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Q. How Can an Omnipresent God Be in Hell if that is Eternal Separation from God?


What does it mean to be omnipresent?

What does it mean to be separated from God?

Dear *****,

Here are some relevant texts to consider:

Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? 8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. (Ps. 139:7-8 NET).

For it is right for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to you who are being afflicted to give rest together with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. 8 With flaming fire he will mete out punishment on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will undergo the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength, (2 Thess. 1:6-9 NET)

On the next day Jesus wanted to set out for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 (Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.) 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also wrote about– Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!” (Jn. 1:43-49 NET)

Certainly the godly will give thanks to your name; the morally upright will live in your presence. (Ps. 140:13 NET)

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (Rev. 6:15-16 NAU)

So, *****, there is no question about the fact that sinners will not spend eternity in the presence of God. The issue is with our understanding of the word “omnipresent,” which is not a word found in the Bible. I would suggest that you consider a definition of “omnipresent” which conforms to what we clearly read in Scripture regarding unbelievers not being in God’s presence. I think a clue may be found in John 1:48-49.


Bob Deffinbaugh

Related Topics: Character of God

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