Did God create hell?Question: "Did God create hell?"
Answer: Hell is a place of suffering originally prepared by God for the devil and his angels (Matthew 18:9; 25:41). The words Hades (Greek) and Sheol (Hebrew) are sometimes associated with hell. However, Hades/Sheol is simply the place or realm where the spirits of people go when they die (see Genesis 37:35). Hades/Sheol is not necessarily a place of torment because God’s people were said to go there as well as the wicked. In the New Testament, we find that Hades is somehow “compartmentalized.” That is, the realm of the dead is divided into a place of comfort and a place of torment (Luke 16:19–31).
There are other words associated with hell in the Bible such as Gehenna and lake of fire. It is clear that there is an actual place where the spirits of the unsaved go for eternity (Revelation 9:1; 20:15; Matthew 23:33).
Everything that ever was or is or will be is created by God, including hell (Colossians 1:16). John 1:3 says, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” God alone has the power to cast someone into hell (Luke 12:5). Jesus holds the keys of death and Hades (Revelation 1:18).
Jesus said that hell was “prepared” for Satan and the demons (Matthew 25:41). It is a just punishment for the wicked one. Hell, or the lake of fire, will also be the destination for those who reject Christ (2 Peter 2:4–9). The good news is that people can avoid hell. God, in His infinite mercy and love, has made a way of salvation for everyone who trusts in God’s Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 36; 5:24).
Recommended Resources: Four Views on Hell edited by John Walvoord
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Did God create hell?