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Why did God create humankind if He knew they would fall and many would ultimately be condemned to hell?

By David Watson

What does the Bible say about God’s motive for creating us? He made us to have fellowship with Him. "Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness ... ’ " (Genesis 1:26, NIV).

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ " (Genesis 3:8,9).

As the hymn "In the Garden" says, "He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own." What a high calling to be God’s friend — to have fellowship with Him personally. He shows us insight into His very nature by the way He created all things. When He created the heaven and earth, He spoke them into existence saying, " ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). But when He came to man, the Bible says, "He formed man from the dust of the ground" (Genesis 2:7). In other words, by this action He shows us His desire to have personal fellowship with us. He touched us. He formed us with His love and longed for us to love Him — not by forced love, but by a genuine love. The result — He gave us a free will.

The picture is then developed further, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). First Timothy 2:3,4, also says, "God our Savior … wants all men to be saved." Here we see God’s desire from the very beginning was that "none should perish." But we also see that our friendship with God was to be genuine. There is a choice between friendship with God or friendship with the world.

So some might say, "How then can a loving God send anyone to hell?" The answer: God doesn’t send anyone to hell. People choose where they will spend eternity. Others might say, "Why did God make hell in the first place?" Matthew 25:41 says, "Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels."

God doesn’t cause us to be saved or lost — we choose. His desire from the very beginning was to be our friend — for eternity in Minneapolis.

David Watson, D.Min., former pastor of Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Mo, is an instructor at North Central Univeristy.

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