Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell: Questions About the Afterlife (Father Simon Says)

Fr. Richard Simon tackles the fiery questions from Tom and Nick, two curious souls pondering the mysteries of hell and the afterlife.

Tom from Rhode Island: Is Hell Real, and Can We Find It on Earth? 🔥🌍

Tom kicks things off with a heavyweight question: where does the idea of hell as a post-mortem destination come from? Fr. Simon dives into the Scriptures, pointing to Matthew 25, where Jesus Himself talks about the separation of the sheep from the goats and the eternal fire awaiting the cursed. It’s a stark reminder that Jesus, often celebrated for His gentleness, didn’t shy away from discussing hell.

Yet, Tom’s intuition suggests that hell’s horrors might not be limited to the afterlife; they could begin right here on earth through alienation from God. Fr. Simon affirms this idea, going on to say that hell, at its core, is the absolute separation from God’s presence. This alienation starts on earth for those out of grace, amid life’s distractions, but its full, unmitigated horror is reserved for the afterlife. This eternal estrangement from God’s love, experienced without distraction, paints a chilling picture of hell’s reality. It’s not something you want anyone to experience. Let’s pray for souls who are away from Jesus to find Him before it’s too late.

Nick from Houston: Immediate Judgment or a Heavenly Hold? ⚖️✨

Next up, Nick from Houston wonders about the timing of divine judgment post-mortem: does it happen immediately upon death, or is there a waiting period? Fr. Simon references Hebrews 9:27, highlighting the Biblical stance that judgment follows death. But, is this judgment instant, or does it await the end of times? Father offers a thought-provoking take: why not both? Given God’s transcendence over time, the divine judgment could very well be immediate in the divine perspective. Yet it could unfold in a manner beyond our temporal understanding.

Fr. Simon introduces the concept of particular and general judgment, suggesting that in God’s eyes, these judgments could coincide, as “all places are here and all moments are now” for the divine. He proposes an intriguing view of Purgatory as part of this judgment, not just as punishment but as divine correction and restoration of balance – a process of purification and reparation.

Remember this! Our life here and now is not all there is. We’re meant to be with Jesus in heaven, so let’s use every moment now to prepare for our earthly happiness with Christ and the saints and angels. Let’s stay alert and not let our souls fall into temptation!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.