Is eternal punishment in hell really a just punishment? [Update: YES]

it doesn’t make sense to me that someone should be punished forever for 70 or so years of sins. does it make sense to you?


God is all just. If God has revealed this Truth, it must be just because God cannot make mistakes. If you have trouble accepting it, the problem isn’t with God.


I see your point if you believe hell is a punishment for your sins. It may be punished and the result of sin, but it isn’t the purpose or point. You must be holy, spotless and pure to enter into the Holy of Holies in Heaven; and make no mistake, the distinction is correct. Just as the High Priest had to be ritually purified before entering the Holy of Holies (which was the presence of God on earth when the Temple existed (it was destroyed in AD 70), we must all be purified before entering God’s presence in Heaven.

By your baptism and subsequent participation in the sacraments throughout your natural life, and time in purgatory where you may still fell short, you can and will enter Heaven purified and worthy to be in God’s presence. It is in fact the Good News, or the Gospel.

Aside from the aforementioned there is not pathway to God’s presence for those that knew the truth, rejected it and chose to remain in rebellion in life. Hell therefore is indeed the destination, but it is not to punish one for being a sinner.

While it does not seem so in our lives, we understand from some of the saints, that people in hell are where they want to be; worshiping themselves for all eternity. Ste Therese of Lisieux said it, I think, best of all.


Well put it in perspective shall we?
The question you should ask is: Who are my sin affecting?
Most people think that the sin is personal “I did it” therefore it affects ME!
But we are wrong, sins have this incredible power that once we commit them they take a life of their own and start affecting other people. Family and close relatives followed by other people. Also they set up ripple effects on those other people affected by them. So our sin could have consequences hundreds and even thousands of years AFTER we are no longer here on Earth.
Finally the most important reason of them all. When we sin we offend GOD who created us. GOD is infinite, hence our transgression has infinite power. This is the why only GOD could repay the sins committed by human kind by sending Jesus a true human and with a life of infinite value as HE was also GOD. I hope this will help you.


Sin However mortal does not need to have eternal consequences if God decides that the consequences should only be temporary, am i right? No doubt mortal sin offends God but God can decide if that mortal sin will offend him for an eternity or give chances for the sinner to redeem themselves. It is quite complicated stuff.

1 Like

When I was on retreat years ago the priest explained it this way (I’m going by memory here):

The dignity of the person offended determines the degree of the offense. If I slap you (not that I would!), and then say I’m sorry, you may or may not forgive me. If you do, we shake hands and everything is OK.

Now when John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan, the entire country wanted him put to death. However, due to his “Twinkie defense”, he got life imprisonment. (Btw, the Secret Service still watches him.)

Since God is infinite, therefore sin is an infinite offense. If you took ALL the prayers and good works of all the Angels and Saints, it would not suffice to cancel out ONE mortal sin. Think about it.

That’s why Our Lord came to redeem us. ONLY His Blood, Life, sufferings, Passion and Death on the Cross sufficed to make infinite satisfaction for the original sin of Adam and Eve plus our sins. Rom. 5: 20: And where sin abounded, grace did more abound. IOW, He made infinite satisfaction for ALL the sins of the world - from Adam & Eve to the last sin on the last day.

However, each soul must have His Precious Blood applied to him or her through the Sacraments. Baptism and the other 5 Sacraments derive their efficacy from the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

1 Like

Try to recognize that eternal punishments are for eternal sins.

Though on the surface to us, the sin may seem to be temporal, if a person is indeed punished eternally to hell, s/he sinned eternally in either thought, feeling, deed or spirit.

How on earth do you explain that?

1 Like

Hell is the absence of God and Cheerios…

Read your Bible and Catechism and lower your cholesterol.

It isn’t. When you choose hell —free choice—you not only have still been sinning since you never repented that original mortal sin for starters, so you’re still ‘doing it’, you continue doing that sin. For eternity. Eternal wrong—eternal consequences.

1 Like

Yes, that person has freely chosen never to love the Holy Trinity and therefore has made it impossible to have the Beatific Vision.) The Holy Trinity respects a persons free will choice.

1 Like

That sounds absurd, you continue doing a sin forever? that was never on my mind when i sinned.

You misunderstand. Go back and read carefully. Tell me that a person who committed a mortal sin and never repented for it his life long is NOT still committing a mortal sin of disobedience to God along WITH whatever wrong action he did.

You really don’t think that the person who fornicated ‘a couple of times’ (and never repented) had an actual ‘sin time’ of only during the fornication acts? Well, THERE’S your problem. You fail to understand that refusal to repent of mortal sin is a mortal sin in and of itself.

1 Like

I was thinking more on the line of someone who sins, repents, sins again, repents and so on.

Examples include:
Thinking, “Even if God allowed me in heaven, I would never want Person X there too.”
Feeling, “I will never want to be patient because it doesn’t help.”
In deed: Always willing to kill to get one’s way.
In spirit: One having an unchangeable disposition that God’s plan for creation isn’t best.

Again, the person who does that will only condemn himself to hell if, at the time of death, he has not repented a mortal sin. And remember, God grants us so many graces. All of us. We will truly truly have to work hard not to accept those graces. every day we have literally thousands of opportunities to recognise what we’ve done wrong and to be sorry. And again, while sacramental confession is the norm, even if we’re suddenly caught ‘unawares’ there is a split-second and a ‘sorry’ there can save us. God is very merciful.


Sounds a bit unfair when that person was making an effort in their life to turn away from sin.


How is God being unfair? Seriously, it’s not like we EARN heaven. Really. Nobody is worthy in themselves to enter heaven. Not even Mother Teresa. So God offers us salvation through Jesus.

Think of it this way, too. So supposing there is some jerk who has their whole life long been a rotten person, always hateful, mean, sinful. Then at the end of their life their eyes are opened and they repent.

Hey, is that fair? Their whole life they NEVER made an effort to turn away from sin, but at the last they got saved.

1 Like

Not fair if another person who was good and bad in their life dies in sin, in other words the more moral person goes to Hell while the less moral person goes to Heaven.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit