Go to Hell - Stay there forever


#221

Unless/until you counter my argument, you are not justified in your position. I ask again, when you love God, do you do so infinitely because he is infinite? The answer is plainly no. You cannot love infinitely, since you are finite. The reverse is also true. You cannot offend infinitely, since you are finite. There is nothing you can do, which would be infinite in nature or extent. God is infinite, quite right. But you and your actions are very far from infinity. To issue an unending sentence (Hell) for any set of finite crimes is the very essence of injustice. Since none of your actions are ever infinite, an infinite sentence could never justly follow from your actions. When a child steals a pencil, he does not get capital punishment as a consequence. Why? Because the punishment must be proportionate to the crime. An everlasting punishment of torment and suffering is disproportionate to any and all offenses you could ever commit. As I said, we on Earth would never even consider punishing someone until the end of time. And yet, we want to believe that the justice of God demands this? As I said, it seems that an almost morbid pathology would be required for someone to be ok with the idea of the God of love condemning
someone forever for their finite offenses.

Nope, I’m proposing that all Christians everywhere should hope, pray and work for the salvation of all, as that is quite clearly God’s desire (1 Tim 2:4). And, just to be clear, universalism is likely a more “unanimous” teaching of the whole church going back to the beginning and up to now than infernalism is. Infernalism seems confined to the church of the West, from St Augustine on through scholasticism. Outside of that limited context, the church has not spoke with a unified voice on this issue. But, you are welcome to try to point out otherwise… Who are the great proponents of infernalism among the Church Fathers? Among the East? Among the church of the modern and contemporary eras? Who?


#222

I agree, our capacity to love is finite. However, the thing which gives an offense its severity is the not the person committing the offense, it is the offended party. In the case of sin, God is the offended party, and so the offense is infinite in degree, as explained above.

If the source of severity of an offense came from the person committing the offense, I would agree with you, but it does not, and so you are wrong.

As St. Auinas puts it in the Summa:

God respects our choices, and He does not condemn us. I don’t know how many times that’s been said here, but you really need to come to terms with that fact. Every soul in Hell is there by choice. God will not force His love on us if we do not want to accept it.

You’re not going to accept that fact, it seems, so you will never be able to come to terms with reality. I understand why you cry out against what you perceive we are saying, but you are mistaken in your understanding. What you seem to see in our writings is a vindictive God punishing people for their transgressions. What we are trying to relate to you is the God who, though He does not will it, allows a soul to be cut off from Him by their own free choices.

And to be clear, I am not okay with it. I HATE it. I have many friends and family members that are far from God, and it kills me inside to think that I might be separated from them for all eternity. But the fact that I don’t like it doesn’t change the objective reality of the situation.

I don’t disagree with this, at all. You need to understand that.

However, hoping for the salvation of all, and praying for the salvation of sinners, doesn’t actually mean that everyone will be saved. Jesus tells us quite plainly that the road to salvation is hard, and to pretend otherwise to make people feel better is folly.

Yeah… no, this is patently false. Universalism, also known as apokatastasis, has been routinely denounced by the Church since Origen first came up with it.


#223

The problem is tha you are confusing yourself. If you did you homework you will know that Pope Gregory the Great gives the answer. A man is finite, and he sins for a finite time as a man until death. Yet as the nature of a man’s heart is set when he dies, his salvation is eternal if he dies in the state of grace. Likewise, the punishment is eternal if he dies in the state of state mortal sin. God is eternal, thus union with Him is eternal, just as separation from Him in hell is eternal.

Question: Do you think Satan and all the fallen angels are eternally separated from God in hell? If so, why?


#224

Just for the record, I’m a huge fan of St Thomas Aquinas. In fact, I do consider myself a little Thomist. I follow his theology as closely as I can. But, on this issue of Hell, St Thomas merely follows the Augustinian notion of mass damnata/Hell-is-full. I can’t blame him though. St Augustine looms large over the entire middle ages.

