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The Eternity of Hell
Bible Tidbits ^ | 5/27/2010 | Daniel Egan

Posted on 05/27/2010 11:43:09 AM PDT by markomalley

There are a few who say that hell is not eternal and that some day God’s mercy will overcome his justice and hell will be emptied. What does the Bible and catechism say about this?

CCC 1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.
CCC 393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death." [St. John Damascene, Defide orth. 2, 4: PG 94, 877]

So the catechism is clear that once we have died we have made our choice. And it is in fact a choice that we make here on earth.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment

So we have had our chance and then comes judgment…now something that we must keep in mind is that God is not a jerk. Everyone is offered the grace to go to heaven. Now to some it might not be as evident as it is to others but that is God’s business. Just because Jimmy down the street saw an apparition of our Lady and you didn’t doesn’t mean that he is guaranteed a place in heaven. He still needs to obey the gospel the best way he knows.

There is also in Romans 2:14-16 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Exactly so keep those things in mind

Continuing on, Jesus says in Matthew 25:41 that Hell was originally prepared for the devil and his angels.

It wasn’t originally created for humans who had rebelled but for the angels. But now we see that those who share in the sin of disobedience before death share in the fate of the devils and are sent to Hell.

But is Hell eternal! Yes and to those who did not clothe, feed, or visit Christ he will say - Matthew 25:46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Notice that there is a contrast between the eternity of the punishment and the eternity of the reward.

If someone argues that God’s mercy will some day triumph over his justice and thus free the souls from hell, how do we know that at some later date God’s justice won’t triumph over his mercy and send everyone to hell? This is an undependable position.

Mark 9:43-48 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 44 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 46 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

Now Jesus here isn’t recommending a lot of one armed one legged Christians. He is here warning us of the seriousness of this life and its effects on the afterlife. And that somehow he must communicate the terribleness of Hell, Jesus says that it is better to loose a limb than experience the pains of hell.

I would also say that there are some moral and theological danger to the teaching that hell will be emptied.
First is that in the churches 2000 years it has never taught this. So to teach it is to divorce yourself from the churches teaching.
Second I would then wonder what the purpose of purgatory would be - would a person who went to hell still have to go to purgatory?
Third, if I am going to heaven anyway, why not live it up here on earth? Its not like I am going to hell for eternity?
Finally, those who are in hell, have no wish to be in heaven because the one that they refused to serve is there and to see him face to face for all eternity would be worse than hell.
C.S. Lewis said that the door to hell is locked - from the inside. They want to keep God out.

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; heaven; hell; sinner; sinners
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1 posted on 05/27/2010 11:43:09 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...


One day, just as I had awakened, when I was putting myself in the presence of God, I was suddenly overwhelmed by despair. Complete darkness in the soul. I fought as best I could till noon...I fell to the ground, despair flooding my whole soul. I suffered terrible tortures in no way different to the torments of hell. (24)
One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realising it. And at the end of the raods there was a horrible precipice; that is the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings. (153)
(Italics are mine)
Sr. Faustina is 'transported' to Hell -
Today I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of real torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it - a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, ....the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.
I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the covnersion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend You by the least sin. (741)
Jesus' love for souls. He wants to save sinners destined for Hell
[urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls - no one have I excluded! (1182)
I experience great torments of soul when I see God offended. Today I recognised that mortal sins were being committed not far from our door. It was evening. ...When I knelt down to pray, however, the Lord allowed me to experience how a soul rejected by God suffers. It seems to me that my heart was torn to pieces, and at the same time I understood how much such a soul wounds the most merciful Heart of Jesus. The poor creature does not want to accept God's mercy. (1274)
The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is the prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered. (1397)
Does God condemn anyone?
When the sisters got up at eleven o'clock at night to keep vigil and welcome the New Year, I had been writhing in agony since nightfall, and this lasted until midnight. I united my sufferings with the prayers of the sisters who were keeping vigil in the chapel and atoning to God for the offences of sinners. (1451). When the clock struck twelve, my soul immersed itself more deeply in recollection, and I heard a voice in my soul: "Do not fear, My little child, you are not alone. Fight bravely, because My arm is supporting you; fight for the salvation of souls, exhorting them to trust in My mercy, as that is your task in this life and in the life to come." After these words, I received a deeper understanding of divine mercy. Only that soul who wants [to be damned] will be damned, for God condemns no one. (1452)
Oh, how beyond comprehension is God's mercy! But- horror -there are also souls who voluntarily and consciously reject and scorn this grace! Although a soul is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy in souls is so great that consciously they choose hell; they make useless all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them and even the efforts of God Himself..(1698)
2 posted on 05/27/2010 11:47:46 AM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: markomalley

And there are some that don’t even believe there is a hell.

3 posted on 05/27/2010 11:53:39 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: markomalley

Heaven has nothing to offer a hellish soul. C.S. Lewis wrote an interesting story about this called “The Great Divorce.”

