Thank you so much for your web site. You answer many difficult questions, always with the grace of God in focus. May He continue to bless you.
I fear I’m sinning to question Gods plan for His creation, yet these 2 questions regarding Hell linger.
The Bible tells us Hell was created for Satan and his angels. God foreknew the fall of Satan, the temptation and fall of man and all the future suffering of creation to come as a result of our fall.
My 1st question is, knowing all of this why did He create Satan?
And after the time of judgment is over, and all of our tears are washed away, I assume our all knowing Lord will be conscious of the lost souls in the lake of fire, suffering for all eternity.
My 2nd question is. How can God be conscious of this and it not haunt him with sadness? I’ve tried to push these thoughts away and say “trust our fair and loving Lord. He has a different perspective, our salvation was thru suffering, proving His great love for us and I can’t fully comprehend it all now.” Yet these questions arise within myself and similar ones are asked by my young children.
Books have been written on this subject but it all boils down to one word … agency. Agency is also known as free will, or freedom of choice. God wants us to love Him and created us for that purpose. But our love only has value for Him because it’s expressed voluntarily. If we had no choice in the matter it would be meaningless to Him. Giving us the choice to love him or not means He had to take the risk that some of us would choose not to.
In Ezekiel 28:11-19 we read that the one we now call Satan was created with every advantage and privilege that God could grant, but he chose to rebel. Just as it is with us, it was a choice he was created with the right to make, even though it had devastating consequences.
God has done everything possible to influence his children to love Him, but it’s our choice to do so or not, He can’t force us to do it. At the end of the age when He looks upon those who’ve rejected Him He will know that He did everything
He could have done to save them, even exchanging His own life for theirs. Then He explained both their choices and the consequences of each with unmistakable clarity. But He couldn’t make them accept His offer of pardon because he had given them the right to choose for themselves. Of course it will sadden Him. But He loves them so much that He had to put His desires aside and allow them to pursue theirs.
You could say that the end of the age, everyone will get what he or she asks for except God. 2 Peter 3:9 says that He doesn’t want that any should perish. But when all is said and done, the ones who asked to live eternally in His presence will get what they asked for, as will the ones who asked Him to stay out of their lives and leave them alone. Only God will not.
We have a hard time understanding this because we are currently unable to express such a love. But one day we will be able to and then we’ll understand.