Am I headed to Heaven or Hell?


#1

I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?


#2

From a Catholic perspective, (at least from this Catholic’s perspective) it is imprudent and can be sinful to judge the state of someone else’s soul. Only God knows your soul.

-ACEGC


#3

God judges souls, not me.

But I take it, then, that you reject that Jesus established a visible Church. If you accept a visible church, when do you think that the apostasy occurred, so that it only reappeared with the Protestant Revolution? Are you familiar with the writings of the earliest Christians, the early Church Fathers? I ask because I wonder on what basis you reject the Eucharist.Or do you reject the binding and loosing authority of the Church?

In short, tell us why you reject the authority of the Church. How do you interpret Matthew 16: 16-19? Are you familiar with what the “keys of the kingdom” signify (See Isaiah 22:22-23)?


#4

I believe the Catholic Church would say you’ve put your soul in grave danger for leaving the Church that Christ founded. That does not presume that you are going to hell or to heaven. Why did you leave the church, by the way? Was there a problem in what she teaches?

It also depends on what Church you went to. Is it one that teaches that Christ is your savior, or did you reject Christ as well when you left the faith?

And don’t forget, you can always come back! Some reverts have come to love the church far more than a lot of us cradle Catholics.:amen:

God Bless!

Notworthy


#5

No one here can possibly know the state of your soul, not even the Church, so we cannot tell you from a Catholic perspective what your eternal destination might be. :wink:

Having said that, you should be aware that you may have put your soul into very grave danger by leaving the Church. This would depend on what knowledge you had of Church teaching, if you understood that it was Church teaching that you had to believe, and if you willed to leave knowing both these things. If you did leave under such circumstances the Church has a technical phrase for those who fall into this category–a formal heretic. This is one who has publicly and with full knowledge denied the teachings of the Church, that is its doctrines and dogmas.

Now, from what I know of fallen away Catholics (if you want to use that term) they knew very little Church teaching before they left for a Protestant denomination. Certainly by the sorts of things they say when asked about Church teaching, which is usually 90+% wrong, most are not culpable of being formal heretics, but rather were/are confused about what the Church teaches or have a personal problem with someone in the Church.

Sorry for the long answer, in which I probably told you more than you wanted to know, but I thought it best to lay it out on the table fairly because I think that you deserve to hear the truth. Blessings on you and yours. :slight_smile:


#6

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

It depends where you fall within this statement from the Catechism of The Catholic Church:

**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the [Second Vatican] Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

**847 ** This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too **may ** achieve eternal salvation.

848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.” (emphasis added)


#7

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

Oilman, are you still involved in the Protestant church? You didn’t mention that. In truth you will not get the answer to the question you asked. Only God knows the answer. The fact that you are even searching for an answer to that question shows that you are wanting to get things right with God. You said you were raised Catholic but left the church years ago, I would suggest an examination of conscience will reveal why you left, AND why you are now contemplating about your eternal status. Keep searching for the Truth . It’s never too late to come back to the true Church.

Blessings :love:


#8

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

from the Catholic perspective you need to confess and return to the sacraments. Only God knows where your soul is headed, but He probably has given you a pretty good idea. Examine your conscience, amend areas of you life in need of conversion, pray, read the sacred Scripture, re-examine the teachings of the faith you have rejected. If you determine that the Catholic Church teaches the truth as the Church founded by Jesus Christ, you have no choice but to return to her, your mother, and let the chips fall where they may. A warm welcome will be waiting for you.


#9

I’ll second this from Della: this has been my experience as well. Typically when I speak with someone who has left the faith in an effort to find out why they left, I find that they are very ignorant about what the Catholic Church actually taught. (Which is also true of myself, by the way: I left a Church I knew very little about—and I am thankful to God for giving me the grace to come home.) Because of that ignorance, some are very susceptible to judging truth by subjective means, so that if the people in the pews seemed lukewarm to them, this somehow justified their leaving. Or, they might have had a bad experience with crabby nuns in school or some such thing. This puts them in the precarious position of basing their faith on people, not on truth. Related to this (and again, unmoored to objective truth), some leave to find fellowship in a church that already has it, instead of trying to foster it in their own parish. It’s understandable, as it’s always easier to be on the receiving end of other people’s work than to be the initiator.


#10

Oilman:

I am glad you asked from the perspective that matters, and that is from Christ’s true Church.

