The Path to Hell


#1

It seems like a Catholic theme that a lot less people get into heaven than we think.

I don’t mean to question God’s judgement or the teachings of the church, but it is hard for me to understand how eternal suffering is a just punishment for some mortal sins. (most sexual sins, drunkeness)

Unless you are a lifetime murderer, or a generally evil-willed person, it doesn’t seem like you would deserve the eternal punishments of hell. Then again, maybe you wouldn’t deserve the immediate rewards of heaven. Do most people probably go to purgatory?


#2

If you read the Gospels, Jesus flat out says it.

Matthew, Ch. 7

11 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? 12 All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. 14 How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

None of us deserve Heaven, we don’t even deserve existence. By our sinful nature, we deserve Hell, but God has freely chosen to grant us a chance at salvation through Jesus. He spelled out the rules, including the sexual ones, and if we want salavtion we need to follow them.

It’s hard. But we were told by Jesus that it would be.

God Bless


#3

I don’t mean to question God’s judgement or the teachings of the church, but it is hard for me to understand how eternal suffering is a just punishment for some mortal sins. (most sexual sins, drunkeness)

I personally find it hard to understand how eternal torture and suffering is compatible with eternal love and kindness. What loving god creates such a place as hell?


#4

If you don’t want to spent your temporal life with God, then why sould you want to spend your Eternal life with him. It’s a choice.


#5

That’s exactly the point.

It’s a human being’s choice to exist outside of eternal love and kindness that results in his eternal suffering. The eternal suffering of Hell is the natural result of resisting and rebelling against the transforming love of God.

When we choose not to repent of a mortal sin, we are choosing not to receive God’s mercy and love. An existence apart or at odds from His mercy and love is Hell.


#6

It’s a human being’s choice to exist outside of eternal love and kindness that results in his eternal suffering. The eternal suffering of Hell is the natural result of resisting and rebelling against the transforming love of God.

Pardon me, but which of the thousands of deities are you referring to? Zeus? Allah? The particular god you have been brought up to believe in?


#7

Love (contrary to cheesy novels and soi-disant ‘enlightened’ thinking) does not mean ‘never having to say you’re sorry’.

If it were possible that a person who chooses mortal sin and dies with that sin unrepented COULD repent after death, then ‘eternal punishment’ would indeed be an ‘unfair’ treatment for a "non eternal sin’–ie, the temporal sinful ‘action’.

BUT. . .since that person dies in unrepented mortal sin, and cannot–nay, will not–repent (by his/her free choice) it is not a question that this was a ‘temporal’ sin. The sin now IS eternal. Therefore, the consequences are also eternal. And that choice is. . .ours.


#8

Gee, Stefan, this is a Catholic forum speaking of Catholic moral theology. Three guesses as to ‘The’ Deity of whom we speak. . .


#9

Gee, Stefan, this is a Catholic forum speaking of Catholic moral theology. Three guesses as to ‘The’ Deity of whom we speak. . .

Gee, the sarcasm was obviously missed. Of course I know which deity you are referring to.


#10

Stefan, you say in a later post that your response above was meant to be sarcastic.

Implication => since mankind has referred to thousands of deities throughout history, none of them are better than any others. None of them are “correct.” None of them are “the only one.”

So let me ask you a question. You are probably into science as a “counter” to religion (just a guess). There are dozens, perhaps thousands of scientific explanations for the origin of the universe. Which one have you been indoctrinated to believe in? Why is it better than any others? Is it correct? Is it the “real explanation.”

Perhaps you believe in relativism - nothing is better than anything else. And your opinion is just as good as anybody else’s.

But even a true scientist believes that there is such a thing as Truth (in a scientific sense). There is an objective, not relative, reality. Otherwise, what are they pursuing?

Just as science went through many iterations of “Truth” and still is…as it gets closer to correctly explaining reality with the vocabulary of science, religion took some time to understand the reality that is God.

Science and religion seek the same thing - Truth. They actually both seek God.


#11

Please. We might have a sinful nature, but we were created by God that way. It’s not like we asked for it or had any choice in the matter. I have never understood people that continually moan and apologize about our inherent sinfulness.

I never got mad at my dog for not understanding Calculus.


#12

Unless you are a lifetime murderer, or a generally evil-willed person, it doesn’t seem like you would deserve the eternal punishments of hell.

Pete, by what ruler do you make this statement? By this question I only mean to point out, in a different way perhaps, what has already been said here. It is by obedience to God that we show the acceptance of the salvific gift of the sacrifice of His Son.

The Church in fact does not claim anyone is in Hell, not Judas or Pol Pot (worse than Hitler). Personally I pray for Judas for he recognized his sin and despaired of it. For that he too has my pity.

We just need to emphasize the reality of Hell. It is out of pure generosity that we want all people to come to know God’s Love. I cannot attest to the difference of life with and without Him but, I am sure there are many members that can. Why live without that emptiness which I cannot fathom?


#13

I would not say that we were created with a sinful nature. It is now inherited but, Adam and Eve were created without that disposition.

Ah the creation of Adam and Eve, I don’t think that this thread is the forum for that, But I would love to entertain some of my theories sometime.

Also a Dog is not capable of understanding Calculus but man is more than capable of accepting God. Bad Analogy.


