“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
You were not created for Hell. No one was. At least, no human. Hell was made for the devil and demons, and it is a place “prepared,” which means that it reflects design and effort as an anti-Heaven. Conversely, Heaven is also a place “prepared.” Jesus states: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
Adrian Rogers explains: “If you go to Hell, you’ll be an intruder. Hell was not prepared for you. It was prepared for the Devil and his angels. But if you choose to follow Satan, you’ll follow him to Hell.” (Five Minutes After Death: Luke 16:19-31, emphasis mine)
According to the Calvinistic, Westminster Confession of Faith: “III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.” (III. Of God’s Eternal Decree, emphasis mine)
If by the alleged “decree of God,” God foreordained any of mankind to Hell, then why didn’t He instead say: Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for [you]?
Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon, comments: “What does he say to those on the left? ‘Depart, ye cursed.’ He does not say, ‘ye cursed of my father, but, ye cursed.’ And what else does he say? ‘into everlasting fire, prepared’—(not for you, but)—‘for the devil and his angels.’ Do you see how it is guarded, here is the salvation side of the question. It is all of God. ‘Come, ye blessed of my father.’ It is a kingdom prepared for them. There you have election, free grace in all its length and breadth. But, on the other hand, you have nothing said about the father—nothing about that at all. ‘Depart, ye cursed.’ Even the flames are said not to be prepared for sinners, but for the devil and his angels. There is no language that I can possibly conceive that could more forcibly express this idea, supposing it to be the mind of the Holy Spirit, that the glory should be to God, and that the blame should be laid at man’s door.” (Jacob and Esau, emphasis mine)
Spurgeon adds: “My soul revolts at the idea of a doctrine that lays the blood of man’s soul at God’s door. I cannot conceive how any human mind, at least any Christian mind, can hold any such blasphemy as that.” (Jacob and Esau, emphasis mine)
Calvinist, John MacArthur, comments: “God never meant for hell to be for people. He made it for the devil and his angels. But people choose to go to hell by rejecting Christ. Some souls are suffering that torment right now, and have been waiting for their resurrected bodies for thousands of years. But even after they receive their transcendent bodies, they will be no closer to the end of eternal punishment than when they first entered hell. No wonder Jesus had to teach about hell!” (Hell-the Furnace of Fire)
Single Predestinationist Calvinists believe in the doctrine of Preterition, which teaches that while God may not actively create people for Hell, He simply leaves them out of His will for Heaven, and thus they perish. However, this leaves very little difference with the Double Predestinationists, because if God had eternally created a class of the Calvinistically elect, then it stands to reason that all of the rest would be as equally, eternally damned as any demon.
John Calvin explains: “Though the reprobate were appointed to death by God’s secret judgment before they were born, yet as long as life is being offered to them they are not reckoned Satan’s heirs and fellows; their perdition emerges from their unbelief, it is uncovered; and before it was hidden.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Matthew, Mark and Luke Vol. III, and James and Jude, p.118, emphasis mine)
When in doubt, the secret-will, always comes in handy. In other words, Hell was prepared for them! But, it’s a “secret”! While eternal life is offered to them (who of course are predestined to reject it), this alleged, eternal predetermination of making them “Satan’s heirs” is kept “hidden,” and uncovered only when they reject Christ. The problem with secret will theories is that they can be used to dismantle any Bible verse, and all that is offered for proof is mere speculation. Hence, the Double Predestinationists stand on the “secret” promises of God.
While the escape hatch for Calvinists may be a secret will, Calvinists respond that the escape hatch for Arminians is Foreknowledge. However, at least Foreknowledge is well established in the Bible as the basis for election (1st Peter 1:1-2), the basis for predestination (Romans 8:29) and the basis for the predetermined plans of God. (Acts 2:23) Can the Calvinist say the same for a secret will defense?
The more that I consider this, the only way that Calvinists can explain this verse is by invoking a Secret Will theory, that is, by the “Revealed Will,” Hell was not meant for mankind, but by the “Secret Will,” Hell was in fact created for the alleged, non-elect, because nothing happens without it being predestined, and besides, God gets glory from the non-elect spending eternity in Hell, in which the mere existence of Hell for the “non-elect” serves to magnify God’s grace toward the “elect.”
Calvinist, Vincent Cheung, writes: “One who thinks that God’s glory is not worth the death and suffering of billions of people has too high an opinion of himself and humanity.” (The Problem of Evil, p.10, emphasis mine)
That was never God’s purpose for humanity.
See here for additional discussion on this verse.