Do we receive Judgement the moment we die?

I am confused on the position on this. From my understanding of free will, humans are not like angels, as in we are an embodiment of a soul, so we are capable of change, whereas angels cannot, and they get one and only one chance to accept God or to reject him. The idea that at the moment of one’s death, we are sent to Hell or Heaven (with a possible stop in Purgatory) immediately doesn’t make much sense. As humans, we are subject to change, and it is impossible for us to say once and for all that we reject God. However (From my understanding) as soon as we die we are capable of that. Wouldn’t that make it seem like we have a decision after death to choose God or to reject him? Alive on earth, we do not have a full understanding of God and his death for our salvation. However once we die don’t we? We would certainly make different chooses had we understood. It would seem to me to stand to reason that after death we have an option. I am really really confused.

Pietro

I found a better way to phrase this. From my understanding (and I may be wrong) Hell is a final and unchangeable rejection of God. Alive as human being’s we are incapable of such a decision. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that after death we would be capable of a final decision to reject God or to accept him, and we would thus get a chance?

Pietro

I have no answer, but you would love to read CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce. He deals with exactly this question

I ask, because I read an article about Bishop Robert Barron and how he was wrong on his position that one may reasonably hope that all will be saved. His position seems to make sense to me. What Christ did on the cross is no small thing, but on earth we tend to brush it off. It would stand to reason that people after death would understand and would be presented with another choice, wouldn’t it?

Pietro

If after death we didn’t get a choice it would also stand to reason that anyone who commits suicide couldn’t be saved.

Please help, I’m very confused. What does the church teach on this?

I was taught that no there is no “second chance” to accept or reject God after death.

Who the heck would ever choose to go to Hell after dying and coming face to face with the reality of Heaven/Hell anyway

Yes, immediately after death, we go through the particular judgment in which God decides our eternal fate, and this fate is sealed for all eternity. The Church has taught that after death, we cannot repent. This is because of a free ordinance of God. God has ordained that our eternal fate should be decided by our own free will while on earth because that is the time that our soul and body are united together, and the eternal reward/punishment for our actions will extend to our bodies as well as to our souls. It is impossible for the damned to repent because God no longer gives them any graces to do so.

If you commit suicide, then you go to Hell. This doesn’t include, of course, those who are not culpable for their sin due to insanity or the like. The Church used to not give Christian burial to those who committed suicide and their bodies would be buried in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery.

Bishop Robert Barron is incorrect in his belief that there is a reasonable hope that all men are saved. Scripture, the Church Fathers, saints, and reason have made this quite clear.

No.

As you mention, while on earth we are a body+soul composite. Once we die, however, we ‘are’ soul only. We won’t ‘think’ in the way we think while ‘alive’, since we won’t have a brain to allow us to ratiocinate. (That doesn’t mean that we won’t be aware – just that our existence will be ‘different’, in a certain way, from the time we die until the time we receive our glorified body at the end of time.)

Therefore, after the point of death, we will not be able to ‘change our mind’ or ‘make a final judgment’. Therefore, where our heart is at the moment of death is where we’ll be at our particular judgment.

I read an article about Bishop Robert Barron and how he was wrong on his position that one may reasonably hope that all will be saved.

Can you provide a link to this article?

If after death we didn’t get a choice it would also stand to reason that anyone who commits suicide couldn’t be saved.

No, this doesn’t make sense.

Those who commit suicide aren’t automatically culpable of mortal sin. If a person committed suicide, not knowing it was a grave sin, then he would not be committing a mortal sin. If a person committed suicide, not doing so in a state of ‘deliberate consent’ – and I think one could make a good case that a person who commits suicide while suffering from mental illness isn’t capable of ‘deliberate consent’ – then that person would not be committing a mortal sin.

Therefore, it is not the case that “anyone who commits suicide couldn’t be saved.”

If you’re gonna make the second statement, then you cannot make the first… :wink:

The Church used to not give Christian burial to those who committed suicide and their bodies would be buried in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery.

The lack of a Christian burial is not evidence that a person is damned. The Church doesn’t make that assertion about anyone…

Bishop Robert Barron is incorrect in his belief that there is a reasonable hope that all men are saved. Scripture, the Church Fathers, saints, and reason have made this quite clear.

