Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
back
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Emeka Collins wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If God knows those that will go to Hell, why did He still create them?

Emeka

  { If God knows those that will go to Hell, why did He still create them? }

John replied:

Dear Emeka,

Thank you for your question.

This is a deep question and we can only base our answer on what we know about the nature of God.

St John the Evangelist tells us in his First Epistle (not the Gospel) that God is Love. (1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16) That's where me must start and His Love is not just an affection or a feeling. It is a total Self-Giving.

In fact that's all He can do is Love so all of His Creation is an act of love. He even loves those who reject His Love.

Throughout the centuries, there have been many models or paradigms that have attempted to explain Hell, just as there have been many paradigms used to explain Purgatory and Heaven, but they are just paradigms and models. Our attempt to understand or even God's attempt to explain through the Bible these (states or places), in terms of people, might grasp the gravity of Hell.

Paraphrasing Pope John Paul II the Great:

Hell is nothing more than the love of God being experienced by those who are constantly rejecting it. Therefore it is a source of torment, not joy. Nevertheless, He will eternally love them, eternally be giving Himself to them.

This paradigm, is actually not new. It's a long part of the Eastern Catholic and even traditional Orthodox understanding of Hell.

  1. The souls in Hell, the demons (fallen angels) and satan Himself, all experience God's love . . . but they run from it. They are so full of pride and self loathing which are two sides of the same coin, that they won't allow themselves to embrace God's Love and Mercy so they are stuck there. They will not change.

  2. The soul in Purgatory, experiences the Love and Mercy of God and embraces it but because the soul isn't purified, God's love is like fire that burns away the selfishness and pride . . . so while it's a source of great joy, it's also a source of purifying or healing pain.

  3. The soul in Heaven, freed from all selfishness, pride, and self-loathing, experiences the same exact Love of God, as only pure joy.

So all of creation, is an act of love. It is God giving Himself unconditionally to everyone. Everyone and everything He creates, He does out of love.

If He didn't create someone who could reject His Love, His Love would not be unconditional and against His very Nature.

Now this is a great mystery. We will never fully wrap our limited minds around it, until we are with Him and made like Him by Grace but it's about the best explanation we can give to you right now.

Hope this helps,

Warmly,

John

Bob replied:

Dear Emeka,

Thanks for the question.

The answer is because He loves them. God does everything out of love, and making someone, who is completely free and made in His Image is an act of love. The refusal of someone to love God in return is not His fault — that is their prerogative.

It is the possibility of freedom to reject the one who loves you and made you.

  • So, would it be better for God to just then destroy them and cause them to cease existing?

No, because, again, He acts in love, and love respects their choice to live apart from Him. God still loves those even in Hell, but they do not love Him.

It is their choice.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Paul replied:

Emeka,

That is a very good question, that is worth pondering.

To add to John's speculation, we must realize foreknowledge does not mean predestination or predetermination.

  • As an analogy, if I were to write a novel knowing in advance that one or more of my characters would end up in jail, would that stop me from writing it?

If I decided not to write it because of this, all the other characters in my story who lived good happy lives would never exist. Likewise, God created creatures with free-will to image Him (i.e. persons), knowing that, in the course of time, some would reject Him. That is the chance One takes when making creatures with free will but, like my novel, knowing this would occur is no reason not to create them.

Since human beings have solidarity in the ontological order, you would have to choose to not create the human species to avoid the bad, free choices of some. So much would have been lost had God chosen not to create mankind . . . including you and me.

Peace,

Paul

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.