213. How can one reconcile the existence of hell with the infinite goodness of God?

God, while desiring “all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), nevertheless has created the human person to be free and responsible; and he respects our decisions. Therefore, it is the human person who freely excludes himself from communion with God if at the moment of death he persists in mortal sin and refuses the merciful love of God.


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Paragraph 1036

1036. The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."616

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."617

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1037. God predestines no one to go to hell;618 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":619

Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.620


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What does the Bible say about God’s judgment and justice?

How are God’s justice and mercy revealed in Isaiah? (Isaiah 58:1-14)

What is the responsibility of religious leaders according to Malachi 2:7?

The Importance of Hope in Lamentations: How Does It Sustain Us Through Adversity (Lamentations 3:25)?

What is the significance of Christ being the Head of Creation, as mentioned in Colossians 1:15-17?

What is the message of Isaiah’s heavenly vision of the Lord’s glory revealed in Isaiah 40:1-31?

How does the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua demonstrate God’s faithfulness?

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