20. Others base their ideas on a more specific reason: that of the immutability of Divine decree. God, they say, cannot modify His decisions just when asked by one of His creatures, because if this were so then nothing on Earth would have stability. Therefore Man has nothing to ask of God; it only rests for him to submit and adore Him.
In this idea there is a false interpretation of the principle of the immutability of Divine Law or, better still, an ignorance of this law with regard to future penalties. This law is revealed by the Spirits of the Lord at this time, now that Man is sufficiently mature to understand what, within faith, conforms to or is contrary to the Divine attributes.
According to the doctrine of the absolute eternity of all punishment, the remorse and repentance of the culprit are not taken into account. All desire to better himself is useless, for he is condemned to remain eternally evil. However, if he were condemned for a determined period of time, then the punishment would cease when that time had expired. But who can say that by then he will have improved his sentiments? Who can say, as shown by many who have been condemned on Earth, that on leaving prison he will not be just as bad as before? In the first case, it would be keeping a man under the pain of punishment after he had become good; in the second, it would be the granting of amnesty to one who continues to be guilty. God's law is more provident than that; being always just, impartial and merciful, it places no fixed duration for punishment whatever the case may be. This law can be resumed in the following manner: