Why did God design HELL
and the LAKE of FIRE the way he did? Couldn't God have designed HELL and the LAKE of FIRE differently?
(In this essay, I want you to imagine that you have
already died and gone to heaven and that God
himself is addressing hundreds of newly arrived
believers and answering many of their questions.
So imagine that it is God himself who is speaking
throughout this entire essay.)
God is speaking...
"Another question many of you had back on earth
was, “What made us design Hell the way we did?
Specifically, what made us decide to burn everyone
in Hell for all eternity regardless of whether the
inhabitant of Hell was a mass murderer terrorist who committed lots of horrific sins, or a sweet, young,
non-believing, female atheist who worked as a nurse
for the peace corps but happened to die as a young,
21-year old virgin who never smoked, drank or did
"Good question. But we did NOT design hell that way at all. The “one-size-fits-all-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity” afterlife punishment was never our idea. It was your religious leaders’ idea.
"Remember, religious leaders are not infallible and so they are certainly not immune to making mistakes or teaching falsehoods, even without knowing it. And when false doctrine is mistakenly taught by multiple generations of religious leaders, it can become a tradition that remains unchallenged for centuries. So, just like the Pharisees taught mistaken ideas about my Old Testament laws to the Jews for centuries, your Christian leaders have likewise have taught mistaken ideas about hell to you Christians for centuries as well.
"Hell is certainly NOT a “one-size-fits-all-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity” afterlife punishment. Rather, hell is exactly like what your Bible teaches—an individualized sin-based “eye-for-an-eye-reap-exactly-what-you-sowed-on-earth” afterlife punishment followed by a merit-based afterlife punishment. And this should not be a surprise to you, because we gave you all the clues in your Bible (specifically in Galatians 6:7-8, Revelation 20:14-15, Luke 16:19-24, and in other places as well).
"To understand the afterlife punishment for the unsaved, you first need to understand the difference between HELL (that you might have read about in Luke 16:19-24 and in Isaiah 14:9-20), compared to the LAKE of FIRE (that you might have read about in Revelation 20:14-15 and Isaiah 66:23-24). The difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire is similar to the difference between jail and prison back on earth. On earth, ideally, jail is your temporary, short-term, pre-trial holding facility where people accused of various crimes are detained before their trial in front of an earthly judge. Prison, on the other hand, is your more permanent, long-term, post-trial facility where people convicted of crimes serve out their punishments after their trial. Using this analogy, Hell is our jail and the Lake of Fire is our prison.
"So billions of years ago, we knew we would need to create a temporary, pre-trial holding facility in the center of each habitable planet where we would detain our unsaved children from that planet until their eventual trial in front of their Judge—me. This facility is what you call “HELL”. And since our children in hell have not yet been to trial, then they haven’t really started their punishment. So it should be obvious from the start that no one ever burns in hell because no one in hell has been to trial yet. Rather, they are just being detained in hell—our jail—before their trial.
"As you all know by now, after the death of your first body back on earth, your guardian angels removed each of you—the soul—from the remains of your deceased first body and then placed you—the soul—into a second living body, after which they carried your second living body (with you inside it’s brain) here to heaven. Others however, were carried to hell. Like heaven, hell is also a group facility where the living bodies of all our children can still see, hear, touch, smell, taste, feel, move and speak to each other. I told you this in Luke 16:19-24 and in Isaiah 14:9-20.
"But since I told you in your Bible (in Revelation 20:14-15 and in Isaiah 66:23-24) that the bodies in the Lake of Fire are all DEAD bodies, then it should come as no surprise to you that at the end of their trial before me on the Day of Judgment, I will make each of my children who have been condemned to the Lake of Fire simply fall asleep and die. (This is exactly how Moses died on Mount Nebo thousands of years ago, although Moses is here in heaven with us, of course.) Then the more than 50 billion dead bodies of the condemned will be cast into the Lake of Fire by their guardian angels.
"Of course, since the afterlife bodies of all those in the Lake of Fire will be dead, then my children—the living souls within the dead bodies—cannot possibly feel the flames of the Lake of Fire any more than a dead person feels the flames while being cremated back on earth. So none of my children in the future Lake of Fire will ever experience what the Church mistakenly teaches as a 'burning forever'. Of course, since I wasn’t going to punish my children with flames in the Lake of Fire after their trial, then I certainly wouldn’t punish my children with flames in hell before their trial either. After all, why would I punish my children before their trial at all, much less punish them worse in hell before their trial than I was going to punish them in the Lake of Fire after their trial?
