Skip to comments.Playing with fire ["Hell makes a comeback"]
Posted on 04/03/2007 6:59:25 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Hell makes a comeback
This news item got remarkably little coverage in the U.S.: Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated hell as a real place where the heat is always on. This seems to contradict his predecessor, John Paul II, who said that hell is not a place but the state of those who separate themselves from God. Now, with Pope Benedict weighing in, it's time to stock up again on the flame-retardant eternity-wear if you think you might exit the world a sinner.
The Pope said people need to be reminded that by failing to "admit blame and promise to sin no more," they risk "eternal damnation -- the inferno," The Times (London) said last week. Hell is a place, not just a religious symbol, he said, even if it isn't talked about much anymore.
I know I'm playing with fire here, dealing with religious belief, but whether hell is real or not strikes me as news you can use. Vatican officials later seemed to tone down the Pope's remarks, saying he had wanted to reinforce the belief that hell is to be understood "symbolically rather than physically." Clear?
Hell: Don't go there
From The Times (London) online forum:
Richard, Stockholm, Sweden: "We are constantly warned about cancer, AIDS, wars, global warming, etc, so why take offense when we are warned about Hell?"
Tom, Butte, Mont.: "What does Simon Cowell think? Is Hell eternal karaoke?"
John, Malaga, Spain: "Like Rowan Atkinson said in his sketch about arriving in Hell, 'OK, hands up all those who don't believe God exists' and after a slight pause . . . 'My, my, bet you feel foolish now.'"
Sophia, Manchester: "'Extra! Extra! Pope revealed to be a Catholic!' Is it really news that the Church believes in hell?"
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Laurence Budd, Fort Collins, Colo.: "If the Pope is right, I take great consolation knowing that one day my mother-in-law will be there, instead of here, making our lives feel like there."
This is one of the many problems with Catholicism.
Doctrine constantly evolves. One pope teaches hell is a “state of mind”. Another pope states hell is a “real place”. It all depends on who the latest “infallible”person is “spiritually”. The Catholic view of being “infallible” is arbitrary doctrine - just depends on what the latest leader wants to believe - insanity!
No one Pope speculates and then another one mentions the word Inferno. The media exploits the difference of opinion, and hilarity ensues.
Neither Pope made an infallible statement. An infallible statement is made as we say, “From the Chair of Peter”, and is stated to be held by all.
Do you trust the MSM, when they talk about Abortion?
Do you trust the MSM, when they talk about Climate Change?
Do you trust the MSM, when they talk about Economics?
Dan Rather didn't pioneer such flagrant dishonesty, but he sure did provide an iconic example.
"HE DESCENDED INTO HELL. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN"
631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens."475 The Apostles' Creed confesses in the same article Christ's descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth:
- Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.476
Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell
632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.477 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.478
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.479 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":480 "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."481 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.482
634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."483 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.
635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live."484 Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage."485 Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."486
- Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."487
636 By the expression "He descended into hell", the Apostles' Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil "who has the power of death" (Heb 2:14).
637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.
475 Eph 4:9-10.
476 Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 18, Exsultet.
477 Acts 3:15; Rom 8:11; I Cor 15:20; cf. Heb 13:20.
478 Cf. I Pt 3:18-19.
479 Cf. Phil 2:10; Acts 2:24; Rev 1:18; Eph 4:9; Pss 6:6; 88:11-13.
480 Cf. Ps 89:49; I Sam 28:19; Ezek 32:17-32; Lk 16:22-26.
481 Roman Catechism 1, 6, 3.
482 Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587; Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011; Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077; Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485; Mt 27:52-53.
483 I Pt 4:6.
484 Jn 5:25; cf. Mt 12:40; Rom 10:7; Eph 4:9.
485 Heb 2:14-15; cf. Acts 3:15.
486 Rev 1:18; Phil 2:10.
487 Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR.
II. To Judge the Living and the Dead
678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgement of the Last Day in his preaching.581 Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.582 Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.583 Our attitude to our neighbour will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.584 On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."585
679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross. the Father has given "all judgement to the Son".586 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.587 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.588
581 Cf. ⇒ Dan 7:10; ⇒ Joel 3-4; ⇒ Mal 3: 19; ⇒ Mt 3:7-12.
582 Cf ⇒ Mk 12:38-40; ⇒ Lk 12:1-3; ⇒ Jn 3:20-21; ⇒ Rom 2:16; ⇒ I Cor 4:5.
583 Cf. ⇒ Mt 11:20-24; ⇒ 12:41-42.
584 Cf. ⇒ Mt 5:22; ⇒ 7:1-5.
585 ⇒ Mt 25:40.
