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Hell and freedom.


We like to believe our choices are significant and even to say that they have consequences, which is another way of saying that we are free. But we are averse to the idea of a final judgment, an ultimate reckoning of responsibility. And we are especially averse to the idea of hell. The irony is that it is hell that supports all the rest, for heaven alone would not suffice. It is the existence of hell, the reality of a final consequence for a lifetime of decisions, the reality that a person really can choose to be apart from God over a lifetime and have it honored in eternity, that gives each decision of our lifetime consequence and therefore meaning.

To say that there is no final reckoning of responsibility for a lifetime of decisions is to say that decisions don’t matter. And if decisions don’t matter, what has happened to our freedom? The ultimate futility is being able to decide anything and yet have nothing matter. It is worse than being locked in a dungeon; it is like being locked in a dungeon that is a vast maze. Endless choices, and none of them matter. Better to have no choices than endless choices without significance or meaning.

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