Humans in hell don't want or can't repent? Why can't?

I posted this again and again,…

We know that the devils --don’t want-- to repent, he is too produs even to think to his repentance or to come to God with humility.

But what make the humans to --can’t repent-- after death, we know that they want to stop the suffering, (the health from the Gospel) want to seek God (five Virgins parable), --want to repent–we can say that a part of their free will want get away from hell, but what make this impossible?

You’ll read around here countless times that ‘people choose Hell’ and that, at the moment of death, your soul is fixed immovably in its state. Furthermore, popular belief has it that souls in Hell are incapable of any prayers or pleas for intercession.
Now, get this. These are eternal souls that are still loved by God, just the same as the ones in Heaven, yet, for some reason, they are completely voiceless. God only chooses to hear the pleas of those in Heaven.
And that’s why I think it’s a load of made-up nonsense. It frightened the illiterate and desperately poor people in the middle ages and it made the church their only hope. Small wonder that it has no currency in the modern era.

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Dear Adrian,
The point of our earthly lives is to prepare our souls for Heaven. Repentance is meant for this earth, because we are trapped in time, which means we have the capability to change our minds from evil to good (change requires time). Once we die, we have either chosen to repent, or chosen to be obstinate. Once we face judgement, our judgement remains, because we have chosen what we love the most: God or ourselves.
If we have all our lives to repent BEFORE punishment, but don’t accept those opportunities, then we freely accept the punishment that we know is coming.

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelations 21:8)
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)
“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)
“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Matthew 25:41)
“Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment” (2 Peter 2:3-4)
To deny hell is to call these men liars.

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No, they dont, no they don’t, no they don’t.

Souls in hell neither want to repent nor can they repent - they chose to go to hell.

Nobody goes to hell without choosing it.


This is a misrepresentation of what the Church believes.

It is not that people in Hell have no voices, it is that they are unwilling to use those voices to repent. If a soul in Hell were to repent, God would gladly forgive them and welcome them into Heaven. However, for someone to be in Hell, they must have chosen to worship the self rather than worship God. This choice is made, definitively, in the presence of God at our judgment. That means that they saw God, they saw His majesty and beauty, His goodness and Truth, and they still chose to reject Him.

The reason that our prayers do no good for them is that they will not repent of their sins, so the prayers are wasted. They also will not pray for forgiveness because to pray for that would be to recognize an authority other than their own, a kingship that is above them and has dominion over them. Their unwillingness to do this is the very reason they are in Hell.


Their desire to stop their suffering is outweighed by their unwillingness to submit to an authority other than their own, and their unwillingness to recognize the place God has above creation.

It sort of like a petulant child who gets in trouble for hitting their sibling. They get sent to time out until they apologize. That’s it, all they have to do is apologize. And yet, so many children would rather sit in the corner doing nothing than make that apology. It’s that same sort of stubbornness and selfishness, taken to its absolute maximum, that governs a damned soul’s refusal to repent.


Understand that every good thing about you comes from God.

Take it from someone who has been down this path. Pity for the damned isn’t love.

Luke 16:19-31

19 “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores,
21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.'
27 And he said, 'Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house,
28 for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.'
29 But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.’”

Those in Hell, by their free will choice, have separated themselves by a great chasm. This chasm is a result of the orientation of their free will being directed at their own desires rather than towards the will of God.

They have chosen to cut themselves off from God’s grace; they have “cut the cord” so to speak, so that no help could come to them even if they so desired it.

Exactly. @adrian1, notice how when the rich man in the parable calls out to Abraham, he does not do so with direct repentance, nor does he beg to be saved. Rather, he wants Abraham to send Lazarus to him to come soothe his suffering.

The rich man then wants others warned so they do not turn out like him, yet he still is not calling out for his own salvation or redemption. How often do we see this scenario play out in both stories and real life?




An alcoholic, an abuser, a murderer, a crime boss, an evil person, etc… they know that the things they do are wrong and they will warn someone else to never start drinking, never take that first hit, never let their hatred fester, never join that gang, etc…

They warn others who have not yet traveled as far into darkness as they have, and they tell them to turn back or avoid it while they still can… yet, they themselves are still persistent; they remain in their darkness refusing to come out.

They know they aren’t happy, and they can even acknowledge that they wouldn’t want others to reach such a lowly state, yet they have become so embroiled in their own wretchedness that they refuse to break away from it. It has become such a part of them and their desires have become so oriented towards darkness that it has become irrevocably fixed, being drawn inescapably towards the black hole of their own selfishness.