586 ⇒ Jn 5:22; cf. ⇒ 5:27; ⇒ Mt 25:31; ⇒ Acts 10:42; ⇒ 17:31; ⇒ 2 Tim 4:1.
587 Cf. ⇒ Jn 3:17; ⇒ 5:26.
588 Cf. ⇒ Jn 3:18; ⇒ 12:48; ⇒ Mt 12:32; ⇒ I Cor 3:12-15; ⇒ Heb 6:4-6; ⇒ 10:26-31.
Doctrine does not "evolve" at all. In fact Vatican Council I declared quite specifically that doctrines cannot evolve or change under the pretense of a "deeper understanding". You simply don't know the Catholic Church or what the word "doctrine" means. The ONLY doctrine regarding Hell is that there is one, that it is a place where the damned go, it is a place of suffering, and it is not Heaven. What it specifically looks like, who exactly is there, or what its literal location is have nothing to do whatsoever with the doctrine of Hell. Those questions are merely theological discussion points that are of no real consequence regarding the doctrine that Hell exists.
Just to remind you of what "infallible" means in the Catholic Church, regarding the Pope, (or to inform you for the first time if you're a non-Catholic): The Pope's infallibility is strictly limited to matters of "faith and morals". In other words, it is limited to those doctrines which are necessary to the salvation of Christians. When any Pope talks about science, or what he thinks Hell might "look like", or even if he is speaking about Church discipline, (general rules of dress, codes of conduct, etc), he is not speaking about doctrine and hence speaks as a private doctor. And as a private doctor he is as fallible as any other man on earth.
The Church believes that the Popes are protected only from doctrinal error by the Holy Spirit, and nothing else, so that the Church can never lead innocent souls astray. What the various Popes have actually declared from a point of infallibility is so small that one has to look them up to find them. For a Pope to speak from an infallible standpoint he:
(1). Must be speaking strictly about faith or morals, (essential Christian beliefs).
(2). He must be addressing the entire Church, every single Catholic
(3). He must use words that clearly show he is speaking 'ex cathedra', (from the throne), such as: "We hereby declare that for all time, into pereptuity"..... and, "We say, teach, declare and define"....
The actual times which Popes have made these infallible pronouncements have been fairly rare.
“Don’t Call It a Comeback!!!!”
No Pope has ever taught that hell is a "state of mind". Nor, contrary to the article, did JP2 teach that hell was "not a place". In Italian, the word he used was piu, which usually means "more". "More than a place, hell is the state of those who separate themselves from God ..."
His point, in context, was that hell, and heaven, start right here on earth. The damned choose separation from God during their earthly lives; the saints choose intimacy with God during their earthly lives. Benedict XVI doesn't disagree with that.
The main problem with Catholicism seems to be that the MSM can't be bothered to report about it accurately.
Just an additional note: Church teachings can be considered infallible without the Pope speaking "ex cathedra", based on Tradition. e.g., the male-only priesthood has not been declared ex-cathedra, but the teaching is infallible as it is accepted and taught by the full communion of bishops as an incontrovertible truth that Jesus' ministry makes clear the Church does not have the right to ordain women to the priesthood.
It would not surprise me in the least that the media would misquote (or intentionally misinterpret) JP2's words to suit their anti-Catholic agenda. Honesty and truth are not the hallmarks of modern journalists. They twisted his statement about evolution too. But none-the-less, Pope JPII was quite the liberal, and much of what he said tended to fly in the face of tradition, of which he certainly was no adherent.
Thankfully his successor, Pope Benedict, is starting to return to tradition, albeit in baby steps. JPII was a great man, but not a great Catholic leader. He was far too much a humanist/philosopher, and far too little a traditional pope. Though many want him sainted, in the end he will be remembered for the endless outrages that were allowed to happen in the Church, from destructive liturgical changes, to Hula Masses, to Clown Masses, to altar girls, to rock bands banging away during Holy Mass, to the liberal, (oft-times non Catholic), professors teaching heresy in "Catholic" Universities, to endless rock concerts for kids all over the world, to hosting Bob Dylan the heroin addicted, non-Catholic, anarchic, folk rebel to play at the Vatican, to kissing the Koran, to "apologizing" for the Crusades, to allowing the liberals and homosexuals to take control of the clergy and seminaries. No great Catholic leader was he.
