How many people actually choose hell?

Hmm, no one seems to have caught that part. In Catholic theology you* can* choose hell with one choice, with one mortal sin. For instance, one act of adultery done with full knowledge and full consent is enough.

I love the Lewis quote, too. But someone who’s Catholic has to think twice about it.

I don’t want to know who’s in hell, or how many, or how they got there, or what they do to pass the time. Some things, you’re just better off not delving into.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God”

Anyone who commits a mortal sin is by definition rejecting God’s love and if dying unrepentant has freely chosen to go to Hell.

Hell just is the consequence of evil deeds, so when you choose to do evil, you choose, by necessary consequence, to go to Hell.

In a similar way, death just is the consequence of stepping off the edge of a building. You don’t get to jump off a building and then complain about how unfair it is to die immediately afterward.

You are right, it is quite impossible to “make up for a lifetime of sins.” We cannot possibly hope to do that; even the saints cannot do that. That’s what the Cross was (is) for – to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

At any rate, don’t be scared. The logical corollary of “you only go to Hell if you want to” is “if you want to be saved, you will be.”

Here is the explanation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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…To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end…

                  _Catechism of the Catholic Church_

So, It’s not really so much whether you or I prefer to go to heaven or hell when questioned, or on an intellectual or academic basis. We show our desire for these ends by the living of our lives. If we would say yes to God in death, then it is most likely that we have said yes to God in our lives.

The way it was explained to me is this…If what you really love is immorality, If you are not sorry when you commit sinful acts. If you have chosen to live your life in darkness, and it is where you are most comfortable, then wouldn’t the Christian ideal of heaven, in fact, BE hell? Wouldn’t eternal presence in light, and joy be sheer misery to such a one? I’m not speaking about the addict, who is seeking with all earnestness to get well. To come to the light. Who is filled with self-loathing over the life they feel stuck in. Who ARE sorry, and repentant, but just can’t seem to figure out how to come to Jesus, and break the cycle. I can’t imagine this type being lost for eternity, because they really desire the light and God’s mercy. But what of the one we’ve all met at one time or another, who truly loves the dark side. Their idols are dark, dreary, depressing, or angry, ugly “music”. A disdain for religion. A hatred of all manner of authority, or representatives of the common good on earth. They are filled with hate. They love that which is evil and sinful, and can’t imagine why everyone else doesn’t feel the same way. They are fully absorbed with themselves. If they have any seemingly good goals, they are willing to use evil means to attain them. What evidence has this type shown of a desire to live for eternity beholding the face of God?

Though Christ was speaking to the Apostles at the time, He told them, anyway, “what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”.

The idea of choosing hell, for all of us, is related to this, I believe. We are voting with our feet, our whole life through. Those with an informed conscience, who remember the difference between right and wrong, and pursue a life of right, even though they stumble, are choosing good over evil. Are saying, by their very living, that they know they were made for a better world, and can achieve it, by the grace of God. They are choosing each day to follow Jesus to the best of their ability, and when they fall short, are immediately sorry, and turn to the Lord for help.

The hell chooser could care less. They are voting for hell with their seeming absolute love of debauchery, self-indulgence, instant and disordered sexual gratification, and often these day indulgence in anti-Christian activity. Why would this type want anything to do with heaven? At least their lives don’t SEEM to ordered towards it. Do they have a shot? Well, with God, all things are possible. They can change, by making themselves open to the graces of God, but if they die in this state, and haven’t made an effort to contact Him, and tell Him they are sorry, and open themselves to His mercy and Grace, then God will not make that person do so. God loves all of us. He only asks that we love Him too. When we live counter to His will, because we think we have a better way, He’s not going to keep us from it.

Jesus comes to US. He stands at the door and knocks. If we answer, He will come in and make His home with us, but if we’re not even interested in opening the door, He’s not going to come uninvited. Not in this world, or the next.

This is how I look at it anyway.

Yes, we are all sinners. But some of us hate sin, and ask for God’s help in avoiding it. Others love sin, and don’t ask God for anything at all, except to leave us alone, and keep his disciples out of our faces. This is what I believe is meant by “choosing” hell.

First, I must say I don’t see hell as eternal torment but as the anihilation of an individual having rejecting God.

I hope nobody would do that!

Unfortunately, Folks like Christopher Hitchen might have done it :frowning:

Lovely greetings from Germany.
Liebe Grüsse aus Deutschland.

Lothars Sohn - Lothar’s son

Tth Wild Catholic…Tthe short answer to this question is NO,nobody in their right mind wld choose Hell. This leads us to an interesting point,if anyone chose hell does this show the person is not in his right mind ?ergo he is not responsible for his choice! further ergo he wldn’t be sent to hell as he wld not be responsible for his actions [ie choice]???w bradl

Why would you say that? People “in their right mind” choose hell on earth all of the time, time and again, right in front of us. It is called “the rules are not for me, and natural consequences can’t happen to me,” and we’ve all seen it a hundred times. Most of us have done it ourselves, on occasion.

When you’ve done wrong and you know you’ve done wrong and you’re too stubborn to admit it and turn from your way, who can save you from the consequences you’re choosing?

I don’t see why the rules for eternity are going to be different. Choose the wrong, refuse to amend, see what is coming and yet proudly refuse to turn from it…well, any predictions? :shrug:

Mercy can only help you if you’ll accept the help. We ought to get in the habit of swallowing our pride and self-will, and turning towards the mercy that it being offered.

Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. Luke 13:23-28

Notice that Our Lord refused to answer how many will be saved. His answer focused instead on how to position ourselves to be available to be saved, as God intends. Name-dropping and virtue by association won’t be sufficient.

as I see this we all ramble all over the place,I wld like to see the questions presented as a tight inquiry. just look at all the questons ,ought not the question,start out as is there a hell? does god support a punisment fits the crime concept?do we have a broken nature that inclines us to sin ,what earhtly sin wld make us deserve an eternal pusishment,what is the purpose of punishment,and does eternal suffering chime into gods program for mankind etc. we are all over the map on these subjects, an never solve any of these eternal questions lets get a grip !!!wbradl

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