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Martin Downes points us to these brief video clips by Don Carson (produced for A Passion for Life in the UK) answering three common questions:

  1. How do I know God exists?
  2. How can God allow suffering and evil in the world?
  3. How can God be loving and yet send people to Hell?

How do I know God exists?

How do I know God exists? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

How can God allow suffering and evil in the world?

How can God allow suffering and evil in the world? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

How can God be loving and yet send people to Hell?

How can God be loving yet send people to hell? from A Passion for Life on Vimeo.

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18 thoughts on “The Existence of God, the Reality of Evil, and the Terror of Hell”

  1. Hill?

    Aitch eye double-toothpicks?

    1. victor says:

      Chris, the Rich man did not ask for forgiveness. What he did was ask for water not Jesus. This demonstrates that he did not want the punishment of hell for sure, but he did not want to be with God.

    2. victor says:

      Furthermore Chris, the Biblical case for why we know people do not want to repent in hell is because people do not want to repent now. They do not seek after God in this life as they should, so when they end up in Hell their unregenerate state is solidified.

      Also no one can ever repent without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible never gives any indication that his Spirit is regenerating the lost in hell.

      1. Christopher says:

        The Piper article was very helpful. He articulated better than I could my thoughts. Victor, your comments were also helpful. I had never observed that before about him not desiring to repent, but instead wanting water. Thus those who are in Hell do not want Hell (Piper) but those who are in Hell also cannot repent (nor see their need for repentance?). Thanks everyone!

  2. Christopher says:

    Regarding the hell video: D.A. Carson says that there is no evidence of anyone in hell desiring to repent. But what about the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)? That story has always stood out to me as against the interpretation of “everyone who is in hell doesn’t want to be in heaven.” From that parable, I feel like people in hell are regretful and remorseful of their state but are unable there to do anything about it because of the “great and fixed chasm” (Luke 16:36). (I reject the interpretation that “he’s still selfish and only interested in his family” because I think it’s reading too much into the text and making a point Jesus wasn’t intending to make.)

  3. Christopher says:

    Edit above: Luke 16:26 is the reference for the “great and fixed chasm.”

  4. T.C. R says:

    Interesting, since I just quote John Piper on Hell here

  5. Ephrem Hagos says:


    An excellent question, anticipated and addressed by the LORD with a direct and universally applicable answer excelling the question by his active and LIVE self-revelation!

    The answer is exactly what God promised in a key term of the “new covenant” saying, “None of them will have to teach his fellow-countryman to know the LORD, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the LORD, have spoken” (Jer. 31:34); and in the seal of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross properly understood (Matt. 26: 26-29 ff).

    To know God firsthand and personally in his self-revelation, therefore, it is sufficient to examine very carefully the cause and effect in the perfect and diacritical death of Jesus Christ on the cross; and “to look at him whom they pierced” (John 10: 17-18, 37-39; 19: 30-37 with parallel passages in the synoptic gospels). It worked for me! (

  6. Ephrem Hagos says:


    In view of the close parallels between, on the one hand, the “tree of life”, the “tree of knowledge” and associated freedoms of choice and contrasting consequences (Gen. 2: 8-17); and, on the other hand, the “cross of Christ” and Christian theology, respectively, the question is as invalid as asking why did God pronounce judgment on the snake, Eve and Adam (Gen. 3: 14-24)!

    The Christian world is, in fact, primarily responsible for all the suffering and evil in the world because of its opposition to the reopening of the way to Paradise since the perfect and diacritical death of Jesus Christ on the cross (Luke 23:43).

  7. Ephrem Hagos says:


    For a complete answer see: John 3: 14-21

    14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.*
    16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
    18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.*”

    In short, God has re-opened the way to the “Tree of life” in Paradise (Luke 23:43) but cannot stop people who choose to go to hell!

    1. Michael Hallas says:

      1 Peter 2:7-10

      7So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

      “The stone that the builders rejected
      has become the cornerstone,”


      “A stone of stumbling,
      and a rock of offense.”

      They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

      9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

      The elect are chosen before the foundations of the world to go to heaven and those non-elect are destined to go to hell.

  8. “When I don’t have all the answers I can still return to the cross”

    Amen brother!

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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