Neat trick. The media has invested him with a power unlike any other creature.
Was anyone on the dark side "sweating out" the decision? Will he? Won't he?
Hell is both—a place and a state of mind—JP II was a philosopher/ phenomenologist and his emphasis was on the spiritual reality of separation from God, while B16 is a theologian and wants to remind everyone of the concrete-ness of the reality of hell. After all, we are resurrected —and that physical body goes to a place—hell or heaven.
The real trouble “with Catholicism” is that too many people who comment on it know what the term “infallible” refers to in the Church. Outside of the scriptures and the Creed there have been rather few dogmas “infallibly” defined by any Pope
That really isn't correct. The Catechism states clearly:
"This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called 'hell.'" (Paragraph 1033)
You need to think through the logical consequences of what you are saying. Hell is a place only in the sense that bodies, being physical matter, must exist in some place (of course, this will not occur with the damned until the general resurrection at the end of time).
Hell is not a "place" however, in the sense of being some "where" that can be freely visited and left. Not only does such an idea make absolutely no sense, but it is quite anti-Biblical. When Lazarus and the Rich Man both die (St. luke 16.19-31), they are together in the same place and can see each other and converse, even though as Abraham says "between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither" (verse 26). In the Apocalypse of St. John it is revealed quite clearly that sinners "shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the sight of the holy angels, and in the sight of the Lamb" (Apocalypse 14.10). The sinners are right there in the presence of God and the blessed, but they are in torment, and the blessed are in bliss. Making God the creator of a place called Hell also makes God into a monster, since He would be the Creator of a physical "place" of indescribible torture and suffering. And most certainly, the devil did not create hell, because he is not the Creator, much as he might want us to believe otherwise. Our salvation from damnation would be God saving us from His own monstrosity, rather than Him saving us from our sins. But to say such a thing is, I think, blasphemy! We need to seek the source of the torments of hell within us.
Christ tells us that hell is the "fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (St. Matthew 25.41). What hell actually is, is the state of an unredeemed sinner (and the devil and his angels are sinners too) existing in the presence of the Holiness and Love of God. After all, God is present in Hell too "if I descend into hell, thou art present." (Psalm 138(139).8) While God loves the sinner, the sinner hates God, hates himself, and hates all mankind. He wishes he never existed. When he dies he goes to hell, because he has seperated himself from the Source of life, and through his death and being brought into the presence of the Lord, he sees for all eternity precisely what he has thrown away through his love of self and hatred of God. That is "the worm [that] dieth not." (St. Mark 9.47). The burning fire is the presence of God Himself "for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12.29) This fire warms and enlightens the saints (Apocalypse 22.5), and it burns the sinners. The seperation from God is the sinner's eternal refusal of communion with Him - the eternal cry of "non serviam".
The topographical language of the Church, which affirms "after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell" (Catechism 1035) is intended not so much as to place hell in the center of the earth (although the physical bodies of the damned may very well end up there), but to use the image of the firey center of the earth as the firey furnace of hell, and the location of center of the earth as the furtherest point from God who is "up" above the empyrean heavens, so as to emphasize the vast distance of seperation the sinner is making from God by his life - he is placing himself at the point "furthest" from God.
Like most modern Catholics, (and of course non-Catholics), you are completely mistaken to think that a catechism is doctrinal. There have been literally hundreds of them over the centuries, many of them differing on teachings. The catechism is NOT an infallible document, and it is not intended to be an infallible document, it's just a general teaching instrument. Catechisms are never deferred to in any serious Catholic theological debate.
However, if you really want to defer to a catechism that is considered to be the most authoritative of them all, then pick up the "Catechism of the Council of Trent", (which was ordered by the "Council of Trent"). It is also known as "the Catechism of Saint Pius V", and "the Roman Catechism". This catechism was promulgated by a Sainted Pope, Pope St. Pius V, and was compiled and edited by another saint, Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the Church's greatest defenders of the faith ever. St. Charles' deep faith and love for the Church, along with his prodigious intellect enabled him to be an ArchBishop at only age 22. He recieved the tonsure at age 12. His catechism was compiled strictly from defide Church doctrine, not philosophical musings and novelty such as you read in the 1993 catechism. The Catechism of the Council of Trent was designed especially for Catholic priests to help them teach the ignorant faithful.
