Why the rejection of a hell now?

On another web site I go to there are so many people in the Christianity forum that say there is no hell and if there is one, no one goes there. All are saved.

Where has that idea come from? One man even said he had a mental breakdown when he couldn’t bear the thought of people going to hell forever. He was mentally ill for 12 years than found a minister who taught him better and he is well now.

They have even quoted Pope Francis on Christ redeeming everyone as proof everyone is saved and going to heaven. Of course, the Protestants do not understand redemption and salvation so they think the Pope is saying we are all home free.

They even say those who talk about hell are mean and just think that way because they want others to go there and they will be in heaven proving they were the righteous ones while all those others belonged in hell. Quite a cynical idea but that is their take on it.:shrug:

It is called Apocatastasis. Catholic Encyclopedia states about*** Apocatastasis***:

A name given in the history of theology to the doctrine%between% which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will share in the grace of salvation; in a special way, the devils and lost souls.

It reappears at the Reformation in the writings of Denk (d. 1527), and Harnack has not hesitated to assert that nearly all the Reformers were apocatastasists at heart, and that it accounts for their aversion to the traditional teaching concerning the sacraments (Dogmengeschichte, III, 661). The doctrine of apokatastasis viewed as a belief in a universal salvation is found among the Anabaptists, the Moravian Brethren, the Christadelphians, among rationalistic Protestants, and finally among the professed Universalists. It has been held, also, by such philosophic Protestants as Schleiermacher, and by a few theologians, Farrar, for instance, in England, Eckstein and Pfister in Germany, Matter in France. Consult Köstlin, art. cit., and Grétillut, “Exposé de théologie systématique” (Paris, 1890), IV, 603.
Batiffol, P. (1907). Apocatastasis. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


It’s not a new idea, but I’d venture that if it’s more popular now, it’s because the current age is very much into ‘kindness’. Every age has its own favourite virtues - during the Crusades it’d have been bravery, the Victorians were into chastity. In the modern world as long as you’re ‘kind’ everything’s seen to be alright. For that reason some people can’t stand the idea of a hell at all.
Of course, that would completely negate the idea of free will, if we don’t have any choice between heaven and something else. The voluntary self-surrender necessary for heaven is exactly that, ‘self’-surrender, nobody else can do it for you or force you to. What I’d like to know is how these ‘Christians’ manage to conveniently ignore the numerous times Jesus warned against hell as a real possibility. :shrug:

Well said Trekker47.Amen and GodBless!

Hello Oneofmany.

Actually I think this could come in handy when speaking with many Protestants. You could look at them quizzically and simply say, “Gee, I thought you guys thought no Catholics were saved at all and needed to leave the Church so they wouldn’t go to Hell!” :rolleyes:

The notion was started by Origen as an act of final reconciliation of all creatures, of man and beast alike and even Satan and all the fallen angels too and this final reconciliation eliminated Hell and it’s eternity. He took it to extremes and it morphed at the end of his career as a theologian into various forms and his students afterwards tried to re-write his stuff to eliminate or hide his errors. It ruined the faith of many. Still does. The term it developed into is called universal salvation and comes and goes in various forms in heresies of all ages.


Because hurting feelings is the new unforgivable sin, and no-one wants to hurt anybody’s feelings by telling them they might have to go to Hell.

Or maybe more to the point, no-one wants to face the fact thst **they **might go to Hell.

Hell is NOT just a town in Michigan any more!!!


I have seen people deliberately choose hell here on Earth. I can’t see any reason why they wouldn’t choose hell over God’s grace after death. In death we remain who we are and if we hate God here will continue to hate God for eternity.

Someone said Jesus didn’t know what He was talking about. I am posting what they wrote-- That is in reply to my posting, “because Jesus wasn’t lying when he spoke about hell.”

“Another option: Jesus could have just been wrong. No lying required, and he could have been very sincere. People can be wrong and sincere at the same time.”


This is the minister and the thinking of all is saved.

Also this web site.


Really? I take it these Christians don’t believe Jesus is God either then.
What about the OT then? I hope they don’t think the prophets were ‘sincerely wrong’ when reporting the words of God. The whole ‘eternal punishment’ thing comes up in Jeremiah 4:4, Judith 16:17 (though that might be considered Apocrypha), and more obviously in Isaiah 66:24, which Jesus later alludes to when talking about Gehenna. Not to mention the many references to ‘the day of the Lord’ which is also spoken of as a day of judgement and wrath.

And of course there’s the book of Revelations which has clear references to hell, and all the other saints who’ve had visions of it. Although you’d think Jesus’ word would be enough, there’s support elsewhere for the idea too.

I would have a mental breakdown if no one could go to hell because if no one could go to hell then no one could go to heaven and heaven would be entirely meaningless. It would a logical impossibility. Heaven and hell logically depend on each other. Without one, the other is logically annihilated, 'cause free will demands it. If I am mean for saying hell exists then they are mean for saying it doesn’t, or that no one can go there, because if either of those are true, then like I said, heaven becomes an impossibility.

No hell, no free will, no capability to love=no heaven. Heaven is a stupid joke that’s nothing more than a Chuck-E-Cheese in the sky at that point. Maybe that’s a bit logical, clinical and calculated but it’s completely true.

