If You Had to Choose: Hell for You or Someone Else

I posed this question on another thread, but I thought maybe it deserved its own thread:

If you had to choose between either yourself going to Hell or someone else, who would you choose?

Obviously, this is a hypothetical, but it shows that Christianity, at its heart, is selfishness and self-serving (I am not denying its veracity for I am Catholic)? Why do we help the “least of these”? So we don’t go to Hell with the other goats. Why did martyrs endure horrendous torments and death for the faith? Because Hell is a lot worse and it never ends.

One can argue that it should be about attaining Heaven, not avoiding Hell, but that seems like six of one thing and half a dozen of the other since, in the end, there are two final destinations/states: Heaven and Hell.

St Paul said something to this effect to the Church in Rome:

Romans 9:2-3
***I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen. ***
That is how much he loved his fellow Jews.

One could argue he was using hyperbole, but that is beside the point.

Would you choose Hell so that someone else could attain Heaven?

I wouldn’t. Even if it were a close family member or best friend. I’m not denying that I would feel sorrow, guilt, anger, etc., but I’d rather feel sorrow/guilt/anger/etc. in Heaven than feel self-righteous and pleased with my altruistic nature in Hell.

I guess it’s really a non-question. I don’t get to choose, do I?
All I can choose today is final perseverance.
"Choose you this day whom you will serve.
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

Would I die for someone else to have the chance to go on to final perseverance?

Even that’s kind of presumptuous don’t you think? “I’ve been good enough as a Christian – so far — that I feel if I die I’d go to heaven.”

I answered my own question, why aren’t you answering it. It is a simple hypothetical question:

If the choice came down to either you or someone else going to Hell for all eternity and it was your choice to make, who would you choose to go to Hell? Yourself or the other person.

In order for me to choose to go to Hell, I would have to commit the unpardonable sin. I don’t think I would. I certainly wouldn’t choose to deny Christ even out of much love for someone else. So I don’t think any Christian would be able to really do that. Christ is my first love, my children are second, and other people are after that. In order to choose hell, I would have my affections disordered. So, no I don’t think I could choose hell.

It’s not a simple hypothetical question for a Christian. It’s a philosophical question. AND I just bet that you could find someone way more skilled in rhetoric than me answering this very question on the web.

In other words,
*For what price would you sell your soull? *


I suppose you could make the choice to go to Hell to save another, but I’m sure God would reverse the sentence on account of your supreme sacrifice. (If laying down one’s life for another shows the greatest love, then imagine how much love you would need to lay down one’s eternal life.) That sort of love couldn’t go to hell. Anyway, Wasn’t that what Jesus did on the cross? I read about this theory that He acquired all our sins and was prepared to die and go to hell for us. But God reversed his sentence. Is this true, or am I typing - :eek: Heresy !?! :eek:

Nope not heresy

You know it’s funny. I’ve always pondered on this dilemma myself. I mean we actually see this kind of hypothesis being explored in fiction (e.g. Ghost Rider).

Personally, it would gravely depend on the person who would be going to heaven instead of me. Now I know that may be selfish as well (Why that person and not this person?) but that itself can still depend on said person. (Is that person worthy in your eyes? Are your eyes just?) I’m still pondering on this though so don’t take me seriously just yet. :o

This 'hypothetical" is not possible. Who could/would ever offer up such a choice? God? No way, unless he is a blackmailer, not interested in all souls.

Lucifer? No way, because he does not have the power to offer anyone a place in Heaven.

Another person? Again, ‘no way’, because another person cannot offer a place in Heaven, nor a place in hell.

Yourself? Nope. You can not ‘offer’ yourself a place in Heaven, you can only earn it. You can not ‘offer’ yourself a place in Hell, unless you deny your God, which is antithetical. God, being God, would not allow that ‘sacrifice’.

He may have no domain over Heaven but may have the power to drag you to Hell. He’s king of it after all. Heck, this is the most underhanded tactician in the universe we’re talking here. What can stop us from saying Satan will attack the people we care for unless we make a bargain?

