The reality of Hell and it’s eternity

  
One of the many controversial topics in which people in our times tend to avoid is the reality on the existence of Hell and it’s eternity. Since we are now living in dark times and the faith is often challenged by the secular world and even Catholic clerics themselves – in which we are to resist since they are harmful to souls – I will initiate this essay with the following quote from the Holy Gospel – the infallible and inerrant Word of God:

“But the cowards, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, they shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” – Rev 21:8

Recently I have been in a dialogue with a brother Catholic upon the existence of Hell and it’s eternity. In response to my post upon the USCCB and Pope Francis appointing Father Barron a Bishop of the Church, he argued it was not heresy to state that Hell is empty and that Catholics have the option to state otherwise. 
  
Let’s just say that this were true. If this were the case then what was Christ and the apostles preaching about if the Gospel is centered around salvation? Theologians would argue that 95% of the Gospel is based upon the reality of Hell and the necessity to repent to avoid going there. In fact, what have the councils of the Church spoken about when it declared that Hell was eternal and very real in its nature, especially upon the Last Day?

Saint Alphonsus Ligouri use to say: 
” “Many shall come from the East and the West, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven. But the Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into the Exterior Darkness: there shall be Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth”. By these words Our Lord Wished to-Signify, that many Persons born-in Infidelity shall be Saved, and Enjoy the Society of the Saints; and that many who are born-in the Bosom-of the Church, shall be cast-into Hell, where the Worm of Conscience, by its Gnawing, shall make them Weep Bitterly for all Eternity.”

Being that Catholics are bound to accept dogma, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which holds authority for all time by the declaration of its introduction, states the following:
“These abodes (Limbo, Purgatory, and Hell) are not all of the same nature, for among them is that most loathsome and dark prison in which the souls of the damned are tormented with the unclean spirits in eternal and inextinguishable fire. This place is called gehenna, the bottomless pit, and is hell strictly so-called.” 
The Church infallibly teaches that souls who die in mortal sin will descend into Hell for all eternity. This is a Dogma of the faith.

“Moreover we define that according to the general disposition of God, the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down into hell immediately (mox) after death and there suffer the pain of hell.”Encyclical “On the Beatific Vision of God” Issued by Pope Benedict XII in 1336

Catechism of Trent:
“For whoever offends God, even by one mortal sin, instantly forfeits whatever merits he may have previously acquired through the sufferings and death of Christ, and is entirely shut out from the gate of heaven which, when already closed, was thrown open to all by the Redeemer’s Passion. When we reflect on this, the thought of our misery must fill us with deep anxiety. But if we turn our attention to this admirable power with which God has invested His Church; and, in the firm belief of this Article, feel convinced that to every sinner is offered the means of recovering, with the assistance of divine grace, his former dignity, we must exult with exceeding joy and gladness, and must offer immortal thanks to God.”

1 Cor 6, 9-10: ” Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.”

All of Holy Scripture unequivocally affirms that not all men are saved, but that some of them are lost by their own fault and will suffer eternal punishment. It is quite sufficient here simply to recall the Last Judgment mentioned in Mt. 25:31ff., and especially from v .41 :

And when the Son of man shall come in His majesty…and all nations shall be gathered together before Him, and He shall separate them one from another…and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on His left. Then shall the king say to them that shall be on His right hand: Come ye blessed of my Father….Then He shall say to them also that shall be on His left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels …and these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

And, in the same vein, in Jn. 5:28-29:
For the hour cometh, wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment (i.e., condemnation).
And in the Old Testament, we need only to refer to Daniel (12:2)..:
…and those that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake; some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always.
And thus it is throughout the Sacred Scriptures, both in the New as well as the Old Testament.

Against the Pelagians and semi-Pelagians, who (as some of today’s modernists) reduced God down to the level of a simple spectator of man’s salvation or perdition, St. Augustine and his disciples have already defended predestination as a traditional teaching of the Catholic Faith:

The Church has always had faith in this truth of predestination, a faith which nowadays she defends with a renewed solicitude against the new heretics (St. Augustine, De dono perseverantiae, 23, 65).

