Heresy on hell, yes or no?

Dear friends
I was told by my priest that it is a heresy to say souls in Hell can be freed.
I thought they could be and here is why
Peter told us that we should send a man to satan for correction if he refuses to listen or change etc
I say satan is in Hell therefor a soul must be sent to hell for correction, and if one is corrected then why is he still in hell?

Jesus said that we will not get out of prison until we have paid the last penny
That is the way we work also, a prisoner does his time and he gets released?

And my thoughts are that if we are in Hell we have not been judged yet, Hell will be emptied on Judgement day only then are they judged… saints in heaven are not judged… so it is the souls in Hell that are to be judged right?

All sins will be forgiven accept blasphemy of the Holy Spirit… all sin…

so to sum this up. peter says we are to go to hell for correction
Jesus said we must pay all our dues
and we are yet to be judged and all sins will be forgiven
also there are a number of people some priests who have claimed to have had a NDE and went to hell only to be pulled out of it by Jesus?

I can’t see the heresy.
what do you think?

Our Lord descended to “hell” or “sheol” which is the abode of the dead, or “souls in prison” as Saint Peter called it. However, this was not the hell of the damned, it was where the holy souls destined for heaven awaited the opening of the gates by Jesus’s ascension.

Hell is not for correction - that is a penitentiary here on earth. Hell is justice. And, just as mercy and heaven are eternal, so is hell for those who have had a lifetime to embrace or reject God.

Those that have died while in a state of rejection of God (either though lack of belief, or in mortal sin) go there eternally in accord with justice. Hell is outside of time, so there is no correction, as that relates to time and our life on earth.

So, it is heaven or hell. Forever. Thus, even though we have the God-given ability to reject Him, we are well advised to choose wisely.


Thank you, so what your saying then is that there are two Hells?
or do you mean Purgatory?
1 Corinthians 5:5
hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
so is Peter talking metaphorical here? Who is Satan? and why is Peter advocating flaying a man?

Hi friend,
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you’re referring to the passage in 1 Corinthians 5 where St. Peter says “you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” Of note, he said this in the context of someone committing fornication and scandalizing the flock. If you read the entire chapter together, he is saying it is better for this particular man to be cast out “to Satan” in the world (which at the time were often associated together since Satan is evil and the world is corrupt) than to be participating in the Church because of the scandal he is causing others. I think you’d agree with me that Satan can still tempt us, though he has been condemned to Hell. St. Peter I think is hoping the shock of being put out of the Church will wake this guy up so that, even if his flesh and body suffers, perhaps his soul might be saved. If it was simply for correction, why is Peter then so concerned with “saving his soul?”
Jesus also speaks often of the “eternal fire.” For instance, paraphrasing Mark 9:44 “…It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting , than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire.” Also Matthew 25:41, where Jesus is speaking of the final judgement, where he separates people into the right and into the left: “Then he shall say to them also that be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.” And then in verse 46: “These shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.” So you can see there are two different options for us, at the end.
I think you would agree with me that Hell certainly is everlasting, and God would never tell us to depart from Him unless we had chosen not to be with Him, which is the true Unforgiveable Sin. To reject God, and the movement of the Holy Spirit within us. To willingly choose to turn aside from Him, just as Satan did. The angels got the choice, and so do we.
As for paying the last penny, you may be looking at the concept of Purgatory. To paraphrase Matthew 12:32 Jesus says "…whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or “in the age to come.” So, though we’ve found there is indeed an “eternal fire,” there is also forgiveness that comes after death. Catholics define this as a state of purification: Purgatory. Those souls who maybe did wrong things most or all of their life, but at the moment of death, the final choice, they chose to be friends with God, to be with Him forever. Beautiful!
However, God is perfect and desires us to be perfect as well, so to allow these particular souls to make up for some of the unworthy things they did on Earth, He will grant them a time of purification, to obtain that purity which He originally created us for, and so that we might truly enjoy heaven. Imagine entering a fancy party in a dress that you spilt coffee on! I would want to fit in, so I would spend time cleaning the coffee off before being able to be comfortable at the party. God understands us better than anyone :slight_smile:

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Thank you, I had thought along the same lines,… and am as always going to obey the Church
Correction has to be seen in the context of how we correct, when we say send him to prison for correction, it means he goes to prison for a predetermined amount of days as the judge deems fit for his rehabilitation… he still goes to prison and he is still free after his correction, some places call them correction facilities and not prison.
so when Jesus is referencing prison we have to take it to mean the type of prison system we have.
but I’m trying to flesh out why this is Heresy when my view point would be…
Jesus told us that the final destination of a lost soul is not in Hell but in the bottomless pit?
Are they two places?.. so Hell for my view was and is a place of holding, Christ went and set the captives free, who are captives? he went to hell we are told?who is the ruler of Hell? why did the souls go there when Purgatory existed? is hell part of Purgatory?
Paul tells us he sent two men to satan for correction?
No one is Judged until judgement day? I understand that a soul can send it’s self to hell by rejecting the Spirit etc but surely they are not all evil monsters, we are told by saints like Lucy that many souls fall into hell, many is a lot and we where told that many are woman who have sinned against the “Flesh”… didn’t Jesus Say All sins would be forgiven accept blasphemy… wasn’t mary of Magdalena forgiven without even asking for it?
so why are they falling into hell? are they eternally lost because they had sex in the incorrect way of things? so just thinking and meditating on it and these are the things coming to mind.
I can’t see any clear biblical reason for believing that Hell is Eternal but I can see reasons,biblical reasons why hell is not eternal but a place of Correction…
Just to add
“I tell you you will not get out of prison until the last penny is paid” Jesus himself told us this?
thank you for your time I appreciate it.

