Arendzen - Eternal Punishment

Arendzen – Eternal Punishment

This is Arendzen’s Catholic work on “eternal punishment” looking at the nature of eternal punishment, comments and teaching in Scripture, Tradition, and reason, and the final chapter is special questions.

This is Arendzen’s Catholic work on “eternal punishment” looking at the nature of eternal punishment, comments and teaching in Scripture, Tradition, and reason, and the final chapter is special questions.

Arendzen Eternal Punishment

Arendzen Eternal Punishment
J.P. Arendzen (a Catholic Priest)

Warning: The author’s perspective on eternal punishment is probably that of standard Catholicism, i.e. all non-catholic people who died go directly to hell based on their not being within the Catholic church. All Catholic people who died go to purgatory (suffering and paying for their sins through that suffering) until Christ returns. The concept of Christ’s atonement is completely sufficient to pay for all of our sins is denied by Catholicism.

If you are just looking for a good work on hell and eternal punishment, I would suggest first downloading and reading one of the theWord modules below on hell/eternal punishment. I include this work here (although I am Baptist, not Catholic) so that people who study Catholicism have a source to see what they believe. I have not personally studied this work, so I do not know exactly what its position is on hell, but I have studied Catholicism extensively, so I present that in this my opinion/review.

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CONTENTS of Arendzen Eternal Punishment

Chapter 1 – Introductory
Chapter 2 – The Nature of Eternal Punishment
Chapter 3 – Eternal Punishment in Scripture
Chapter 4 – Eternal Punishment in Tradition
Chapter 5 – Eternal Punishment and Reason
Chapter 6 – Special Questions Relating to Eternal Punishment


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Arendzen Eternal Punishment
By The Rev. J. P. Arendzen
PH.D., D.D., M.A.

Introduction by

Rev. Charles J. Mullaly, S.J. Editor, The Messenger of the Sacred Heart

New York
The Macmillan Company 1928
All Rights Reserved

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Bible Notes on Hell

See entry for Satan on, as well as Hell.

  • Hell is a real place. The justice of God demands that it exists and that it performs a punitive purpose for those who refuse to hear, obey, or love God. The Bible mentions "hell" many times, always as a real place, a threat to the wrongdoer.
  • What is the purpose of Hell? The argument goes like this "Since God is a God of love, God could never send anybody to a place of torment for all of eternity!" God IS a God of love, but there are boundaries. The will of God is expressed in the existence of laws, and these laws are meaningless if there is no punishment for constantly breaking them as a form of living (essentially ignoring them and the authority of the person behind their creation). So the words of God are meaningless and unimportant until we arrive at the issue of hell. Then in hell (a concept, a place, a punishment), we see where it is extremely important not to ignore God and his laws, but to abide by them. So the very being of God, that he is "God the Creator", and his authority and glory as God need to be respected, and hell is for those who do not respect God. Secondly, people live their lives one of two ways, (1) ignoring God for the most part, (2) worshipping God and respecting God. Those who ignore or defy or rebel against God don't want God in their lives in any way really. Hell is the fulfillment of that wish. People don't understand that God and his presence bring blessing, comfort, refreshment, and happiness. Without God, sin will give you none of these, but sin will deceive you with what is fun, entertainment, vice, excess, etc. All of these will come back to cause you misery. The drunk is happy drinking, but waking up with his face down in the mud and his own vomit is not all that fun. The opposite of heaven is hell. But in reality, the opposite of hell is God's laws and principles.
  • Universalism (all people will make it to heaven) is disavowed in Scripture. Obviously some people are sent to hell, Exodus 16 rebels of Corah, Luke 16 the Rich man. While some or many end up in hell, some don't, they end up in hell with God, and these are considered God's children. Disavowing universalism does not cancel the fact that Christ died for all humanity, but rather focuses on the fact that people must do what God says in order to avoid hell (belief in the person and work of Jesus Christ on the cross).
  • Annihilationism (people cease to exist after physical death) is disavowed in Scripture. People have some type of eternal life after the physical death of their physical body. For those who trust in Christ's work on the cross, this is an eternal LIFE (goodness in existing). For the unsaved, it is an eternal DEATH or Second Death (an eternal physical torment). 
  • Hell is permanent. The Bible declares and affirms that there is nothing that can be done by those in hell, by those still on the earth, or by those in heaven to procure a lessening of the torment, nor release from hell. God in his justice and mercy nonetheless will not release anybody from hell. The Bible disavows the concept of purgatory, limbo, or any similar concept. There are no "second chance" possibilities for those who are in hell, to at some later point get out of hell.
  • Hell is punishment for our sins. All have sinned (except Jesus Christ), and therefore all humanity will be held liable for their sins, and possibly end up in hell. Only those who obey the gospel indications will not end up in hell. Hell is not a "quarantine" from God where they are separated but live good lives. (Hell is not an eternal party with all the alcohol and sex you want. It is a punishment as God sees things.) Hell is for punishment for sin, and it is extremely unpleasant for all who are there. Heaven is a gift of eternal happiness, and hell is a wage (payment for service or acts committed) of eternal unhappiness.
    • Eternal unhappiness is constant unhappiness. There is no relief in any form from the torture and suffering of hell. The rich man wished but for a drop of water, and he was denied that.

Some Additional Studies on Hell and Eternal Punishment

Some Observations about Hell

  • Rev 20:10 God throws Satan into Hell for his rebellion.
    • If God's punishment of Satan is real, it is in the real place of hell.
    • Hell was created by God exactly for the punishment of Satan and all that follow him.
  • 2 Peter 2:4 God also will cast the fallen angels (demons) with Satan into hell.
    • All that follow Satan and his rebellion instead of obeying God will go with him to hell.
  • Mat 25:41 depart from me (people) accused ones into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
    • Humans will be cast into hell with the fallen angels and Satan.
    • Hell is described as an eternal fire, or burning to death but never being consumed or actually dying (stopping the suffering).
  • Psa 9:17 he wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.
    • There two types of people, those who focus on God and worship Him and those who "forget" or ignore God.
  • God/the Bible uses the threat of hell as a motivator because it is real - Mat 5:29; 10:28; 13:40-42; Mark 9:43-48.
    • It would be senseless to use hell as a threat if it didn't really exist.
    • God is not a person that lies, or exaggerates, or makes idle threats, what he promises he keeps, especially promises of punishment to the rebellious to him.