• Michael Haldas

Heaven, Hell, and Eternity


“...there is no place where God is not, and God’s love is for all human beings, including sinners.

Hell is presented as the state of self-exclusion from communion with that Universal Love.” (Father John Zeyack)

“Heaven and hell are a condition of relationship with God...Heaven and hell are in the same realm, and that hell is not separation from God symbolically or physically; hell is a place chosen. For one who hates God, being in the presence of God will be eternal suffering.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"...heaven and hell are the divine presence experienced either pleasantly or unpleasantly, depending upon one’s spiritual condition...heaven and hell are conditions of relationship with God." (Father John Zeyack)

"...the uncreated light of Christ is “an all-consuming fire and an illuminating light.” This is why we say heaven and hell are not about location, they are about relationship. Heaven and hell are within the same realm, which is in the presence of God.” (St. John of the Ladder, Abbot Tryphon)

"God is eternal, and so our relationship with Him is eternal. But what will this eternal relationship be like? Will it be eternal joy or eternal torment?" (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“…this is one of heaven’s gifts: for those who hunger to know, heaven promises full disclosure of the true nature of things.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“Our experience of the beautiful and the sublime on earth is a preview of heaven; if we think of the best things we have experienced on earth and envision them continuing, magnified and without interruption, that’s heaven.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“I remember not too long ago during a sunny summer day, I was taking a bike ride down the country lanes near my home. I came to the top of a hill and started to descend when I was struck by the magnificence of the view. As far I could see there were rolling green hills and cornfields, scattered farm houses and not a soul in sight. The sounds of the cicadas echoed throughout the countryside and an occasional hawk spiraled lazily above the fields. For some reason, I was struck by the beauty of it and felt a peace and joy wash over me. The thought came to me that I was experiencing, or feeling, a small glimpse of Heaven and that this feeling I had for a fleeting moment in time was a brief experience of the ever present feeling in God’s eternity to those who love God and thus avail themselves the opportunity to experience His love which is always available and present to everyone.” (Sacramental Living)

“Consider the profound implications of the idea of eternity right now. It means that we should treat other people as immortal souls and not as perishable bodies. It means that what good we build here on earth becomes part of God’s eternal kingdom.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“Eternity is an often misunderstood concept. Most people think of eternity as time that will go on forever. This not very appealing and leads to some popular misconceptions of Heaven as monotonous and boring, which is the opposite of the Church’s understanding. But what eternity really means is no time. Eternity is beyond time. It is the ever present now that God exists in outside of His creation. Past and future are seeming realities known to us in our finite state.” (Sacramental Living)

“As Christians, we don’t believe God rejects us, confines us to hell and withdraws His love; rather we confine ourselves there by our refusal to accept His love in which case His love becomes something we hate instead of want. Being in hell doesn’t mean that God is no longer present or that He has ceased offering love to those who reject Him. It just means that in our rejection of God, His love becomes something painful to us instead of something blissful.” (Sacramental Living)

“Self-induced perdition lies within our power.” (Dynamis 11/24/2012)

“Hell is where you get exactly what you want, and if what you want is something other than God, that something will describe hell for you.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“One way to think about hell is to envision the worst things that have happened to you, and then imagine them as a kind of permanent condition.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

"Why is hell so terrible? Because it is the place where God is not. And since Christ emphasizes that all good things come from God, it follows that there is nothing good to be found in the realm of God’s absence - Hell” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“There are two kinds of people in the end, those who willingly say to God,"Thy will be done,” and the kind to whom God reluctantly says,"Thy will be done.” (C.S. Lewis)

“…a life not centered on God, therefore a self-centered life, leads to emptiness.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The Greek word Hades, often used in the New Testament, means emptiness. When we are selfcentered, self-absorbed to the point where we are consumed with ourselves, there is no room for God and we are indeed empty and beyond all help because we can no longer even see or acknowledge the truth – all by our own choice. This is hell. .” (Sacramental Living)

"...hell is often referred to as the"place where God is not.” But God is everywhere, no? So, how can God be absent from any place? The answer is that the human heart, and only the human heart, is able to create a space where God is not permitted to enter. And if God cannot enter, then no human being in his or her full human dignity as a child of God will be able to enter, either.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

“Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy.” (Pope John Paul II)

"If we love God— if our life has been lived for Him— then God is our joy. If we do not want God, then His eternal presence and loving embrace are hell." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