So, I tried to look up the quote above, but I couldn’t find it. Can you clarify the source? On New Advent’s ST, I went to the 1st part of the 2nd part, Q. 87, A. 4, where Aquinas deals with the debt of punishment. Is that the right location? I don’t see your precise quote in this location, but maybe I’m missing it for some reason. However, attending to what St. Thomas has written in Q. 87, he is, as usual, subtle and bordering on genius in his treatment of the subject.

In A. 3, St Thomas writes, “Reply to Objection 1. Punishment is proportionate to sin in point of severity, both in Divine and in human judgments.” I agree completely.

In A. 4, he writes, " I answer that, Punishment is proportionate to sin. Now sin comprises two things. First, there is the turning away from the immutable good, which is infinite, wherefore, in this respect, sin is infinite. Secondly, there is the inordinate turning to mutable good. In this respect sin is finite, both because the mutable good itself is finite, and because the movement of turning towards it is finite, since the acts of a creature cannot be infinite. Accordingly, in so far as sin consists in turning away from something, its corresponding punishment is the “pain of loss,” which also is infinite, because it is the loss of the infinite good, i.e. God. But in so far as sin turns inordinately to something, its corresponding punishment is the “pain of sense,” which is also finite."

If I understand St Thomas here, I think I agree with him. The sense in which he is claiming an “infinity” as regards the punishment, he means that God is the Good, which is infinite, so to turn away from the Good, in that respect alone, the sin is “infinite.” He then goes on to discuss the sins I was referring to–an inordinate turning to some mutable (finite) goods. To turn away from the Good would bring an “infinite” pain of loss, as you have lost the ultimate Good (God). If this is all that is meant by claiming a sense of infinity of the punishment, I can accept that. But, this cannot be a strict understanding of infinity. This is almost metaphorical. To turn away from the infinite Good would give one a sense of an infinite “pain of loss,” because of the type of thing lost–infinite Good. But, it wouldn’t follow that, strictly speaking, it is an actually infinite pain of loss.


#225

From the creed, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…” Christ is the judge. There is no getting around that. You want to say, I suppose, that he is merely imposing the sentence that we, through our freedom, have earned for ourselves. But even given that, He is the one doing the judging. All infernalists love to from quote Matt 25 and Revelation. Matt 25 has the Son of Man saying, “to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The Son of Man is sending these off, according to a plain reading of the text.
“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.” Rev. 20:15. Not, they waded themselves into the pool through their own freedom. Rather, they were “thrown into” the lake. Who does the throwing? The Judge, no doubt. I don’t quite understand how this isn’t an example of a judge punishing someone. I don’t read Matt 25 as end-times eschatology. I rather read it as a serious admonition to each of us that we are required to help the vulnerable and disadvantaged. It’s serious business, just as serious as plucking out one’s eye if it causes you to sin. However, for those who do read Matt 25 as eschatology, I don’t see how you get around the charge that the Son of Man is the one sending away the accursed into the lake of fire… It is a punishment for their behavior…


#226

I already addressed this with Gab123 above. Here is what I said. Feel free to offer historical counter-examples to undermine my claims.

"Here’s what happened—the emperorJustinian was not impressed by the particular apokatastasis of Origen. He wrote several anathemas that he wanted the council fathers at Constantinople II to adopt—he wanted the force of an ecumenical council behind his condemnations of the particular teachings of Origen on this issue. However, as Norman Tanner notes in his introduction to Const II in his Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, “Our edition does not include the text of the anathemas against Origen since recent studies have shown that these anathemas cannot be attributed to this council,” (pp. 105-106).

Pointing out the anathemas against Origen and trying to claim that these are united to an ecumenical council is what folks normally do when looking for an authoritative witness in favor of rejecting a belief of the salvation of all. But unless you can provide an actual example, my claim stands. The Church Fathers were profoundly universalist and firmly within a camp that would have God’s love win all, in the end (see Dare We Hope for an abundance of references and quotes)."

