by Lenny Esposito
Christianity teaches that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving. However, it also teaches that salvation is exclusively through Jesus and God "is not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance"(2 Pet. 3:9). If God has all knowledge, He would know that certain people will choose not to follow Him. Yet he creates these people anyway, resulting in many souls being lost. Why would He create such a world? Wouldn't He look through all possible worlds He could have created and chosen to create one where everyone is saved?
I have argued elsewhere that hell is a logical result of a person choosing not to follow Christ. So, the assertion shouldn't be stated "why does God send anyone to hell", but rather "why wouldn't God create a world where all people choose Him and are saved".
Now, we know that God created us with the freedom to choose His ways or our own ways1. People are condemned to hell because they reject the righteous ways of God and seek their own pleasures (ref: Rom. 3:12, Matt:7:14). William Lane Craig asserts this when he writes, "People who are damned are so because they willingly reject God's grace and ignore the solicitation of His Spirit."2
Logical Limitations of God
The assertion above, though, assumes that there could exist such a world where everyone is saved and that world would suit God's purposes. This isn't necessarily so.
God is omnipotent (all powerful), but it is well recognized that omnipotence does not include performing that which is logically contradictory. In other words, to ask if God can make a rock so big that He can't lift it is nonsense. It's not a lack of omnipotence.
Similarly, it may not be logically possible for God to create a world where a significant number of people exist, all people are given freedom of choice, and all people choose to be saved. Dr. Craig writes "For God's ability to actualize worlds containing free creatures will be limited by which counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are true in the moment logically prior to the divine decree."3 Since truly free people have the ability to reject God, there may be no possible world where everyone freely accepts Christ's atonement. If that is true, then it is illogical to demand that God make such a world that can't exist…
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