Unlocking The Gates Of Hell

Pax Christi, everybody!

Do you think that Hell’s gates are shut from the inside, and is there the possibility that one can still be rescued from it after death?

Jesus saves.


In C S Lewis’ and George MacDonald’s impression (it’s in Mere Christianity), Hell is considered sort of a purgatory, where folks stay as long as they choose (repentance being the key to exit). I’d be interested in your thoughts. Thanks.

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Hi Randy!

I am becoming convinced that Lewis and MacDonald are correct, which is why I am (considering) Orthodox Christianity.

You might have noted my appreciation for St. Gregory of Nyssa in other posts of mine.

EDIT: Okay, I am a Hopeful Universalist. I do not believe that everyone will be saved.

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Interesting! I didn’t know any elements of Orthodox beliefs in life after death were related to this. Maybe you can clarify.
I’d be interested :slight_smile: Thanks.

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Orthodox belief includes Christ descending into hell and freeing souls.


In a sense I think that idea of the gates to hell being locked from within is right in terms of what little sense I can make of hell (or heaven) as a non Christian. Our actions and attitudes move us closer to the one or the other. I don’t know that either of those states last any longer than right now, but now has been going on for a long time and shows no sign of letting up any time soon. So in that sense we hold the key and if we are locked in it is our own doing.


Hell does not exist as a place, but an event. Hell is the lake of fire and it’s a metaphor for the second death. The only people that get eternal life are those that belong to Christ. I imagine a lot more belong to him than many of us thinks. The same grace we see being given to us despite our flaws, the parts of us we would hate others to see, is the same grace that is extended to everyone. But no this is not a case for universalism.

I’ve been debating this far to much lately and I’m “burned out “ on it. But I always suggest to people to check out the podcast hosted by Chris Date “ Rethinking Hell” and the books by Edward Fudge such as “ The Fire that Consumes”.


By being God incarnate Jesus guarantees sublime life; free in this life, saved in this life from such anthropological concepts as Hell. What guarantees Jesus? Either way, no one suffers any more.

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Yes… hell is something that people do to themselves.

Yes… I think it is possible SOME can be rescued… they cannot do it by themselves.

On the other hand, the potential has to be there within them. It cannot be just about your desire to rescue them, and you certainly cannot get them out against their will.

Absolutely incorrect. Eastern Orthodoxy has a schedule of prayers for the dead: 1st day, 3rd day, 40th day, 1 year and 3rd year. as well as prayer for the dead 7 days each year. It is also in the Roman Catholic church, the Lutheran Church, and it is in the book of common prayer for the Anglican church. It is in the Bible - 2 Timothy 1. There is even baptism for the dead in the Bible - 1 Cor 15. What is not in the Bible is purgatory. It is a nonsensical idea because nobody is without sin. We ALL have to be cleaned. And the place for that is the only heaven with any human beings in it.

I have been tempted with that also. There are many theological issues where I agree with them. Oh and rejecting purgatory is one of them. I also think they represent the most unchanged Christian group from the early church.

But… I don’t think the lack of change is necessarily always a good thing. Change can also be good. And diversity is very good, even essential. So I will simply agree with them on many things and leave it at that.

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To all those here that consider turning orthodox. Read some views of the church. Itll change your mind

Also i dont think anyone of you would be ok to pray to 20000 saints and kiss icons.

Im considered “orthodox” but i have my own views. Doctrine doesnt define me . Wanting to be labbeled as something in your enitre life is stupid. Doctrine is bad

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That is one hell of a caricature. It’s easy for one denomination or branch of the faith to bash the tree from which it stems. I have no issue kissing the Cross on my Rosary though I don’t pray to anyone but God in addition to the “Hail Mary.” For some people, tactile experiences are huge and meaningful. Think about reading a hard print vs digital book. For me a digital book is miles away from what I deem a “real” book. Does far less for me. Holding beads while praying does a lot for me as well.

Finding the positives and uplifting those with different theology can be difficult. I know from experience. In the end we all get a lot wrong. Best to be humble though admittedly I fail lots of times in this regard.



Personally, I never saw a problem with saint veneration or icons or ritual. It’s all quite respectful and meaningful.

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I would have thought being eager to label those who are not like you as stupid is more worthy of ridicule.


20 posts were split to a new topic: Labels? Doctrines? Do we need them?

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