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Old Apr 28, '12, 3:18 pm
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PeterGStanley PeterGStanley is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

There is a small fictional article on Final judgement written on the Crisis Magazine site that touches on this subject that some might find interesting.It may be fictional but but there are small truths in it.
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Old Apr 28, '12, 8:22 pm
Curious Convert Curious Convert is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

Originally Posted by BenedictFTW View Post
When you ask your question, you infer, I am sure without realising it, that you are kinder than God. If you were God, you infer, you would never be so mean as to throw someone into Hell, no matter what they did. To carry on that way of thinking, there would then be no need for Jesus to die on the Cross for our sins.
I am a fan of brutal honesty that is constructive so I can appreciate your comment. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that I wrote this thread in the first place. I want brutal honesty in my intimate relationship with God, not fluffy platitudes that make me feel good yet lack Scriptural/Traditional weight.

I am not God and He may very well have some great reasons that He hasn't yet disclosed to me... Nevertheless, even in my far from perfect little mind, I will admit that if I was God, I don't think I could actively sustain and prolong the existence of a sentient creature so that they could suffer forever with no hope of spiritual improvement or relief of agony. I don't know, maybe its the fact that I am a nurse who stares agonizing suffering in the face on a regular basis. I know that I don't deserve Jesus' grace. Still, I'm not going to lie to myself and pretend that I think that never-ending torture that could be stopped but isn't serves a noble purpose. Yes, God may have reasons that I don't know about. Yes, crime deserves punishment, but how many crimes do you think deserve the punishment of never-ending torture as opposed to the death penalty (annihilation)?

I think that many subconsciously feel that it would be sadistic for God to send people to hell just so that they could feel pain forever, so they tell themselves that God doesn't actively send people to hell and sustain their existence there, they send themselves there. Problem is, THAT ISN'T WHAT SCRIPTURE AND THE EARLY FATHERS SAID ABOUT THE MATTER!


Why not admit that Jesus teaches that God is the one who condemns to hell?

Why not admit that God resurrects the bodies the evil so that they go body and soul into the 'lake of fire?'

Why deny that God could annihilate a soul after it has suffered the punishment that it deserves if He wanted to?

Let's be honest with ourselves here...

I know that many saints have taught that one finite sin against against an infinite God deserves infinite punishment. This is very hard for me to accept. Maybe the only solution is for me to share this accept this belief in the deepest recesses of my soul... For the moment, I take refuge in the fact that I don't understand eternity, and God sure surprised us with the way that He worked out His first coming. It was not at all what people expected. Maybe that will happen again with the second coming/judgment.
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Old Apr 29, '12, 6:28 am
Shin Shin is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

'Mercy or compassion may be in a person in two ways: first by way of passion, secondly by way of choice.

In the blessed there will be no passion in the lower powers except as a result of the reason's choice.

Hence compassion or mercy will not be in them, except by the choice of reason . . . so long as sinners are in this world they are in such a state that without prejudice to the Divine justice they can be taken away from a state of unhappiness and sin to a state of happiness. Consequently it is possible to have compassion on them both by the choice of the will -- in which sense God, the angels and the blessed are said to pity them by desiring their salvation -- and by passion, in which way they are pitied by the good men who are in the state of wayfarers.

But in the future state it will be impossible for them to be taken away from their unhappiness: and consequently it will not be possible to pity their sufferings according to right reason. Therefore the blessed in glory will have no pity on the damned.'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'They are conformed so entirely to My will, that they cannot desire except what I desire, because their free-will is bound in the bond of love, in such a way that, time failing them, and, dying in a state of grace, they cannot sin any more. And their will is so united with Mine, that a father or a mother seeing their son, or a son seeing his father or his mother in Hell, do not trouble themselves, and even are contented to see them punished as My enemies. Wherefore in nothing do they disagree with Me, and their desires are all satisfied. The desire of the blessed is to see My honor in you wayfarers, who are pilgrims, forever running on towards the term of death. In their desire for My honor, they desire your salvation, and always pray to Me for you, which desire is fulfilled by Me, when you ignorant ones do not resist My mercy.'

God, to St. Catherine of Siena, 'The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin'

'In the darkness of Hell Your Mercy shines, for the damned do not receive the pains they deserve; with Your Mercy You temper Justice.'

St. Catherine of Siena

'When I beheld that vision in which I saw the magnitude of the stain of even one least sin against God, I know not why I did not die. I said: "I no longer marvel that hell is so horrible, since it was made for sin; for even hell (as I have seen it) I do not believe to be really proportionate to the dreadfulness of sin; on the contrary, it seems to me that even in hell God is very merciful, since I have beheld the terrible stain caused by but one venial sin. And what, in comparison to that, would be a mortal sin? And then so many mortal sins?"'

