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If God is all love and is merciful, why is there eternal punishment?

Full Question
The non-Catholics and the atheists on my discussion board are having a field day with this question: If God is all love and is merciful, why is there eternal punishment?


If I were a betting person, I’d bet that these same people consider themselves compassionate in their concern that women have the ability to choose to “terminate" a pregnancy. Of course, this doesn’t do much for the child’s ability to choose to live. A one-sided compassion is not compassion at all.

The Catholic Church supports choice for all because God does. He gives us the freedom to choose to serve him or to choose to serve Satan. But ultimately, we can only serve one of them—not both.

God is merciful to those who want his mercy. But he doesn’t force himself on us. We have the freedom to choose by the way we live our lives. After we have died, if we have chosen to serve Satan, then we belong to him. We cannot go back and re-choose any more than a woman can go back and re-conceive the child she has aborted.

There is a hell because we have the freedom to choose evil instead of serving God. To choose away from God is hell—pretty basic stuff. God doesn’t choose to send us there. That choice is entirely up to us.

Your debate board people want to have it both ways. This is very unrealistic and blindly naïve. Oil and water will mix long before love and evil ever will. Most of all, God is a loving God. He wants us not to reject him even more than we want him not to reject us. But we can only realize this with faith.


  1. jill dezsenyi Reply

    promise of all those called by the father to be sent back to the father unblemished //also the promise of the trial of ten days in hell i dont know where any saved are sent to eternal hell in punish
    ment can you send me that scripture please and what bible

  2. jill dezsenyi Reply

    god also appoints others but he personally is al good nothing but love mercy and grace

  3. rupert cruz Reply

    If you don’t want to have anything to do with God, there is a place that has nothing to do with Him and it’s called hell. You take God out of any situation and all the good goes away with Him. That’s why hell is 100% evil. Offense against an eternal God results in an eternal separation from God.

  4. Phillip Sault..... Reply

    God poured all his wrath and anger out on JESUS when he was on the cross. JESUS took what i had coming….He came to give me HIS LIFE…….His life that i didn’t deserve……HE’S Spirit is in me and he supplies my every need. The law was given by Moses…..Grace and TRUTH came by JESUS CHRIST. I AM WHAT I AM BY THE GRACE OF GOD. HE delivered my soul from the lowest ”’HELL” Hell was between my ears……Heaven is there now……

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