The bad “reputation” the God of the Bible is given, partially because he is credited for creating hell, is in my opinion totally undeserved. The fairness of the God of the Bible is made clear in the following quote from Ezechiel chapter 18. It relates clearly that each man is responsible for his own deeds and God wants all men to be saved. The first 12 verses of Ezechiel chapter 18 outlines how evil a particular father has been. Chapter 13, which we will begin the quote with, wraps up his last sin and God’s judgement on the evil he has done (this as in almost all of my quotes in this blog unless otherwise specified will be from the open source Douay Rheims version of the Holy Bible, the English translation which has been the translation accepted by the Catholic church for over 400 years since 1609 – the protestant King James version having been completed in 1611 under the auspices of king James I of England) :
That giveth upon usury, and that taketh and increase: shall such a one live? He shall not live. Seeing he has done all these detestable things, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him.
But if he beget a son, who, seeing all his father’s sins, which he hath done, is afraid, and shall not do like to them.
That hath not eaten upon the mountain, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Isreal, and hath not defiled his neighbor’s wife:
And Hath not grieved any man, nor withholden the pledge, nor taken away with violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and covered the naked with a garment:
That hath turned away his hand from injuring the poor, hath not taken usury and increase, but hath executed my judgments, and hath walked in my commandments: this man shall not die for the iniquity of his father, but living he shall live.
As for his father, because he oppressed and offered violence to his brother, and wrought evil in the midst of his people, behold he is dead in his own iniquity.
And you say: Why hath not the son born the iniquity of his father? Verily, because the son hath wrought judgment and justice, hath kept all my commandments, and done them, living, he shall live.
The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgement, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die.
I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live.
Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?
But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justice which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die.
And you have said: the way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?
For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die.
And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive.
Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die.
And the children of Israel say: The way of the Lord is not right. Are not my ways right, O house of Israel, and are not rather your ways perverse?
Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin.
Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart, and a new spirit: and why will you die, O house of Israel?
For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, return ye and live.
The bottom line, in this case, from this Bible quote is actually the bottom line, God built our universe so mankind could have the maximum chance to save his soul, based on what we see in it and our human nature. He gave us the opportunity to have free will, which our first parents seized in the garden of Eden, the ability to choose heaven or hell. Though God made man a sentient being independent of himself, with the capability of independent decision making (not just a puppet playing out a pre-arranged play but actually capable of independent thought and action) from the beginning, the half-truth of the devil’s lie that they would become like God in knowing not only the total exclusive good of the garden of Eden but evil as well caused their demise and quite possibly the devil and his angels.
God is all-just in addition to being all-good. Now in this part you have to stick with me and read until the end of this particular blog, because I can almost guarantee, that “the punch line” will be satisfying to both traditional Catholics and those that think God should punish people such as Hitler and that an all-good God would not create a place as awful as hell to last for an eternity. Except in one verse of the Old Testament that I know of in which in the minds of ancient Judaic culture attributed everything directly to God, all other references in the New Testament are non-specific as who the creator of hell is. Matthew 13: 41-42 says “The son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Revelations 21:6-8 says … Notice God says “I will give of the fountain of the water of life, freely.” By using the word “I” God is basically taking credit for the creation of the benefits of heaven but God says: for evil doers “… they shall have their portion of in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Nowhere in either of these quotes does God claim credit the punishment! The ultimate irony which I propose is the actual nature of hell is that the passage of time causes it to be just as our Lord described it (starting out just like heaven) without the repair of the wound of the original sin being healed taking place in the souls of those in hell (which all in heaven assent, in that their response to all Gods wishes for them is yes, through accepting His Son in His entirety along with all his commandments and dogmas in their entirety) or the constant environment with God’s love permeating their entire existence. This is because, in the way they lived, those in heaven gave their assent to everything God wanted for them and for them to follow; while those in hell either outright rejected God through sin, through pride decided to worship Him in a way not directed by him through his church and grace giving sacraments or once again through pride failed to seek Him/ignored Him.
Eventually, like in socialist countries (like the National Socialists – NAZIs in Germany) where men ruling feel their way is right without reference to God’s way of love , will lead to wars and eventually a world like that which would result from an atomic war in our world turning hell to a world similar to what might result from an atomic war, with radiation everywhere burning everybody and biological weapons like worms constantly infesting people. The scary part is that being unable to die and the physics of the next world which will allow those in heaven to live a life of unparalleled ecstasy and pleasure constantly, while the resulting mistakes of those in hell will make hell a place producing eternal pain, for which those in hell will only have themselves to blame. And to make it worse, as if what our Lord described is not bad enough, is that since they will all still be “rational”, their minds will continue to find worse and worse tortures to inflict on each other to push forward their unquenchable thirst to take revenge on each other, especially against those that caused them to be damned like the clergy with them who pushed heretical practices and dogma while they were alive. The result is that hell will get progressively worst and heaven will get progressively better and progressing in their perspective directions forever. This, I hope you can see, is a truly chilling view of the future eternity of those destined for hell and an unbelievably hopefully prospect for those destined for heaven. It is up to us. So consider loving God as you should (seeing and wanting to do his will), finding the Truth and the religion he completed by coming Himself to tell us what we need to do to be save. Men and women need to diligently work to discover that true religion, join it and not reject it out of pride.