The Catechism of Trent refers to Hell as an "abode". It goes on to describe some punishements of Hell as being spirtual in nature, (the eternal loss of God), and physical in nature as well. It says:
"The next words, 'into everlasting fire', express another sort of punishment, which is called by theologians 'the pain of sense', because, like lashes, stripes or other more severe chastisements, among which fire, no doubt, produces the most intense pain, it is felt through the organs of sense. When, moreover, we reflect that this torment is to be eternal, we can see at once that the punishment of the damned includes every kind of suffering
So there you have it, the most authoritative catechsim ever written describes Hell as both a spiritual and physical PLACE of suffering. If the body is going to suffer there "through its senses", it must be a physical place as well as a spiritual place of suffering. But hey, what did those old fashioned, traditionalist Saints know anyway, right? They weren't as enlightened as john paul 'the great'.
IMHO, the 1993 catechism is a whimsical, new-age novelty, not to be trusted lest you fall into error. It departs too much from the better known catechsisms of tradition and history. When it says that: "Muslims worship the same 'one God' (of Abraham) that Catholics do", and that muslims are saved by their faith, it makes me long for the return of Tradition. Maybe when JP2 kissed the Satanic koran they put something in the leather cover that warped his thinking?
Hell is a REAL PLACE. The “state of mind” that is separation from God is because you are in hell.
I’ll skip the Catechism since it is not in agreement with the Bible. BTW, it is Christ that spoke repeadetly about hell as a PLACE.
WORD PICTURES OF HEAVEN
A beautiful city: Heb 11:16; 13:14; Rev 21
WORD PICTURE OF HELL
The garbage dump of City: Mk 9:43-48 (Hell=Gehenna=Valley of Hinnom=Dump)
WORD PICTURE OF HEAVEN
Eternal day: Rev 21:25 + 22:5
WORD PICTURE OF HELL
Eternal night, black darkness: Mt 22:13; 25:30; Jude 13; 2 Pet 2:17
WORD PICTURE OF HEAVEN
Sabbath rest: Heb 3:12-4:11; Rev 14:13
WORD PICTURE OF HELL
The second death: Rev 2:11; 20:6,14
WORD PICTURE OF HEAVEN
New heavens & earth: 2 Pet 3:3-13; Rev 21:1
WORD PICTURES OF HELL
Exiled & banished away from God’s new kingdom: 2 Thes 1:9; Mt 22:13; Rev 22:15
WORD PICTURE OF HEAVEN
A garden paradise: Rev 2:7; 22:2-3
WORD PICTURES OF HELL
Beaten & tortured while shackled in prison: Lk 12:47-48; Mt 22:13; 18:34; 24:51
WORD PICTURE OF HEAVEN
Holy place in Jewish tabernacle: Heb 9:11,24
WORD PICTURE OF HELL
Eternal fire: Mt 25:41; 13:42; Jude 7
C. Heaven and hell are of the same nature:
1. Not of this world, realm or creation: Jn 18:36; Heb 9:11,24; Rev 20:11=2 Pe 3:10
II. 9 WORD PICTURES OF HELL
A. Hell=Greek, “Gehenna”: “SENTENCE OF GEHENNA”: MT 23:33
1. Used 13x in NT: Mt 5:22,29,30; 10:28; 18:8,9; 23:15,33; Mk 9:43,45,47; Lk 12:5; Jas 3:6
2. Deep narrow valley outside Jerusalem: Valley of Hinnon, Josh 15:8, see MAP next page
3. Why did Jesus choose the valley of hinnon as the ultimate picture of hell?
a) Human sacrifices offered to Baal & Moleck: 2 Chr 28:3; 33:6; 2 Ki 23:10; Jer 7:31; 19:2-6; 32:35
b) Some have speculated it was the garbage dump of Jerusalem at the time of Christ:
(1) filth, dead animals and bodies of executed criminals
(2) Some suggest that fires were stoked to burn and sanitize
(3) Barnes, “...It was the place where to throw all the dead carcasses and filth of the city; and wan frequently the place of executions. The sight was horrible, the air was polluted and to preserve it in any manner of purity, it was necessary to keep fires continually burning there. The Jews extreme loathsomeness of the place, the filth and putrefaction, the corruption of the atmosphere, and the lurid fires blazing by day and night, made it one of the most appalling symbols with which a Jew was acquainted.”
