Ready: We disagree, however, on WHEN this pile of dung must be dealt with. I believe that it must be dealt with in this life (rather than Purgatory) because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9v27)
BFHU: And much of the purification can be accomplished in this life. We agree that the Judgment comes immediately after death. The soul is consigned to Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is merely the place of final purification before entering Heaven when necessary.
Ready: When the dying thief on the cross reached out in faith to Jesus, He said to him: “To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23v43) Even though he was dying for a crime, He was cleansed there and then in THIS life, by trusting in the blood of Jesus for salvation. Of course the dying thief had no opportunity to commit further sin – while we who continue live here have temptations thrown at us every day – but the Lord is able to deliver us from temptations – and from sin itself. “There remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of God.” (Hebrews 4v9)
BFHU: Of course God/Jesus can purify instanaeously but I have read that perhaps the Thief’s suffering of crucifixion was the purification necessary for his soul coupled with his Faith, of course
Ready: God is able to save – and to sanctify in an instant in this life. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8v1)
In my A.V. Bible (which does not, however, contain the book of Maccabbees) I see no mention of destinations other than Heaven or Hell.
BFHU:Purgatory is not a type of condemnation it is a place of cleansing. So, there is no conflict with Rom 8. Purgatory is not a destination, either. It is a layover on the way to our Heavenly destination, for most of us.
Ready: The Trinity, on the other hand, is merely a term to describe Father, Son & Holy Spirit – a clear doctrine in scriptures.
BFHU: It is not very clear. That is why the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are able to reject it. Have you ever tried to show a JW the Trinity in Scripture? There are evidences and the Doctrine makes sense of many otherwise inexplicable passages. But it is not so clear to the unconvinced.
Ready: From the verses you quote I can see no evidence of any other place. Jesus descended into Hell to preach to the “spirits in prison” – to tell them why they were there.
BFHU: No, Jesus did not go to tell the damned why they were there. As a Protestant I was taught that Sheol was the place of the dead awaiting the opening of Heaven by Jesus. (There is definitely another ‘place’ of the dead other than Heaven and Hell or the place of the damned.) Jesus led these captives free and brought them to Heaven. This I was taught as a Protestant and the Catholic teaching is similar:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483
Ready: Horrific as it sounds, Hell is the holding place for those who are destined for the lake of fire. (Rev. 20v14)
BFHU: And no one escapes Hell. The Catholic Church sees two Judgments. One at death and one at the end of time. This passage would be the latter since death is ended by being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Hell) This does not mean that one’s final destination changes at the final judgment. We believe that it is at this time all things are explained and God is glorified for His justice and mercy.
REV 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire This is the second death, the lake of fire.15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
You might find this Protestant site of interest to further explain: Berean Bible Society
Ready: But it is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2Pet. 3v9) which is why He still stands knocking on the doors of mens hearts in this, the day of Grace. (Rev. 3v20)
Q. So if sin is measured in degree does this mean that some souls are redeemable while others are not? is a homosexual going to hell in a hand basket while a person who commits adultery has a chance of being saved? is this right? what is the difference between a ” regular sin” and an abomination? Please explain, any input pertaining to this question will be helpful!!!!
A. An unrepentant adulterer will go to Hell as fast as an unrepentant sexually active homosexual.
Being homosexual or having same-sex-attraction is NOT A SIN.
Homosexual sex, adultery, premarital sex, masturbation, contracepted sex are ALL serious sin. Yet all of these sins can be forgiven if they are repented of in confession and the person honestly intends to stop.
The only sin that cannot be forgiven is rejection of Christ even up to death. A person can be saved even at the last minute, however.
All sin offends our Good and Holy God. But some sin is much more serious and cuts us off from Him and salvation unless we go to confession. Getting irritated with the guy who cuts you off in traffic, or impatient with a spouse are examples of lesser or venial sin for which we still need to repent of and try to avoid. “But the righteous man falls seven times a day.”
Q.There are so many religion in the world. If we select the ones which produce a good/better person, is God now looking at the religion itself or the good/better person produced?
A. God looks at the HEART. He has revealed to man through His Chosen People and Prophets of the Old Testament and also, even more clearly through His Son Jesus what He requires in order for a person to save his soul from eternal damnation. But He did not stop there. He founded a Church on Earth to be a light to the nations to show them the way to Heaven. He promise to be with His Church until the end of time and that the Gates of Hell would never overcome it. He did not stop there either. He gave us sacraments to impart grace in order to strenghthen us to stay ON the path to Eternal Life. He gave us priests. He gave us Holy Scripture. He gives HIMSELF to us at every mass. We have the very best chance of attaining Heaven in the Chruch He gave to us.
