Doubts about Hell, suffering. Please Help!

I’m having doubts and am hoping that someone can help me.

I have recently read a lot of material about the lives of women in Muslim countries. To say the least, they are horrible. A while back I watched a documentary about North Korea and what it does to its people (tests biological and chemical weapons, imprisons and tortures, deprives them of freedom).

I am having trouble understanding why God does nothing to stop this. God loves us, Jesus died for us, but why doesn’t He do anything to help those innocent people who are suffering so terribly?

It’s easier if at least those people can go to Heaven afterwards…

But even this is not certain. That’s another thing I am having trouble with right now. God loves us so much, yet there exists Hell, which is essentially the worst torture one can imagine lasting for eternity. What if the people who are being experimented on in North Korea right now are sinners? What if they are sometimes full of hate, what if they have premarital sex? Are they all going to burn in Hell after their horrible lives come to an end?

I suppose one explanation is that people are in Hell because they want to be there. But this doesn’t make sense, because I can’t think of anyone who would want to be in Hell!

Maybe they want to fornicate, or lie, or be atheists or something… but I can’t imagine that anyone actually wants to go to Hell.

I don’t understand how an infinitely good and loving God would 1) tolerate all the horrible things that are done to innocent human beings, many of them children and 2) why these same human beings could very well be on their way to ETERNAL TORTURE because they did something like have premarital sex or used birth control or seriously disobeyed their parents.

(I’m not defending premarital sex or birth control or any other sin, but it just doesn’t seem fair to have ETERNAL punishment for something like that. Why can’t God just make it so that no one goes to Hell?)

[quote=Hermione]I’m having doubts and am hoping that someone can help me…]
Why can’t God just make it so that no one goes to Hell?
[/quote]

Ah, the good old theodicy problem. I asked myself the same questions, and there are several possible answers you probably do not want to hear.
The simplest answer of course is: God does not exist.

I think the whole focus on going to hell is overrated.

If one has to have the threat of hell hanging over one’s head in order to be good, then one’s motives are not about love but fear.

I love the Good News because it, properly received, brings overwhelming peace and intellectual and emotional freedom. People who obsess over whether they are going to hell, IMO, have not fully embraced the Good News and are motivated by fear of punishment – kind of like a trained rat.

Not to mention that God calls those whom He chooses, and justifies those he predestined. It would seem that if we are called, we are in good shape, whereas if we are not called we go to hell? Seems kind of silly in a way because if we are called and hear His voice then hell is not an issue; if we are not called why should we be punished?

That’s why I avoid the whole heaven/hell thing in terms of motivation. I try to learn how I can best live this life and frankly, to hell with hell. If I’m trying to do my best to please God and I wind up in hell, then afa I’m concerned God is a sadist.

Alan

I don’t understand. Does the Church teach that people are chosen and predestined?

…frankly, to hell with hell. If I’m trying to do my best to please God and I wind up in hell, then afa I’m concerned God is a sadist.

This is actually very good advice. Thank you :slight_smile:

divinemercysunday.com/vision.htm

olrl.org/doctrine/cry.shtmlCry of a lost soul.

People are in hell because they would hate to go to heaven. Why would they hate to go to heaven? Because they hate to obey God. People commit serious sins, and refuse to repent because they have convinced themselves that God is wrong and they are right when it comes to the sin. In heaven, they would have to obey God. But, this they cannot do, because because they have rejected God and His teachings.

It is kind of like if you wanted to watch a porno movie and Mother Theresa was still alive and she was in and out the living room cleaning up and preparing dinner. You would hate to have her around you while wou were watching the porno movie. Even though she loves you, she would make you very uncomfortable, even though she would not say a thing. People who have given in to sin and who refuse to repent would feel like that in heaven. They know they are opposing Jesus, yet they refuse to give up their sin. Thus, Jesus prepared a place for them called hell where they are free to sin.

From what I understand, Jesus still loves them. And this love of Jesus is described like a burning fire all through the scriptures. To those who love Jesus, this infinite love is wonderful beyond belief. To those who reject Jesus because they want to sin, this same love causes agonizing misery.