For your reference, here are some profoundly influential patristics who were beyond doubt universalists of one stripe or another: Maximus the Confessor, Gregory of Nyssa, Origen, Clement, Gregory Nazianzen. Besides Justinian and Const II, please let me know which ecumenical councils have condemned all forms of apokatastasis and universalism. I’m no PhD in history, I freely admit I might be missing something. But, your claim is a strong one, so back it up with evidence.


#227

GOD ALWAYS THE FIRST CAUSE OF OUR WILLING AND CHOOSING

We must make it very clear, our free wills are AIDED GIFT OF GOD, NOT an unaided gift of God and our free wills are NOT INDEPENDENT from God’s will.

Our willing and choosing ALWAYS depends on God’s will, what God wills for us, that is what we freely choose without any force.

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308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator.
God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
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St. Thomas also teaches that all movements of will and choice must be traced to the divine will: and not to any other cause, because Gad alone is the cause of our willing and choosing. CG, 3.91.
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CCC 2022; “The divine initiative in the work of grace PRECEDES, PREPARES , and ELICITS the free response of man. …”

In other words, when God commands, He capacities the hearer to respond.
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Our cooperation with the grace of God is produced (not just enabled) by God’s operation.

Aquinas said, “God changes the will without forcing it.
But he can change the will from the fact that He himself operates in the will as He does in nature,” De Veritatis 22:9.

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ST. AUGUSTINE ON GRACE AND PREDESTINATION

De gratia Christi 25, 26:
For not only has God given us our ability and helps it, but He even works [brings about] willing and acting in us; not that we do not will or that we do not act, but that without His help we neither will anything good nor do it.
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De gratia et libero arbitrio 16, 32:
It is certain that we will when we will; but He brings it about that we will good . . . . It is certain that we act when we act, but He brings it about that we act, PROVIDING MOST EFFECTIVE POWERS TO THE WILL.

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Could you please ProdglArcitect explain to us:
How can anyone choose hell when Gad alone is the cause of our willing and choosing and what God wills for us, that is what we freely choose without any force?

Thank you for your explanation in advance.
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God bless


#228

Here you go:

Stump the Priest: Is Universalism a Heresy?


#229

Because, as you have continuously ignored despite repeated efforts to make you aware of the fact, God’s action and will in our lives is contingent on our acceptance of it.

God WILLS our good, but we are free to reject that good, and in so doing we freely chose to enter damnation.

But this makes me probably the seventh or eight person to point this out to you, and you remain completely unchanged, and so there’s no point to me saying anything more. If you are not willing to accept and answer, then don’t ask a question.


#230

Ha! An article from an Orthodox priest? Nice. The Orthodox are in larger numbers in the universalist camp than Catholics, to be sure. If pointing out blogs to each other is all you want to do, please visit here:
https://afkimel.wordpress.com/essential-readings-on-universalism/ Enjoy!
Oh, and you didn’t answer my challenge, but that’s ok.


#231

Well, I did answer your question, because he provides multiple pieces of evidence showing the denouncement of universalism, but since you’re not interested in actually learning anything, sure, just discount the entire article. It’s no skin off my back.


#232

THE MYSTERY OF PREDESTINATION John Salza

Hence, a sufficient grace has an operating effect only ( empowering the will to act),

whereas an efficacious grace has both an operating and cooperating effect ( applying the will to act).

Sufficient grace remains an interior impulse, whereas an efficacious grace produces an exterior act.

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Sufficient grace gives man the potency to do good, but efficacious grace is required to move him from potency to act.

Therefore, sufficient grace is insufficient to move him to act, the power remains in potency and is never actualized.

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When God wills a person to perform a salutary act (e.g., prayer, good works), He grants him the means (an efficacious grace ) that infallibly produces the end ( the act willed by God ).
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If God wills to permit a person to resist His grace, He grants him a sufficient, and not an efficacious, grace.

The distinctions between these graces reveal that God is responsible for man’s salvation. End quote.

