Questions & Answers
If God is good why is there death and suffering?
If there was no animal or human death when God finished His creation and pronounced it very good, why do we die now? We see death all around us today. Something must have happened to change creation—that something was sin.
God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect paradise. As their Creator, He had authority over them. In His authority, God gave Adam a rule: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17).
Sometime after God declared His completed creation “very good” at the end of the sixth day, one of God’s angels, Lucifer, led a rebellion against their Creator. Lucifer then took on the form of a serpent and tempted Eve to eat the fruit God had forbidden. Both Adam and Eve ate it. Their actions resulted in the punishment that God had warned them about. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The just Creator righteously kept His promise that punishment would follow their disobedience. With the rebellious actions of one man, death entered God’s creation.
Ashamed and afraid, Adam and Eve tried to escape the consequences of their sin by making coverings of fig leaves. But by themselves, they could not cover what they had done. They needed something else to provide a covering. According to the writer of Hebrews, “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission [of sin]” (9:22). A blood sacrifice was necessary to cover their guilt before God.
To illustrate the horrible consequences of sin, God killed an animal and made coats of skin to cover Adam and Eve. We are not told what type of animal was killed, but perhaps it was something like a lamb to symbolize Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would shed His own blood to take away our sins.
Genesis 3 also reveals that the ground was cursed. Thorns and thistles were now part of the world. Animals were cursed, the serpent more than the rest. The world was no longer perfect but sin-cursed. Suffering and death now abounded in that once-perfect creation.
The Restoration of All Things
The Bible describes death as the last enemy that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). Revelation 21:4 says that “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Those who have received salvation look forward to the time when the Lord will revoke the Curse and restore the universe to a perfect state like the one it had before man sinned (Revelation 22:3).
The Lord not only loves His children enough to die for their sin, He also promises to fix the ruined world by creating a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). And just as the first Adam brought death into the world, Christ, as the “last Adam,” brings renewed life into the world.
As Paul wrote,
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
Why would a loving god send people to hell?
Some people wonder how hell can be reconciled with a God of love. Why, they ask, would a God of love allow people to go to hell?
God of Justice
The answer to this question is that God is a God of holiness and justice as well as a God of love. These moral attributes are complementary, not contradictory. When the laws of God are disobeyed there must be a judgment. God's laws demand that sin must be paid for. God can still love someone but He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. This is the reason that Jesus Christ came to earth, to die for the sins of the world.
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.(Matthew 20:28).
The emphasis should not be placed upon hell but by the fact that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to show His love for mankind:
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
God has showed His love by sending His Son to die for our sins -- to take our punishment -- so that we could go to heaven. The judgment of hell is for those who refuse to accept God's love and forgiveness.
Why did god create hell?
If it is God's sincere desire that everyone come to know Him why did He create hell in the first place? Why make a place of judgment for humanity?
The Bible teaches that God did not create hell as a judgment for humanity. God created hell for the punishment of the devil and his angels and not as a place for human beings to suffer. Jesus said:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41).
Hell was created as a place of judgment for Satan and those who followed him in their rebellion against God. The Bible says that the devil and his angels will eventually be consigned to hell:
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10).
Human beings, who are created in God's image, are not meant to spend eternity away from the presence of God. The place God created for them is heaven. Jesus spoke of this place that God has prepared for those who trust Him:
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Hell was not created for humanity, but it is the destination for those who reject God's salvation in Jesus Christ.