4. Penalty for the sons of Gehenna: Mt 23:15,33
5. Purpose: Body and soul will be destroyed: Mt 10:28
6. Duration of Gehenna: Eternal: Mt 18:8,9 (Eternal fire = Gehenna fire)
a) Some think Gehenna depicts annihililation, yet the fire itself is described as eternal
7. Only two elements directly mentioned with Gehenna:
a) Unquenchable, eternal fire: Mk 9:43,45,47; Mt 5:22,29,30; 18:8,9; Jas 3:6
b) Eternal worms: Mk 9:48
B. Wicked cast into eternal fire: Mt 25:41 (3 FIGURES EXCLUDING GEHENNA FIRE)
1. Unquenchable fire of Gehenna: Mk 9:43,45,47; Mt 5:22,29,30; 18:8,9; Jas 3:6
2. Furnace of fire
a) Burn chaff with unquenchable fire Mt 3:12; Lk 3:17
b) Burn tares in furnace of fire: Mt 13:42,50
3. Rain of fire and brimstone:
a) Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah: Gen 19:24,28; (antitype of hell: Jude 7)
4. Lake of fire which burns with brimstone (sulfur): Rev 19:20; 20:10; 21:8
a) “Once a brimstone (sulfur) deposit ignites, it would melt & run in burning streams down the ravines spreading everywhere suffocating fumes the ordinary match” ISBE
b) “Torrents of brimstone” (fast moving flows): Isa 30:33
c) “Lake of fire” could also be a reference to lava from a volcano
C. Exiled & banished from Gods kingdom:
1. “Away from Gods presence”: 2 Th 1:9; cast into outer darkness: Mt 22:13
D. Eternal night:
1. “outer darkness”: Mt 22:13; 25:30; black darkness, Jude 13; 2 Pe 2:17
2. Counterpart: Heaven likened unto eternal day: Rev 21:25; 22:5
E. The second death: Rev 2:11; 20:6,14
F. A scourging, shackled torturing in prison:
1. Scourge: “lashes, cut in pieces” Lk 12:47-48; Mt 24:51
2. Shackled: “bind hand & foot” Mt 22:13
3. Tortured: “handed over to torturer: Mt 18:34
G. Worse than drowned in sea with millstone hung around neck: Mt 18:6
III. FACTS ABOUT HELL
A. A place of everlasting destruction: 2 Th 1:9; Phil 3:19; Heb 10:39
B. A place of conscious punishment
1. Both the rich man and Lazarus were fully conscious: Lk 16:19-31
2. “away from the presence of God”: 2 Th 1:9
a) indicates conscious existence in exile not annihilation
3. A place of suffering, affliction and retribution: 2 Th 1:5-8
4. Weeping and gnashing of teeth: Mt 13:42,50; 25:30
C. Duration of punishment is forever, eternity
1. The same words that describe hell also describe God and duration of heaven
a) forever: Rev 14:11; 20:10
b) black darkness forever: Jude 13
c) Eternal: Mt 25:46 (heaven and hell alike)
2. Eternal day of Christians is same duration as eternal night of lost
3. The undying worm, everlastingly consuming an unconsumable body
4. No second chance:
a) Appointed to die once then comes judgement: Heb 9:27
b) Great gulf fixed between good and bad: Lk 16
5. Annihilation is a false doctrine:
Based fundamentally upon the false doctrine that rejects the dichotomous nature of man. Eternal punishment is likened unto setting fire to dry leaf. The leaf is destroyed forever, it ceases to exist and the fire goes out although nothing could extinguish the fire before the leaf was fully consumed. “Carnalists” believe the Bible teaches “eternal destruction” (destroyed forever) rather than “eternal punishment” (conscious pain forever). The Bible mentions a punishment worse than physical death: Heb 10:28-29 What is it if not hell?