"The God of humility consigns no one to hell. Rather, hell is the place of those who rebel against God; a place freely chosen by those who despise the presence of God and the condition of those who refuse the mercy of God.” (Father George Morelli)

"All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.” (C. S. Lewis)"Do not worry about what will come next; you will discover it when it comes.” (St. Simeon the New Theologian)

“The hour through which you are at present passing, the man whom you meet here and now, the task on which you are engaged at this very moment—these are always the most important in your whole life." (Paul Evdokimov)

“We live in the not yet, but God sees the already. We see today and yesterday but not tomorrow. God sees all three at once...Unlike God, we live in the time between the already and not yet and we must wait until then. Until then, we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Until then, we are called to comfort the afflicted, give food to the hungry and water to the thirsty. Until then, we are to shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, and grieve with the grieving. Until"then, we are to care for the widow, the orphan, the alien, and the stranger. We are to"let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works and glorify [our] Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16 NKJV). Until then we are Christ’s heart and hands and feet—the ambassadors of his love in a hurting world..." (Richard Stearns)

“God is not limited by time. It’s easy to get discouraged when years pass and the world doesn’t get better. We sometimes wonder if God is able to see the future. But don’t assume that God has our limitations. God is completely unrestricted by time. Because He is eternal, we can depend on Him.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 90:4)

"For the present is the point at which time touches eternity." (C. S. Lewis)

“The central paradox of Christian living is that in grasping for temporal things, we lose the eternal..." (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 16:25)

“It is an empirical fact that we know we will die. Further, we know when we die, we leave behind all of our material goods – homes, cars, clothes, computers, and other objects. As the Bible states:"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7). Our bodies either go into the ground, are cremated or our subject to other death rituals. Eventually even our bodies disintegrate over time or are destroyed. That brings us to a few possibilities of which I will simplify into two basic ones. One is that the death of the body is the end of life – period. We live, we die and we cease to exist. But another possibility is that something of us lives on which would be our soul that contains our spirit and our character.” (Sacramental Living)

“When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though there were no afterlife. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live this brief span determines our eternal state. What we accumulate on earth has no value in gaining eternal life. Even the highest social or civic honors cannot earn us entrance into heaven. Evaluate your lifestyle from an eternal perspective, and you will find your values and decisions changing.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 16:26)

“Our modern world encourages us to prepare for the future through retirement accounts, good education for our children, and insurance to protect our valuables against foreseeable risks. These plans, however, are designed for"time-limited” hereafters, for they encompass a period that lies just over the horizon in terms of the days, months, and years ahead.” (Dynamis 1/9/2014)

"I will leave this life and everything in it at some point…The only thing I will take with me is me – my soul, spirit, who I am in my being. Christ promises us eternal life through Himself. That’s the goal of true long term planning, not luxury or ease for a twenty to thirty year plus period. Christ warns us of this type of false thinking in The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:13-21. It makes so much sense to me to focus on that goal as the first priority, and do everything Christ taught us to do sacramentally in support of that goal. The other goals are fine but only in the right priority order. When they are out of order, ironically, all of the effort we put into what we call long-term planning, can actually cause us more stress even though we are trying to ensure we don’t have stress later in life. We fret over the ups and downs of the market and how it affects our retirement, lose focus on the present by obsessing over the future, and fall into worry and anxiety.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“[Christ’s] transfiguration was a foretaste of Heaven…When we are united with Christ, life takes on both immediate and eternal dimensions...The present experience we enjoy provides a foretaste of our complete redemption...” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 17:3, 2 Timothy 1:1)"Through life and growth in the earthly Church the faithful receive a foretaste of the Kingdom of God to come.” (Archbishop Demetrios)

“...don’t be fooled into thinking that heaven is some far-away place with no connection to the real world. Just as people can create their own version of hell on Earth through addiction, crime, unfaithfulness and sin, so people who know God’s mercy and peace in their life can experience a foretaste of heaven on Earth.” (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

"Our fellowship in the church on earth is a foretaste of the perfect communion we will enjoy in heaven.” (John Macarthur)

"I remember not too long ago during a sunny summer day, I was taking a bike ride down the country lanes near my home. I came to the top of a hill and started to descend when I was struck by the magnificence of the view. As far I could see there were rolling green hills and cornfields, scattered farm houses and not a soul in sight. The sounds of the cicadas echoed throughout the countryside and an occasional hawk spiraled lazily above the fields. For some reason, I was struck by the beauty of it and felt a peace and joy wash over me. The thought came to me that I was experiencing, or feeling, a small glimpse of Heaven and that this feeling I had for a fleeting moment in time was a brief experience of the ever present feeling in God’s eternity to those who love God and thus avail themselves the opportunity to experience His love which is always available and present to everyone.” (Sacramental Living)