"Consequently, when you were alive back on earth, all of you should have recognized (from reading Revelation 20:14-15 and Isaiah 66:23-24) that the bodies in the Lake of Fire are all DEAD. Therefore, you all should have concluded that since no one ever “burns in the Lake of Fire”, that no one ever “burns in hell” either, and that must be why in Luke 16:19-24, the rich man in hell only needed Lazarus to cool his tongue with a mere fingertip of moisture rather than asking Lazarus for several buckets of water to pour on top of him to cool his entire body and put out the flames. Obviously, I meant for you to understand that his tongue was a metaphor for the rich man’s greatest source of torment, and that his greatest source of torment was not an external flame but was an internal flame, which I told you about in James 3:6, where it is written:
'The tongue is also a fire…
and is itself set on fire by Hell.'
"The reason why the rich man in hell had so much internal torment (as represented by his 'tongue being set on fire by hell') is because upon the death of his first body, when his guardian angels took him—the soul—from his deceased body and placed it into his new living body, they also presented him with the entire list of charges I had against him and for which he will be held accountable. Since the rich man’s guardian angels are also eyewitnesses to each one of the rich man’s sinful speech and sinful actions, it is the responsibility of these same angels to author a written record of all the sinful speech and actions of the rich man, and upon the death of the rich man, give a copy of these charges to the rich man and carry a second copy of these charges to heaven to be collected into many large books that will be opened on Judgment Day so my children in hell can be 'judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.' (I told you this in Revelation 21:12.)
"As for my children who are coming to heaven, these lists that they receive upon their deaths are charges for which they have been forgiven and will NOT be held accountable.
"But for my children going to hell, these lists are charges for which they must provide a defense during their final Judgment before me. They are also given a message from me through their guardian angels concerning their need to use his time in hell for preparing their defense on Judgment Day. This message is recorded in Mathew 12:36-37, and says,
'On the day of judgement, [you] will give an account
for every careless word [you] have spoken. For by
your [defense] you will be acquitted and by your
[defense] you will be condemned.'
"So at their judgment before me, each of my children in hell will have to provide a defense for every sinful thing they have ever said and done. Of course, none of my children will be able to remember committing each one of their sins throughout their entire lifetime as recorded on their list of charges. But since their guardian angels were present during each one of their sins, they will help my children remember all of their sins so my children can be more prepared for their trials. Ironically however, it will be their own guardian angels who will be testifying against my children during their trial based upon their guardian angels’ personal observations as eyewitnesses to all the sinful speech and actions committed by my children.
"Now some of my children in hell have committed major sins in perfect secret (like murder) and will wonder who could possibly testify against them. But they have forgotten that all of their victims will be alive again at the trial to testify against them, and since each murder victim has at least two guardian angels that saw everything, then there will be at least five witnesses to each secret murder: the victim, the victim’s two guardian angels, and the murderer’s two guardian angels.
"Obviously, the anxiety provoked within all my children after being told by their angels to use their time in hell to prepare their personal defense for the list of charges I hold against them would be perfectly symbolized by the expression, 'the tongue is set on fire by hell' and the rich man’s plea for Lazarus to 'cool my tongue, for I am tormented by, with and because of this flame.'
"Now although the Greek word “εν” (pronounced “en”) can be translated into English as 'in' (which is the most common translation), this same Greek word 'en' can also be translated as 'by', 'with”, 'because of' or 'for' and is indeed translated this way in your Bible in several verses whenever the context requires. The Greek word 'en' is translated as 'by' as in 'justified by his blood' in Romans 5:9, translated as 'with' as in 'Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline' in 1 Corinthians 4:21, and translated as 'because of' or 'for' as in 'insulted because of the name of Christ' or 'insulted for the name of Christ' in 1 Peter 4:14.