D. Hell is a demonstration of Gods justice: 2 Th 1:5-10
1. The “carnalist” type groups who teach annihilation argue that God would not be just to punish a man forever.
2. Just as no one can actually understand the logic behind Gods mercy in saving us through Christ dying on the cross, we probably cant understand Gods justice with hell.
E. Degrees of punishment in hell
1. Proof texts:
a) Many and few lashes: Lk 12:47-48
b) Both lost but one judgement more tolerable than other: Mt 11:24
c) Hypocrites will receive “greater condemnation”: Mk 12:40
d) Better for them if they had never been Christians: 2 Pe 2:20-21
2. The basis of the degree of punishment is not the frequency or magnitude of sin, but rather how accountable the individual was to God: (teachers- stricter judgement Jas 3:1)
a) The elder who runs off with another women will be punished more severely than any of the recent mass murder-rapists.
b) It is not a matter of how bad they sinned but the degree they knew it was sin.
3. Danger of those who reject degrees of punishment and reward:
a) It directly contradicts scripture: Lk 12:47-48; Mt 11:24; Mk 12:40; 2 Pe 2:20-21
b) It violates that there are in fact, as everyone recognizes, varying degrees of sin in a practical way.
c) It violates everything the Old Testament law taught about varying degrees of punishment for varying sins.
d) It violates the principle of every civil/criminal code in the world by punishing all crimes identically. (Remember that most civil codes were built upon Judeo-Christian principles, the rest upon common sense.)
e) It violates everything human parents understand in raising children, (just try disciplining children the identical way for varying sins.)
f) It is patterned after “communism”, where all get the same thing in spite of personal effort. It gives no incentive to excel. And no discouragement to sin the more!
g) It allows men to get the same reward for minimum effort. It condones, legislates and entrenches a mindset of mediocrity in the church. Statements like, “Hey what do we pay the preacher for!” is the fruit of this false doctrine! As one brother said, “This doctrine poisons the well-springs of zeal!”
h) It encourages Ketchersidism for if all men get the same reward, regardless of the extent of sin in each of their personal lives, then any one can see the close connection between, “We all get to heaven, regardless of our varying degrees of personal sin” AND “All the denominations get to heaven regardless of their varying degrees of doctrinal sin.” (No one believes we are saved by either moral or doctrinal perfection!)
10 Descriptions Are Symbolic
A. Physical garbage dump outside of Jerusalem
B. 4 Different figures of fire: (INCLUDING GEHENNA)
1. Fire of Gehenna
2. furnace of fire
3. rain storm of fire and brimstone
4. lake of fire and brimstone
a) huge furnace with lake of fire inside, raining fire located in valley of hinnon in Jerusalem?
b) Or 4 different figures to depict the spiritual counterpart
C. Exile and banishment
D. Eternal night
E. A bottomless pit (Hades)
F. Scourged, while shacked in a prison
G. Worse than drowned in sea with millstone hung around neck: Mt 18:6
CONCLUSION: Not A Pretty Place
A. Touch: pain from burning fire
B. Taste: dry mouth, extreme thirst, blood from gnashing teeth
C. Smell: rotting garbage-Gehenna; rotten eggs-brimstone
D. Sight: smoke-fire; corruption-Gehenna or black darkness
E. Sound: moaning, weeping, crying, screaming
Fact About Heaven
Duration is forever, eternity: Mt 25:46; Rev 22:11
Fact About Hell
Duration is forever, eternity: Mt 25:46; Rev 14:11; 20:10; Jude 13. No 2nd chance: Heb 9:27; Never to enter heaven: Lk 16:26
Fact about Heaven
Conscious reward: Mt 5:11. Comfort from sufferings: Rom 8:18; 2 Cor 4:17-18
Fact About Hell
Conscious punishment: Lk 16:19-31; 2 Th 1:5-8; Mt 13:42,50; 25:30
Fact about Heaven
Physical & emotional healing: Rev 7:16; 21:4
Fact about Hell
Destruction: 2 Th 1:9; Phil 3:19; Mt 10:28
Fact about Heaven
Reward for obeying: 2 Pe 1:10-11
Fact about Hell
Punishment for bad conduct: Rom 2:5-11
Fact about Heaven
Better than our wildest imagination: Eph 3:20
Fact about Hell
Worse than any known fear and horror
Again, I’ll pass on false doctrine.
