It all depends on who you ask.
And to make matters more interesting, there are some who don’t believe in hell, and still others who are annihilationists–believing hell to have an expiration date.
But to describe hell as a form of tough love is another story. Let’s say you hold to that version of hell, which says, eternal, conscious torment in the lake of fire–how can such a place be tough love?
At this point, we need to define love.
Whatever we believe about love, for it to truly be love, I think it ought to be redemptive and restorative in its aim.
If not, then call it something else. Don’t call it love.
Also, when defining love, we often say love is freedom; that is, it respects the choices of others. If we then hold to this nuance of love, should we be compelled to lend credence to C.S. Lewis’ famous quote?
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”—The Great Divorce
Is C.S. Lewis correct?
When our kids do something wrong, out of love, we discipline them, hoping that they will not repeat the wrong, but actually do what is right. We refer to this as tough love.
Come to think about it, God sending sinners to hell cannot be termed tough love. Let’s not call it tough love.
Let’s call it something else.