Would God send someone to Hell?


July 16, 2012 by mattfradd


I recently wrote two blogs: “Are All Religions Equal?” and “Why do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

In these posts I described part of a conversation I had with a young woman on an airplane flight.

In this blog we will take a look at another conversation we had on the reality of Hell.

I’m a Catholic, but I don’t believe in Hell.

One of the first things Mary said to me was that, though she was a Catholic who believed in God, she did not believe in hell.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because I don’t think that a God who is all-good and all-loving would want to send someone there.”

“It’s certainly not his will that souls be sent to Hell.” I said, “We know from Scripture that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim. 2:4) and that he does not want any to perish but all to reach repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). As a Catholic, however, you believe he already has sent someone, and indeed, a multitude of beings there.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Catholics believe that demons are fallen angels, God has at least sent them to Hell, yes?”

“I’m not sure I believe that,” Mary said, “but at any rate, I’m talking about us, people on this earth.”

“Do you think that all will be saved?”

“I do.”

“Do you think that anyone will be saved against their will?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, suppose a person rejects God and does not wish to be with him. Would an all-loving God coerce that person into being saved or would he respect the person’s free choice?”

“Well, I suppose in that case God would respect his freedom.”

“So you can’t rule out the possibility of hell in light of an all-loving God then right?”
Once Mary had conceded that the doctrine of hell was not logically inconsistent with an all-loving God I quoted C.S. Lewis from The Great Divorce:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell chose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened. ”

Here are some insightful thoughts from Fr. Robert Barron:

13 thoughts on “Would God send someone to Hell?

  1. kisha says:

    thats scary im crying now i dont wanna go to hell

    • Clinton says:

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this topic well: CCC 1037 “God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance” — We, as sinful humans, damn our own selves to Gehenna.

  2. lakmini says:

    Please study BUDDHISM.If you follow this noble philosophy practically you will attain the noble truth.Lord BUDDHA SAYS THERE ARE SIX HEAVENS AND FOUR MAIN HELLS.Those who do evil things will go to 131 hells.

    • Clinton says:

      Does Buddhism not direct one back to ones self?

    • AJL says:

      Buddhism…Buddha was an atheist. He believed in “nothingness.” Your goal is complete annihilation as all desires are evil. Not a great “faith” in my opinion and completely ignores the supernatural.

  3. luke bizzi says:

    God doesn’t send us to Hell, we decide that for ourselves! Live your life for Jesus or live it for your own selfish desires. Your free will determines if you choose to love Jesus or to do what you “think” is right in your own eyes.

  4. Abandoned says:

    God most certainly sends people to hell.

    Most of the time, it is here on earth. God wants us to suffer, because he demands the cross.

    Also, when God takes away one’s ability to earn a living legitimately, that person is doomed under 1 Timothy 5:8. They have no choice but to become a criminal.

  5. Clinton says:

    So are you insinuating “predestination?”

  6. Hitchslap says:

    God cannot be all knowing and grant people free will (which is to say nothing of his supposed love for his creation). The two are mutually exclusive. Hell is merely an outrageious claim created to scare people into believing other outrageous claims.

    • mattfradd says:

      How does God’s foreknowing something = no free will? It doesn’t. If the action were different, so too would God’s foreknowledge be. As for the scaring people line, that simply commits the genetic fallacy. Thanks for taking the time to join the discussion.

    • Clinton says:

      God has graciously gave us free will in so we, His creation, can in turn love Him. Without free will, nothing and know one can love anything or anyone. We have to choose to love.

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