“God is everywhere present and fills all things. There is nowhere He is not. Hellfire is none other than the fire of God, burning those who are unloving and unresponsive to His invitation to commune with Him. God does not send anyone to hell, for we sentence ourselves.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"Heaven and hell are not about location but about relationship…If we love God— if our life has been lived for Him— then God is our joy. If we do not want God, then His eternal presence and loving embrace are hell." (Abbot Tryphon), Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Paradise and hell are not two different places. (This version is an idolatrous concept.) They signify two different situations (ways), which originate from the same uncreated source, and are perceived by man as two, different experiences.” (Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos)

"God doesn’t send people to Heaven or Hell. Those in Heaven are there because they want to be; those in Hell are there because they want to be. God merely respects the freedom of the human will to choose where it wishes to spend eternity." (Joseph Pearce)

“The God of humility consigns no one to hell. Rather, hell is the place of those who rebel against God; a place freely chosen by those who despise the presence of God and the condition of those who refuse the mercy of God.” (Father George Morelli)

"The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can't supply is proof that Heaven must be our home." (C.S. Lewis)

"If we complain of time and take such joy in the seemingly timeless moment, what does that suggest? It suggests that we have not always been or will not always be purely temporal creatures. It suggests that we were created for eternity." (Sheldon Vanauken)

"Eternity begins now...Today is always a day of opportunity...Are we living through our Godgiven Today in a deadened stupor, stumbling from one activity to the next? Or are we using Today to begin our relationship with God and enjoy it to the utmost?” (Tim Stafford)

"Setting our sights on the realities of heaven means striving to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice. Letting heaven fill our thoughts means concentrating on the eternal rather than the temporal.” (Life Application Study Bible, Colossians 3:1-2)

“God’s loving concern does not begin on the day we are born and conclude on the day we die. It reaches back to those days before we were born and reaches ahead along the unending path of eternity.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 22:9-11)

“God's judgment is nothing else than our coming into contact with truth and light. ...Our hearts will be opened by the penetrating light of God, and what is in these hearts will be revealed. If in those hearts there is love for God, those hearts will rejoice seeing God's light. If, on the contrary, there is hatred for God in those hearts, these men will suffer by receiving on their opened hearts this penetrating light of truth which they detested all their life.” (Alexander Kalomiros)

“Judgment does not mean that God loves some people and hates others, or that God takes delight in the punishment of sinners. God loves all people equally and desires that all share in His life of love, yet there are some people who by the selfish disposition of their own hearts render themselves incapable of receiving and responding to God’s love.” (Clark Carlton)

“Now most of us are accustomed to thinking of hell as some sort of cosmic furnace. However, we must not think of hell so much as a"place” where bad people are sent to be punished, but rather as the opposite of the Kingdom of heaven. If the joyous life of the Kingdom of God begins in the human heart, then it must also be true that hell begins there as well.” (Clark Carlton)

“Going to heaven or hell at the moment of death simply means that our experience of God in this life continues on to the next, but amplified. If we love God and know Him deeply, then our experience in the next life will be endless and intense joy. If we reject God or simply ignore Him in this life, then our experience of His love in the next life will be alien to us and felt as suffering.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

"Hell is a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement and where everyone has a grievance." (C.S. Lewis)

“Hell is not an external punishment imposed on us by an angry God; it is our own inability to live the life of love which God intends for us." (Clark Carlton)

“Heaven is not a physical place where the angels dwell like as we, but it a noetic place surpassing sense perception, if indeed this should be called a place at all; but more properly, it must be called the"place of God.” (St. Mark of Ephesus)

“We aren't given many details about Heaven, because all we need to know is that it exists and that it a place of brightness where all sickness and sorrow and sadness have passed away. It is where we were created to be with God after our earthly lives have finished.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)"...heaven and hell are primarily subjective experiences...while all people will share in God’s eternal life, not all people will have the capacity to enjoy that life…Even the fire of hell is, according to the Fathers of the Church, the love of God, which the damned experience in a negative way.” (Clark Carlton)

"The wrath of God is His righteous and holy judgment. It is not a loss of temper or self-control, but the revelation of His divine truth, love, and power confronting those who reject Him.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 1:18)