A true understanding of heaven and hell is much more sublime than the horribly bad reasoning of, “Errybody goes to heaven and ur a meanie if you think hell is real.”

Isn’t it a part of Protestantism?

I think Martin Luther rejected the belief in Hell.

Universalism proposes a loving God who could not allow anyone to go to hell. It is a rejection of free will. (most universalists don’t believe they reject free will)

The Church does not say that all will attain salvation. We teach that all are redeemed by Christ’s saving action. For some reason, many people refuse to see the difference between redemption and salvation.

The Church also does not proclaim any specific (human) person to be in hell.
Please note, this is not the same as saying that hell does not exist or that no one is there. The Church recognizes that hell exists, and that it is most likely populated, but the Church does not canonize damnation. The Church proclaims the Gospel and so has canonized saints.

I find it interesting that it is said the no particular persons are damned. This is because of what is written in the Gospel:
Matthew 26
[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif][size=3]24 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but wo to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: It were better for that man if he had not been born.
25 And Judas, that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? he saith to him: Thou hast said it.
[size=2]**[FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif][size=3]
Haydock Commentary on [/size]Ver. 23. He that dippeth. He that is associated to me, that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me, according to the prophecy of the psalmist, cited by St. John, xiii. 18. — Jesus Christ does not here manifest the traitor; he only aggravates the enormity and malice of the crime.[/size][/FONT]

Matthew 23
13 But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter in; and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.

[size=2][FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif][size=3][FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][size=2][size=2][FONT=Times New Roman,Times,serif][size=3]* Haydock Commentary on [/size][/size][/size][/size][/FONT]Ver. 13.[/FONT] You shut the kingdom of heaven. This is here taken for eternal happiness, which can be obtained only by faith in Christ, since he calls himself the gate. (St. John chap. x) — Now the Pharisees, by refusing to believe in him, and conspiring against him, deterred those, who would otherwise have believed in Christ, from professing his name and following his doctrines, and thus shut the gate of heaven against them. (Nicholas of Lyra.) — In all these reprehensions, it is to be noted, for the honour of the priesthood, Jesus Christ never reprehendeth priests by that name. (St. Cyprian, ep. lxv.)

Hello Clem.

Excellent answer. I bolded the best part. People should well take note. Good job. Thank you very much.


The Church doesn’t canonize the damned, only the living, although I think it makes very little sense in scripture or even in the catechism to say that Hell is an empty place. Even if the Church is silent on damning any particular person, there is a catch: it is not official teaching to say that any particular individual is in Hell, but it is official teaching (and doctrine?) that demons exist, and that these demons are possessed of free will, and that these demons are irreparably sentenced to eternal damnation.

If there are, without question, a host of angels with free will that have been sentenced to eternal damnation because of their choices, I cannot make sense of how human beings - likewise possessing that same freedom - would be, without exception, all entering Heaven. Where would this intense partiality come from? Who is this God that damns one creature of free will with his right hand but saves all creatures of free will with his left? Isn’t it sound with scripture and tradition to say what is basic and straightforward, like in the book of Sirach? ‘Before man has been placed water and fire. Reach out your hand and choose, and it will be given to you.’

I was an annihilationist at one point in time (I never got to the point of saying that all creatures were saved, because I never saw that as compatible with the idea of free will. I understood the difference between a person that was sorry and a person that was sorry for being caught. Nobody would ever literally choose death over life, but even if they prefer the concept of life, they can still choose within their soul to desire what is evil). It basically boils down to this: Hell is too dreadful of a thing for a person to come to terms with, and so they cannot believe in such a thing. To be honest I don’t entirely understand how I changed either. The key is in prayer: if you ask God for the grace to be able to accept what is true, He will give it to you. The doctrine of Hell is something a person is able to accept only through two means: by a bankruptcy of charity (that is, the person carelessly endorses Hell without understanding the enormity of the belief), or through God’s graces (the person understands it, is too overwhelmed and weak to accept it by his own power, but is given the ability by God). There are zero people that can accept Hell by their own power. You either need depravity or grace in order to believe in it.

It has often been said that the devil’s best trick is convincing people that he does not exist. The subject of this thread seems reminiscent to me of that saying.

I was reading some of the threads on the link provided. Their personal interpretation of scripture is really out there. For instance one poster interpreted that the serpent in the garden of eden is actually Adam. Needless to say I won’t be visiting that sight anymore.

Peace Mat

Well I did not post in the thread started by the man who had a mental breakdown believing in hell but other threads on the same site were talking about hell and I posted that Jesus warned people there is a hell and people go there who do not repent of their sins.

The poor man’s wife recently had a stroke so I did not want to get into a debate with him and others on there know him from past posts and welcomed him back. I am not sure it would be a kindness to convince him there is a hell now that he is in his 70s.

We were worried about my FIL before his death because he seemed to have lost his way and had a hard time believing Jesus was God. We sent a priest to his hospital room but he told him he was a Jew. He hadn’t gone to Mass in years, he was set in his ways. The women we called about sending out the priest emailed us back and said we were good to do that but bottom like is we all need to work out our own salvation.

Philippians 2:12
12 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. **13 **For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.

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