The Pains of Hell Part 1
Let’s start off with a passage from the Book of Revelation 14:11 “ And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and it’s image, and whoever receives the mark of its name” My brothers and sisters of the human race, make no mistake about it. Whether or not you know God personally in your lives or whether you don’t believe in anything, we are all going to stand before God when we die. There is no escaping death. We all acknowledged that we are going to die. It’s not when you die that matters, it’s the state during your final breaths that matters. How did you live your life? Did I make every attempt in doing the right thing in my life? Did I accept the teaching of Jesus Christ in my life? I will go into the teaching from a Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). He delivered a sermon in 1574 at the University of Louvain in Belgium along with four others on this very topic.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1033 States- “To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him forever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “Hell”. We tend to be carried away with our actions. We go through life in its ups and downs and just go about our day. Do we ever think about how I will choose to act today? Do you give time to reflect on how my actions can affect me in the next life? In all reality, we don’t. This is something we need to teach ourselves. The world, the flesh and the devil has us very busy. If it’s not our co-workers who we like or dislike sometimes, it’s our spouses that we consider helpful sometimes or maybe they ignore your needs. Maybe you hope you don’t see that homeless man on the street that is always asking for money. You think to yourself, “he will only use it on drugs”. Every day we make choices from the time we awake until the time we sleep. Our free will is working 24/7. Yet, without us realizing, we all carry a ticket within our pocket (Soul). This ticket will be asked from us, from God when the times comes. It can come in your sleep, it can come at the dinner table, when you’re at the gym, when you’re driving on the freeway. Like Jesus said, “We don’t know the day or the hour”. Does it not surprise you that we just go about life not thinking about the tiniest detail? “The first is that some people are found who refuse to embrace our most Holy Faith. The second is that they who have taken up that faith dare to commit sin.” Hell and its Torments pg. 1 St. Bellarmine statement is so very true. From the time Jesus Christ himself walked the earth until his death on the cross and was raised from the dead to be seated at the right hand of the Father. When Many men and women of God went around preaching about the Church and how to live a holy and righteous life until today in the year 2018, many, many people refused to believe in God. Many will go about and say he doesn’t exist. Worse, are the one who say “I’ve already accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior) yet still sin, still break All Ten Commandments or even kill their own conscience by accepting what society tells them. Hebrew 9:27 “And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that come judgment”.
St. Bellarmine stated that we fail as Christian on these three points. “One, Lack of Consideration. Two, Ignorance and Three due to self-love” Hell and its Torments pg. 3 When we decide to sin, we don’t think about the consequences of our action. We are caught up “In the heat of the moment” as they say. We ignore the fact that our sin is not just a “personal sin”, but it affects us if we have a family. Ex. Mother, father brother sister, wife etc. It affects us as a human race, because we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Our sins have a domino effect and each time we sin, we are really knocking someone over. Psalms 21:9-10 “You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath; and fire will consume them. You will destroy their offspring from the earth, and their children from among the Sons of man.” God the Father in the Old Testament warned his people many times about their actions of committing personal sins. Because of the Fallen nature of humanity, he sent Holy men to warn the people of Israel to turn away from sins. We have a personal ignorance of the actions that we commit. Maybe our parents didn’t tell us, that by living a certain way of life, we are not just hurting ourselves, but others around us. Or that we are not aware of the price of our sins. Pride is the devil’s favorite sin. We always want to feel in charge and in control. Him and his demons push this sin very hard. Why? Because this was the same sin (Pride, Self- Love) that cast them out of heaven. When we sin, we feed a dark passion within our self. As an example, drinking is not a sin, but it can become a sin when you drink too much and are drunk. When you are drunk, you can’t think straight and then the animal passion that Aristotle talks about takes over the senses. We then want to find someone to go home with. You don’t care if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. All you want to do is fulfill your lustful passion. So, you ask your friend to convince them that you’re a great person. Maybe they are drunk too. You both agree to have a bit of fun and you leave the club. After you come in the motel room, you realize what you did was wrong, and you get your clothes and leave. You try your best to just forget everything. Your spouse is calling you on the phone, wondering where you are. This doesn’t sound like anyone you know right? We don’t try to commit such foolish thing. Yet, it happens to the very best of us. We all fall into temptation one way or another. The goal is to avoid future temptation the best we can and live a Life in Christ.
“Surely, God would never have redeemed me at so great a price and endured so many things here on earth for my sake, if on account of a single blasphemy or some other crime, he had it in mind to bind me over to an everlasting dungeon?” Hell and its Torments pg. 7 Yes, even despite the fact that God is a merciful God, he is still a God that demands an account for our actions. He threw lucifer out of heaven with his angels that turned against him and cast them into hell. You don’t think that if you died with one mortal sin, he wouldn’t send you too? A mortal sin is a sin that is done willingly, knowing that it is against the commandments of God and you still went ahead and did it anyway to fulfill your own passions. If I committed a Mortal sin and I had the opportunity to repent and I refused, then yes, I’ll be heading there too. CCC 1034- “Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire, and that he will pronounce the condemnation; “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire” Jesus Christ warned many times in the bible that hell is very real and you can and will be sent there of you don’t turn away from your sins! “Even though God has loved us with a mighty love and has sent his Son to us and willed that he suffers and endures so many things for our liberation, yet despite this, He will still punish us with eternal tortures if we desert to the camp of the enemy and betray the citadels of our souls to demons.” Hell and its Torments pg. 8 When we sin, we give permission to a demon to take a hold of us. It’s the chains that bind us to that evil act. Only through the Sacrament of Confession, with Absolution coming from the hands of a Priest, can one break the chains of sin and bestow on us the graces needed to have the Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts again. CCC 1037- “God predestines no one to go to hell, for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end.”