But, because those in hell In their pride refuse to repent and give up their sin, they never chose to go to heaven. They have chosen hell for eternity.

Also, evil is described as the absence of good. In hell, God the ultimate good is rejected, thus, only evil is left. Thus suffering.

You asked how God can tolerate all of the bad things that happen to people.

I am sure it pains God to see his people suffer so horribly. However, I believe suffering is a result of God giving us FREE WILL. Because of free will, people basically can do what they choose, and that can cause alot of suffering for others.

However, would you rather that none of us had free will?

Karen

It doesn’t make sense, Hermione.

When I was a Catholic, Hell was so real to me that it drove me to insanity, and I had a nice little stay at the psychiatry ward. The experience of seeing other severly mentally ill people changed me. Why do they suffer? “Oh, well, it’s the effect of Original Sin!” I responded, like an automaton.

Yeah, right.

I have a schizophrenic cousin. “Why do I have schiziophrenia?” he asks. “Well,” I respond, “a long time ago, in a garden far, far away, a couple of nudists, oblivious to the concept of good and evil, committed evil at the temping of a talking snake. Because they had committed evil, God decided to punish them and subject their bodies and those of their descendents to suffering and death. This is all very fair for the descendents. Trust me. And that, my cousin, is why you suffer so much.”

I would totally forgive him if he decided to beat the **** out of me.

clarkal

Who am I to question God’s justice, right?

I certainly don’t want to do this. (And I hope it’s not a sin!) But it really bothers me that apparently so many people - most people, in fact - go to Hell. I don’t think most people are evil enough to deserve eternal torture. (Frankly, I don’t think anyone is evil enough to deserve to be tortured for ETERNITY.)

olrl.org/doctrine/cry.shtml I read this story which claims to be an account of the life of a hell-bound soul. And this person wasn’t supremely evil. All I got from the story was that she was selfish, materialistic, and didn’t pray. Should such a person spend an infinite length of time being tortured by the fires of Hell? It just doesn’t seem fair to me. At this rate most of us are going to be burned for eternity.

An earlier poster said that people who are motivated by a fear of punishment are like trained rats. It’s pretty hard not to fear eternal torture that most of us will be subjected to.

[quote=SWTHRT]You asked how God can tolerate all of the bad things that happen to people.

I am sure it pains God to see his people suffer so horribly. However, I believe suffering is a result of God giving us FREE WILL. Because of free will, people basically can do what they choose, and that can cause alot of suffering for others.

However, would you rather that none of us had free will?

Karen
[/quote]

I don’t know, if it’s between not having free will when it comes to choosing sins and BEING TORTURED FOREVER IN THE FIRES OF HELL, I would rather God just took away my free will whenever I was tempted to sin.

As for the suffering of others, sometimes this argument makes sense to me. But it’s VERY hard to come to terms with when I read stories of suffering. I was reading many stories of terrible suffering that Muslim women experience throughout their lives. I saw a documentary that had former political prisoners of North Korea recount the horrors they witnessed and the tortures they were subjected to. I read things about famines and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union, I read things about forced prostitution of women and children, and many other horrors that human beings perpetrate against one another.

This is so horrible and so pointless. What’s the use in the suffering of a 10 year old child as he and his parents are put into a glass chamber and subjected to chemical weapons tests? (This is done in North Korea.) What’s the use in the suffering of a young woman who is hanged upside down while her husband beats her, pokes out her eyes, cuts off her ears etc. because he suspects her of having committed adultery (an actual story I read about a crime in Pakistan)?

This is horrible. And to top all that off, what if all those people who are suffering in those terrible ways end up going to Hell? They’re certainly not going to Church, confession, etc. Many of them (especially those in the repressive North Korea) probably don’t have any sort of faith at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if many Muslim women hate God because they think He is the source of their suffering (after all, wife beating, repression etc. are all justified by Islam).

Why doesn’t God do something? Or give us the power to do something? If I could, I would rescue all those people, but I can’t.

God can, why doesn’t He? This is really troubling to me.

