Since God is everywhere


#1

since God is everywhere, and there is no where which God is not, meaning God is both inside of time and outside of time, and God exists in the infinite space we call the universe, and God also exists in the infinite space of heaven and has no boundaries, is it in some way correct to suggest or believe that God is in some way also in Hell? I know this may come as a chaotic question to some, but if Hell is a place then wouldn’t God have to be there in some way in order for it to exist? Or, being how God can also do literally anything, did God create Hell as a self-sustained existence which does not require His presence, and in some way could Hell be more of a nowhere rather than a somewhere?


#2

No.

In Catholic Theology, it is best not to think of Hell as a place, but a state. Hell is the state of being completely without God.

This topic goes deeper and requires a lot better explanation than I can provide (since we have to reconcile this with the idea of flames and whatnot). Someone will give you the answer.


#3

God is completely holy, since he is completely holy, he cannot be evil. Hell is only for evil people who go away from God.


#4

[quote=D Quintero]God is completely holy, since he is completely holy, he cannot be evil. Hell is only for evil people who go away from God.
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In fact, Hell is not even for evil people. Hell is only for Satan and his angels. That is what God made it for. God so loves his children, that he never even thought to punish them.

It is only by rejection of God that we go to Hell. Hell is the only place where God is “not.” This is why the damned go there.

See, God does not so much send us to Hell as we personally choose to go to Hell ourselves. We do this by rejecting God and saying to Him that we don’t want His friendship. When we reject God, we say to Him that we don’t want to be with him.

Hell is the only “place” where it possible to not be with God. This is why we go there when we reject God. Even though Hell was not made for us, because our loving God would never think to create such a place for us, it’s the only thing He “can do” (I use that loosely because God can do anything technically) because anywhere else He put us we would be with Him still, and by rejecting Him we say we don’t want this.

It actually is wonderful the way it all comes together when you understand it all! :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=Lazerlike42]In fact, Hell is not even for evil people. Hell is only for Satan and his angels. That is what God made it for. God so loves his children, that he never even thought to punish them.

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Are you trying to say God doesn’t also love his angels? This is how it comes across. They too have free will, and chose hell just as we can. It’s not like they’re less loved & he wants to punish them but not us.


#6

[quote=ChiroCatholic]Are you trying to say God doesn’t also love his angels? This is how it comes across. They too have free will, and chose hell just as we can. It’s not like they’re less loved & he wants to punish them but not us.
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The difference with angels is that they only have/had a one time chance choice about God. It gets complicated. Here is a simple explanation I found on a website. It goes deeper than this, but here:

The angels were in the beatific vision of God. They were given free will just as we have. But when they made the decision to follow God or reject God they made that decision in perfect and complete knowledge.

We do not have perfect knowledge thus we must have faith. Because of that we can change our minds once we gain a new piece of knowledge.

Put it this way. If a person is not knowledgable about Math he might change his mind about the answer to 1 + 1. He changes his mind because he does not know for sure.

But how can a person change his mind when he KNOWS ABSOLUTELY that 1 + 1 = 2. There is nothing to base a change of mind. 1 + 1 = 2.

The angels were in that absolute knowledge. Thus when Lucifer and the 1/3 of the angels rebelled against God they did it with perfect knowledge. They knew what they were doing. There is no going back – just as there is no going back to thinking 1 + 1 = 5 once your KNOW that it is actually 1 + 1 = 2.

To put it another way, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you decide to squeeze the tooth paste is out of the tube.

This is what it was like for the Angels.

Therefore, the angels who rebelled could never repent, so God had to do something with them. That’s why He made Hell.

It goes deeper than this, though. Somebody else might be able to say it better or more thoroughly than I.


#7

[quote=Davethewave]since God is everywhere, and there is no where which God is not, meaning God is both inside of time and outside of time, and God exists in the infinite space we call the universe, and God also exists in the infinite space of heaven and has no boundaries, is it in some way correct to suggest or believe that God is in some way also in Hell? I know this may come as a chaotic question to some, but if Hell is a place then wouldn’t God have to be there in some way in order for it to exist? Or, being how God can also do literally anything, did God create Hell as a self-sustained existence which does not require His presence, and in some way could Hell be more of a nowhere rather than a somewhere?
[/quote]

First off, the universe is not infinite. I would suggest reading a great little booklet by physicist and author Fr. Stanley Jaki, “Why The Question: Is There A God?”, which gets into this a bit, thankfully in layman’s terms. So, one of your premises is wrong.

The Catechism describes hell as a “state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed” (1033). It’s not a piece of real estate, though obviously there’s a lot that we don’t----and simply can’t----know about the specific “properties”, if you will, about hell.


