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Kids ask their questions of Peter Harris
A Scripture Teacher in Perth government schools.
That's me to the right of this page - in my wheelie-chair maybe at your school.
Here is the most recent childs question asked of their Scripture Teacher Mr. Peter Harris.
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Q 276. If God is everywhere, is He in hell?
Well, this is a most difficult question to answer but I’ll do my best.
For starters it is a bit like searching God’s mind and His methods-is it right to do that?
I really am not sure!
My Webster Universal Dictionary,1968 P.967 has three words and God is mentioned in all three: Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. The Bible speaks of God in Revelation (a vision of a future heaven):”…the voice of a great multitude saying: ”Allelula: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” (Rev.19:7 KJV) In the explanation of the words the dictionary says:
Omnipotent: The Almighty God.
Omniscient: Possessing infinite knowledge,all knowing, as God.
Omnipresent: Present in all places at the same time,as God.
Those are three big important words and most Christians believe that they apply to God. Nobody else can be omnipresent. They cause me to believe that God really is everywhere, or His angels are. Four times in my 82 years a voice has spoken a single sentence (like with headphones) to me about something God wanted me to know. One of them ‘Told me off’ - and I did not ask for any of them! I believe it was one of God’s angels – or “...ministering spirits…’ (Heb.1:14 ) that spoke the message to me. Angels and ‘ministering spirits’ are mentioned very often in Scripture. King David mentioned them often in the Psalms.
So we know for sure that God is omnipotent and our human, really quite small, understanding of God, stops us from knowing all about God. (If we knew everything it may be not good for us.) John begins The Gospel of John with these words: “He created everything, there is nothing exists that He didn’t make.” (John.1:3 TLB)
So God must have created hell – maybe as a prison or gaol.
Jesus mentioned it in the ‘Judgement Day’ scene saying: “…away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons.” (Matthew 25:41 TLB) So, I sort of assume that hell (eternal fire) is God’s creation, His property, and is there for the rebels. So God must have created hell - those who care nothing for God and deserve punishment. God gave us a choice - to do good or bad. People who choose to hurt or abuse: “...my little ones,” defenceless children, will get God’s worst punishment and I would not want to even look at them, ever! (Matthew 18:6) I believe that teenagers too come into the word ‘children’.
But, what if you love God, or have loved Him - but ‘Lapsed’ (stopped regular prayer and being in touch with a good church) as several people have told me they are. Do they get sent to the fire and brimstone place? I will not say “Yes” or “No.” Because that is ‘Judging others’ and that is NOT for me to do!
So -‘Is God in hell?’ I think not.
“Why?” The prophet Habakkuk writes of God: “Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil….”(Habakkuk 1:13a NIV). I am quite sure He knows all about it but He hates evil - and hell is full of evil so I guess God declines to go there and I would think that he uses his zillions of angels to keep Him informed about everything.
The Catholic Church believe that there is an ‘in between place’ called Purgatory. See http://www.catholic.com/ for more if you want to. Most Protestants do not agree with it. It is a place that is not heaven and not hell and maybe God is there - watching - or having angels “…bring Him reports on how people are going”.
Got extra questions?
BUT - a really good thing you can do is to read the Scriptures (Bible) and get to know what it says. That is quite a big job. Maybe you could start with the Book of Mark in the new Testament. Then another short one, but a good one is James. Then get some good advise from the wisest person who has ever lived: King Solomon ~ by reading his book of Proverbs. Check these out at www.bible.org