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Old Sep 2, '10, 10:14 am
anonymous in fl anonymous in fl is offline
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Default If I'm Baptized, Then Why Would I Go to Hell for a Mortal Sin?

Hello, I have a question. If I am a baptized Catholic (or any Christian), why would I go to Hell for committing a mortal sin?

Wouldn't it be Purgatory instead of Hell?

I see so many postings that say if one committs a mortal sin and dies, one goes to Hell.

Can someone explain this in simple terms, as I am not a theologian! Just a concerned Catholic!

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Old Sep 2, '10, 10:34 am
thirdworld thirdworld is offline
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Default Re: If I'm Baptized, Then Why Would I Go to Hell for a Mortal Sin?

Unlike some Protestants who believe in "once saved, always saved" (if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior for even one second of your entire life you will be granted eternal life no matter what you believe or how you act afterward), Catholics believe that they are being saved all throughout life. If you are in a state of grace you are saved, if you are not in a state of grace (mortal sin) you are not saved. This can vary a lot depending on the person.

When someone is baptized they receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, are cleansed of original sin, and infused with sanctifying grace. Since we have free will we can reject the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the gift of salvation. We can commit mortal sins which separate us from God. Sanctifying grace is destroyed and can only be restored through Penance. Purgatory is for those who have venial sins, not mortal sins which breakdown and destroy your relationship with God.
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Old Sep 2, '10, 10:53 am
bargio bargio is offline
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Default Re: If I'm Baptized, Then Why Would I Go to Hell for a Mortal Sin?

Matthew 25:31-33

" 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."

Just because you follow the one shepherd, Jesus, doesn't mean eternal life is yours. I think Thirdworld's quote does a good job in explaining your concern as well. It's pretty clear cut with the whole mortal sin deal... if you willfully go against God's will, He will punish you and take away your sanctifying grace. (until of course one contritely confesses their sins)
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Old Sep 2, '10, 11:15 am
Prayer_Warrior Prayer_Warrior is offline
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Default Re: If I'm Baptized, Then Why Would I Go to Hell for a Mortal Sin?

At your baptism, our gracious and merciful God washes you clean from all sin-- original sin and personal sin. Your soul is fully purified at that moment and if you died the instant after baptism you would make a bee line to heaven. Imagine yourself being given a white wedding garment when you are born again in baptism. Jesus died so you could receive this and come to His wedding banquet in heaven. But wait!! When you commit a mortal sin, it is like taking the garment off. Mortal sin is deadly to the soul because it severs you from God. Venial sin soils the garment, so to speak, but you do not sever yourself. Thankfully, when we sin (either mortally or venially) we can still repent and God will forgive us. This is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is so very important. It is where God restores and cleanses us. He cleans our garment again. If one is in mortal sin they should repent immediately (this means not only being sorry for the sin, but resolving not to do it again) and they should resolve to go to confession at the earliest possible time. If one dies before they have made it to confession, but they have repented in their heart they may be forgiven.

Some helpful scriptures would be Mt 22:1-14 (Jesus parable of the wedding feast), 1 Jn 5:16-17 (there is sin which is deadly and sin which is not deadly), Rev 19:7-8 and Rev 21:27 (nothing unclean shall enter heaven)

Purgatory is for the saved who still have damage to their souls from an attachment to sin. Purgatory is when we receive a final cleansing to remove any impurity so that we may see God face to face. If you die in a state of unrepented mortal sin, you reject God and go to hell.
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Old Sep 2, '10, 12:27 pm
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po18guy po18guy is offline
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Default Re: If I'm Baptized, Then Why Would I Go to Hell for a Mortal Sin?

The catechism, in sections 1846-1876 teaches about sin. Here is the teaching on mortal sin and its consequences (sources in blue):

1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.

Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:

When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

1874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.

130 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II,88,2, corp. art.
131 RP 17 12.
132 Mk 10:19.
133 Cf. Mk 3:5-6; Lk 16:19-31.
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