4 posted on 05/27/2010 12:21:45 PM PDT by HerrBlucher (END THE WAR ON LIBERTY!)
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To: markomalley
The most amazing thing I learned about hell from the saints is that God does not send
people there, rather people fling themselves there after meeting Him face to face.
5 posted on 05/27/2010 12:28:34 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: Slyfox

How does that actually happen?

6 posted on 05/27/2010 12:31:46 PM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different)
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To: markomalley
“… I like a lot of activity. Heaven seems too placid to me. Now there’s a lot to do in hell …I’ve lived a happy life” --Art Linkletter on Larry King Live, 2005
Sometimes people wonder why some folks live to be so very old while others die at such a young age. I'd have to think in Art Linkletter's case, God was giving AL a plentiful block of time in which to change his mind.
7 posted on 05/27/2010 12:41:30 PM PDT by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: NYer

Music,joy,flowers,dancing,pleasure,enjoyment lead to hell.
Even Jesus drank wine and enjoyed celebrations.

8 posted on 05/27/2010 2:11:59 PM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
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To: stuartcr
How does that actually happen?

I am not sure, but from what I recollect, it seems that the gaze of God is one that goes directly into the pit of one's soul. And, the soul decides whether it wants to be with God or not for eternity.

A decision such as this is not out of the realm of possibility. If one is to understand that God is pure mercy, a soul who seeks mercy will find God and receive mercy.

Chances are that the soul which has never wanted God in his life, will not seek mercy, will not receive it and, as a result, will choose hell over heaven.

9 posted on 05/27/2010 2:50:44 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: FreeDeerHawk

I think what this is about is how if someone goes through life, treating it like one big party, joke, etc., they will end up in Hell. Always giving into each and every desire, impulse, freely taking and giving nothing back.

Note how the people who walked on the broad beam went to hell and the people on the narrow one, went to Heaven. They don’t call it ‘walking the straight and narrow’ without reason.

It’s that the people who went to Hell lived life the easy way out, not the one where they worked, sacrificed, suffered, and in the end lived righteous but difficult lives.

10 posted on 05/27/2010 3:48:55 PM PDT by Niuhuru (The Internet is the digital AIDS; adapting and successfully destroying the MSM host.)
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To: markomalley


1) Notwithstanding assurances that God did not create any man for Hell, and that He wishes all men to be saved, it remains equally true that few will be saved; that only few will go to Heaven; and that the greater part of mankind will be lost for ever. (St. John Neuman)

2) It is certain that few are saved. (St. Augustine)

3) The majority of men shall not see God. (St. Julian the Martyr)

4) Those who are saved are in the minority. ( St. Thomas Aquinas)

5) The greater part of men choose to be damned rather than to love almighty God. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

6) So vast a number of miserable souls perish, and so comparatively few are saved. (St. Philip Neri)

7) Among adults there are few saved because of the sins of the flesh....With exception of those who die in childhood, most men will be damned. (St. Remigius of Rheims)

8) Death bed conversions/repentance-there are hardly any:
Out of 100,000 sinners who continue in sin until death, scarcely ONE will be saved. (St. Jerome)


a) The greater number of Christians today are damned. The destiny of those dying on one day is that very few - not as many as ten - went straight to Heaven; many remained in Purgatory; and THOSE CAST INTO HELL WERE NUMEROUS AS SNOWFLAKES in mid-winter. (Bl. Anna Maria Taigi)

b) There are many who arrive at the faith, but few who are led to the heavenly kingdom. Behold how many are gathered here for today’s Feast-Day; we fill the church from wall to wall. Yet who knows how FEW they are who shall be numbered in that chosen company of the elect? (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

c) The Ark, which in the midst of the Flood was the symbol of the Church, was wide below and narrow above, .... It was wide where the animals were, narrow where men lived; for the Holy Church is indeed wide in number of those who are carnal minded, narrow in the number of those who are spiritual.
( Pope St. Gregory the Great)

d) Shall we all be saved? Shall we go to heaven? Alas, my children we do not know at all! But I tremble when I see so many souls lost these days. See, they fall into Hell as leaves fall from the trees at the approach of winter. (St. John Vianney)

a) I do not speak rashly, but how I feel and think. I do not think that many priests are saved, but that those who perish are more numerous. ( St. John Chrysostom)

b) Most priest are lost and few bishops are saved, not because of what they do, so much as what they fail to do. (St. John Chrysotom)

c) Many religious go to Hell because they do not keep their vows. (St. Vincent Ferrer)


a) They who are enlightened to walk in the way of perfection, and through lukewarmness wish to tread the ordinary paths, shall be abandoned. (Bl. Angela of Foligno)

b) They who are to be saved as Saints, and wish to be saved as imperfect souls, shall not be saved. (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

c) St. Teresa.... had she not risen from the state of lukewarmness in which she lived, she would in the end have lost the grace of God and been damned. ( St. Alphonsus Liguori)

14) How many inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to say is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with it’s thousands of inhabitants, not 100 people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that! ( St. John Chrysostom - the city was Antioch and its inhabitants were known to be in pursuit of comfort and the good things of things life.)