#14

We might have inherited Adam and Eve’s sin, but are in no way responsible for it. Prior posts state things like we all deserve hell. God created us. Did he create us to send us to hell? Whose fault is it that we are sinful in nature?

I accept how we are created, I think it’s immature to beat ourselves up over it. It’s not where you started from, it’s where you end up at.

The analogy is fine. My dog was unable to understand Calculus through no fault of her own. We were created with sinful natures through no fault of our own.


#15

sodak,

No, he created us to choose Him, that we might be with Him in eternity. You must have Hope. How can you accept Faith without it?

I certainly don’t blame anyone else for my nature, I don’t make excuses for it. I aspire to overcome it. What kind of Christian would I be if this were true?

You must further explain your analogy for me to believe it is correct. I believe that the analogy works for how you understand the situation.

Are you saying that we cannot overcome sin? That is not our job. It has been done for us. We only need to accept it and live a life accordingly, despite our stumbles our faults and our doubts. I guess my analogy would be that my dogs life is enhanced because of the human grasp of calc. I love math!


#16

I’m sorry if I’m unclear. I was trying to respond to these comments:

None of us deserve Heaven, we don’t even deserve existence. By our sinful nature, we deserve Hell, but God has freely chosen to grant us a chance at salvation through Jesus.

God created us to fulfill his plan. We don’t even deserve existence? Prove it. We deserve Hell because of the nature that God gave us? Did God create us just so he could enjoy damning us all to Hell? That doesn’t sound like the God that I want to spend eternity with…

You are absolutely right, sin has been overcome for us on the cross. I am not despairing, or hopeless. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we are created the way that we are by God, in the image of God. Yes, we are imperfect, but there’s no need to apologize for it. We simply need to try to know, love, and serve God.

I’m glad you like math, I’m a mathematician by trade!


#17

HA HA! don’t you love it when you argue the same side of a discussion.

I am glad to see I misunderstood you.

(Computer Engineer currently working as a S/W consultant unfortunately I don’t get into too much math)


#18

Nobody knows how many are going to heaven or hell, aside from God.

Many saints and early church fathers to believe that the number of the saved is few in comparison to the damned, but at least for the latter this view may have resulted from a misguided interpretation of scripture.

On the other hand,

[quote=“Catholic Encyclopedia: Predestination”]Pointing to several texts of the Bible (Matthew 7:14; 22:14) and to sayings of great spiritual doctors, the rigorists defend as probable the thesis that not only most Christians but also most Catholics are doomed to eternal damnation. Almost repulsive in its tone is Massillon’s sermon on the small number of the elect. Yet even St. Thomas (loc. cit., a. 7) asserted: “Pauciores sunt qui salvantur” (only the smaller number of men are saved). And a few years ago, when the Jesuit P. Castelein (“Le rigorisme, le nombre des élus et la doctrine du salut”, 2nd ed., Brussels, 1899) impugned this theory with weighty arguments, he was sharply opposed by the Redemptorist P. Godts (“De paucitate salvandorum quid docuerunt sancti”, 3rd ed., Brussels, 1899). That the number of the elect cannot be so very small is evident from the Apocalypse (vii, 9). When one hears the rigorists, one is tempted to repeat Dieringer’s bitter remark: “Can it be that the Church actually exists in order to people hell?” The truth is that neither the one nor the other can be proved from Scripture or Tradition (cf. Heinrich-Gutberlet, “Dogmat. Theologie”, Mainz, 1897, VIII, 363 sq.). But supplementing these two sources by arguments drawn from reason we may safely defend as probable the opinion that the majority of Christians, especially of Catholics, will be saved. If we add to this relative number the overwhelming majority of non-Christians (Jews, Mahommedans, heathens), then Gener (“Theol. dogmat. scholast.”, Rome, 1767, II, 242 sq.) is probably right when he assumes the salvation of half of the human race, lest “it should be said to the shame and offence of the Divine majesty and clemency that the [future] Kingdom of Satan is larger than the Kingdom of Christ” (cf. W. Schneider, “Das andere Leben”, 9th ed., Paderborn, 1908, 476 sq.).
[/quote]

(Link: newadvent.org/cathen/12378a.htm)

The church does not profess to know the number of elect. If it said most were saved, laxity may result (well, not that it already has). If they were to say that most were damned, it is possible that many would be led to despair.

The important thing is that we know how to attain salvation: Avoid mortal sin (which entails trying one’s hardest to not commit deliberate venial sin as well, since repeated venial sins incline one to mortal sin). If you do fall into such a misfortune as committing a mortal sin, try to make a perfect act of contrition and make a valid confession with a firm purpose of amendment.


#19

There are dozens, perhaps thousands of scientific explanations for the origin of the universe. Which one have you been indoctrinated to believe in? Why is it better than any others? Is it correct? Is it the “real explanation.”

Can you please enligthen me about those thousands of different scientefic explanations of the origin of the universe? Currently I am only aware of the so called “Big Bang” theory, which I in no way see as the “real explanation”.
I simply think that this theory is the best (scientefic) explanation scientists have come up with so far, and I am sure that it will undergo many modifications in the future.


#20

Ok, so saying the swear word GD (slipped out) is a mortal sin. If I don’t confess that befor I die I would go to hell? That doesn’t seem right.


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