 The First Constitution of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 at the very least alludes to the fact that folks then living in AD 1215 would be in hell. This was the opening statement of the Council and its “Profession of the Faith.” The implication is that people from every generation would finally be eternally separated from God, not just people from the 13th century. But, at the very least, for the strict interpreter of the words of the Council, it seems inescapable that the Council taught souls are in hell now:

Indeed, having suffered and died on the wood of the cross for the salvation of the human race, he descended to the underworld, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He descended in the soul, rose in the flesh, and ascended in both. He will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, (Latin text reads quae nunc gestant—which they are now bearing or wearing) so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad; for the latter perpetual punishment with the devil, for the former eternal glory with Christ.

The present tense indicates that some folks then living—now wearing their bodies—would go to hell. Thus, the Church is here teaching there are souls “in” hell.

  
So in conclusion: the thought that Hell might be empty and that it be so, is to fly in the face of divine Revelation and to declare, also, the entire Church to be in error for two thousand years, hence its heretical since it involves the intention to progress dogmas, something Pius X condemned in pescendi. “To the laws of evolution everything is subject under penalty of death — dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself.” 

The early church fathers ,who were disciples of the apostles and defenders of Sacred Tradition, taught the reality of Hell and it’s eternity for sinners.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

“Corrupters of families will not inherit the kingdom of God. And if they who do these things according to the flesh suffer death, how much more if a man corrupt by evil teaching the faith of God for the sake of which Jesus Christ was crucified? A man become so foul will depart into unquenchable fire: and so will anyone who listens to him” (Letter to the Ephesians 16:1–2 [A.D. 110]). 
 
Second Clement
“If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment” (Second Clement 5:5 [A.D. 150]). 
“But when they see how those who have sinned and who have denied Jesus by their words or by their deeds are punished with terrible torture in unquenchable fire, the righteous, who have done good, and who have endured tortures and have hated the luxuries of life, will give glory to their God saying, ‘There shall be hope for him that has served God with all his heart!’” (ibid., 17:7). 
 
Justin Martyr
“No more is it possible for the evildoer, the avaricious, and the treacherous to hide from God than it is for the virtuous. Every man will receive the eternal punishment or reward which his actions deserve. Indeed, if all men recognized this, no one would choose evil even for a short time, knowing that he would incur the eternal sentence of fire. On the contrary, he would take every means to control himself and to adorn himself in virtue, so that he might obtain the good gifts of God and escape the punishments” (First Apology 12 [A.D. 151]). 
“We have been taught that only they may aim at immortality who have lived a holy and virtuous life near to God. We believe that they who live wickedly and do not repent will be punished in everlasting fire” (ibid., 21). 
“[Jesus] shall come from the heavens in glory with his angelic host, when he shall raise the bodies of all the men who ever lived. Then he will clothe the worthy in immortality; but the wicked, clothed in eternal sensibility, he will commit to the eternal fire, along with the evil demons” (ibid., 52). 
 
The Martyrdom of Polycarp
“Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire” (Martyrdom of Polycarp 2:3 [A.D. 155]). 
 
Mathetes
“When you know what is the true life, that of heaven; when you despise the merely apparent death, which is temporal; when you fear the death which is real, and which is reserved for those who will be condemned to the everlasting fire, the fire which will punish even to the end those who are delivered to it, then you will condemn the deceit and error of the world” (Letter to Diognetus 10:7 [A.D. 160]). 
 
Athenagoras
“[W]e [Christians] are persuaded that when we are removed from this present life we shall live another life, better than the present one. . . . Then we shall abide near God and with God, changeless and free from suffering in the soul . . . or if we fall with the rest [of mankind], a worse one and in fire; for God has not made us as sheep or beasts of burden, a mere incidental work, that we should perish and be annihilated” (Plea for the Christians 31 [A.D. 177]). 
 
Theophilus of Antioch
“Give studious attention to the prophetic writings [the Bible] and they will lead you on a clearer path to escape the eternal punishments and to obtain the eternal good things of God. . . . [God] will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit. To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things. . . . For the unbelievers and for the contemptuous, and for those who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity, when they have been involved in adulteries, and fornications, and homosexualities, and avarice, and in lawless idolatries, there will be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish; and in the end, such men as these will be detained in everlasting fire” (To Autolycus 1:14 [A.D. 181]). 
 
