This is a question I was pondering over the summer that goes along with what we are currently talking about in class. It seems if one is going to say that "God" (or how ever you wish to call this supreme being) is all knowing, all powerful, and at the same time wholly compassionate and forgiving, you have to give up the ideas of freewill and hell. The reason being is if you live a life that would be considered worthy of going to hell, God would have known this before you even existed, and there would be nothing you could do about this because your liefs course has already been laid out. One could try and argue that God is only wholly compassionate if you ask for forgiveness, but what does this solve if from before you had even existed God knew if you were going to do this or not.
In order to fit our best interests of free will and punishment would we not have to surrender the idea that God knows everything? You can still grant this being with the ability to know much of what will happen in the universe, but if God does not know exactly when you will ask for forgiveness, or even if that is what you will do, it then allows him to act on your actions. There is a problem with this line of thought as well, because it would have to be determined how much God could and could not know to be able to make just decisions about our lives. For example if he knew everything except weather or not you were going to use SPF 30 or 29 on Augusts 27, 2010 at 12:00, it seems he knows to much about what will happen in your life to grant you freewill. The solution to this problem would be to put God on Jeopardy and find out how much he knows... I'm kidding of course.
Another argument seems to be that if God is truly and completely compassionate and forgiving one would not have to ask for forgiveness, but I will let the responders to this blog post fight that one out.