Why must Hell exist?

Why, if God knows a person is going to reject him, does he not have them just disappear after death? Why torture them with fire forever and ever? This question was posed by a young adult to her mother, who turned to Patrick Madrid for advice.

“’God so loved the world that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ His desire is for people to be happy and … God knows because he is outside of time he sees everything as it is now. We look forward to the future, we look back at the past, and we live in the present but that’s not how it is for God… he knows everything in the moment. So nonetheless, when he gives us being, he brings us into existence and he wills us to exist, that’s a permanent gift that he gives to human beings. So by our very nature, he makes us for eternity,” explained Madrid, host of The Patrick Madrid Show on Relevant Radio®.

“But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

“He gives everybody free will, he loves us and he wants us to love him in return, but he won’t force us. And so the fire is described in the Bible—this is the separation from God for all eternity that we call hell—this is the choice that the people who freely choose not to be with God, this is where they go,” said Madrid. “So it does involve torture, yes, it does involve anguish and unending pain, but that isn’t because God is sadistic. It’s not as though God is saying, ‘Ha ha ha ha, I’m going to make sure you burn forever’. God takes no pleasure in that. The Bible says God does not take pleasure in the death of a sinner.”

It’s because of how God created us that we cannot simply ‘disappear’ from existence.

“It’s the nature of our reality as human beings, that’s what dictates this. So as human beings we’re built for eternity, we’re made as immortal creatures. The body is mortal, at least for the time being, but we’ll get our resurrected bodies back and we’ll be immortal in a bodily sense. But we’re made for immortality and we’re made as immortal souls. So for that reason, God does not go back on his gifts,” said Madrid.

Listen to the full segment here:

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.