"In other words, the rich man did say, 'Cool my tongue, for I am tormented by this flame, with this flame, or because of this flame' [of my tongue], exactly as the context demands. But because of the Bible translators’ unshakable bias that people 'burn in hell', generations of scholars chose to deliberately ignore the true context of this verse in order to continually mistranslate it to read the rich man was being 'tormented in this flame', instead of 'by this flame', 'with this flame' or 'because of this flame' [of his tongue]. And by doing so, your translators have misled centuries of preachers and Christians into mistakenly thinking there are real flames mentioned in this scene when in reality, there are no flames in hell at all, and the only 'flame' mentioned is just being used as a metaphor referring to the discomfort of the rich man’s tongue and the anxiety produced from having to prepare a once-in-a-lifetime defense for his upcoming trial before his Maker. Besides, it would make no sense for the rich man to say, 'Just cool my tongue, even though I am burning all over my entire body from these flames.' By the way, when a person burns to death in flames, their tongue remains relatively unharmed by comparison to the outer skin. In addition, the Old Testament description of hell in Isaiah 14:9-20 (when Satan himself is cast into hell) there are no flames mentioned at all. So neither your Old Testament nor your New Testament record the present of any literal flames whatsoever in hell.
"So as I said, the “one-size-fits-all-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity” afterlife punishment was never our idea. It was your religious leaders’mistaken idea. The real Lake of Fire is exactly like what your Bible teaches—an individualized sin-based “eye-for-an-eye-reap-exactly-what-you-sowed” afterlife punishment followed by a merit-based afterlife punishment.
Of course, you may now be wondering,
“But how can I punish my children—the souls—in the
Lake of Fire for all eternity if their bodies are all dead?”
"Good question. But only their bodies are dead. My actual children—the souls—will still be alive in the Lake of Fire within the brains of each of their own deceased bodies. Remember, each of my children—the souls—were created out my own eternal life force of Living SpaceTime. So they will naturally survive the deaths of their first body on earth and survive the death of their second body at the Judgment. All I have to do is miraculously keep their brains alive (which is simple for me), and as long as each of my children—the souls—are living inside a living brain, each soul will naturally play his brain like a virtual reality videogame and consequently experience a type of existence that the soul finds indistinguishable from being alive in the flesh, even though they will remain nothing more than a living soul in a living brain in a dead body in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. In this way, by making my condemned children experience an infinite number of lifetimes in the Lake of Fire, I can customize the eternal punishment for each of my children to correspond exactly to each one of the separate sins my children committed while they were alive back on earth.
"In this 'physical-dream-state', I can have them re-experience every bad thing they ever did to anyone else during their lifetime—only this time my children will experience all their evil acts from their victim’s point of view! In other words, my children—the souls—in the Lake of Fire will indeed 'reap what they sow'—not more, not less, but exactly what they sowed during their former lives on earth. For example, if the soul was a serial rapist and killer, in this 'physical-dream-state' in the Lake of Fire, the soul will 'become' female victim #1, and he will live out that part of her life that will force him to experience receiving every detail of her ultimate torture, rape and murder by a man with his face—exactly as he inflicted it upon her when he was alive. Thus, he will not only “reap exactly what he sowed”, but he will literally reap what he sowed FROM HIS OWN HAND—from his own sinful nature—back onto himself in the Lake of Fire! (Galatians 6:6-8 NIV) So I myself don’t actually punish anyone in the Like of Fire. My children literally punish themselves in the exact way they punished others—physically, mentally and emotionally! I merely create the mechanism to allow this to happen. This is what I meant when I said in Galatians 6:7-8,
'Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man
reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please
his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.'
'The phrase, 'from that nature will reap destruction' means that his own nature and actions will literally come back to punish him in the Lake of Fire.
"Through this method of our design, murderers will experience being literally murdered by their own hand, wife beaters will be beaten by their own hand, rapists will be raped by their own 'selves', terrorists will be terrorized by their own hand, thieves will be robbed by their own hand, adulterers who break their wives hearts will be 'born' as the wife and have their hearts broken, drunkards who injure people in car accidents will in turn be injured in identical car accidents by drunkards with their own faces, false witnesses will be lied about in court, and Hitler will be murdered over and over while wearing a Jewish star and also be burnt in his own ovens over and over, etc. Of course, it may take many 'lifetimes' in the Lake of Fire to pay off all their sins in this manner.
"Furthermore, when a person commits acts of violence such as rape, torture or murder, he doesn’t just sow to the murdered victim, he also sows to the victim’s entire grieving family. So now my child—the soul—in the Lake of Fire has to 'become' the grieving son, daughter or spouse, etc., and live out each grieving family member’s emotional agony detail by detail, year after year, all while remaining just a living soul imprisoned in his own dead body in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
"Designing the Lake of Fire as we have allows us to easily balance the scales of justice beyond the grave. For instance, a serial killer of four known victims plus a dozen other victims that only the victims, the angels and I know about can only be executed once on earth, whereas in the Lake of Fire, I can execute him ever and over until he’s been executed one additional time for each of his additional victims. In addition, suppose the convicted murderer also committed 3 rapes, caused 5 fractures, 2 concussions, 3 stab wounds, and he blinded 2 people as well. I can program the living brain within my child’s dead body in the Lake of Fire to force my child to experience being raped 3 times, and experience receiving 5 fractures, 2 concussions, 3 stab wounds, and also be blinded twice.