Your Question is moot since we cannot make such a choice.
That being said, in order to answer what I believe you are trying to ask, the Christian answer should be that I would choose hell for myself in order that another might be saved. (No greater Love… than to lay down your life for another…)

I congratulate you on recognizing and asking the question. It shows that you are not satisfied with simply “doing your duty” as it were.

The Long journey into faith does begin as you say - quite servile and selfcentered. Not at all unlike how we first view our parents and our suroundings when we are small children.
When we are little (physically or spiritually) we look at everything as “what’s in it for me”. Our parents, if they are loving parents, recognize this and help us to grow by loving us, and disciplining us, and loving us some more.
As we grow older, we begin to see how our parents love and discipline intermixed to teach us many things and we grow to Love them, not out of fear of punishment but rather out of gratitude and appreciation and REAL Love. Our Joureny toward God reflects this. God recognizes our spiritual infancy and works with us there. He loves us and also sends us trials that we may grow closer to Him. As we persevere in our journey we gradually grow to fear less and Love more until finally, hopefully, we reach a point where we Love completely and fear not at all.

The Great mystics of the Church generally break this down into three steps.
The Purgative stage, which is like to what you describe, very servile, obedience out of fear of punishment.
The Illuminative stage, which is where fear of punishment is gradually replaced by the expectation of reward. Sort of a tipping of the balance away from fear and toward expectation, toward Love.
The Unitive stage, which is ruled by Love. A spousal type Love for God in which you do not wish to offend, not for fear of punishment, nor expectaion of reward, but simply because you Love God completely as His Will becomes your will.

So many people never get past the first stages for many reasons. Lack of ability, lack of knowledge, or lack of desire. Your question shows that you have the ability to advance beyond the initial stages If you have the desire to advance and grow in God’s Love I recommend that you get and read This Book


What strange question-I wonder from where that dark thought came into your head!! Would I Iike to spend eternity in Hell Fire for ever-you have got to be kidding!! Since you brought up the subject,you are welcome to choose the short straw-someone else, if they choose to go there-never my call!IMy sins certainly deserve the fires of Hell but I trust in the merits of the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.Just your thought scares the you know what out of me–sorry I won’t go there–fools rush in where angels(except fallen ones) fear to tread.Oh my Jesus,save us from the fires of Hell lead all souls to heaven,especially those in most in need of your mercy.

Yep, he’s a downright mongrel allright, but we have the power to say “No!”. Free will trumps him every time. All we need is the moral courage.
so, if he attqacks someone we care for, do we back down and say “Oh, allright, you win, take me…” No way. We stand firm and try to guide our loved one and keep asking God for help. HE will know if the free will of the attacked one has been compromised and will be merciful to your pleadings. How do I know? Faith! :thumbsup:

Yes it is a strange question and one that really has no answer since we cannot choose to send another either to heaven or hell.
I look at it as more asking would you accept ultimate suffering in order to spare another. In such a case, we should be willing to accept whatever suffering God is pleased to give us since all suffering is provided that we may grow closer to Him.


I’d go to Hell, only if that person goes to Heaven. I would not choose Hell, knowing that the person will also go to Hell. There are many factors like if the person is innocent, righteous, full of grace, etc. I will go with the possibility of the person being innocent. If the person is innocent, I know I did something good and I will, somehow, be happy in Hell. Because, I sacrificed myself for someone, and that brings be joy, even if I’d be in Hell. While if I’d send that innocent person to Hell, I would be guilty for eternity. Guilt will prevent me from being happy in Heaven, and thus, better a little happiness in Hell than unhappy in Heaven. Because guilt, which is knowing that an innocent person went to Hell because of you, destroys happiness. If the person deserves Hell then I choose me going to Heaven, and him to Hell. That would be being just. So in that case (the last) I choose justice. But if we are both righteous, I would choose to go to Hell myself, because sacrificing myself for that person is the greatest act of love I can do, and love always makes me happy. What true Christian, knowing that with his sacrifice will make someone happy, wouldn’t be happy himself (the Christian)? I believe my answer is logical, but of course, God is just and He will not test us with a scenario like this.

That’s what I’m thinking. Interesting question.

most true Christians would choose exactly as Paul said, and accept hell if it would assure that even one other person would be saved. Since the rest of your rant obviously assumes another answer, I won’t respond to it.

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