How could an all-loving God send people to hell?


#1

This is my first time using this forum. I hope I’m putting this question in the right area. My brother sent me a mail with the following statement:

“I can’t bring myself to be Catholic though. I can’t get past the fact that God is supposed to be pure love yet he sends people to hell for all eternity. I couldn’t even do that to somebody. I have asked myself questions and thought long and hard about it. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It never did really.”

How would you answer that?

Thank you,

Z.


#2

Dear Z

We have to be careful not think of God in terms of what we would or would not do. God is not a bigger version of us. Scripture tells us that as far as the East is from the West, so far are God’s ways from our ways.

God does not choose hell for people. People choose hell for themselves. Hell is the absence of God. It is the alternative choice to choosing God. God became incarnate and chose to suffer and die on our behalf when He didn’t have to even create us in the first place. That is something we would never even think of doing. His love for us is beyond our ability to even comprehend. But we do have some understanding of what suffering is. So His passion does give us some inkling (only an inkling) of how much He loves us.

When considering God’s motives one definitely has to think outside the box of our own limited experience.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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