Heaven and Hell are REAL PLACES.
Their are MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Heaven and Hell.
How do I know this?
The BIBLE tells me so - not some egotistical sinner with an agenda that doesn’t match what the Bible states. In fact this sinner propagates lies that disagree with the Bible. The choice is yours. Believe God or just another sinner? I gently suggest you get to know God and throw this Catechism in the trash where it belongs. Ever notice how this “Catechism” OFTEN lacks Bible verses to support teachings? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm? It is because this “Catechism” is not in line with Scripture - blindly believing false teachings isn’t good ... .
For once, understand and see what God says and be saved.
There is nothing more to say or repsond to. It is the BIBLE that tells us what to believe and for good reason.
 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
This applies to all sinners and the desperate need to look to God, whose teachings are ALL in the Bible.
Where in the Bible does it say ALL of God's teachings have been included in the Bible?
It doesn't. In fact John the Evangelist said at least twice that all Christ's teachings and deeds were not recorded.
But His teachings on Hell certainly were recorded, and the many parables He gave regarding what Hell is surely makes it seem like Hell is a "place". I don't know why Christ would compare a strictly "spiritual" Hell to a physical place like Gehenna. In Jesus' story of Lazarus and the 'rich man', he said the rich man went to Hell, and He described part of that rich man's punishment as being physically thirsty for water. Note that Jesus did not say the rich man was spiritually thirsty to see God. Though we can be sure he was suffering the loss of God, Jesus wanted us to understand Hell as a place of physical suffering too. Perhaps many people want to deny that Hell is a real "place" because they don't want to fathom what it would be like to be there.
Yes the Church attempting to set forths its teachings in an authoritative manner. What a comical concept. (/sarcasm)
Catechisms are never deferred to in any serious Catholic theological debate.
Well, I'm sure you'd like to think that, even though it is not really true. But that's fine. Most of my discursion was based upon the Bible. I notice you have little to say about it or what I pointed out. It is difficult to refute the plain words of scripture, no?
The Catechism of Trent refers to Hell as an "abode".
And your point there is? What? That hell is a physical place in the created world? If so, where is it?
St. Thomas states that: "The abodes of souls are distinguished according to the souls' various states." (Summa, Supp., Q 69, Art 7, Resp.) - i.e. the state of the soul is what creates the distinction in location - the difference in "place" is internal to the soul.
It goes on to describe some punishements of Hell as being spirtual in nature, (the eternal loss of God), and physical in nature as well.
This makes me wonder if you actually read what I wrote. Obviously hell is physical in nature, because bodies will be present in hell, and suffer a pain of sense (their souls will also suffer physically, as Pope St. Gregory explains in the Dialogues). I never said otherwise.
The question is whether the damned are away from the blessed and God. The Bible says quite clearly they are not. So does Catholic tradition. St. Thomas writes: "It is written (Isaiah 66:24): 'They shall go out and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me' ... in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned." (Summa, Supp., Q. 94, Art. 1, Resp.)
Lazarus could see the sufferings of the rich man and be made happy; the rich man could see the joy of Lazarus and this made him all the more miserable.
If the body is going to suffer there "through its senses", it must be a physical place as well as a spiritual place of suffering.
So did God create Hell? And if He did, how is not He who we are being saved from by Christ? Did Christ save us from God, or from our sins?
IMHO, the 1993 catechism is a whimsical, new-age novelty, not to be trusted lest you fall into error.
How exactly are you a Catholic? Obviously you are not in communion with the Pope, and communion with the Pope is the sine qua non of Catholicism.
When it says that: "Muslims worship the same 'one God' (of Abraham) that Catholics do",
Well of course they do. They have various misapprehensions about the nature of Almighty God, just as the pagans did and do, but there is only one supreme God who anyone can believe in.
and that muslims are saved by their faith,
It most certainly does not say that. It quotes the Second Vatican Council to say: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." (Para. 841)
I suppose if you don't want to believe that, we can number you among those who does not believe in Baptism of Desire.
As to the mode of salvation, the Catechism is quite clear. "All salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body" (Para. 846) "God 'desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth'; that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth." (Para. 851) and "Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. 'Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life "But he who endures to the end."'" (Para. 161)
I suppose that is not clear enough for you though.
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