We don’t choose our religion based on which people seem to be the best sort of people. Time may prove our choice very wrong. We should choose our religion based on which one is TRUER than the rest. Which one is the ONE God started? And that would be the Catholic Church.
Q. In spiritual learning, is listening to what is preached or written more absolute than what is experienced?
A. Yes. We might have a true experience but it may be an experience produced by the Enemy or just our own imagination. Feelings come and go. We must search for TRUTH.
Q. A Family in the deepest jungle living from generation to generation without exposure to Religion and the modern world, knows only to care lovingly for their young with great morality. Because they lack any knowledge of R.C., are they destined to hell or purgatory?
A.Hell no. Purgatory, probably, just like the rest of us. God will judge all people based on what they knew and how they responded to that knowledge -not on what they did not know. He has written His laws on our hearts. No one will go to Hell just because they are not Catholic. That is heretical. Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, and everyone will be judged on what they did about what they knew. Listen to that still small voice of conscience.
Q. Being a God to the people is probably like being a Parent to children, don’t you think? Being a parent, never in my deepest heart would I want to send my children to hell for their wrongdoings.
A. God does not want anyone to go to Hell. He wants everyone to come to Heaven and be with Him. But some people do not want God and God will not override their freedom to choose Him or reject Him. Their souls, being eternal have to go somewhere.
Q. As Jesus would say, “Lord forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing”. If a soldier abused a person as he was ordered to do, does he know what he’s doing?
A. Yes. He knows. He may try to ignore this knowledge. He may try to rationalize his actions. But God KNOWS what the soldier knows and what he truly does not know. It won’t be any use trying to fool God on Judgment Day.
Q. If a person forces his freewill upon other person for control, does he knows what he’s doing?
A. I cannot say. Only that person knows. If he is forcing the other person to sin then he will be more responsible for the sin than the person forced to sin. If, indeed they are truly forced and not just persuaded or coerced. For instance, a mother who forces her daughter to have an abortion. Abortion is always a grave sin but guilt would be less for the daughter than for the mother.
From: Radio Replies, Vol. 1 P. 2
Q. There is no need to talk of future balancing of the Scales. Virtue is its own reward in this life, even as the wicked endure remorse.
A. That will not do. Consciousness of virtue is not much good to a man about to be wrongfully hanged and who cannot live to enjoy it. Nor does vice always bring proportionate remorse. Many are too hardened to experience deep remorse. There will be a levelling-up some day, after this life, and by God.
Q. What is Hell?
A. “Hell is the eternal lot of misery awaiting those who die in a state of grave sin and at enmity with God. Before the general resurrection, the soul alone experiences this misery; after the resurrection, the body will be reunited with that soul and will share in the misery, being tormented by created elements even as the person forsook God during life for the enjoyment of created things. The chief misery will be the sense of having lost the happiness of the Vision of God; the other will be the torment of fire.” Radio Replies, Vol 1; #921, p189.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”618
- Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”619
1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:621
- Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.
632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:481 “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483
634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.”484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.
Q. If God is love, then why does He allow evil?
A. Because God is Love, HE created man in His own image in order to extend the communion of love, that exists in the Trinity, to us. God wants us to choose to love Him, not be compelled to obey Him. In order for man to love God freely God gave man free will. He is just and will not deprive man of this free will. Man cannot be free to love and obey God, without being free to reject Him and rebel against Him.
Even God, if He wants men to be free cannot take from them the power to choose evil. If He enforces goodness, He takes away freedom. If He leaves freedom, He permits evil, even though He forbids it. It is man’s dignity that he is master of his own destiny instead of having to develop just like a tree which necessarily obeys natural law.
Men, as a matter of fact, misused their freedom, and sin and brutality resulted. But, it was impossible to give man the gift of freedom and the dignity of being master of his own destiny without risking the possibility that men would sometimes choose evil. (Radio Replies Vol. 1, p 4)
Q. What is the destiny we are supposed to choose using our free will?
A. Heaven or Hell. Eternal Joy or Eternal Misery. Our life in this world has many joys and many sorrows but none of those are the purpose of our life. The purpose of this life is to praise, love, and serve God so that we can attain eternal life with God in Heaven. Our earthly life is short compared to eternity and yet what we do with it determines our eternal destiny. We must use our free will to save our souls.