Regarding Hell: Request for a peer review

I am writing a brief article on the “last things” and I would appreciate some peer review on my “Hell” section. I want to make sure it’s theologically/doctrinally sound. It’s 545 words (in case that matters to anyone).-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hell. This is an “either/or” with #4 Heaven]. If you were on the “or” side of Judgment…if you did not receive that grace and did not have life in Christ and were not Baptized into Christ, if you did not love but hated others (1Jn 3:14-15) or if you separated yourself from God and did not repent, or neglected the poor or His little ones, (Mt 25: 31-46) your eternal existence will be “hell”.

So many people think of this as some medieval punishment by God. It’s not. Hell is torment, but not because God wants to eternally torment anyone. It’s torment because it was created for the devil and those who followed the devil in renouncing God (Mt 25:41). Hell is eternal existence in the absence of God. And for those who rejected God, or those who did not receive the supernatural Grace to co-exist with God, and did not choose to live in Christ, it was their choice, not God’s. God gives us all the grace to come to know Him. We all have an inner calling, so to speak, to know our Creator. God does not will for anyone to be damned. Hell is a choice that a person makes when they choose not to unite themselves to God, or they choose to separate themselves from God and then choose not to repent up to their death.

Think about it. If you were told that you were going to go to space (and for whatever reason there was no choice in the matter, just as experiencing death has no opt-out), but you chose not to wear the spacesuit that was offered, whose fault would it be when you were shot up to space and you died for lack of equipment? The fault would be yours. It was your choice not to be prepared.

Here’s another way you might look at it. If you lived your entire life for yourself, doing what YOU wanted and fighting for the causes YOU wanted, and only worshipping God the way YOU wanted, regardless of how HE wanted to be worshipped, you have essentially set yourself up as your own God. Then imagine you eternally meet God, and He’s not the God that YOU wanted Him to be…He does not match your ideals, His ways are not your ways, He doesn’t support the things you fought for in life, He doesn’t give YOU the respect/homage for your own ideals/opinions that you would expect is due to you, etc… He would be repulsive to you. And not just an instant of repulsion, but eternal…forever and immeasurably repulsive to your spirit which can no longer change because you are no longer in a physical world where things undergo change.

So, as horrible as Hell would be, being eternally separated from the God whom we were created to be united with, to Hell you would go by your own choice, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth (Mt 8:12, 13:42,50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Lk 13:28), and an eternal reminder that you are there by your own choices…your own fault. You won’t blame God, because you will be eternally aware of those instances where God nudged you in the right direction, and you ignored Him or chose contrary to Him.

MODERATOR - I had intended on putting this in “Philosophy”, but I guess my mind went blank. Please move if it would be more appropriate there.

Apparently this isn’t a topic most people want to chime in on. I even asked elsewhere with no response.

Anyway, I did edit it some and finally posted the article. Comments and review are still appreciated, and future editing is always an option. :slight_smile:

[LIST]
*]We Are All Going to Die!
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Why would someone who wanted to be separated from God be unhappy about being separated from God?

It isn’t “want”, per se, but “choosing”. The spirit has a drive to know its Creator. On earth, man has the ability to choose to ignore that and to fight against the calling of his soul. At death, he is faced with eternal reality. His spirit, which is drawn to its Creator, will “want” to be with God. That is its purpose…to be with God. Yet it cannot because it does not have the grace to co-exist with God. It doesn’t have that grace because the man chose to reject it/throw it away. So, the soul, which is spirit, is in eternal torment being separated from God Whom it was created to be with. And the body he will receive again, also created for communion with God, will be forever separated from God. Part of the torment is in knowing you can never have/be what you were created to have/be. It would be somewhat like a person starving/dehydrating to death, who can never die and never be relieved of the hunger/thirst…only worse.

That’s how I understand it, anyway.

I highly recommend that you read C.S.Lewis’s “The Great Divorce.” It is an updated (and short) version of Dante’s Inferno, featuring a bus-ride to heaven (with stops in purgatory). Lewis was an Anglican, but very nearly a Catholic.

Thanks for the recommendation, DavidFilmer. I’ll check it out. :slight_smile:

Thanks for answering. Why do you suppose that mankind loses the ability to choose to ignore and fight against the calling of his soul at death? Do people get some additional information at that time?

because they have no idea what it really feels like…YET

It would seem then that theirs was not an informed choice.

I don’t know about “additional information”. Scripture tells us that here we see as through clouded glass, or the like. Yet there we will see clear, as things are. What would there be to distract him from reality? Once the soul is separated from the body what could he distract himself with in order to ignore the reality of what is?

I don’t think we lose the ability to choose, per se. But we don’t get to choose what our souls were created for, because we did not create them. That’s about as far as I understand it.

Fair enough. Thanks

Not necessarily.

Take for example the first sin Genesis 3:3

Was it a choice? Yes
Were they told in advance what would happen if they ate from that tree? Yes

even though they might not know completely what death meant, they were warned, and they knew somehow death is not good. They could have chosen to obey God but instead made a decision to disobey God.

It was an informed choice, and it was a bad choice.

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