Listen to your priest.

Are you saying that Purgatory did not exist before Christ?
you see I would see more Heresy in saying that God will not forgive a sinner who has committed adultry a mortal sin against God… when he told Mary of Magdalena to go all her sins are forgiven when she did not even ask… and she as we know became one of the greatest Christians in history.
I hope you can see my point?

according to the word of God, I am to question everything…

Why are you assuming God doesn’t forgive the people in Hell? Hell is the state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God, not God-imposed-exclusion.

According to the catholic faith hell is a real place where souls go after death if they are in a state of mortal sin. and they will be judged before God on judgement day.
I know many people in mortal sin, I assume everyone does, yet they did not choose to reject God! they allowed their passions free reign… so it is not self exclusion, but sin

Yes, that is true. There are two powerful views on Hell that you will often see thrown about: Hell is for those who die in Mortal Sin and The gates of Hell are locked from the inside. A lot of people have problems reconciling the two, but they are both true. Note how catechism upholds both of them:

CCC 1033 - We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."

Mortal sin already is the deliberate rejection of God and those who go to their grave rejecting Him - who go to their grave with no regret for their actions and no will to reconcile with him - continue to do so for eternity.

And note the wording: Those who die in mortal sin without accepting God’s merciful love… Is there any indication that His merciful love ever stops?

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My opinion(which can always be wrong)…

The pre-Resurrection people who died, that were righteous, went to paradise(no one went to Heaven). This was not HELL, as there was a great chasm separating so you could not go across from either side. This was also called the bosom of Abraham.
When Christ dies, he went to paradise(for three days) and admitted righteous from paradise to heaven(unless purgatory was needed to be cleansed - again, the God of justice). In essence, he opened the gates of Heaven.
Again, my opinion, no one went to purgatory, until the resurrection, because the only reason for purgatory is to cleanses oneself to enter Heaven.

While I generally agree with Star_Orbiter’s post, I would note that 1 Corinthians 5 was written by St. Paul, not St. Peter.

I understand, but can i side track for a moment… Sister Lucy said she and the two other children saw hell… they saw many souls fall into hell, because there is no one to pray for them…
now if they had a prayer said for them we assume they would not have fallen into Hell?
so my intercession can save a soul from hell, but that does not allow for the person rejecting Christ, if souls only go to hell because they reject God then how can they be saved by prayer?
If they commit a mortal sin out of having no fear of God and openly rejecting him, then how can they be saved by prayer? if they freely choose Hell?
surely that is against their free will ? do you see what i mean?
I don’t conceive of any soul refusing the mercy of God when faced with hell fires, do you?
and I think Jesus took the keys of Hell, he is after all king of Kings
Thank you

That is my fault, you are correct.

Hi the Church teaches that Jesus descended into Hell and it is there he freed the captives.
Abraham was in a different place, called Paradise.
The Bible does not state how long Jesus spent in hell, I mean he could well have visited every realm known and unknown?

Because your prayers might be the key to their conversion before death. Think about St. Monica’s constant prayers for her son Augustine. Prayers are effective for other people. Maybe not 100% of the time, but sometimes, and that’s worth working for.

I use the term ‘The gates of hell are locked from the inside’ because it is a really good metaphor, not because I’m assuming literal keys.

Consider, though, that the bare minimum for reconciliation is imperfect contrition, and fear of Hell counts as imperfect contrition. If someone doesn’t even have that then then definitionally the fires of Hell can’t motivate them to accept God’s mercy.

But other forms imperfect contrition will also work, and the desire to please, thank, or even meet a family member (or even a stranger) who cared enough to pray for you counts. People who have a hard time looking directly at God can still look upon the saints.

again, i could be wrong…

where was Abraham, David, Noah, etc… before Christ died? I thought paradise was an outskirt of Hell, separated by a large chasm…So, Christ did go to Hell, but the part of Hell where the righteous were, waiting for judgement. Are you then saying there are a lot of places people go after they physically die?

I’m not trying correct you by any means, just trying to understand your take on things.

Different understandings of Greek / Hebrew - get translated into English as “hell”…

Gehenna - Hell…

and Hades/Sheol – akin to prison… .

God’s Revelation to Man does not sit solely upon “Bible” .

The Apostles Creed existed long before the New Testament became Canon.

  1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Bible (1 Peter 3) we have:

  1. In the body Christ was put to death; in the spirit he was brought to life. And in the spirit he went and made his proclamation to the imprisoned spirits… They had refused obedience long ago, while God waited patiently in the days of Noah […] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who entered heaven after receiving the submission of angelic authorities and powers, and is now at the right hand of God.

And 1 Peter 4

  1. Why was the Gospel preached to those who are dead? In order that, although in the body they received the sentence common to men, they might in the spirit be alive with the life of God.

As an aside, Seems akin to Purgatory

In English usage the word " Hades " first appears around 1600, as a transliteration of the Greek word “ᾅδης” in the line in the Apostles’ Creed, “He descended into hell”, the place of waiting (the place of "the spirits in prison " 1 Peter 3:19) into which Jesus is there affirmed to have gone after the Crucifixion.

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