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Do you know ProdglArcitect what the following statements means?

When God wills a person to perform a salutary act (e.g., prayer, good works), He grants him the means (an efficacious grace ) that infallibly produces the end ( the act willed by God ).

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IT IS MEANS AS FOLLOWS:

We have a power to reject efficacious grace but we NEVER reject efficacious grace, because the grace enlightens our mind and we EVERY TIME, FREELY and without ANY FORCE, INFALLIBLY choose to cooperate with efficacious graces.

This is what we all need understand.
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God bless


#233

Per your logic, God actively willed Adam and Eve to sin, because had He not, Adam and Eve never could have rejected God’s will in order to sin in the first place. As such, per your formulation, God is actively responsible for every evil that has happened in human history.

God grants us the ability to live out His will, I agree, but that ability does not inherently ensure acceptance.

Also, you do realize that all that bolding only makes your posts way harder to read… right?


#234

Not necessarily. She can know exactly who you are (her parent), and that you love her, and not want it. No one, I repeat, no one has to accept love from anyone, and that includes the love of God. She can reject all your good intentions and feelings, because in the end, that’s what she wants and she wills it. Your quote says grace can continue to be poured out to us – and it can, and I don’t doubt that. But your quote from St. Edith Stein says nothing about accepting it. If as you said, someone who rejects love isn’t actually rejecting it, then how is it that being fooled into receiving the grace and love of God is actually reducing it willingly.

Oh my.

And just where do you think the Church got those words from? From Christ Himself in the New Testament.

Matthew:

“26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.

Mark:

“14:24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many.

Luke (He does not say many here, but He doesn’t say all either):

“22:20 In like manner, the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.”

John is silent on the issue.

It makes zero sense for Jesus to say this when all will be saved. Either His blood was shed for all, or it wasn’t. To say that Christ died for all but some reject that sacrifice is in harmony with the Gospel passages I cited and the other quotes you cited. To say that all will be saved, however, does not follow.


#235

Thanks for all replies. I have replied to the first ten and now I will try to reply to more.
The consensus seems to be that if one goes to hell it is on’s own free choice and God bears no responsibility.

11/230

So God, if he wants to, can save us.

12/230

I agree, but fantasizing may not be mortally sinful.

14/230

This is the majority view here.

15/230

CCC 1036 is a call to to conversion, with which few would disagree.
Number 1035 of the CCC only states hell exists and is eternal wit the principal punishment separation from God.

16/233
We just have to recognize it, apologize very sincerely and promit to try not to sin anymore.

I disagree. Traditional Catholic teching holds in the necessity of the sacrament of Confession or the Sacrament of the sick, except in special cases (perfect contrition, danger of death).

17/233

I am surprised if a priest can say one is in the state of grace or not. I would have thought that decision is can only be made by God. The Church has never claimed any individual is in hell.

19/233

We are all sinners needing God’s mercy.

“In reality, before the Lord we are all sinners and all in need of forgiveness". (Pope Francis).


#236

But your actions do have eternal ramifications. A single sinful act reverberates throughout history in ways you can’t even imagine. Sin is a crime against God and neighbor. God is eternal, and we have eternal souls, thus our sins have eternal consequences. For example:

One single murder affects countless others—brothers, sisters parents, children, relatives, friends, etc. That single act of murder not only destroys a body, with all of its systems, the murder kills off potential entire future generations.

Every sin has ramifications. Mortal sins always involve serious matter, and create spiritual earthquakes with eternal consequences not only for the one who commits the sin but for countless others affected.

Sin deprives God His due. God made us in His image and likeness for Himself so that we can have a share in His eternal life. Sin separates us from Him. Thus a sin that separates us from Himself is an eternal offense against the Eternal God. The same sin also has an eternal impact on neighbor being that they have eternal souls. Just think about all the broken marriages, broken families, psychological damage, and misery 1 single act of adultery can cause in the life of generations of humans.
image
Most violent criminals in prison come from broken homes the product of fornication. Children without fathers, entire lives lost to drugs, violence, vice, all because of the sinful choices of one person; the ramifications continue throughout generations, throughout history, and throughout eternity.