#8

Isn’t it true, though, that God has to have some connection to the souls in Hell? The reason I ask is because, from what I understand, we only exist because God wills us. If He ceased to will us into existence, we would cease to exist. Our existence is totally contingent upon His will. Given that the fallen angels and souls in Hell exist, don’t they still have some connection to God, even though they’re completely separated from Him? I’m not at all trying to suggest that the souls in Hell aren’t separated from God, but I’m trying to figure out if I’m understanding this right. It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.


#9

Isn’t it true, though, that God has to have some connection to the souls in Hell? The reason I ask is because, from what I understand, we only exist because God wills us. If He ceased to will us into existence, we would cease to exist. Our existence is totally contingent upon His will. Given that the fallen angels and souls in Hell exist, don’t they still have some connection to God, even though they’re completely separated from Him? I’m not at all trying to suggest that the souls in Hell aren’t separated from God, but I’m trying to figure out if I’m understanding this right. It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.


#10

Many men have come up with great ideas about what God is or is not. Many have explored what heaven is and what hell is. The greeks wrote about our soul, about God being a Trinity, and through time many religions have held on to these truths, Christianity exploded only when they allowed themselves to allow reason to intermingle with faith. They also persecuted a lot of people with differing ideas when they did not allow reason to enter their faith.

Throughout the bible when God is mentioned, fire is always present. Purgatory is too often called a place, and fire is present to illustrate to us that through God’s grace we will be purified. To some this is to scarry to imagine, but our bodies will die, our new bodies will be different, and I am not sure if I will experience pain as I know it in my body or flesh today or if it will exist at all.

Hell is mentioned a lot of a lake of fire, but also mentioned of being dark. Now can fire as we know it be all around us yet we are in the dark. So this tells me that this has to be figurative or symbolic thinking teaching us with things we can relate to here on earth.

To me if some go to a place of the damned which we call hell, then we have to have some memory of a God that we denied, that we did not listen to, and I believe for hell to trully be a place of the damned than we have to know that we were wrong. We then probably create that fire and that pain and enter in a nightmare that we can never escape. Not being with God.

As a whole human race, throughout the history of mankind we have always created myths, heroes, the good guy and the bad guy… I recomend Truth and Tolerace Christian beliefs and wrold religions by our current pope.


#11

[quote=Grace and Glory]Isn’t it true, though, that God has to have some connection to the souls in Hell? The reason I ask is because, from what I understand, we only exist because God wills us. If He ceased to will us into existence, we would cease to exist. Our existence is totally contingent upon His will. Given that the fallen angels and souls in Hell exist, don’t they still have some connection to God, even though they’re completely separated from Him? I’m not at all trying to suggest that the souls in Hell aren’t separated from God, but I’m trying to figure out if I’m understanding this right. It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.
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I want this answered! :slight_smile:


#12
See Virginia Stefano

I can’t imagine there being anything without Jesus.


#13

[quote=Lazerlike42]The difference with angels is that they only have/had a one time chance choice about God. It gets complicated. Here is a simple explanation I found on a website. It goes deeper than this, but here:

Therefore, the angels who rebelled could never repent, so God had to do something with them. That’s why He made Hell.

It goes deeper than this, though. Somebody else might be able to say it better or more thoroughly than I.
[/quote]

I think the angels who rebelled cannot repent because their will is perfect, and they cannot be swayed. So they’re apart from God for all eternity.

Anyway, about God not loving the angels, of course he does. The question is, who does he love more, man or the angels? I dare say man. Why? Because he created man in his own image, and when he fell, God took upon himself man’s nature, and when Jesus ascended, brought his human nature with him. This means that here and now, there is humanity WITHIN THE GODHEAD!!! There is no angelic nature in the Godhead, only Divine and Human. Imagine that.

Now throw in our Lady’s Queenship over heaven, and take a good guess over whom God clearly favors.


#14

[quote=Davethewave]since God is everywhere, and there is no where which God is not, meaning God is both inside of time and outside of time, and God exists in the infinite space we call the universe, and God also exists in the infinite space of heaven and has no boundaries, is it in some way correct to suggest or believe that God is in some way also in Hell? I know this may come as a chaotic question to some, but if Hell is a place then wouldn’t God have to be there in some way in order for it to exist? Or, being how God can also do literally anything, did God create Hell as a self-sustained existence which does not require His presence, and in some way could Hell be more of a nowhere rather than a somewhere?
[/quote]

(1) If you read Thomas Aquinas, you’ll note that he deals with the question of God’s omnipotence. Aquinas argues that even the demons are sustained by God’s presence.