15) A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell. (St. Anthony Mary Claret - It has been revealed that on the day of the death of St. Bernard there also died 79,999 other people, and of this total of 80,000 who died, only St. Bernard and two other monks were saved. So out of 80,000 dead, 79,997 went to Hell! )

16) In the great deluge in the days of Noah, all mankind perished, eight persons alone being saved in the Ark. In our days a deluge, not of water, but sins, continually inundates the earth, and out of this deluge very few escape. Scarcely anyone is saved. ( St. Alphonsus Liguori)

17) Yes indeed, many will be damned; few will be saved. (St. Benedict Joseph Labro)

18) If you only knew the women who will go to Hell because they did not bring into the world the children they should have given to it. ( St. John Vianney)

19) He who goes to Hell, goes of his own accord. Everyone who is damned, is damned because he wills his own damnation. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

a) When such unbelievers are damned, it is on account of other sins, which cannot be taken away without the faith, but not because of their sin of unbelief. (St. Thomas Aquinas)

b) Everyone that is of truth hears my voice. (St. John 18:37)

c) It may be true that there are, in the remotest parts of the world, some people who have not yet seen the light of the Savior. Certainly, God’s manifold and ineffable goodness has always provided, and still provides, for all mankind in such a way that not one of the reprobates can find an excuse as though he had been refused the light of truth. ( St. Prosper of Aquitaine)

d) No one is lost without knowing it, and no one is deceived without wanting to be. (St. Teresa of Avila)


a) No matter how praiseworthy his actions might seem, he who is separated from the Catholic Church will never enjoy eternal life (Pope Gregory XVI)
b) O ye atheists who do not believe in God, what fools you are ! But if you do believe there is a God, you must also believe there is a true religion. And if not the Roman Catholic, which is it? Perhaps that of the pagans who admit many gods, thus they deny them all. Perhaps that of Mohammed, a religion invented by an impostor and framed for beasts rather than humans. Perhaps that of the Jews who had the true faith at one time but, because they rejected their redeemer, lost their faith, their country, their everything. Perhaps that of the heretics who, separating themselves from our Church, have confused all revealed dogmas in such a way that the belief of one heretic is contrary to that of his neighbor. O holy faith! Enlighten all those poor blind creatures who run to eternal perdition! (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

11 posted on 05/27/2010 4:05:31 PM PDT by Leoni
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To: Leoni

Yikes! That is very sobering indeed.

12 posted on 05/27/2010 4:29:38 PM PDT by PatriotGirl827 (Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, a sinner)
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To: Slyfox

Thats very profound. To the gist of it. And concise. A lot of wisdom.

13 posted on 05/27/2010 4:57:18 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: mlizzy

You know thats speaks volumes. I think when people suffer its also a gift for eternity and penance. That was 5 years ago

14 posted on 05/27/2010 5:00:52 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: Niuhuru

Yes,I was thinking of it in terms of the wonderful,pleasant things God provides for us and that it’s meant for us to enjoy what God provides. The original post seemed very strict in that it even said flowers were on the road to hell. That and the rest seems extreme. Yet,I do agree that what you say is quite sensible.

15 posted on 05/27/2010 5:12:37 PM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
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To: Leoni

Sorry that does not make sense. If most people go to hell then the devil wins. Otherwise why would God make us. Just to see us suffer! If a third of the angels disobeyed. That could be the ratio for man. I think the saints were overwhelmed with the sight of Hell. Even the early church fathers argued about the suffers outside Noah’s Ark asking for mercy during the deluge. Also thats private revelation with the saints’s quotes(We do not have to believe it). I believe Christ came to win.

16 posted on 05/27/2010 5:20:03 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: NYer


17 posted on 05/27/2010 5:30:35 PM PDT by Melian ( God is even kinder than you think. ~St. Teresa)
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To: FreeDeerHawk

I made a mistake,it was the content of the second post to which I referred.

18 posted on 05/27/2010 5:32:54 PM PDT by FreeDeerHawk
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To: markomalley

The fact of the matter is we don’t know what happens after we die. We can believe, be sure, be confident, even “know” what will happen...but we don’t know.

19 posted on 05/27/2010 9:49:50 PM PDT by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: johngrace
re: If most people go to hell then the devil wins.

The devils already lost long ago, that is why they are devils.

Re: Otherwise why would God make us. Just to see us suffer!

You could say the same about the devils.

The tree does not understand the prunuing nor the ground the tilling, but the husbandman knows.

20 posted on 05/28/2010 5:09:09 AM PDT by Leoni
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