Think of all perverted souls, rapes, adulteries, serial murders, that resulted from the inspiration of those who sell their bodies to pornographers who then spread the smut worldwide, affecting millions of minds, inspired to commit mortal sins and separating themselves from God. Every Capital Deadly Sin is well represented in society and they all have eternal ramifications of the souls of neighbor.

Eternal punishment for unrepented mortal sin is the perfect Justice of God.

But repented sin means that the person responsible for the discord in the universe is absolved and no longer has the guilt upon him, as the guilt has been laid upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who suffered and died in reparation for the infinite offense of man against God.

A man who rejects the inspirations of the Holy Spirit to repent, rejects Christ as savior, thus rejecting salvation and is then subject to the due punishment for his sin: Eternal damnation separated from God. The only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; when a man rejects the call to repentance, he has sealed his own fate. And if He dies in that state, he remains in that state.

Just look up “Murder victim” on google images to get an idea of the infinite ramifications a single sin of murder has on all of society.


#237

There is a general dreariness in most of the replies here, seeing God as uncaring, letting people he created go to hell.

Let us raise up our hearts to a good God – Sursum corda.

But I trust in your mercy.

Grant my heart joy in your salvation,

I will sing to the Lord,

for he has dealt bountifully with me! (NABRE, Ps 13:6)


#238

I cannot see how a good God would create a being who will suffer for all eternity, especially if that person had a morally good life, except for one unforgiven mortal sin.

A couple of things. I kill one person and I go to jail for the rest of my life. Do you think that is unfair?
To reference Chris Stefanick, say I decide to slap you, what do you do? You slap me back (or if you are a good Christian you pray for me).
Take it up a level, I slap a police officer. What happens? I get arrested.
Take it up again, the President is coming by in his motorcade, I see my chance and try to slap him, what happens? I get shot.
Take it up one more time, I slap God. What happens? I have committed a crime against an infinite being, and I am finite, there is nothing I can do to pay that back.
All (mortal) sin is a “slap” to God, so any unforgiven mortal sin (of which confession is the usual manner of forgiveness) puts us in eternal, infinite debt and keeps us from him.

God created us to love him, and because he loves us and thinks we would enjoy existing created us. In order for us to love him, we must be able to choose (because love is a choice) this means we must be able to choose not to love him, which is essentially what sin is.

Related problems are God’s poor track record, angels fell away, humanity rejected God (Adam) and his own people disowned him.

God created the angels and humans with free will, in doing so he relinquishes some of his divine authority over reality in order to not violate his nature by violating his gift of free will to us. If God prevented us (or the angels) from choosing something other than him, then we wouldn’t have free will, and as such would be unable to love him (essentially we would be robots).

Why did God create humans in the universe, as nothing adds to his love or happiness?

See my responses to your other objections.


#239

It is not my logic.

For Augustine says (De Civ. Dei v, 1) that the "Divine will or power is called fate. "

But the Divine will or power is not in creatures, but in God.
Therefore fate is not in creatures but in God.

The Divine will is cause of all things that happen, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 1 seqq.). Therefore all things are subject to fate.
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The same is true for events in our lives. Relative to us they often appear to be by chance.
But relative to God, who directs everything according to his divine plan, nothing occurs by chance.
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Hence if this divine influence stopped, every operation would stop.
Every operation, therefore, of anything is traced back to Him as its cause. (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III.)

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Every operation means every operation, even the “fall” of Adam and Eve are a crucial part of God’s Universal design/ plan of the Universe.
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God bless


#240

Yes, but you are completely failing to distinguish between God’s active and passive wills.

Per your formulation, God actively wills evil, which would be contrary to God’s nature. God’s first plan was for humanity to advance untainted by sin. He allowed us to sin through His permissive will, but He did not actively desire it, which is what your argument implies.


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