Your question has been asked by thousands, if not millions of people through the ages. I will say right up front that my answer may not satisfy your “human logic,” because Scripture doesn’t give us concrete answers to this question that we, with our finite minds, can understand. Yet we will consider some scriptures that should help us to see that God was justified in creating people, even if they end up in hell for all eternity.

First of all, let’s ponder your words, “destined for hell.” I was glad you went on to include that “we have free will,” for it is indeed man’s “free will” that determines his being in hell. In Deuteronomy 30:19 we read, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live” (NKJV). In this passage (see verses 15-19) God is speaking to the nation of Israel and giving them the choice to CHOOSE LIFE and not death. If their hearts turned away from God they would be “choosing death,” but if they loved and obeyed Him they would be “choosing life.” This is speaking of physical death and life, but the same principle holds true for spiritual death and life. Man is offered eternal life, yet many are “choosing death” by refusing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is their own free choice that condemns them to hell. Jesus said in John 5:40, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” And in John 8:24 He said, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” It is clear from these two verses that man is responsible to choose to believe in Christ as their Savior and if they choose NOT to believe on Him, they will perish (in hell) in their sins. So, it is indeed “their choice” that determines their destiny in hell.

Secondly, even though God knew when He created people that some would make a fatal choice and end up in hell, it was not His will (desire) that they would choose eternal death. 2nd Peter 3:9 tells us that God is, “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 1st Timothy 2:4 goes a step further and says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” It is true that God knows some people will go to hell, but this is NOT God’s desire.

Thirdly, God will take no pleasure in those who are cast into hell. In Ezekiel 33:11 we read, “As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Again, this passage is referring to the physical death of the wicked, but the same principle holds true concerning the wicked experiencing the “second death,” which is the “lake of fire.” God is not a sadist who derives pleasure from watching people suffer. The fact is God was willing to have His only begotten Son “suffer in our place” on the cross so we could escape hell and be brought into a relationship with Himself. This is borne out in 1st Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.”

Now you may be thinking, “You still haven’t answered my question…why did God create people knowing they would go to hell.” What I often sense from a question like this is that “God is NOT FAIR in creating people that will eventually end up in hell.” Here is where we must learn to “mistrust our human reasoning” and “trust in God’s wisdom and righteousness.” We may not be able to grasp this, but God’s choice to create people who will ultimately go to hell is rooted in His WISDOM and His wisdom is FAR ABOVE OURS! We have this truth brought out in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” When we try to comprehend why God would create people who will perish in hell, we are employing our puny intellects; we are using “finite minds” in trying to understand God’s “Infinite Mind.” This leads to us questioning God’s wisdom and concluding that GOD IS NOT FAIR. The apostle Paul had this “reasoning” in mind when he was inspired to write Romans 9:20-21, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”

God’s choice to create people who will go to hell in also rooted in His RIGHTEOUSNESS. God always does what is right; He was right in creating them, and He will be perfectly righteous in sending all who reject His Son as their Savior to hell. Because God is HOLY, He “hates sin” and must “punish sin.” When people stand before the Great White Throne to be judged and are cast into hell (see Revelation 20:11-15) there will not be one soul saying, “You have no right to condemn me to hell.” They will know that God offered them the free gift of eternal life (at such a cost to His beloved Son!) and they refused it (see John 3:18 & 36). Nor will anyone say, “You had no right to create me.” They will know that God created them for His glory (see Isaiah 43:7) and they refused to glorify Him (see Romans 1:18-23). I will end by quoting what Moses said regarding God’s righteousness, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). The obvious answer is: Yes, God will do what is right! He always has and He always will. (264.5) (DO)