Christ is waiting for the world to return to his Church. No matter what state one is in, if the fig tree isn’t cut(the person alive) then Someone has bargained for him on his behalf, because he sees there is still things he is required to do to serve God, and, perhaps he doesn’t quite measure up, and he may have some way to go in achieving righteousness. Every person is on a mission and is here solely for that mission, and that is to serve God for His glory alone. It behooves everyone to see the light an straighten up unless one day he finds there is no more bargaining room.

A person through a virtuous life, a baptism by desire, a contrite conscience at death, while not realizing that the true Church exists, could be destined for heaven, but he is also destined to discover that anyone who merits heaven becomes a Catholic by default at entry.

Christ would prefer that we live out his True Faith in all it’s fruitfullness in this life, and be motivated through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and be armed by the resources only a Catholic would have at his disposal. In this world of potential evil at every opportunity we need all the help we can get especially if we know the dire stakes. So an individual has everything going for him as a Catholic.

Other religions offer more comforts, some are known for their entertainment value, some like to participate like stage actors, some for the spectacular rigged hocus-pocus, and some make little demands on it’s congregation. These appeal to the* Me* generation. There are those churches who’s raison d’etre is based on fear and lies and mask underlying motives or political agendas. But whatever they once were, that all changed 2000 years ago when the Holy Spirit gave birth to the Catholic Church at Pentecost. Some will carry the burden of schism for personal gain on the last judgement, starting new “sects” simply for spite, and millions were taken in to follow the wrong road even to this day.

The Catholic religion is not an easy religion, as it calls for sacrifices and obligations demanded by Christ, not popular in these times, but neither is it suppressive. The Catholic is happy from within, and does not require wordly stimula for that happiness. He actually feels God within him has he carries out a servant’s task, these are the special graces, and a sense of knowing that he as been gifted.

It is noteworthy to mention on this same topic, and contrary to popular opinion, that since Christ’s ministery, there is no other religion in reality, as since God made it necessary to found a religion, and the Word of God was made Flesh, it follows no others can exist or carry worth. If the one religion is the correct one, then if follows the other cannot be, and one must be false. If one were to seek a true Church, then it would be one founded by God, and one that is founded by God cannot be reformed has there is no such thing as reformed perfectness. Christ founded the Church on the Rock that hell cannot prevail against, perfect in all it’s aspects.

I personally when asked by Christ what Church I followed, I would prefer to name one that Christ is actually familiar with, his own. On that last day we await for, those seeking comfort from a false religion will discover their church was built on sand, and it’s sinking will prove it to be as fleeting as the lost.

Andy


#11

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

Well if we look at Scripture, we clearly see when Our Lord started His Church and told His Apostles to spread His word over the entire earth, He clearly mentions those who do not believe would be condemned. In other words, you must be part of the true Church of Christ to be saved.
So the question then becomes, which is the true Church of Christ? With Protestantism not starting until 1500 years after Christ, and considering hundreds of Protestant denominations that spawned from it all opposing one another, they all cannot be correct. So you should take a serious look at the denomination you are in otherwise you may well be in the “condemned” category. I have a site dedicated to the subject at www.protestanterrors.com

Hope this helps,
BH


#12

That you even care at all is a sign that you retain some faith. You certainly understand what is at stake or you would not bother to ask. You seek a definative answer. If you seek you will find.

Bet on heaven. If you want heaven you will get there – you might have to crawl through an AC duct in purgatory and enter heaven through a grate in the ceiling, but Christ will never revoke the promise of salvation to those who seek him in earnest.


#13

Also keep in mind the foundational belief for Protestants, that the Bible alone is the final authority in matters concerning faith, morals, and interpretation is itself nowhere to be found in the Bible.

It is a late, great tradition of men and not of the Holy Spirit.

Martin Luther proclaimed this doctrine THEN he changed the Bible, removing several books and even going so far as to add the word “alone” to Gal 2:16 (though your Bible now will not have this change – not all of his changes stuck).

In fact, the only place in Scripture where the words “faith alone” appear together they are preceded by the words “not by” (James). So much for the other bulwark of Protestantism, Sola Fide.

Back to Sola Scriptura, it is interesting to note that nowhere in the OT or NT do believers invoke this supposed “right” to private interpretation – even in times of great corruption in the hierarchy of priesthood. There is no example of either Christian or Jew living their faith the way Martin Luther would have. In fact, there are numerous exhortations all throughout Scripture to submit to visible interpretative authority God creates for our guidance.

