God is not present in Hell


This is in response to the Purgatory Thread which got derail to the subject of hell.

How can His Presence be separate from His knowledge (awareness)?

A poster wrote:

Those in Hell have freely chosen to separate themselves from God; He is present to them, however, for His love for all He has created never changes. The separation the damned have chosen is from their side and thus His love of them can only be experienced as eternal fire and torment. There is nothing in them that corresponds to His love. Consider Scripture’s words that “our God is a consuming fire” - in order to survive in and find joy and salvation in that fire one must himself (by correspondence to His grace) become one with the fire of Divine Love - this the damned cannot do.

“I say,” writes Saint Isaac the Syrian, “that those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love… It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love’s power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it,” (Homily 84).

By this he implies that God is in hell. Saint Isaac’s statement doesn’t bare any truth that the Catholic teaches.

Let me quote what the Catechism has to say about God and Hell.

1057 Hell’s principal punishment consists of **eternal separation **from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

In otherwords, there is no God in Hell. To claim that he is, is heresy.


The Catechism likewise says:

God transcends creation and is present to it

300 God is infinitely greater than all his works: “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Indeed, God’s “greatness is unsearchable”. But because he is the free and sovereign Creator, the first cause of all that exists, God is present to his creatures’ inmost being: “In him we live and move and have our being.” In the words of St. Augustine, God is “higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self”.

God upholds and sustains creation

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.

One way I have heard it put is: God is present in Hell to the extent that he maintains the existence of the place and of the damned – A source of eternal consternation to them that would rather he abandon them altogether.



No he isn’t. He is in Heaven. Not Hell, unless you prove to me by either Biblical or Church document, God is in Hell. Why else did the Catholic Church put eternal separation?


Why is Saint Issac a saint then?? did the church canonize him as a saint??

As far as I know it, the only time God was present in Hell/Shoel/Gehanna was when Jesus opened up the gates of heaven and went down to free the righteous in prison who died before him… but after this happened Shoel is banished and Hell is ultimatly seperated from God… Hell is solely for Satan, his angels and the reprobate…


Jesus went to the Abode of the Dead, or Abraham’s Bosom, where the souls awaiting for the Messiah waited for him. It is not Hell, the place of the eternal lasting damn, where demons, and unrepentent sinners. The translation is Hades…

What I’m speaking about is Hell, where Satan and his angels dwell. God is not there.

Two different places.


I am surprised you do not consider the Catechism a Church document. Perhaps Colossians 1:15-17?

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

It is really not my intent to argue one side or the other of this question. But it is not so clear-cut as you present.



Answer this question then. Is God in Hell, where Satan and his fallen angels dwell?

Or is God in Heaven?

I don’t believe His REAL Presence is in Hell. He is in Heaven. He is aware the happenings in hell, but he isn’t there. That is why it is Catholic Church teaches that hell separates us from God.

Col 1:15-17 states,

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him. 17 And he is before all, and by him all things consist.

This is describing heaven not hell.



Two things I would say. We were taught in the olden days in Catholic School that God is everywhere. If he is not in hell than either he is not everywhere or hell is not a place.

When, for example, a husband and wife are separated that does not say they are never in each others presence. What then does the words "eternal separation’ mean? Not in the presence of or not having a relationship?j


God is omnipresent but he is not in hell period. It’s not mention in the Bible, not mentioned in Writings of the ECF, nor is it mention in the Vatican Document.

Separated from God is separated. Cut off completely. So therefore, God is not in Hell. He is in Heaven.

I don’t think Jesus is sitting on the Right Hand of God, in hell. Even Stephen said, He saw the Heavens open and saw the Son of God sitting at the Right Hand of God.

Bingo… God is in Heaven not hell.


You would all contradict yourselves by making the claim. In the Creed it states, “He ascended into Heaven and is sitteth at the Right Hand of the Father, Almighty.”


Then how does the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit dwell within those who keep Jesus’ commandments? How does He end up on our altars around the clock. Omnipresent means omnipresent, doesn’t it?


You miss the key point. Those who keep Jesus’ commandment. The sinners who do not repent and die in mortal sin, are in hell. They do not keep the commandments, so they are eternally in hell.

Second, show me a document that proves that God’s Presence is in Hell.

Perhaps you can help enlighten me so to speak.


I think the OP believes that the presence of the Glorified Jesus Christ is not in Hell. I do think God can go to hell and maybe converse with Satan and play chess. I don’t know.

His real presence is what is lacking in Hell. Hell is the place of the damned, those who reject God by sinning.


But, to claim that there is a place or state that God does not exist would also be heretical. Hell is OUR eternal non-awareness of God as it was on earth. In the afterlife, if we chose to separate ourselves from God, we will continue in this separation for all eternity. Given Catholic theology concerning mortal sin, we’d have to conclude that God does not exist within that person. He may not live (active awareness of His presence) in that person but He does exist in that person. God exists in every molecule of His creation. To say otherwise denies His Omnipresence. To deny God as omnipresent is heresy.

Hell is a state and not a place so as not to be confused. Actually it could be taught that God cannot move. To move God would have to leave a place that He’s been and enter an area in which He was absent. That cannot happen…God Bless…teachccd:)


So, if God is only in Heaven and Jesus is seated at his right hand side, then he is not present in the Eucharist? You say that he is aware of the happenings in hell, but is never present there. How? God is present everywhere but his Kingdom is in Heaven.


You seem to believe that there is an invisible line drawn between heaven and hell. Is that a wall?? A screen door,perhaps?? A huge curtain?? Heaven is living in the presence of the same God that you recognized while on earth. Hell is separating yourself eternally from the same God that you were separated from on earth. One who is in the state of mortal sin doesn’t “see” God on earth and if he dies unrepented of that sin he won’t see God in eternity. Matthew 25:31-46 does say, however, that all will rise on the last day and brought to judgement. So all may see God and hell is the everlasting knowledge of what you will never have…God Bless…teachccd:)


So hell is this big hole with a “DO NOT ENTER” sign for God?? This is not meant to be in jest. Is that what you really think??..teachccd:confused:


There are plenty of people walking around on earth in the state of mortal sin. CCC teaches that mortal sin separates you from God. So using your logic, are there little holes in the omnipresence of God here on earth?? :shrug: teachccd:confused: :eek:


So then when satan wanders the earth does God step aside?? How does your theology work concerning God’s omnipresence and satan?? I thought that God allowed satan’s existence and not the other way around. Satan is the ruler of the earth because man prefers the darkness but there is nowhere that the Light does not exist. During an eclipse the sun does not leave…teachccd:)


I’m all done. You can come out now.:smiley: :thumbsup:

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