I have trouble with the concept of Hell

I have been going to church weekly for the last year and a half after about 15 years of being away from the Catholic Church. One think I really have a problem with is the concept of hell. It seems really easy to go to hell and really hard to go to heaven. Here is the reason I have a problem with this. I can think of plenty of people I don’t like. I can’t think of anybody I want to see spend eternity in hell. And God is a hundred times more forgiving and merciful than I will ever be. Doesn’t God’s forgiving nature seem inconsistent with the concept of hell?

Jesus seems to agree with you.

[quote=Mt 7:13-14]“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
[/quote]

Here is the reason I have a problem with this. I can think of plenty of people I don’t like. I can’t think of anybody I want to see spend eternity in hell. And God is a hundred times more forgiving and merciful than I will ever be. Doesn’t God’s forgiving nature seem inconsistent with the concept of hell?

Not really. What do you see as inconsistent?

The souls who reject God are the ones who end up in hell. God is just giving them what they want, total separation from Him for all eternity. He would forgive them immediately, if they wanted and asked for it, but they did not and now they will spend forever as they wish, away from God. Rejecting God and being cast out from His Presence is so horrible, that God created hell to put limits on it,

Some people are obstinate in their unbelief.
Some people refuse to repent.
Some people choose to not permit God a place in their lives.
These are the ones who the Church says are in grave danger of the eternal fire.
Be at peace. Love God, do good for your fellow man, be kind, be compassionate. Respond to the Gospels. And be at peace.

Peter Kreeft did a great job explaining the Gospel verse referenced:

If one has 12 children, and one of them drowns, that one is too many, and the 11 still alive are too few.

It was not the purpose of the passage to compare the relative head counts for the two afterlives.

ICXC NIKA.

Just because someone has committed some sin, even what the Catholic Church considers a mortal sin, does not mean that they reject God or want to be separated from Him for eternity. Maybe such a person doesn’t even consider such a supposedly mortal sin to be a sin. For example, someone might not truly believe that missing Mass or divorce is a mortal sin. If that’s what they believe but they still love God, that does not mean that they want to be separated from God for eternity.

Only those unrepentant of grave sins go to hell

I see what you’re saying, but does anyone do anything thinking “this will separate me from God for all eternity but I’m going to do it anyway”?

For something to be a mortal sin it must be grave matter done with full knowledge and consent. Mortal sin kills charity (love of God) in the soul of the person.

God judges each of us according to many criteria, many if which we can not see. He grants mercy to those who are contrite, or sorry for their sins.

God has done so much to help us get into Heaven: even sending His Son to die for us as well as explain how to get to Heaven.

No, but a lot of people say, “I don’t care about all that God stuff–I’m just going to live as I please.”

For something to be a mortal sin it must be grave matter done with full knowledge and consent. Mortal sin kills charity (love of God) in the soul of the person.

RRusso1982. You said:

Here is the reason I have a problem with this. I can think of plenty of people I don’t like. I can’t think of anybody I want to see spend eternity in hell. And God is a hundred times more forgiving and merciful than I will ever be. Doesn’t God’s forgiving nature seem inconsistent with the concept of hell?

These people don’t end up in hell because God isn’t merciful enough.

They end up in hell, because that is essentially where they want to be.

They reject grace (that God offers them), they reject the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Love (despite Jesus literally dying to give that gift to them).

They do NOT WANT to be with God. The only alternative is to not be with God, at least in a Heavenly and grace sense.

CCC 679b . . . . By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.589

Going to Heaven is MORE than mere forgiveness of sins. Going to Heaven includes being sons and daughters of God by grace. The people in hell, sadly do NOT WANT this gift for themselves!

Hope this helps.

God bless.

Cathoholic

They say actions speak louder than words. I would add that they also speak closer to the heart.

What more total way to reject God can you think of than committing a grave sin–knowingly disobeying Him and knowing that what you are doing is evil, wounding the God who sacrificed Himself out of love for you, of your own free will? How could you separate your own will any further from God’s? How could you do this and still truly love God?

There are two ways to reject a spouse: leave, or stay but be abusive and neglectful.

God is loving and forgiving and anyone in a state of mortal sin can repent and ask to be forgiven and they will be.

However, God gave us freewill to accept his love or reject it. God does not send anyone to Hell. He does not want anyone to go to Hell but those who die in a state of mortal sin have freely chosen to go to Hell and be eternally separated from God.

I’m starting to read “The Seven Storey Mountain” by Thomas Merton, and while I haven’t progressed to the bit which includes the following quote, I happened to see it as it was on the page opposite one of the few photograph pages.

He’d apparently heard a sermon on hell.

My opinion is that is a very extraordinary thing for anyone to be upset by such a topic. Why should anyone be shattered by the thought of hell? It is not compulsory for anyone to go there. Those who do, do so by their own choice, and against the will of God, and they can only get into hell by defying and resisting all the work of Providence and grace. It is their own will that takes them there, not God’s. In damning them, He is only ratifying their own decision - a decision which he has left entirely to their own choice. Nor will He ever hold our weaknesses alone responsible for our damnation. Our weaknesses should not terrify us: it is the source of our strength. Libenter gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi. Power is made perfect in infirmity, and our very helplessness is all the more potent a claim on that Divine Mercy Who calls to Himself the poor, the little ones, the heavily burdened.

hell is real! accept Christ, ;love your neighbor and stay away from sin and temptation and you’re good to go!:thumbsup:

Think of this picture, you go into the presence of someone who is perfect love, light, everything good. Then, you are cast out from that, how would you feel?

Now, the person being casted out does not want to be in the light, does not want to know God. God can not put up with sin or chooses not to. … in short, it is somehow a mutual separation. It would be like a person does not want to be around you because you are a Christian because all he wants to do is party. You care about him, but all he does is seek to stay away from you and party. I like a good clean party too. You invite him to birthday parties, and other events. He chooses to stay away. Would you say like Jesus, “I never really knew you”? Would those two people really hang out together?

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