67. God will suffer for eternity the loss of those who have physically separated themselves from Him.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. {Isaiah 49:15-16}

When Christians talk about the end of the age, there’s always the mention of hell and eternal, conscious torment. Make no mistake about it: there will be eternal, conscious torment. But it will be borne only by the God who has suffered an infinite loss—the Death of many of His beloved children, the Death from which there is no resurrection, the extinction from which there is no return.

The picture of a god who would torture His creatures in flames of agony for eternity simply does not square with the picture of God in Scripture—the One who has engraved all of us on the palms of His hands, the One who begs and pleads with us to turn away from the destructive path we’re on, the One who says He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone.

If you have ever put a loved one into the ground, then you know the pain of separation, even if you also know it is only temporary and you have the hope of seeing them again. You also know that as between you and the loved one you put in the ground, it’s only you, the one left behind, who lives with the sting of that separation. The one in the ground knows nothing.

It’s not an accident that the first death mirrors the second death in this way. God, who loves His wicked children with an everlasting love, will forever be the One “left behind.” He will forever live with the sting of that separation, the loss of that relationship. If hell is eternal, conscious pain, then it’s God who’s going to be there.

If you want to dig deeper—
Ezekiel 18:31-32
Revelation 21:22-27
Revelation 22:14