St. Catherine of Genoa

'A rock is hard, but a drop of water always falling upon a rock will wear it away. Iron is hard, but fire will burn it away. One only thing there is which no fire, not even the fire of hell, can burn away -- and that one thing is mortal sin. See first the difference betwist the fire of Earth and the fire of Hell. Take a spark out of the kitchen fire, drop it in a river, and it will go out directly. But the fire of hell is "kindled in God's wrath." Deut. xxxii. Take, then, one very little spark out of the fire of hell, less in size than a pin's head -- cast that spark of hell into the waters of the ocean. Would it go out? No, it would blaze out in the waters, and set them on fire, and in one moment the whole earth would be in a blaze and burnt to ashes. The fire of hell then is strong, but there is something stronger than the fire of hell, and that is mortal sin. Put a mortal sin into the very midst of the raging flames of hell. These flames burn above and below and on every side, and in the midst of mortal sin. Do these fierce flames burn it away? No; when the mortal sin shall have been in the midst of the burning flames for millions and millions of years, it will be just as hard, heavy, and black as it was at the beginning. What does this mean? I will tell you. A man dies, and there is in his dying heart the malice and the wilful intention of not going to Mass on Sunday, or of doing some immodest action. He is dead, and condemned to hell. In hell this evil intention remains in his heart just as on earth, and he would not give it up even to get out of the flames of hell. There is no repentance in hell. O sinner, there is a just and terrible God, who repays sin forthwith, with the blast of the spirit of his wrath; Ps. xvii. 7.'

- Fr. John Joseph Furniss, 'The Great Evil' [A book on how to appreciate how evil mortal sin is]
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Old Apr 29, '12, 6:33 am
Shin Shin is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

Our feelings are not properly ordered in this life, especially due to being born in original sin, and normally not raised in a Christian fashion, with Christian virtues.

Thus we feel things disorderedly, we feel desire for evils, and repulsion and goods, virtues look like vices, and vices like virtues.

This changes through the process of learning what virtues are, reading holy writings, and overcoming vices. What was formerly hateful, is no longer, and so it continues.

One of the virtues most particularly not appreciated in these times is the virtue of justice. We are not raised to appreciate it properly. So too, love of God. So too, hatred of sin, a true and proper horror of it.

We do not see clearly in this life.
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Old Apr 29, '12, 6:48 am
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Fragile Fragile is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

"Hail Mary full of grace, slap the devil in the face!"
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Old Apr 29, '12, 6:56 am
Shin Shin is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

A good Latin phrase too. . .
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Old Apr 29, '12, 7:59 am
GEddie GEddie is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

God is obviously not put off by situations that are hideous and seem cruel. The fact that He will consign us all to death is proof positive of that.

In a world where human death exists, Hell just makes sense. I have no problem at all with Hell.

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Old Apr 29, '12, 8:26 am
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Ben F Ben F is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

I guess I have to give my two cents worth. God is 100 percent merciful. He is also 100 percent just. Thatīs impossible? Not with God. Itīs a reality. During our lifetime, he is showing us His perfect mercy. Even unto His own suffering and death. After our life here, He will show us His justice. Justice is not necessarily punishment. Justice is basically what is fair. We deserve absence from God if we want that. It would be an unfair for God not to grant it to us. If my wife wants to love someone else, it would be selfish of me not to let her go. God is not kicking us out of the wedding feast in His parables. He is revealing to us, just how it will be in the end, out of His love for us. Please donīt go, because if you do you wonīt have me forever. But whatīs worse, I wonīt have you. With love like that, how can anyone refuse Him. Hell exists and if you donīt believe it, donīt worry. You will when you get there. God bless
My daughter and wife, and I.

If you keep my commandments, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
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Old Apr 29, '12, 7:14 pm
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

Hell is a mystery to me but I believe it.
Trinity is a mystery to me but I believe it.

I know God is Love. I know God desires all to go to heaven. I know Jesus, the Father's Son, suffered so all could go to heaven. I know that many people pray that all people go to heaven. I know that noone knowningly wants to go to hell. I know that God is all powerful and can do all things. I know that people do go to hell.

I cannot fit all this knowing into my little bitty mind and come up with an answer that satisfies me. I know a lot, but apparently don't know enough.

So my conclusion is, it is a mystery that I just have to accept, but a very important one that I better not forget.

Just an honest answer.
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Old Apr 30, '12, 12:31 am
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fisherman carl fisherman carl is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

I think most of us can understand the idea of being punished for a crime. *We wouldn't object to a murderer receiving life in prison for instance.

But when it comes to divine justice there are some things that are hard for us to imagine. *One is the concept of eternity. *Yet eternity is what we are talking about when we are talking about the divine.

Let us start with the natural. *Consider a naturalist who only believes in what the senses can observe. *What is his view of the afterlife? *His view is infinte death. *That is once you die that is it for all eternity. *So, here you do not exist for all eternity. *We live our short lives and then we die. *The end. *Yet this state of death continues for an infinty. *There is no way to bring people back from death. *The good and the bad have this same fate. *Yet the good that a person does may live on as well as the bad a person does may live on.

Now lets consider the Catholic view. *We die and then we each have our own particular judgment. *And after judgment we end up in one of 3 places. *Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. *The first 2 are permanent states while the last is a temporary state leading to heaven. *So ultimately we have 2 permanent states. *They are similar to the naturalist view of afterlife in the sense that they are permanent states. *

Most would not have a problem with heaven being a permanent state. *So I won't mention much about that. *The problem people have is with hell being a permanent state. *And I don't blame them. *Theologians have spent much time thinking about it.