Jesus himself said as much when he tells his own apostles to obey the “Chair of Moses” even if those authorities are hypocrites.

Also, any faith without a pope naturally splinters in new sects and sub-sects. But in Christ’s last prayer to God, he asked that the Church maintain visible unity as a sign to the world that She is truly from God.

This is important because on the most important issues to any Christian, Protestant denominations differ so wildly you cannot even pretend they have even a symbolic unity.

Look at the most important issue: salvation. Some say Baptism, some say the sinner’s prayer. Some say faith, some say works. Some say once saved always saved, some say you can lose it, still others say if you “lost” your salvation it is because you were never saved in the first place. Some say the lukewarm will not see God, some say you can commit any number of sins and still go to Heaven.

Before Luther, the last person to cause this many deep divisions in the body of Christ held a scourge.

Nothing is more important in this life than where we will spend eternity. But even in Protestantism “saved” in one congregation is still “damned” in another. The charism of unity, which God HIMSELF said is the sign of the True Church, is nowhere to be found. Nothing is certain in Protestantism – especially your salvation – because no Protestant denomination even claims to have the direct guidance from the Holy Spirit to all truth.

Sola Scriptura means you are the only Bible scholar who can save your soul. That is a mighty lonely row to hoe, my friend. And it is a far cry from the salvation plan Christ established by creating a unified, apostolic, and hierarchical Church.

Remember, Christ did not leave a book. He left his Church. The Church predates the official cannon of Sacred Scripture by almost 400 years. We know this because the Church established that cannon.


#14

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

If you still believe in Catholicism, It’s OK to involve with Protestant church if you 1) don’t take their communion 2) don’t willfully hold any unCatholic believes 3) don’t hamper your Sunday obligation. an example is playing musical instruments for Protestant churches is allowed


#15

[quote=abcdefg]If you still believe in Catholicism, It’s OK to involve with Protestant church if you 1) don’t take their communion 2) don’t willfully hold any unCatholic believes 3) don’t hamper your Sunday obligation. an example is playing musical instruments for Protestant churches is allowed
[/quote]

Oilamn isn’t saying that he attends Protestant churches in addition to his Catholicism, he clearly stated that he LEFT the Catholic Church. Different situation than what you are responding to.

And where is oilman? Any response?


#16

[quote=abcdefg]If you still believe in Catholicism, It’s OK to involve with Protestant church if you 1) don’t take their communion 2) don’t willfully hold any unCatholic believes 3) don’t hamper your Sunday obligation. an example is playing musical instruments for Protestant churches is allowed
[/quote]

And your point is???

What benefit would anyone gain from being involved with the Protestant church if they believe in Catholicism? remember…protestants…protest… against Catholicism.

Just asking .


#17

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

I can’t say if you’re going to Heaven or Hell as that’s up to you to choose and God to determine. What could be said is that you have denied yourself the sacraments which are part of the means for salvation that Christ gave to humanity via the only church He created. As to the weight of your culpability in this, perhaps you need to determine if you were in full knowledge of what you were turning away. I left the faith largely due to poor cathechesis growing up in the 70s and 80s. I didn’t know what I had left. Once I rediscovered my faith and realized what I had turned my back on, I couldn’t believe I ever left it to begin with. The light is on if you ever decide to come home.


#18

[quote=oilman]I was raised Catholic but left the Catholic Church years ago. I have been involved with Protestant Churches since then. From the Catholic prospective, am I headed toward heaven or toward hell and why?
[/quote]

Hi Oilman,
Most importantly; **“God knows those who are his…”**and also you can know that you are His.
a.) There is "The New Living Path " Heb 10: 20-29
b.) and there is …“offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…” which is done at the Altar in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

If you consciously and on purpose obey those commands… you are headed for Heaven, guided by the Holy Spirit
of course you must persevere til the end.

God Bless,

gusano


#19

[quote=joyfulmess]And your point is???

What benefit would anyone gain from being involved with the Protestant church if they believe in Catholicism?
[/quote]

for example playing musical instruments for money


#20

[quote=Sherlock]Oilamn isn’t saying that he attends Protestant churches in addition to his Catholicism, he clearly stated that he LEFT the Catholic Church. Different situation than what you are responding to.

And where is oilman? Any response?
[/quote]

Looks like so. then ignore my post. but I don’t think I said anything wrong. just plain off-topic


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