Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hell's Revulsion from Genesis 3

"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The concept of hell is so disgusting to us, the idea that for a mere finite amount of time on the earth we would be faced with eternal agony on account of a handful of sins is so wretched we never talk about it. You don't hear it in church. But look for a moment at the origin of this disgust for hell, it is plainly obvious in here, God tells us the consequence of eating the fruit would be thus: we would be like God.
We think ourselves good. We think we are holy. We wonder how anyone would dare go over our heads and punish us with hell when we would never punish ourselves. 'God, that is clearly not what I would do. And since I am the most important thing in creation, you need to obey. I go where I want, when I want.'
Is not absolute will the way God thinks of Himself? We certinally did acquire a knack for being like God in thought when Adam sinned in the garden, but all it has really amounted to is unbounded and infinite hubris.

Once we threw away the nature God gave us, once we rejected Him, we ejected Him from ourselves. Since He is all goodness, all love, all kindness, the source of all life, what kind of life do we have when we reject that? Worse, what if we are left with his secondary attributes (ie how God thinks of Himself) after kicking out his primary ones? Is it not a wonder that all we do are as filthy rags? Isaiah 64. Is it then not a wonder we warrant hell if the only thing good in us is what God forces into us? Ezra 7:27. Should hell surprise us when we try to destroy God as fast as possible? If it does it shouldn't. Perhaps a better approach is to ask who is man (and we know how greedy evil and sinful we can be) that you are mindful of me?

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