Could you be happy in heaven if you knew a loved one was in hell
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Heaven, Hell, Free will, justice, death, loss of loved ones
- Ankerberg: This question is asked on one side by sincere believers, and on the other side by the atheistic critic, the skeptic. It goes like this: the critic would say, “You couldn’t be happy in Heaven if you knew your loved one, or anybody else, was suffering in hell.” The sincere Christian says, “How can I be happy if I’m the wife or the husband and I go to Heaven, and my mate goes to hell?” How do you answer that?
- Geisler: C. S. Lewis gave a good answer to that in his book, The Problem of Pain. He has a chapter on hell. It’s probably the best single chapter written on hell, and then this whole book, The Great Divorce. He said, first of all, the presupposition of the question must be rejected. It’s “I’m more merciful than God.” It’s Bravo for me. I mean, God is infinitely merciful and I’m saying, “I’m more merciful than God. I mean, I wouldn’t have done it that way.”
- Secondly, they’re failing to understand that when we get to Heaven, we’re going to look at it through the glasses of ultimate justice and it’s going to be an entirely different perspective. If I offered you, if you were poor and hungry and I offered you a meal and you refused it, would that mean that I shouldn’t eat and be happy? Just because you refused food and died of starvation doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy a meal. And C. S. Lewis has a great line: “If that were true that people in hell could make people in Heaven unhappy, then hell could veto Heaven.” And hell can’t veto Heaven. Evil can’t veto good.
- Ankerberg: I would also say, too, that would mean that while they’re living, you would be saying, “God, even though they don’t choose to love you, force them to do it just because of what I think about it.”
- Geisler: Sure.
- Ankerberg: And you can’t do that here, and you won’t be able to do it later.
- Geisler: You can’t force the hungry to eat, either.