“The difference between the blessed and the damned, therefore, is not in how God treats them, but in how they each experience the presence and love of God. The blessed respond to God in love and experience His love and providential care precisely as that. The unrighteous, however, do not respond to God’s love and therefore experience it as wrath and judgment. The objective reality is one and the same — God is love — but the subjective apprehension of that reality determines the state of one’s blessedness or damnation.” (Clark Carlton)

“...we rush from task to busy task, but we don’t call enough time-outs to reflect on life’s larger meaning and purpose. Rather, we live myopically from day-to-day-to-day; we live under the tyranny of today’s problems. Our lives … are consumed in action as we react to the seemingly endless menu of options that vie for our attention, time and money.” (Patrick Morley)

"Not only are we harried by time, we seem unable, despite a thousand generations, even to get used to it. We are always amazed at it—how fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of it is gone? We aren’t adapted to it, nor at home in it. If that is so, it may appear as a proof, or at least a powerful suggestion, that eternity exists and is our home.” (Sheldon Vanauken)

"We live within the flow of time as the events of our lives bear us along. We leave behind situations that once seemed permanent only to confront new demands and circumstances. This onward sweep of life infuses urgency into our daily decisions and actions. We are constantly pressed to accomplish, achieve, arrange, decide, fix.” (Dynamis 1/28/2014)

“Time is a state of preparing, of choice. It is a crossroads where the ultimate question of existence is decided: is one with God or without Him? Time is the possibility of change, of the formation of one’s individual identity, the actualization or loss of the likeness of God, the acquisition of that which will come to light in eternity." (Archimandrite Raphael)

“Time is not an absolute. It is created by God. With God, there is no past, present, or future; there is only eternity. Against this backdrop of eternity, God establishes Creation, and measures its development, and recalls it to Himself…We live with the wonderful expectation of eternal life. Our hope is not only for the future; eternal life begins when we trust Christ...” (Fr. Joseph Irvin, Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:3-5)

“God has"planted eternity in the human heart.” This means that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. Because we are created in God’s image, (1) we have a spiritual thirst, (2) we have eternal value and (3) nothing but an eternal God can truly satisfy us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:9-13)

“He [God] has given us a glimpse of His creation. But it is only a glimpse; we cannot see into the future of comprehend everything. So we must trust God now and do His work on earth.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:9-13)

“Eternity is an often misunderstood concept. Most people think of eternity as time that will go on forever. This not very appealing and leads to some popular misconceptions of Heaven as monotonous and boring, which is the opposite of the Church’s understanding. But what eternity really means is no time. Eternity is beyond time. It is the ever present now that God exists in outside of His creation. Past and future are seeming realities known to us in our finite state.” (Sacramental Living)

“Our experience of the beautiful and the sublime on earth is a preview of heaven; if we think of the best things we have experienced on earth and envision them continuing, magnified and without interruption, that’s heaven.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

“…this is one of heaven’s gifts: for those who hunger to know, heaven promises full disclosure of the true nature of things.” (Dinesh D'Souza)

"How you experience your present is completely shaped by what you believe your ultimate future to be.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Man gives meaning to time by the ways that he lives it. He can use this gift of God to grow closer to God, or he can distort and misuse it.” (Jean Mouroux)

“It is what we do with time, how we react to the events, opportunities, and experiences that fill it, that determines whether we grow or wither..." (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“Time is the gift which God gives to creatures that they may reach their fulfillment…Our present can be empty or full. It can be growth-inhibiting or growth-fostering. It can be centered on ourselves or others. It can focus on material things that will wither away or spiritual things that are eternal. It can be profaned or sanctified.” (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” (C. S. Lewis)

#DineshDSouza #SacramentalLiving #CSLewis #PastorTimothyKeller #BishopJohnMichaelBotean #PopeJohnPaulII #ArchimandriteVassiliosPapavassiliou #FatherGeorgeMorelli #StSimeontheNewTheologian #PaulEvdokimov #Maytheforcebewithyou #RichardStearns #CSLewis #ArchbishopDemetrios #JohnMacarthur #AbbotTryphon #JosephPearce #SheldonVanauken #TimStafford #AlexanderKalomiros #ClarkCarlton #FrAndrewStephenDamick #StMarkofEphesus #PatrickMorley #ArchimandriteRaphael #FrJosephIrivn #JeanMouroux #FrJosephIrvin #StJohnoftheLadder #FatherJohnZeyack