One might hope that you would be more charitable toward a successor to the apostles. :shrug:

Not necessarily. It is similar to saying Outside the Church there is no salvation, but then giving exceptions.

I used the historical fact to stress the repugnance of the Church towards suicide and her teaching of it being a mortal sin, not as a sign that the person is definitively in Hell.

I see nothing uncharitable in my comment. Saying someone is wrong when they are wrong is not uncharitable.

The reason that we can change is that we are, on this Earth, temporal beings.

When our time on Earth ends, we begin to live the eternal NOW. We, like the angels, cease to be able to change our wills, they are forever set.

We get multiple chances to accept, or reject God. But those chances cease at the moment of our death.

That moment of our death was our last chance to say once and for all that we accept God.

We dont know. Ive argued this point many times, but some disagree, my argument was, if God gave US free will as a gift, that was given to all of us, our body and soul, if our soul has free will, death would not take that away imo. A gift from God does not have a ‘shelf life’, it is not limited in nature, so I think its possible for us to call out for his forgiveness after we die, if we are sincere of course.

There will be those who still choose hell though, some people just do not want anything to do with God, and thats fine, its their choice, but some may be overcome upon their death and truly give their heart to God, I dont think he would forsake them at anytime.

Even if Im wrong, I still think there is a time period between our earthly death and the beginning of our afterlife, it may be a couple of milliseconds on our clocks, but I bet when we are experiencing it, it will seem like hours, Id say A LOT happens during this time too, the person will see what God truly is and they will decide what they want from there.

This topic is discussed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the section on The Particular Judgment, paragraphs 1021-1022:

I. The Particular Judgment

1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ.590 The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. the parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul -a destiny which can be different for some and for others.591

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification592 or immediately,593-or immediate and everlasting damnation.594

[INDENT]At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.595 (source)[/INDENT]

That would apply to many things in our Earthly life. Only after you lose your legs, do you appreciate your ability to walk. Only after you lose your sight, do you appreciate having had your ability to see. Only after your last breath, do you realize you had the opportunity to freely repent and obey Gods commandments.

I’d very much doubt anyone would be in Hell if after death they had the same opportunity to repent as they did before death. There would be no need to lead a righteous Earthly life rejecting sin, if after death you could just apologize for rejecting all that God commanded you to do. Ironically today, the only people who acknowledge that Hell exists, are the people who seek God. Even if I don’t know everything there is to know about God, I desire to ultimately be in His presence, otherwise I know I’d be in Hell.

So, you dont think there is anyone in hell that regrets their earthly lives? If they had a choice, they would be right where they want to be…in a place(hell) without God?

There aren’t exceptions – all salvation comes from Jesus, through the Church!

Oh, if one misunderstands what ‘extra ecclesiam’ means, then explanations appear to be exceptions – but that’s only because he misunderstands the teaching! :wink:

I used the historical fact to stress the repugnance of the Church towards suicide and her teaching of it being a mortal sin, not as a sign that the person is definitively in Hell.

All grave sins can be mortal sins, but not all grave sins must be mortal. It depends on the particular situation.

I see nothing uncharitable in my comment. Saying someone is wrong when they are wrong is not uncharitable.

You’re right: it’s closer to ‘rash judgment’ or ‘calumny’, I suppose, to assert that a bishop is ‘wrong’ in his presentation of Church teachings… :shrug:

It isn’t rash judgment nor calumny. Bishops have been heretics, both today and in the past, so I don’t think we should believe everything that comes out of their mouths is Church teaching. What Bishop Barron is saying is not Church teaching. As Tim Staples points out, it is quite the contrary.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote. My point was addressing the finality of the Particular Judgement upon death. If immediately after death we could still repent in Hell, persons still living would not be as compelled to live according to Gods will during their earthly life. The urgency would not be there because they would know that they could still repent in Hell after their death. So the point is, nobody experiencing the torment in Hell probably wants to be there. If they had another choice or chance, they would most certainly repent and choose to be with God, but immediate judgement upon death closes the book and the account for everyone, both sinner and saint.

No salvation outside the Church means that anyone who is saved, is saved through the Church and everyone in Heaven in Catholic. There are no exceptions. Non-Catholics can be saved, but if they are it is through the Catholic Church and not their Protestant religion.

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