A Straight Question

…and probably one been asked a million times before.

Did Jesus teach that anyone who did not believe and follow him would be condemned?

With God all things are possible. Yes Jesus did say the only way to the Father is through Him,yet we do not understand the mind of God or how He works.

I believe before the moment of death Jesus gives all the opportunity to accept or reject His infinite love and mercy.

Mark 16:6

Yes, Jesus said it, and the rest of the New Testament
also confirms it. He said:“If you do not believe that I am
He, then you will die in your sins” John 8:24 and John
supports this in John 3:18 Paul says that after Christ
has come, people are condemned if they do not be-
lieve in Him Romans 8:1 and Peter says that too
in 1 Pet. 4:5 “But they will have to give an account
to [Christ] who stands ready to judge the living and
the dead”

To add to and not contradict what is written above my post, the Church teaches that the existence of one, single creator is something that can be known by use of reason. It also teaches that those who have never heard the gospel are not necessarily damned. It teaches that those who seek God to the best of their ability and try to live according to the natural law may be saved.

While the truth of Jesus might not be revealed to such people, it would still be through Jesus that their salvation comes.

It’s still very important to evangelize the faith. While God can be rationally known, it is very easy for people to be led astray if they’ve never been exposed to the faith, and without the grace of the sacraments it is even more difficult.

I should clarify that the Church’s position doesn’t necessarily say they will be saved, but that we believe God is merciful and just, and we don’t hold that people who are ignorant are automatically doomed.

Romans 2 speaks a bit of how God looks at the Gentiles.

Whoever hears of Jesus and rejects HIM is condemned. NOT a person that has never heard of HIM. It gets more complicated because following Jesus does not mean just believing in HIM only.
As Jesus said the demons believe in GOD and in Jesus. Believe as in “YES Jesus IS real and is the SON of GOD, the 2nd person of GOD”.
Rather belief as in follow HIM in what HE taught. “Pick up your cross and follow me”.
HE also said.
“Whatsoever you did to the least of these you did unto me and whatsoever you did NOT do the the least of these you DID NOT do unto ME.”

Why is this idea so abhorrent to me, does it not seem to make God a monster? Why does the Catechism say something different and seemingly more palatable? Does not the belief that the only way to salvation is to follow Jesus end with a religion based on fear? Could not taking up your cross mean living a Christ like life regardless of whether you are a Christian? What would be the issue with someone living a good charitable prayerful life with a faith in God, (a monotheist, a Muslim or a Noahide for example) but an intellectual disbelief in Jesus? Sorry but this has bugged me from day one.

Have you read the various messages in this thread? Some explain very clearly.

God is not a monster. WE choose whether to embrace or reject God. It is OUR decision. God gave us free will and part of that free will means God accepts our decisions.

I know he’s not a monster, i believe he is the essence of love itself and of course we have ownership of our own decisions. But if you are born in Saudi Arabia you are not likely to ever be a Christian, and don’t you think it is a hard sell to persuade someone who believes in God that it is evident that Jesus is the Son Of God.

Here’s the thing - Jesus is the only way to the Father. Yet, even Jesus acknowledged that He had “other sheep that are not of this fold”. In other words, there are many who would follow Jesus if they (a) knew about Him and (b) knew of the necessity of following Him. If one is ignorant of Jesus, not through their own fault, but because that person has not been taught about Him and about the necessity of following Him, but tries to follow God by sincerly following the laws written on every heart, there is a possibility of salvation anyway. We don’t know what it would be, as it would be in an extraordinary matter (the ordinary means of salvation is through the sacrament of baptism), but God is not bound to the sacraments. Jesus Himself stated - “The servant who did not know his master’s wishes and who acted in a way deserving a severe beating will be beaten only slightly”. However, those who have been given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and His Church and the necessity of following Jesus and belonging to His Church yet reject the opportunity and/or the message have condemned themselves.

Those who don’t believe in Jesus when they have
been exposed to the Gospel are CONDEMNED
ALREADY John 3:18, accepting or rejecting Jesus,
the Name above all names, determines whether one
is condemned or justified!!!

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus

Because you haven’t read the answers you’ve been given.

Why does the Catechism say something different and seemingly more palatable?

The Catechism says exactly what others have said here. Nobody is saved apart from the Grace of God resulting from Jesus’ Sacrifice on Calvary. But your understanding seems to stop here.

Christian Baptism is the ordinary way this Grace is imparted. But the Church does not teach that it is the ONLY way. The Church recognizes that people may yet be saved who have never heard of Jesus.

Christian Baptism remains the preferred method, since it is a 100% guarantee.

**King David: **

By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.

(Psalm 33:6)

The Word, or the Logos, was before the Incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. Anyone that has ever reached God has done it through the Logos.

The Logos is understood as the Active Reason permeating all of Nature.

Philo of Alexandria said:* “the Logos is the first-born of God” * & “the Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated.”
He identified* “the Angel of the Lord”* in the Old Testament as the Logos & the instrument of God in creation.

Christians understand the Logos as God in the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, being consubstantial with the Father & the Holy Spirit & through which all things were made.

So you see, it doesn’t have to be read as excluding everything but Catholicism, because regardless of your creed, if you have a genuine experience of God, you are experiencing he Son as all the early Churchfather understood Him.

In that way the concept of the Logos is similar to the Tao in that it permeates everything, regardless of whether you recognize it or try to align yourself with it or not.

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