Does God Send People to Hell?
We had a spirited discussion on heaven and hell at our bible study on Tuesday and one question that came up was “Does God send people to hell?”
Orthodoxy teaches that hell is not a place where God throws people after He judges them (a common understanding among some Christians). Rather hell is a place that people choose for themselves. “God our Savior…desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” St. Paul tells us in the book of Timothy (1 Timothy 2:3-4).
Frederica Matthews Greene explains it well in this short video:
You can see all of Frederica’s short question and answer videos on the St. Peter’s website.
For anyone interested in a deeper theological explanation the book Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective is a very good resource.
From the review:
This in-depth study on the realm of death presents a message of hope held by the first generation of Christians and the early church. Using Scripture, patristic tradition, early Christian poetry, and liturgical texts, Archbishop Hilarion explores the mysterious and enigmatic event of Christ s descent into Hades and its consequences for the human race.
You can order the book from Amazon.
Learning about Lent and Pascha
Salvation is not automatic. We have to cooperate with Christ in order to be saved. We pray, fast, serve the poor and more.
Our faith is not passive. We must expend effort and act. That means we must also educate ourselves about our faith, particularly why we believe the things that we do.
An outline of Great Lent is provided on the website. It offers an overview of the special days of Lent and will aid you in understanding what Great Lent is all about. Print is out and use it as a study guide during Great Lent.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website also has very good Lenten resources.