Irenaeus
“[God will] send the spiritual forces of wickedness, and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, and the impious, unjust, lawless, and b.asphemous among men into everlasting fire” (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]). 
“The penalty increases for those who do not believe the Word of God and despise his coming. . . . [I]t is not merely temporal, but eternal. To whomsoever the Lord shall say, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire,’ they will be damned forever” (ibid., 4:28:2). 
 
Tertullian
“After the present age is ended he will judge his worshipers for a reward of eternal life and the godless for a fire equally perpetual and unending” (Apology 18:3 [A.D. 197]). 
“Then will the entire race of men be restored to receive its just deserts according to what it has merited in this period of good and evil, and thereafter to have these paid out in an immeasurable and unending eternity. Then there will be neither death again nor resurrection again, but we shall be always the same as we are now, without changing. The worshipers of God shall always be with God, clothed in the proper substance of eternity. But the godless and those who have not turned wholly to God will be punished in fire equally unending, and they shall have from the very nature of this fire, divine as it were, a supply of incorruptibility” (ibid., 44:12–13). 
 
Hippolytus
“Standing before [Christ’s] judgment, all of them, men, angels, and demons, crying out in one voice, shall say: ‘Just is your judgment!’ And the righteousness of that cry will be apparent in the recompense made to each. To those who have done well, everlasting enjoyment shall be given; while to the lovers of evil shall be given eternal punishment. The unquenchable and unending fire awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which does not die and which does not waste the body but continually bursts forth from the body with unceasing pain. No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no appeal of interceding friends will profit them” (Against the Greeks 3 [A.D. 212]). 
 
Minucius Felix
“I am not ignorant of the fact that many, in the consciousness of what they deserve, would rather hope than actually believe that there is nothing for them after death. They would prefer to be annihilated rather than be restored for punishment. . . . Nor is there either measure nor end to these torments. That clever fire burns the limbs and restores them, wears them away and yet sustains them, just as fiery thunderbolts strike bodies but do not consume them” (Octavius 34:12–5:3 [A.D. 226]). 
 
Cyprian of Carthage
“An ever-burning Gehenna and the punishment of being devoured by living flames will consume the condemned; nor will there be any way in which the tormented can ever have respite or be at an end. Souls along with their bodies will be preserved for suffering in unlimited agonies. . . . The grief at punishment will then be without the fruit of repentance; weeping will be useless, and prayer ineffectual. Too late will they believe in eternal punishment, who would not believe in eternal life” (To Demetrian 24 [A.D. 252]). 
 
Lactantius
“[T]he sacred writings inform us in what manner the wicked are to undergo punishment. For because they have committed sins in their bodies, they will again be clothed with flesh, that they may make atonement in their bodies; and yet it will not be that flesh with which God clothed man, like this our earthly body, but indestructible, and abiding forever, that it may be able to hold out against tortures and everlasting fire, the nature of which is different from this fire of ours, which we use for the necessary purposes of life, and which is extinguished unless it be sustained by the fuel of some material. But that divine fire always lives by itself, and flourishes without any nourishment. . . . The same divine fire, therefore, with one and the same force and power, will both burn the wicked and will form them again, and will replace as much as it shall consume of their bodies, and will supply itself with eternal nourishment. . . . Thus, without any wasting of bodies, which regain their substance, it will only burn and affect them with a sense of pain. But when [God] shall have judged the righteous, he will also try them with fire” (Divine Institutes 7:21 [A.D. 307]). 
 
Cyril of Jerusalem
“We shall be raised therefore, all with our bodies eternal, but not all with bodies alike: for if a man is righteous, he will receive a heavenly body, that he may be able worthily to hold converse with angels; but if a man is a sinner, he shall receive an eternal body, fitted to endure the penalties of sins, that he may burn eternally in fire, nor ever be consumed. And righteously will God assign this portion to either company; for we do nothing without the body. We b.aspheme with the mouth, and with the mouth we pray. With the body we commit fornication, and with the body we keep chastity. With the hand we rob, and by the hand we bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since then the body has been our minister in all things, it shall also share with us in the future the fruits of the past” (Catechetical Lectures 18:19 [A.D. 350]).