So what is the deal? *We have an infinite punishment for a finite sin. *Does that seem fair? *No, not from that perspective. *Yet, lets think about this objectively. *Why do we punish? *Lets consider the case of a person who steals an item from a department store and gets caught. *Does he deserve punishment? *There is a wrong against the store. *Now he could return the item and reduce his punishment. *And he could be sorry he took the item. *The store owner could forgive him but he may still have to spend a few days in jail. Here justice has been served. *The criminal has learned his lesson and he has been released after serving his time.*

Now, what if the criminal was not sorry for his crime and he was only sorry he got caught? *Was justice served? *Lets say he plans to steal again as soon as he gets out of jail. *Did he learn his lesson? *No. *So did justice fail? *No. *Justice worked the same in both cases. *The difference is that the attitude or disposition of the criminal was different.

So, what have we learned? *The same temporal punishment may work to correct some people but on others it does not. *So to release them only allows them to commit the same crimes again. *This is why we see longer and longer prison times for repeat offenders. *At some point you may have to lock up certain offenders and throw away the key.

What is happening here? *The criminal's disposition is becoming more hardened to sin and crime. *He is becoming more permanent in his ways, like stone, if he rejects all atempts to help him.

Similarily, the criminal who is sorry and leaves his life of crime changes his disposition.**If he makes up for his past life by doing good he changes and becomes disposed to do more and more good. This disposition makes it as unlikely that a muderer would fly to Africa to feed starving children as it would be that Mother Theresa would rob a bank.

Now with death brings permanence of his disposition towards good or evil. *The body can change, has changing moods, and matures. *But after the body dies the soul has none of that. *It does not change its mind since it can not come to any new state then which it is already in. *The body can achieve new states of being which enables the soul to experience change through the body. *But the soul apart from the body experiences no change of mind once a decision has already been made. *When all the data is present it will make the same decision each time. *A body on the other hand can change how it feels.

So, let us consider 2 aspects of eternal punishment. *One is the eternal disposition of the soul and its inability to repent or change its disposition. *And, the second aspect is the eternal nature of God. *The two are related. *Since man was created in an eternal God's image he has an immortal soul. *That is he has a soul that has a beginning but no end.

Given these two factors the states of heaven and hell must be eternal. *The punishment in hell is not simply the result of a temporal disobedience since a temporal disobedience can be forgiven; but it is the result of an unchangeable sinful disposition that occurs at the end of this life. *Thus if one is in a perpetual state of sin he is therefore in a perpetual separation from God.

Finally, another aspect resulting from God's eternal nature is that the severity of punishment is eternal for a crime against an eternal God. *If I punched a bar patron my punishment may be a few days in jail. *But if I punched the president of the U.S. It becomes a higher offence with maybe a couple if years in prison. *This illustrates how the importance of the person wronged determines the severity of the punishment. *Thus an offence agsinst an eternal God requires an eternal punishment. *

This is why Jesus was required as a ransom for our sins. *We could never make up for our eternal offences against an eternal God. *We live finite lives. *And a finite life can not repay an infinite debt no matter how many good works it does. *However an eternal person could make up for an eternal offence. *Jesus being eternal could pay our eternal debt. *This is why we receive forgiveness as a gift through faith in Christ's redeeming work on the cross and not by our own efforts. *God's infinite mercy enables us to be redeemed while at the same time his infinte justice is satisfied through Christ's infinite sacrifice.
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Old Apr 30, '12, 4:35 am
Uzziah1 Uzziah1 is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

One of the things which happens in life is that those who are graced lose the perspective of the un-graced, and vice versa.. It becomes hard for us to understand God's justice.

This will be cured in the General Judgment, when the beauty and wonder of God's justice in response to the sins of all and the love of all will be made known to all with penetrating clarity.

The logic of God's response to the damned will not only be apparent, it will be beautiful.

To put things like that seems to lack humility, but, believe me, I am humble on this subject. In one of the Bible study groups which I have mentored, two of the ladies participating used to publicly pray for the imposition of God's justice on the world. I would always add, "But keep it far away from me!," to make the point that I am not so perfect as to not fear judgment. I believe in crawling to Heaven, shaking.
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Old Apr 30, '12, 5:06 am
Curious Convert Curious Convert is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

Thanks for all the replies. I still believe that both man and God have active roles in the damnation process because of what Jesus said. I also see that I have been going about this in a wrong and impious way. I am going to try to accept the mystery, knowing that the only reason I have trouble with this is because I am not yet fully aware of the gravity of sin.
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Old Apr 30, '12, 6:40 am
Jerry-Jet Jerry-Jet is offline
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Default Re: If it is true that "God doesn't send people to hell"...

Anyone who goes to Hell chooses to go there.

God loves us so much that if we choose to not want the greatest love of all times--His Son dying for us on the Cross--God LETS us go to Hell!


Because God is love and as the scripture says--"Love does not demand its own way".
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