Hell is an actual creation of God as it is a real location. In the parable Jesus tells of the sheep and the goats, Jesus speaks these words of condemnation to the goats, who represent unbelievers – “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). So it is there in Scripture that Jesus not only teaches us that hell is a creation as it’s “prepared” by God, but also that Scripture reference teaches us who God prepared this awful place for – the devil and his angels.
Now, this is critically important to bear in mind, because this testifies to God’s love for this world! He didn’t create hell for the people who deserve it. Now, who deserves hell? The Bible says that we all deserve hell, every last one of us, because God’s requirement for heaven is righteousness or holiness, and none of us have such an attribute. We don’t have holiness on our own because we are born from sinful parents and are prone to sinful thoughts, words, and deeds throughout our life.
However, God in his grace and mercy provide us with what we lack, namely righteousness and holiness. Listen to this beautiful passage in the Bible, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Did you catch that? That we might become…, “The righteousness of God.” So God supplies what we lack through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. For he is the one who became our representation of sin in this life, which is why he died such a horrifying death, a death by crucifixion. It was there that God punished the entire world of all its sinfulness. Now, through faith in Jesus, God gifts to us the righteousness of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Savior!
But sadly, God’s not going to force people to leave this world with Jesus in their heart by faith. God sends the gift to all, but sadly, many, many people say back to God, “Thanks God, but no thanks.” And then they often become a Savior unto themselves, trusting in their own merits and works, saying things like, “I don’t need God in my life, nor do I need a crucified Savior to pay for any of my sins…, if God can’t accept me for who I am or what I’ve become then maybe that’s not a God that I wish to worship.” How sad! God gifts the world with righteousness through his Son; many reject his gift and say, “no thank you.”
You know, the Bible teaches us that God created hell for the devil and his angels, but that he created for us human beings a new heaven and a new earth. We read again in the Bible, “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).
This life, which has been wholly corrupted by sin, is filled with grief and sadness and many, many unintended consequences. God knows just how devastating sin is, which is why he sent all of us a Savior from this sinful world. The hell he created was never intended for us! It was intended for the devil and his angels. But you and me, the apple of God’s eye, he is recreating a perfect heaven and a new earth, one where the consequences of sin will no longer enter therein! All praise and glory and honor be to his name, for his grace and mercy in sharing that new heavens and new earth with us, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Blessings on your day and week!
Pastor Matthew P. DeNoyer