So how do we avoid Hell? The Church teaches that one must die in sanctifying grace: therefore – no mortal sin on your soul period. Mortal sin is removed through both baptism and confession. If one is not baptized, their mortal sins will be cleansed off of their soul at baptism as new creations of God. If mortal sin is upon the soul of any person that is baptized, they must remove it at confession. If reaching confession is impossible, say living in a third world country in which there are not any priests of the Catholic Church, one must make a sincere act of contrition to sin no more and to do penance and ask God for the graces to overcome sin and send a good and holy priest. On this journey of growing in holiness, let us all keep each other in our prayers so that we may all enter the narrow gate and unite with Our Lord forever in the Beatific Vision. 

  
 

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3 Comments

Filed under Four Last things, Grace, Growing in Holiness, Hell, Humility, increasing holiness, Salvation, Sin

3 responses to “The reality of Hell and it’s eternity

  1. The Trembling Bride

    The Pope has excommunicated himself from the Church for adultery. Spiritual adultery is the worst kind. By insisting that unrepentant adulterers be received into Christian fellowship within the Church, Pope Francis has become a partaker in another man’s sin. Pity. He is doing no favor to the adulterer by patting him on the back on his way to hell. This is not compassion. It’s a damnable lie. And every catholic knows it. The Pope is not a catholic. The Church has always taught what our Adorable Saviour taught, that divorce was an adulterous thing to do, and to marry another was a mortal crime that kills all sanctifying grace in the soul from Baptism – A catholic excommunicates himself from Christ when he marries outside the Church. This is the reality of the situation, I’m afraid: Mark 10:11 – Read it and weep.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament of the Holy Roman Catholic Church as instituted by Christ Himself. The catholic cleric has no authority over this Mystery. He is merely a witness to what the two say there before him that day, and the witness there to behold it – The two become One-Flesh. The Marriage vow creates a bond that is closer than blood relations…

    Saint Paul follows his Saviour’s example when he hearkens back to the Genesis account to describe the relationship between Christ and His Church; for, “this cause” he says. What cause? For the establishment of the Sacrament of holy marriage, for without it there is no Catholic Religion!

    Genesis 3:15 is often referred to as, “THE PROTOEVANGELIUM OR FIRST GOSPEL.” I’m convinced that Genesis 2:24 is a foreshadowing of the marriage between Saint Mary and Her Joseph, just as sure as Genesis 3:15 is where we see Christ and His Mary.

    From henceforth, Genesis 2:24 will be referred to as, “THE ‘PROTOMARITO’ OR ‘FIRST MARRIAGE.”

    Hail! Full of Grace! Saint Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost to Conceive Her own Savoiur, only after She was given to Saint Joseph in marriage. Mary gave Her Immaculate Heart to Her Saviour, only after She had given it in marriage to Saint Joseph. Her first Love was and always will be Saint Joseph!

    There is a dead corpse in the Church, and it stinketh; an adulterous body of death, seated right there before us. Beware. It’s got the Church by the neck, and seeks to suffocate Her to death. And how does the enemy plan to do this? By corrupting the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and causing the Church to eat damnation to Herself! The Church of God is under an attack the likes of which the world has never seen. Satan would seek to thrust a dagger forthright into the Heart of the Church, in the Sacrament of Her Matrimony, as the knight falls on his own sword. The Father has chosen to use the Bonds of Holy Matrimony as an analogy of His relationship with His Church, and right now, there are few things as important as protecting the integrity of this analogy. What we are seeing the Pope of Rome doing, on the other hand, is tearing asunder the Marriage between the Son of God and His bride. If successful, this would be a death blow to the Catholic Faith, for without Holy Matrimony, there is no Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

