Would God Really Send Someone to Hell?

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Video

If God is all-good and all-loving, how could he send someone to hell?

At first glance, it seems that he would not. But God is infinitely higher than we are, and our finite minds can only grasp a tiny bit of his infinite mystery.

Therefore, we need to check our intuitions about what God would or would not do against what we know.

In particular, we need to check them against what God himself has told us in his word.

In this video, I take on the question of whether God would really send someone to hell, and I show that we must reject the simple answer, “No, God would never do that.”

But we also see that the matter isn’t as simple as saying that God “sends” people to hell.

Drawing on the teaching of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we reveals the real reason that people “go to hell”–and the fact that we can avoid this as long as we open ourselves to God’s love.

No matter what we’ve done, no matter how bad our sins, we can–as long as we live–always be saved if we turn back to God and embrace his love.

Here’s the video!

I’m also preparing a message to the Secret Information Club where I “interview” Bl. John Paul II about hell.

Very few churchmen are willing to speak at any length about the doctrine of hell, but John Paul II was one of them, and drawing from his writings, I compose an “interview” that presents his wisdom on the doctrine of hell, its biblical basis, how we should understand it, and what it means for our lives.

If you’d like to receive the interview, you should sign up for the Secret Information Club by Friday, June 15th, and you’ll have the interview in your email inbox on Saturday morning.

You should sign up using this form:

(If you have any trouble, just email me at Jimmy@SecretInfoClub.com.)

You can also go to www.SecretInfoClub.com for more information.

Incidentally, before he hopped on a plane for Israel this afternoon, the globe-trotting author, blogger, and apologist Steve Ray sent me an email (and permission to use it) in which he said:

“Bravo, Jimmy! I look forward to your secret messages as a member of your Secret Information Club.

Actually, I like it that you do a lot of research I wish I had time to do.

Don’t tell anyone–this is a secret–but I copy each one and save it in my Logos Bible Software program for future reference.

Very valuable, fun, and great content. Keep up the good work.”

Steve Ray

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!

What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy


richkato3 June 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Great job, Jimmy.  This is one of my favorites!  P.S.  You look great as a result of the diet.

ChristianHofbauer June 9, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Jimmy… please edit this article!  it looks like some kind of auto-complete or spell-check feature wreaked havoc.  it’s simply not presentable to hair-splitting, critical infidels as is.  thanks!

Jerry Rhino June 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Good points Jimmy.  God does not send any one to hell, all of whose residents have chosen to be there.  An internet story describes an exorcist who spoke thus to a demon, “return to hell which God has created for all you evil spirits.”  To which the demon replied, “You ignorant fool, God did not create hell, we did.”

Guest38 June 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

This sounds like a great topic, but I probably won’t be watching the video. I find information more user-friendly in written format than in video.  I can get through the whole thing faster (I find I can generally read a transcript of a talk in 1/3 the time it took the speaker to speak it), glance back to review a keyword from a prior paragraph more easily, and even print it for later perusal when I’m away from my computer.  Plus, I don’t have to choose between fishing for my earbuds and disturbing others with the sound of the video playing.  Please consider publishing articles again.  They were (are) so helpful!  :)

Doug June 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Can we define Hell? Here’s Baltimore #4:
“413. Q. What is Hell?
A. Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments … Besides this remorse, they suffer most frightful torments in all their senses.” After some exegesis on Catholic doctrines, it says, “It should be enough, therefore, for you to remember: there is nothing good in Hell, and it will last forever.”
Acceptable here?

Valentin June 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm

This reminds me of the fall of man in the way that God honours Adam and Eves disobediance. The problem with Adam and Eve is that they did not freely choose good.

MichaelRoger June 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

The quote regarding Judas is good, but it’s not the only one. There is one which follows:
“Behold I have not lost one that the father has given me. None but him lost to perdition.” referencing Judas. So the question is what does it mean to be “lost to perdition”?
Perdition means destruction.
Later, St Paul writes that those who (and I paraphrase) are so sinful (in his judgment) have been “turned over to Satan for the destruction for his flesh in order that he might be saved on the day he Lord returns.”
It is the only other passage regarding this “destruction” that I have found. There may be more in Revelations or Macabees or in the Prophets that needs to be interpretted. But I don’t know.
In any case, according to Jesus, Perdition is a place of lostness. This destruction, which seems an obvious reference to the fact that Judas did “destroy” himself in hanging himself, is it the same “destruction: that Saint Paul is referencing?
In those days, there was a certain vocabulary that can be found regarding lostness. It was the idea of being outside Jerusalem, on a journey, or, in the netherworld. If you were outside the walls of Jerusalem, you would be considered as a lost person. This is also where the dead bodies were burned and destroyed. You would be subject to all sorts of evil too. This is where thieves dwelt, and murderers too. There was little recourse to justice outside the walls. In essence, you would be lost to justice and all the good benefits of living in the city of God.
This is a familiar theme regarding heaven and hell also. Heaven is described as a city, with gates and streets of gold, and inside was a safe place of peace. To be outside the city was to be not in Heaven, and lost.
So, we can see where Jesus is coming from when he speaks of destruction and lostness. But it is somewhat confounding to hear Paul speak of destruction in a somewhat different way. According to Paul, this ‘way” is a path to salvation for to be turned over to destruction of the flesh by Satan leads to the salvation of the soul.
Well, Hell is the place for the eternal and unending destruction of the soul. Paul, however, is referencing the destruction of the flesh. My question is “how does Satan have a role in the plan of Salvation by destroying the flesh and what does it mean to have the flesh destroyed or to be ‘turned over to Satan’?”
And I guess one follow up question would that I cannot seem to reconcile the two thoughts that A) hell is a place of choosing, and B) that there is a judgment. What is the point of judgment if not to determine who will go to hell and who will go to heaven? I know the bible says that we will be judged by our consciences, but, it also says that God is the judge, not us We’re not up there judging ourselves and condemning ourselves. God is. I just can’t place the two in the same. Is not the judge the same as the sentencer?

Valentin June 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

 @MichaelRoger I think that the way I would respond to your note at the end is by saying that God gave Man freedom to go with him or some contrary way and contrary ways lead to corrosion, and perversion which is stepping away from Good. One way of thinking about it would be walking on a mountain trail which if you step to the side you would fall and die. So in that respect God is honouring someones disobediance when they reject God and die.

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