This is the great chasm Abraham is speaking of. it is not just some physical gap, but rather is the inescapable and eternal turning away from God that the reprobate lock themselves into by persisting in sin unto death.


At what point does Heaven take “no” for an answer? Why should we presume to have no fear that some day our choices will have the consequences we knew were attached to them?

I do not know where you get this “no currency in the modern era” opinion. It is what you think. It is not rational to extrapolate what you think as being not only the majority opinion but the only “currency” in contemporary thought.

Speaking of, in a poll by Pew Research as recent as 2016:
55% of Americans believe in both Heaven and Hell
25% believe in neither Heaven nor Hell
–includes “don’t know response”…because presumably, if you believe something, you’re aware of it.
17% believe in Heaven but NOT Hell
3% believe in Hell but NOT Heaven

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In the rest of our life, we can see that there gets to be a point of no return on a choice we could have made earlier in life. We may have the desire to do something, but we have squandered our capacity to do it…and make no mistake, the cooperation required to join the saints is a matter of cooperation. We do have to exert our free will. It is entirely possible based on that concrete example that someone in Hell could be in a situation they would not choose if they had it to do all over again, but which they are past un-doing.

We do know this: There is no one in Hell unjustly. People do not get there by the action of bureaucrats. When we fall as we walk, do we complain that gravity must be the work of the unfairness or vengeance of Providence? Or do we realize that the universe operates according to certain laws that do not bend to our wish that things were other than what they are?

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St. Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGIAE, Supplement to the Third Part (Supplementum Tertiæ Partis), Question 98. The will and intellect of the damned

Article 2. Whether the damned repent of the evil they have done?

Objection 1. It would seem that the damned never repent of the evil they have done. For Bernard says on the Canticle [Cf. De Consideratione v, 12; De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio ix] that “the damned ever consent to the evil they have done.” Therefore they never repent of the sins they have committed.

Objection 2. Further, to wish one had not sinned is a good will. But the damned will never have a good will. Therefore the damned will never wish they had not sinned: and thus the same conclusion follows as above.

Objection 3. Further, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii), “death is to man what their fall was to the angels.” But the angel’s will is irrevocable after his fall, so that he cannot withdraw from the choice whereby he previously sinned [Cf. I:64:2]. Therefore the damned also cannot repent of the sins committed by them.

Objection 4. Further, the wickedness of the damned in hell will be greater than that of sinners in the world. Now in this world some sinners repent not of the sins they have committed, either through blindness of mind, as heretics, or through obstinacy, as those “who are glad when they have done evil, and rejoice in most wicked things” (Proverbs 2:14). Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, It is said of the damned (Wisdom 5:3): “Repenting within themselves [Vulgate: ‘Saying within themselves, repenting’].”

Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 4) that “the wicked are full of repentance; for afterwards they are sorry for that in which previously they took pleasure.” Therefore the damned, being most wicked, repent all the more.

I answer that, A person may repent of sin in two ways: in one way directly, in another way indirectly. He repents of a sin directly who hates sin as such: and he repents indirectly who hates it on account of something connected with it, for instance punishment or something of that kind. Accordingly the wicked will not repent of their sins directly, because consent in the malice of sin will remain in them; but they will repent indirectly, inasmuch as they will suffer from the punishment inflicted on them for sin.

Reply to Objection 1. The damned will wickedness, but shun punishment: and thus indirectly they repent of wickedness committed.

Reply to Objection 2. To wish one had not sinned on account of the shamefulness of vice is a good will: but this will not be in the wicked.

Reply to Objection 3. It will be possible for the damned to repent of their sins without turning their will away from sin, because in their sins they will shun, not what they heretofore desired, but something else, namely the punishment.

Reply to Objection 4. However obstinate men may be in this world, they repent of the sins indirectly, if they be punished for them. Thus Augustine says (Q83, qu. 36): “We see the most savage beasts are deterred from the greatest pleasures by fear of pain.”


Article 5. Whether the damned hate God?

Objection 1. It would seem that the damned do not hate God. For, according to Dionysius, “the beautiful and good that is the cause of all goodness and beauty is beloved of all.” But this is God. Therefore God cannot be the object of anyone’s hate.

Objection 2. Further, no one can hate goodness itself, as neither can one will badness itself since “evil is altogether involuntary,” as Dionysius asserts. Now God is goodness itself. Therefore no one can hate Him.

On the contrary, It is written (Psalm 73:23): “The pride of them that hate Thee ascendeth continually.”