"Thus designing the Lake of Fire the way we have provides us the power to create a system of perfect justice beyond the grave. And remember, it’s just “ONE-eye-for-an-eye”, not “a THOUSAND-eyes-for-an-eye”. So the punishment in the Lake of Fire does not go on forever, even though my children remain in the Lake of Fire forever. Clearly our “ONE-eye-for-an-eye-justice” is far more just and yet far more merciful than the normal Church doctrine of continually 'burning in hell' for all eternity.
"But now you may be wondering,
'What happens to my children in the Lake of Fire
after they have paid off all their sins (so to speak)
and are no longer being punished?'
"They continue to reap what they sowed back on earth, only now, after reaping all the bad they sowed, they now reap all the good they sowed. It is a totally merit-based afterlife. Let me give you an example.
"Suppose there was a female atheist back on earth who also happened to be the kindest, most loving, generous and wonderful person you can possibly imagine. Further suppose that she devoted her entire life to serve the poor in some impoverished country and that she organized a system to provide food for the hungry, clothing for the naked, shelter for the homeless, and medical care for the sick, thinking, 'Someone has got to help the poor, and since God does not exist, then I’ve got to do it.' Now imagine that her selfless dedication never allowed her the time to fall in love or to get married. She never smoked. She never did drugs. She never got drunk, and she died a virgin at age 22.
"Since she was so sweet and her life was so short, she wouldn’t have sowed a whole lot of evil during her life back on earth. Therefore, it might only take one short lifetime in the Lake of Fire to 'reap the minimal sin that she sowed' to pay off her own sins. And after reaping what little evil she sowed, she will now reap the good she sowed. Therefore, since she loved and served others over and over when she was alive, then when she is “born again” into her second, third, fourth, and all the never-ending additional 'physical-dream-state-lifetimes' in the Lake of Fire, I will make sure she is born as a queen over and over and over, and during each of her lifetimes, others will continually love her and serve her throughout an infinite number of lifetimes in the Lake of Fire for all eternity, all while remaining just a living soul in a dead body in the Lake of Fire. So after the inhabitants of the Lake of Fire reap the evil they sowed, then they will reap the good they sowed.
"But even the most 'fortunate' person in the Lake of Fire is still infinitely worse off than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is because, during their infinite number of physical-dream-state-lifetimes in the Lake of Fire, even the 'least sinful' in the Lake of Fire will still occasionally experience stress, anxiety, pain, disease, depression, tragedy, grief from loss of loved ones, aging, progressive disability, disease and death, just like you experienced while back on earth. But in the Lake of Fire, they will experience it over and over and over each new life as a living soul imprisoned within a dead body. This 'hellish' existence (as you might call it) would certainly produce occasional 'wailing and gnashing of teeth' as it says in Matthew 13:42,50, just as it did back on earth. Thus the Lake of Fire still involves eternal punishment—only the nature of the eternal punishment eventually improves dramatically at some point after the soul has finished 'reaping all the evil he has sown'.
"By the way, since the body in the Lake of Fire is dead, the only way one can have the metaphorical 'wailing and gnashing of teeth' is in a 'physical-dream-state' as I have described.
"So designing the Lake of Fire the way we have not only provides a system of perfect justice beyond the grave, but also creates a perfect merit-based afterlife for all those of our children who believe that their afterlife should be based upon merit alone and not based upon forgiveness and a personal relationship with me. It is an afterlife designed for all those who never recognized that, just like a loving parent would be willing to die in the place of their own child so their child could live another 70 years, that I myself would likewise be willing to die in the place of my children so my children could live another 70 trillion years. Therefore, the perfect symbol of the one, true religion would be my dying in the place of all my children—my crucifixion and resurrection. And those that missed the obvious symbolism of my love for my children and my desire to forgive them will spend eternity in a totally merit-based afterlife as a living soul in a dead body in the Lake of Fire eternally repeating the same merit-based afterlife that I have just described.
And THAT is why we (the Trinity) designed HELL and the LAKE of FIRE the way we did.