(2) Regarding God’s presence in hell, I’ve always liked the Eastern Orthodox explanation: in the resurrection and judgement, everyone (good and bad) will be in God’s presence, but those who are saved will feel God’s presence as Light and Love, whereas those who are not saved, will feel God’s presence as Pain:

The doctrine of eternal hell, therefore, does not mean that God actively tortures people by some unloving and perverse means. It does not mean that God takes delight in the punishment and pain of His people whom He loves. Neither does it mean that God “separates Himself” from His people, thus causing them anguish in this separation (for indeed if people hate God, separation would be welcome, and not abhorred!). It means rather that God continues to allow all people, saints and sinners alike, to exist forever. All are raised from the dead into everlasting life: “those who have done good, to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29). In the end, God will be “all and in all” (1 Cor 15:28). For those who love God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be paradise. For those who hate God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be hell. This is the teaching of the fathers of the Church.


#15

[quote=Grace and Glory]It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.
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Here’s my attempt at this. I have been thinking and poking around the internet. It basically comes down to the fact that God gave us free will. He never sends us to Hell. Anybody that goes to Hell does so only out of their own choice. Remember that Hell is not so much a firey “place” as it is a state of being without God. It gets down to the very nature of God and of accepting or rejecting Him, and that the choices we make in life we must keep forever. When we choose God, we say we want Him in our life. When we reject Him, we say we don’t want Him. When we do that, we spend eternity without Him, which is Hell. Remember that God gave us free will. If God simply snuffed us out of existence, as annihilationists would argue, He would be denying us A) existence and B) our free will to choose. The idea is that it is ultimately much more just to allow us existence and our choice, and to allow us to exist in a less than preferable state than to deny us existence at all. If Hell were really just a place of burning and torment, this wouldn’t work, but since it is the state of existing without God, it does.

Think of an analogy between wealthy people living in a mansion and poor people living on the streets starving and suffering all the time. Would we rather let these people exist in this less than preferable state, or would we suggest killing them all off? Some people might recommend the latter, but Catholics wouldn’t, nor would most people. In fact, the aversion to this idea is such that a lot of science fiction stories have been terrifying tales about futures where the government does just this. When we read these stories, we are horrified at the prospect of a future like this. We shouldn’t expect God to do this, then.

Of course in the present world, the solution is for the people in the mansions to give money and clothing and food and help to the suffering people. However, as we know, the people in the mansions (Heaven) spent their lives trying to help and give the people suffering (in Hell) the needs that they lacked: God. In the analogy, the poor are without money, which they need to be free of their suffering. In the truth, the people are without God, which they need to be free of their suffering. Therefore, it translates to a situation where the poor told the people in the mansions that they don’t want the money, and that they want to remain suffering, and that they don’t ever want the money at all. That’s what it coems down to, which is why those in Heaven can’t give to those in Hell what they lack once they are there. The decision is made and over with.

It makes a lot of sense (I think) in light of the idea that the only real suffering in Hell is the lack of God. He sustains those their, to grant them their existence and to hold true to His promise of free will, but other than that they do not have Him. When you understand this sense, it comes together and doesn’t seem that odd. Reading this from Dave Armstrong helps it make sense and helped me develop this train of thought:

The essence of hell is separation from God. God in effect says: “so you want to live apart from Me? You think that is a preferable state of affairs to living with Me? Very well, then, go ahead; see how you like it.” Of course, God would have a great deal more love and compassion than that… but this is the basic idea. The Bible talks about God giving men up to their own devices and the hardening of their hearts…

C.S. Lewis stated that “the doors of hell are locked from the inside.” God respects human free will so much that He is willing to let men reject Him and spend eternity away from Him, if that is their choice. Of course, those who choose this don’t have the faintest idea of what an existence utterly without God is like, because they have not yet experienced it. This is the tragic folly of the whole thing.

The instant they do experience it, they’ll know what a terrible mistake they made, and in my speculative opinion that will be the primary horror of hell: the intense, irreversible self-loathing, self-hatred, and regret at having made such a stupid and perfectly avoidable mistake as to end up in an unspeakably dreadful, hideous place or state like hell. We know from this life how difficult it is to live with bitter regret: the mulling over the “if only’s” of life and our bittersweet journey through it.

Imagine doing that for eternity! And, of course, this is one big reason why Christians want to proclaim the gospel, so people can avoid that miserable fate, and can live eternally the way God intended them to live, without suffering and sin: complete, whole, perfect creatures, rejoicing in God’s wonderful presence forever.


#16

quote=Ahimsa If you read Thomas Aquinas, you’ll note that he deals with the question of God’s omnipotence. Aquinas argues that even the demons are sustained by God’s presence.