I answer that, The appetite is moved by good or evil apprehended. Now God is apprehended in two ways, namely in Himself, as by the blessed, who see Him in His essence; and in His effects, as by us and by the damned. Since, then, He is goodness by His essence, He cannot in Himself be displeasing to any will; wherefore whoever sees Him in His essence cannot hate Him. On the other hand, some of His effects are displeasing to the will in so far as they are opposed to any one: and accordingly a person may hate God not in Himself, but by reason of His effects. Therefore the damned, perceiving God in His punishment, which is the effect of His justice, hate Him, even as they hate the punishment inflicted on them.

Reply to Objection 1. The saying of Dionysius refers to the natural appetite, and even this is rendered perverse in the damned, by that which is added thereto by their deliberate will, as stated above (Article 1).

Reply to Objection 2. This argument would prove if the damned saw God in Himself, as being in His essence.

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Article 8. Whether the damned will ever think of God?

Objection 1. It would seem that the damned will sometimes think of God. For one cannot hate a thing actually, except one think about it. Now the damned will hate God, as stated in the text of Sentent. iv, in the last Distinction. Therefore they will think of God sometimes.

Objection 2. Further, the damned will have remorse of conscience. But the conscience suffers remorse for deeds done against God. Therefore they will sometimes think of God.

On the contrary, Man’s most perfect thoughts are those which are about God: whereas the damned will be in a state of the greatest imperfection. Therefore they will not think of God.

I answer that, one may think of God in two ways. First, in Himself and according to that which is proper to Him, namely that He is the fount of all goodness: and thus it is altogether impossible to think of Him without delight, so that the damned will by no means think of Him in this way. Secondly, according to something accidental as it were to Him in His effects, such as His punishments, and so forth, and in this respect the thought of God can bring sorrow, so that in this way the damned will think of God.

Reply to Objection 1. The damned do not hate God except because He punishes and forbids what is agreeable to their evil will: and consequently they will think of Him only as punishing and forbidding.

This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection, since conscience will not have remorse for sin except as forbidden by the Divine commandment.

Though the damned may indirectly repent of their sin out of a distaste for its punishment, they will never directly repent of their sin out of a distaste for the sin itself, because they persist in their consent in the malice of sin.

They will not wish that they had not sinned because of shame, nor will they ever turn their will away from sin. They hate it’s effect, and they hate God because they refuse to see God for who He is and instead perceive God only in His punishment.

For all eternity the damned will persist in both their orientation of the will towards their sin, and their hatred of God based on their perversion.

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You’ve been answered again and again. You just don’'t choose to accept the answers.

You’ve been answered by the Fathers of the Church. You’ve been answered by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You’ve been answered by clergy.

I’m sorry you don’t LIKE the answers, but they’re going to stand.

Why not focus on serving God yourself, praying for the souls in purgatory, and getting on with life?


Sadly, hell can be compared to prison with no hope of parole - ever
The souls of the damned have rejected salvation and the sovreignty of God.
If they could get into heaven , they would make life there hell.
We’re all 'lumped ’ together in this life . We have to decide for God
After death comes the sifting.


I understand your perspective. God only knows how often I’ve wrestled with the thought myself. But Hell is, as we read in the poetry of Dante, a cold place of suffering, for those people who lived lives falloff opportunity and where God’s grace abounded - yet they rejected. Hell, in reality, is something like that.

Think of a prison sentence, except in life, our prison sentence is our attachment to our passions. In gaol, a prisoner has so many opportunities for good behaviour and penitence, to know his lot and why he’s there. But, instead, he beats up and rapes his inmates, treats the guards in hostility, and the auld triangle went a jingle jangle.

We have so many opportunities in life to just accept Christ into our heart, at the risk of sounding like Joyce Meyer, but it is true. We have the sacraments and the Church to guide us. Christ: God himself, gave us her. He gave Himself. So why reject it, when our measured time runs out day by day, second by second? This is seriously what sends us to Hell. Refusal to believe in God’s mercy.

We’re allowed to believe that hell is not as full as we hope, we are allowed, in piety, to hope that it has only a small number of people, but who knows? Only God.

All prayers for the dead do something good. For those in hell, it gives a small comfort. Since we have no right to say with all certainty who is in hell, we should pray for the forgiveness of sins for all that we know that have died.

St. Macarius the Great came across a skull of a man who’s soul was in hell and was able to learn from the man that the prayers for the dead in hell give them a small comfort. The comfort was being able to see another face, because normally they are not able to see one another. It is very sad, but these things are done for us to recognize the pain of separation from God.

The Church teaches basically the opposite of this. There can be no comfort for the damned because comfort can only be derived from God, and they have rejected Him definitively. Even if they could receive prayers, they would reject them because they would only receive them through virtue of God’s mercy which, as stated, they’ve formally and completely rejected.

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