[quote=Hermione]I don’t know, if it’s between not having free will when it comes to choosing sins and BEING TORTURED FOREVER IN THE FIRES OF HELL, I would rather God just took away my free will whenever I was tempted to sin.
[/quote]

Besides, if the choice of a certain option is severly punished, the choice can hardly be called free.

[quote=Hermione]I don’t know, if it’s between not having free will when it comes to choosing sins and BEING TORTURED FOREVER IN THE FIRES OF HELL, I would rather God just took away my free will whenever I was tempted to sin.

For that matter, I would rather not exist at all than go to Hell. Wouldn’t you?
[/quote]

And if you get the response that it’s sure better to exist than not to exist, just bring up what Jesus said about how it would have been better for Judas not to have been born at all.

[quote=AnAtheist]Ah, the good old theodicy problem. I asked myself the same questions, and there are several possible answers you probably do not want to hear.
The simplest answer of course is: God does not exist.
[/quote]

Hi Anatheist. You are right,to you God does not exist because you believe that a God would not create a Hell. The truth is that God did create a hell so that everyone could use their freewill.Hell is for those who reject Gods mercy.They will reap His just wrath. :eek: Whether you believe it or not ALL will come before the Lord for judgement. You will be judged according to His Law. Those that are guilty will recieve their just sentence.As for Me I have someone who has paid the price for my sins.Praise God. His name is JESUS CHRIST. God Bless

[quote=AnAtheist]Besides, if the choice of a certain option is severly punished, the choice can hardly be called free.
[/quote]

The choice is still yours. The threat of punishment certainly doesn’t stop some people from choosing evil over good or, in your case, nothing over good. Perhaps for others, it’s a buy-now-pay-later proposition.

The bottom line is, God made sure that His people knew the stakes. And His mercy ensures that, no matter how often one has chosen evil (or nothing) over good, there is still time to avail oneself of His blessings.

The problem is, only He knows when you will be called out of this life to account for your time on Earth.

God did not create hell, hell is the state of permanent, deliberately chosen separation from the presence and love of God. sin, freely chosen in defiance of God’s goodness, justice and mercy, causes hell. God gives free will to everyone, therefore even those to whom the blessing of hearing the Gospel has not been granted on earth, He will give the knowledge, in the time and place chosen by Him, necessary to make that free will choice. The ones should should fear are not those who have the power to kill, but those who have the power to cast into hell, that is, those who deny God.

[quote=puzzleannie]God did not create hell, hell is the state of permanent, deliberately chosen separation from the presence and love of God. sin, freely chosen in defiance of God’s goodness, justice and mercy, causes hell. God gives free will to everyone, therefore even those to whom the blessing of hearing the Gospel has not been granted on earth, He will give the knowledge, in the time and place chosen by Him, necessary to make that free will choice. The ones should should fear are not those who have the power to kill, but those who have the power to cast into hell, that is, those who deny God.
[/quote]

Hi Puzzleannie. Check out these verses. Psalm55;15,Matt5 ;22-29 10;28 18;9 James 3;6
Rev1;18. :thumbsup: God Bless

[quote=STJOMO]The choice is still yours.
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It’s your choice. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

[quote=STJOMO]The choice is still yours.
[/quote]

Imagine that you’re at an ice cream shop. They have a dozen different flavors of ice cream. However, the guy who owns the place has a standing policy of shooting anyone who orders any flavor except vanilla in the head.

Would anyone seriously argue that he is offering his customers a free choice?

[quote=SamCA]Imagine that you’re at an ice cream shop. They have a dozen different flavors of ice cream. However, the guy who owns the place has a standing policy of shooting anyone who orders any flavor except vanilla in the head.

Would anyone seriously argue that he is offering his customers a free choice?
[/quote]

i’m not sure i understand your point.

i mean, by this logic no one would ever do anything they believed would send them to hell…

on the other hand, since people do make those kinds of choices, and do so in spite of their belief that they will suffer eternally for having done so should they be unexpectedly called to account for them, i would say that the force of your example is to make it obvious that such choices are about as free as you can get…

And, you think anybody with half a brain would go into that shop?

If you’re going to venture into analogies, try something analagous.

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