(2) Regarding God’s presence in hell, I’ve always liked the Eastern Orthodox explanation: in the resurrection and judgement, everyone (good and bad) will be in God’s presence, but those who are saved will feel God’s presence as Light and Love, whereas those who are not saved, will feel God’s presence as Pain:

The doctrine of eternal hell, therefore, does not mean that God actively tortures people by some unloving and perverse means. It does not mean that God takes delight in the punishment and pain of His people whom He loves. Neither does it mean that God “separates Himself” from His people, thus causing them anguish in this separation (for indeed if people hate God, separation would be welcome, and not abhorred!). It means rather that God continues to allow all people, saints and sinners alike, to exist forever. All are raised from the dead into everlasting life: “those who have done good, to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:29). In the end, God will be “all and in all” (1 Cor 15:28). For those who love God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be paradise. For those who hate God, resurrection from the dead and the presence of God will be hell. This is the teaching of the fathers of the Church.
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I don’t know if I can buy into that, because there are plenty of teachings concerning the fact that upon death we will all know the truth of God and all understand Him and have, as we talked about with the angels earlier, full knowledge. Given that, I don’t believe it would be possible to hate God. It just doesn’t fit. In other words, seperation would not be what the atheist wants, because once the atheist has been in the presence of God to be judged, or has died and has full knowledge, he would no longer hate God. Full knowledge is in a sense the very act of loving God itself. Further, if an atheist does not hate God, but simply does not believe in Him, then upon learning of the truth of God, there is no necessity that the atheist hate Him. Some atheists or unbelievers do hate God, but most simply don’t believe in Him. This could be interpreted as hate in one sense, but not in general.

Further, Jesus and the Apostles always spoke of things in a salvific sense. They spoke of salvation, and eternal life, and being saved. Remember that the greatest commandment is to “love God with all your heart…” If we must keep this commandment as a requirement for being saved, it doesn’t make sense to say that loving God, which is a requirement, is also the very thing that Heaven consists of. The commandments of Christ are what we must keep to attain something. To attain true happiness, which is what the Church teaches is the very definition of Heaven, we must love God as a commandment. Heaven entails the love of God indeed, and that is much or most of its nature.

I am not articulating very well, but I believe that it is in general against the teaching of the Church to assert that Hell is the experience of hating yet being near God. The Church clearly teaches that Hell is the state of seperation from God.


#17

[quote=Grace and Glory] It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.
[/quote]

You are right about this. All of creation, including man and angels, is created from nothing. Without God’s will to hold us in existence, we would cease to exist. What God creates, he does not un-create. So no matter whether we end up in heaven or hell, we are connected to God by the fact of our existence.


#18

In one of the psalms ( I don’t know which one at this time) the psalm says If I decend into hell you are there.
I don’t know what is meant by hell.


#19

[quote=Sirach14]In one of the psalms ( I don’t know which one at this time) the psalm says If I decend into hell you are there.
I don’t know what is meant by hell.
[/quote]

Psalm 139:8.

The term “hell” there doesn’t refer to the hell of the damned (are you using the DR by any chance)?

The term placemarked by “hell” in your passage is actually “Sheol” in the original Hebrew, referring to the place the dead dwelt. It is variously translated as “netherworld”, “pit”, or “grave”.

Since your translation has hell, it’s probably based or influenced by the Greek Septuagint, wich has “hades”, which the LXX translators used to translate “Sheol”. “Hades” is usually translated as “infernorum” in Latin (the lower places), and “hell” in English.


#20

[quote=Grace and Glory]Isn’t it true, though, that God has to have some connection to the souls in Hell? The reason I ask is because, from what I understand, we only exist because God wills us. If He ceased to will us into existence, we would cease to exist. Our existence is totally contingent upon His will. Given that the fallen angels and souls in Hell exist, don’t they still have some connection to God, even though they’re completely separated from Him? I’m not at all trying to suggest that the souls in Hell aren’t separated from God, but I’m trying to figure out if I’m understanding this right. It seems to me that rejection of God, which results in separation from God and from His gifts, still leaves us with the gift He gave us of our own existence.
[/quote]

Well, I went to a Bible study about the book of Wisdom today, and the priest there actually answered my question without my even asking about it! Funny how these things work, isn’t it?
Well, what he said kind of agreed with what I’d thought. He said that God still loves the souls in Hell, and the demons, into existence. Obviously, God’s love for those who have moved themselves outside of the chance for repentance and salvation doesn’t affect them in the same way it affects us. It really does say a lot about God’s love that he continues to love even the creatures who have made themselves His enemies out of respect for the free will he gave them. That’s kind of what I’d thought, but I wasn’t sure if it was actually considered an acceptable position.
Thanks for all your help in helping me figure this out. I thought you might want to hear the answer I got tonight.


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