Satan is a talented artist who has painted the most devious masterpiece and has managed to pawn it off upon an unsuspecting Christian world as an original. This insidious painting is a picture of our heavenly Father. What makes this picture so wicked is that it is based not upon Father's image, but upon Satan's own image! Astonishingly, Satan has sold this masterpiece of deception to the Christian world, and by and large, the entire Christian world today worships a portrait of Father that is in actuality based upon Satan's character. It is a satanic masterpiece.
Satan has painted Father as a cruel and sadistic tyrant who makes Adolf Hitler look benevolent by comparison. He has painted Father as One who demands our servitude on pain of torture. But, not just any torture! The cruelest and most inhumane of all tortures: roasting alive in the fires of hell for eternity.
Have you ever stopped to imagine the horror of this imaginary eternal torture chamber? How can our puny minds grasp the horror of it? Have you ever burned your finger? If you have, you know how intense and severe that pain is. Satan has managed to convince the religious world that Father has an eternal torture chamber heated up and ready for any servant who messes up. And what a horrendously wicked torture chamber it is! Something this wicked could only have been conceived in the mind of purest evil.
Imagine a torture chamber far worse than any ever constructed by humans. This torture chamber is in constant action, 24x7, without even a split-second of relief. This constant torture is to endure not just years, not just decades, not just for centuries, not just for a millennium, but after a billion years have elapsed, it will have only just begun. It is a non-stop horror show that repeats throughout all the unceasing years of eternity. It is a torture far in excess of the crimes committed that the word "unjust" cannot begin to describe it. It is brutal, monstrous, savage, and utterly satanic! Even these words fail to portray the utter depravity of such a torture chamber. The wickedness of it is simply beyond human description.
Not even the most depraved of men have ever exhibited such a penchant for cruelty. And those humans who do torture others are regarded by us as the most vile, debased, immoral dregs of humanity. Anyone with a shred of humanity despises the beasts and bullies who torture others. And yet Satan would deceive Christians into believing that Father is a monster more cruel than Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot combined.
It has always been Satan's studied purpose to misrepresent Father's character. Why? Because Satan knows that most people will not trust a cruel tyrant as their king. After all, who can trust a god who tortures people for eternity? Such a god is frightening beyond belief-a monster of incalculable wickedness.
Would you ever desire to be friends with Hitler? In fact, would you ever wish to be friends with anyone who tortured others? Would you invite such a person into your home if you knew at that very moment they were planning to torture people? I would not want anyone like that near me. Such a person disgusts me to no end.
And yet, if we would never think of befriending such a scoundrel on this earth, how can we feel comfortable inviting into our hearts someone planning a roast far more sinister than Hitler's "final solution"? Why would anyone even consider befriending a god who tortures people for eternity?
This fake god who tortures others is the image that Satan wants you to see instead of a loving Father. However, the Bible paints a much different picture of Father. John 3:16 says:
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.
Every Christian knows this verse. There is no reason to be fooled by Satan's lie because the Bible states in unmistakable language that "eternal life" is exclusively for believers. What then happens to non-believers? They perish! Non-believers do not have "eternal life" in hell. They have the opposite of eternal life-eternal death. The Greek word for "perish" means "to destroy…abolish, to put an end to, ruin."
Father did not create us to exact continual and eternal pain upon us. That is Satan's desire for us. Satan has cast his attributes upon the painting of Father. Satan is the one who desires to torture people forever and ever. Satan is the one who causes eternal pain and eternal loss.
Satan will influence some of Father's created children to be lost, and Father will suffer their loss for all eternity. That is the only hell that lasts forever-the pain, the memories of those who might have been saved, but refused. The memory of those precious lost souls, the torture of losing loved ones, will live inside the Father's heart for all eternity. That is the unfathomable cost of sin.
Our adversary is well aware of the criticality of knowing Father, and so he does everything in his power to distort Father's character. If we believe Father is a wrath-filled, vengeful, unloving, cruel tyrant who tortures the wicked for all eternity in a slow-burning oven, how will we ever rise above that conception of God? If that is our picture of who God is, then it is impossible for love to emerge from our heart. Instead, we will be critical, judgmental, harsh, and cruel, just like the image of God that Satan has painted in our minds.
Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3) There is one central purpose in all of Scripture-to know God. It is critical, it is essential, it is life-eternal that we know God. Justice and punishment are consistent with a loving Father. However, an eternally burning hell is neither just punishment nor is it loving. It is totally inconsistent with the picture of Father presented in Scripture. It is time to shatter Satan's picture of Father and reveal to the world the true picture of Father found in Scripture. John summed up His character best when he simply said, "God is love." (1 John 4:8)