Hell not a last thing?

So can someone explained to me some history behind this theology that those who end up in hell will not be there for eternity? That at at some point hell will seize to exist? This theology has been going around my campus and some are even using the Church to back up their claim.

What is the nature of the people spreading this? Do you go to a Catholic school?

Loyola University in Chicago. There have been some talks held on campus about this. In my class of Theology of Jesus we are going to come up on this topic pretty soon.

Why do people perpetually say stuff like this? Is it just to make people feel good?

We are living in such hard times for the Church and the teachings of the Church. There is no end to the lies people will come up with in order to make life easier for them. The worst part is that these lies not only hurt those who create them but also those who end up following them. The devil is really enjoying these days. The only thing we need to believe in is scripture and not new teachings created by those who want to twist the Catholic faith.

Are you asking me? I am against this form of thinking! It boggles my mind that anyone could be saved from hell. The common explanations I hear " Well some people do go to hell, but only those real evil people like Hitler will remain there". Really?! How does anyone know that Hitler is in hell? Why does he and others remain in hell, but not those who dies in state of mortal sin?

Sounds like what you are referring to is Universalism and it is NOT officially teaching by the Catholic Church.


In charity, I might point out that there are some, me included, that hope that perhaps God will, in His good time, offer forgiveness to those in hell. But this is only a hope on my part based on my desire not to see anyone suffer for all eternity…
So - just as we might pray for the forgiveness and salvation of the soul of an evil person, we can hope that perhaps - relent in the future.

BUT - The Church cannot teach, and we cannot believe in universalism as something as revealed by God. God has not told us any such thing and for good reason.


The four last things are death, judgement, heaven, and hell. Anyone who says differently isn’t representing Catholicism.

I too hope the same as well, but there is only one problem, there is no time in eternity. So if heaven and hell fall in the dimension of eternity then there is no “time” within those realms, it’s only a “here and now” way.

These matters (time eternity etc.) I leave to God and physicists;)…but mostly to God…:smiley:

What I do is try to stick to what I am doing in the “here and now” that will keep me from needing to worry about hell in the future.


You forgot purgatory. This is a very Catholic teaching and there is evidence of those souls there who have and are still reaching out to us. At least they have a chance at the beatific vision. As for those in hell there is no chance. It is not God who sends us there but ourselves; those who refuse to accept God and His Word, Jesus cannot have a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.

But, the traditional four Last Things are death, judgment, heaven and hell.

Besides, purgatory isn’t a last thing.


Please read in entirity.

Those who are in purgatory don’t merely “have a chance at” the beatific vision, that is those in purgatory only travel one direction, into heaven.

Think of it in this way–if Heaven were a house, there are two ways to enter: the front door and the mud room. The front door is for those who don’t need additional “clean up” after death before entering–they don’t owe any temporal debts, they have no attachments to sin. The mud room is for those who died in a state of grace but need to shed those attachments to sin or other impediments to entering through the front door. However, the mudroom is still in the house–close enough to smell the heavenly feast, so to speak, but still needing to get rid of some clinging mud and wash up before you’re fit to come to the table. (I know the analogy is imperfect, but I like it.)

This view is incompatible with Catholic dogma:

The Athanasian Creed: “[A]t his coming all men have to arise again with their bodies and will render an account of their own deeds: those who have done good, will go into life everlasting, but those who have done evil, into eternal fire.”

Fourth Lateran Council (1215), Canon 1: “[Christ] descended in soul, and He arose in the flesh, and He ascended equally in both, to come at the end of time, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to each according to his works, to the wicked as well as to the elect, all of whom will rise with their bodies which they now bear, that they may receive according to their works, whether these works have been good or evil, the latter everlasting punishment with the devil, and the former everlasting glory with Christ.”

The problem with this thread is that there are many responses, but not everyone is thinking with the Church. Therefore the responses are incomplete. As I always tell me students, my novices and my directees. “Think with the Church. Say only what the Church says. Do not add your opinions or take away from her words and you will not be confused.”

The Church says
2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which is “on the side of life,” teaches that “it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain ordered per se to the procreation of human life.” "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."

Observe, there are two parts to marriage that are inseparable, the unitive and the procreative. Marriage is not solely about either procreation or companionship. It is about both. Life is the natural fruit of unity. Just as the union between Christ and the Church bears fruit in charity, so too the union between husband and wife bears fruit.

Having said that, the Church recognizes that many couples are childless for reasons beyond their control. However, a couple entering into the marriage covenant must be capable of sexual intercourse. Without it, the marriage covenant is not consummated and the marriage does not take place. Christ gives himself to the Church in heart, mind and body. Without his physical death the new covenant would not have been consummated. The covenant required the engagement of the body. This is the difference between the Christian and the Gnostic.

To attempt a marriage without a body that can function is to begin something that cannot be fulfilled or consummated. This is not the same as those couples who have been married and over the passage of time something happens and they can no longer engage in sexual intercourse. This was a later circumstance.

It is important to clarify the situation of Joseph and Mary. At the time of Joseph and Mary’s marriage, our people did not know about the fullness of marriage. Christ had not been incarnate. The sacramental nature of marriage had not been revealed. Mary and Joseph were validly married, as are all people who marry within their faith. There is a difference between a valid marriage and a sacramental marriage. All sacramental marriages are valid. While all valid marriages are not sacramental.

The best advice that I can offer any Catholic when these questions come up is the same that I give to my novices. “Never give your answer. Never rely on your thoughts. Never trust your knowledge. Remember that your are poor. Always answer with the words of the Church. If you don’t know what the Church says, look it up.”


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

The problem with that is that God does not condemn people to hell, people choose to go to hell by rejecting god. When you commit a mortal sin part of what makes that sin mortal is that you knowledgeably reject god and what god teaches through the church and the bible.

Tell me if you do such things while you are alive and reject god in this way then what makes you think a person will change their mind when they meet god face to face?

It also has to do with the fact that heaven and hell are not “eternal” as in time goes on and on. Heaven and Hell are eternal in that time does not exist at all because god and the angels exist outside of time. What I am getting at is a decision made in eternity is eternal, our material world is the only place where we can convert and accept god because its the only place where decisions are not eternal.

It sounds like the people talking about people in hell being forgiven are confusing hell with purgatory.

It worries me that this is being taught. As if there wasn’t enough brainwashing in schools. :frowning: We need to pray for these people.

Oops! Wrong thread. :blush:

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