If God made every human for the fulfillment that is God and Heaven, and if God in fact has placed within us a fundamental desire for this fulfillment, then how could one possibly reject God as a means for his or her fulfillment?
By this I conclude that any choice for hell would ultimately be a mistake, in the very real sense that the person did not know what he was doing. In other words, no one really deserves hell because no one really chooses it. For if that person knew God was his or her fulfillment (and this is so for every person), then that person would surely choose God, right?
How would you answer this?
NOTE: I know that the church throughout history, the New Testament, and Christ taught the existence of hell. But I am wondering how to reconcile it with the thoughts above.
Who is more likely to know whether hell exists or not; Jesus or you? If you believe in what the Bible tells us Jesus had to teach about this, playing with concepts adds little. But a hobby is good. My hobby is working towards never finding out until it doesn’t matter personally.
2Thes2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.]
Everyone desires good in general. That is, even things that are bad are willed for some real or perceived good. Thus, in this sense, no one wills to be lost. But, some people will created goods over the Eternal Good. And from this, the two pains of hell arise. The pain of loss comes from knowledge of not seeing God, and in seeing now that He alone could satisfy the soul, and the pain of sense comes from the deprivation of those created goods which were loved on earth.
Only God, seen immediately and intuitively in the Beatific Vision can so satiate the soul that sin becomes impossible.
Gee, wouldn’t that be nice? [at least on first glance] But as one who led a life of fee wheeling sin in the 80s and early 90s, I was sliding fast down the wide road to hell. I got some warnings to that effect more or less.
I KNEW my only chance was the Catholic Church. All the others, for me at least, lacked accountability and tools. I knew I had to see a priest to confess my sins. I knew I had to pull myself out of the muck.
Whenever I began to clean up my act, there was a fight. I know why now. Finally I did begin the actual journey to follow in the footsteps of Christ. It has been amazing. Only after my conversion did I get to see just how much danger I was in.
Why are we here? Why am I here? Surely it was not just to collect material things and have a high ole time! What is the point in that? You are born, you party, you die? That isn’t it. Not by a long shot. I am nothing but clay. God did not breathe his Essence into me so I could eat rich foods, keep up with the Jones, chase after flesh, and go nightclubbing.
He wants me back with him. He wants me to help others. He wants us to appreciate the sacrifice his son made after we first screwed up here on Earth. Most of all he wants us to return his love. We do this by behaving and working for him. We can even begin to inherit the Kingdom before we leave. I really hope this helps you in some way on your journey.
To me, it seems clear from Scripture that some people will be horrified to learn that they are about to be cast into hell, and will say “I made a mistake”, but will be sent to eternal punishment anyway. In other words, there will be many who did not make an affirmative “choice” or “decision” for hell but who will be punished eternally because of their recklessness or negligence. Check the Parable of the Virgins.
Have you actually sat down over time and really read your New Testament…especially the Gospels? I suggest that you do it again. I always find things I never noticed before and I’m sure you will too.
Ask the devil…
Furthermore your mistake is plainly answered in the following passage from John 3.  And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
I have a Bible, and in it, it list ways where you can lose your salvation. Even says that certain types of folks will “not inherit the kingdom of heaven”. (Galatians 5:19-21). Here in the south (ern United States), we like to say “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it”.
There are times people choose short term pleasure over their immortal soul. They delude themselves, thinking that there will always be time to repent later. Sometimes in our weakness and fallen nature we choose something of fleeting pleasure over God. Instant gratification.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve had a much greater knowledge of God than we. However, they had free will and made a bad choice.
The scary thing is, if the bible is correct, there will be many folks that think they are ‘right’ with God, but upon their death, they will be sent to hell…this really makes no sense, especially if they did truly think they were right with God in life, then they were certainly not choosing hell or damnation, but still end up there anyway?!
He gave us free will. And the key, He doesn’t force us to do HIS will. He desires only the best for us, but He doesn’t force us to accept it.
We know, that there are people who make up their own realities to suit their own comfort level…right?
As you point out
*]Hell isn’t something man invented. We know hell exists because of Divine revelation. Since God can’t lie, He can’t deceive either. He doesn’t scare us needlessly. That would be dishonest of Him. And God can’t be dishonest. He is the definition of truth. And those who will not believe Him or take His warnings seriously are fools…IMO
*]If hell didn’t exist why did humanity need a savior? Savior from what?
*]God teaches us of heaven, and warns us of hell. He says few go to heaven, which means the rest go to hell. . Matthew 7:13 , Matthew 7:14 , BTW, all in purgatory go to heaven, so they are counted in with the “few” Jesus describes for heaven in His example.
God tells us one WILL go to hell if they die in mortal sin. Really? Where does God tell us that?
Using scripture + Tradition, taking just one sin “division / dissension” out of the list of sins mentioned from the passages presented
*]All scripture is God breathed 2 Timothy 3:16
*]and the HS caused the apostles to remember what Jesus taught John 14:26
*]and The HS got His teaching not from Himself but from Jesus In Context
So we know, from Jesus Himself, that hell is real, and why people go there.
But for perspective, to quote Aquinas
for those who have faith no explanation is necessary, for those without faith no explanation is sufficient
Obviously that’s saying we won’t convince everyone. That doesn’t mean the unconvinced are innocent of their situation, it just means ***we ***won’t necessarily convince them
A beautiful thought is this: If there is a hell perhaps it really is empty. Perhaps when we die we get a chance to repent. No one knows. That’s the good or perhaps bad, depending on how you look at it, view of agnosticism, at least my belief: I simply don’t know, no one does what happens when you die.
Let’s hope there is an afterlife and we will be reunited with the ones we loved, or could have loved, or will love.
If you think repentance is THEN, why not take advantage of that now? Why wait till then? Did God say you could hold off till then? Aren’t you being presumptuous of God?
Incidentally Re: no one knows
Jesus knows. He knows in advance who will repent and who won’t. He gives lots of warnings (in scripture) about repent NOW, and believe …NOW. Obviously one could get caught by surprise at the end of life, and not have the chance to repent. And who guarantees you will feel any different about repenting THEN on that day than you do today?
Ask God for faith. He will give it to you if you are honestly asking…
BTW, Re: presumption (dictionary definitions) presumption - when you believe that something is true without having any proof , taking for granted presumptuous - A person who is presumptuous shows little respect for others by doing things they have no right to do