    The Church, Pope Francis has been quoted as having said, looks upon those in such situations with a maternal heart and, “always looks for the good and the salvation of persons,” in reference to Catholics in adulterous marriages. Really? How can there be love in an adulterous relationship? What virtue is there in having a commitment to doing something that is wrong even if you do it with another exclusively? Can it really be a good thing to do this forever, to pray while doing it and to do it publicly? What is it that we have here? A commitment to live in gross sin exclusively with another, to do it till death and pray while doing it… But the Church’s maternal heart can be found in the loving embrace of the tender and desirable arms of the Mother of God – The Holy, Spotless and Lovely Mary. To attach the heart of our Mother to that of a whore-monger is an unspeakable outrage of skullduggery against Her Immaculate and Sacred Heart – It is a suicide mission. Mary, the most powerful of all of God’s creations! St. Anthony, the hammer of heretics, learned at Her feet. She must be so very beautiful! Oh, if we only knew the love that my Mary has for our fallen hearts, we could not contain it. True devotion to Mary can drive heresy out of the heart of the obstinate Professed Religious heretic, by a recognition of Her Majestic authority to reveal that the Catholic Church is the True Church, and the realization that without Mary the Gospels would have never been written.

    But, I must forewarn you my ordained friend, you will be devastated. It is a great wonder to me how Christ can send His Mother to us with the way she is so mistreated. I couldn’t do it. I could not send my mother to do something for me knowing that she would be so hurt, so maligned and outraged by such barbaric and ungrateful men as Mary is! Knowing that She would be blasphemed by every false and abominable counterfeit misrepresentation of Her True presence by minions of the fallen angel who have been wholly given over to the rebellion of their own hearts; attributing to the Holy Mother of God the attributes and character of the despicable imagination of their own lusts. But He does! He does! Is it little wonder then, why He may be hesitant to allow His Mother to be exposed to such trauma? I don’t see how He can do it.

    A rescue attempt by the Mother of God can truly be a last ditch effort at converting the hardened and obstinate Professed Religious sinner. So, I must warn you. If Jesus Christ sends His Mother in an attempt to persuade the Professed Religious obstinate heretic to forsake his sin, and he rejects Her – he is doomed.

    Speaking on behalf of the young children of these adulterous unions, Pope Francis insists that there is an, “urgency of developing in our community a real welcome toward the persons who are living in such situations.” Our, “language and attitudes,” must change with the times as well it seems, as Pope Francis struggles to reconcile the Church’s responsibility to influence parents to raise their children in the faith, while they continue to live in sin, with the clear teaching of the Church that what they are doing is morally repugnant. How can these people ever hope to raise any children in the Catholic Faith if they are committing adultery right in front of their faces every day?

    Their children are illegitimate quite frankly, and he knows this right well. To, “hold them at a distance from the life of the community, as if they were excommunicated,” Pope Francis opines concerning the adulterous couple, will somehow prevent the Church from catechizing the next generation of children of these adulterous relationships which seem to be so prevalent in the Church today. This is a real dilemma for those in the Vatican who have created all these societal anomalies over the last fifty years with their Vatican II theology for which they now pretend to offer remedy. I’m sorry. If the Romans do not offer up this compromise, their church will disintegrate.

    Pope Francis refers to Pope John Paul II’s, Familiaris Consortio, and demands that we must distinguish between those who caused the breakup of the initial marriage and those who endured it. This sounds so very familiar to the protestant ideology of the “innocent spouse” in such situations. The Pope is here representing Christ as replacing death with divorce, in a roundabout way. But is this not who our Jesus died for? The guilty party? This is nonsense to say that there is an innocent spouse in a divorce who is somehow thereby justified in contracting a subsequent marriage while their true spouse is still alive.

    This is not Catholicism. It is Calvinism, of the worst kind. We don’t execute the adulterer, no, we simply divorce the offending party and then go on to marry another, while the guilty spouse must eek out an existence, void of any hope as one who is “spiritually” dead. After all, we’re Catholics, and would never advocate that mortal sins in God’s Moral Government, should also be capital crimes in the civil law as well! Ladies and gentlemen, what the Pope is doing here is rotten at the foundation. It’s disgusting. No wonder he nearly got a standing ovation. “Tell us what we want to hear! Or else!” the crown jeers…

    RbM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TAB,
    Here is another post you may like to read.
    I apologize for any video links not working.
    http://vigilateorate.blogspot.com/2013/11/hell-damned-response-to-christian.html

    God Bless

    Like

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