John Piper Explains Why Hell is a Fitting Punishment for Unrepentant Sinners

Theologian John Piper appears at the Sing! Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on Aug. 20, 2019. | The Christian Post/Leah Klett

Theologian John Piper justified why Hell is a fitting punishment for unrepentant sinners, explaining that those who believe infinite punishment is “abhorrent” and “absurd” possess a “small” view of God. 

In a recent episode of his “Ask Pastor John” podcast posted on desiringGod.org, the pastor and Bible teacher replied to a woman who took issue with the concept of Hell.

“There is certainly great evil in the world, such as war, rape, murder, racism, oppression, etc. But the majority of the world doesn’t need God to see these things as evil or to make a positive change,” she said. “I certainly don’t see how someone innocent, dying a horrible death, somehow makes my wrongs right in the sight of God.”

Piper first acknowledged that millions of people don’t feel comfortable with the idea of Hell, adding: “Where God is small and man is big, Hell will be abhorrent — indeed absurd — and the cross will be foolishness.”

But most people’s conception of evil, Piper said, “can never be big enough to make sense of Hell or the cross of Christ,” because evil is defined “only in relation to what harms man, not what demeans God.”

Humans will “never understand the depth of our sinfulness without God telling us what the problem is, which He has very clearly,” the pastor said.

“We must learn it from the Bible,” he explained. “And what God has said is this: The essence of evil — what makes evil evil — is not harm done to man, but indignities done to God. Harm to man is horrible. But it is meant to be a vivid parable of the outrage of failing to honor God, failing to glorify God, failing to thank God as God.”

Piper posed a question to his listeners: “If God is of infinite value, infinite beauty, infinite greatness, with all of His perfections uniting in an infinitely satisfying panorama of personal beauty and glory, then of what is He worthy from the human soul?”

The essence of evil, said Piper, is loving, preferring, desiring, treasuring, and enjoying anything above God.

“It’s treason,” he said. “And since God is of infinite worth and beauty and greatness and honor — infinite — the failure to love and treasure and enjoy Him above all things is an infinite outrage, worthy of infinite punishment.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett