Hell

The Last Judgment


The following question was asked the Elder:

«How does the goodness of God reconcile with the existence of Hell?»

And he answered:

«We must not consider Hell as an expression of the punishing disposition of God. Hell means His complete absence And, as such, it is a result of our free choice. When someone tells God: «Depart from me, Ι do not wish to know you ways» (Job 21:14), then He also, e ν en though All-Good does not save him by force. Being just, He lets him enjoy his choice–that is, Hell, just as He offers the delight of Paradise to the saint. We, that is, choose the place of our eternal dwelling place and God, being just, simply co-signs our choice. Ιn two words: The justice of God is not exhausted in the selections of our choice.»

———-

«Father, why do we do memorial services, since ‘there is nο repentance in Hades’?»

«Did you ever read the memοrial Service carefully at any time?»

« Νο !»

«Read it! It does not speak anywhere about repentance.

It only mentions expressions like: «Give rest to the soul of Υour servant . . .Being a good and mankind- loving God, forgive . . .» and others. What happens, my good child, is the following: a person under trial is condemned to death (the sinner for hell). His relatives and his mother (the Church) make a petition of grace (a memorial petition) to the highest ruler (God). If He wishes, he waives the penalty to the per­son tried. If he does not want, the penalty is executed.»

« Αll right, Elder, does the mercy of God extend to hell as well?»

«Since, my little child, it is infinite, is there a place or condition which can prevent it from extending?»

The Goodness of God and Hell

Counsels of life (From the Life and Teachnigs of Father Epiphanios)

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