentences you to jail he gives you a sentence that ends. You don’t rot in your cell until you die. And if a parent punished a child forever it would be considered cruel. Also Jesus died so that we could live, didn’t he? In hell you’re dead. And why would God need us to live if our spirit is immortal?
A. God is love, but He is also just and righteous. All these characteristics of His have to be satisfied whenever He acts. Out of His love for us He died for our sins. He did this to satisfy His need for justice which requires that the penalty for every sin is paid. When we accept His death as payment for our sins it makes us righteous, which means innocent, faultless, or guiltless. Everything is satisfied.
Those who reject His act of love are telling God He didn’t die for them. That leaves them with the need to pay for their own sins to satisfy His need for justice and make themselves righteous. This is impossible for man to do, so he is condemned forever.
When a judge sentences a person convicted of a capital crime, he or she can pronounce a sentence of life without parole. Paul said the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), which means all sins are capital crimes against God and are punishable by death. Therefore they are not the same as the childish misbehavior for which our parents punished us.
Our spirits are immortal so they can’t die. But we can either live in Heaven with the Lord, which is called eternal life, or live in Hell without Him, which is called eternal separation from God, or death.
Jesus said, ” Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).