Does mortal sin always equal hell?

I got major depression at the moment as well as a phobia of religion, which basically means that i freak out and spiral into despair and darkness whenever i go near anything that reminds me of God. I’m getting heaps better. A few months ago i wouldn’t have been able to attend this site. The point is that our circumstances may affect our ability to keep the commandments. While they may be easy for some, others like me who have huge bitterness issues toward God and don’t want to be alive may find it hard to keep the commandments. For instance, i absolutely dread going to church because it usually sends me down in a spiral. It’s like superman going near chryptonite.

I understand that not everything is black and white. So if I die in mortal sin is it certain that I will go to hell?

How can anyone REALLY answer that question?

All any of us could say is that we believe it.

The Church teaches it.

That teaching is Biblical and Apostolic (i.e. it was taught by the Apostles and is in the Bible).

Sin separates us from God. Hell is total separation from God.

My two second diagnosis of your symptoms is that you are under attack in a serious way and need the sacraments badly and to see a priest who can advise you!

If you are sorry for your sin and desire to avoid the sin and the near occasion of sin you should go to Confession.

Don’t beat yourself into a pulp worrying about it.

Please see a professional for medical evaluation for depression or other illness.

This care should go hand in hand with guidance/counseling from a Priest or Catholic Spiritual Director.

Prayers for you.

I agree with the others that you should seek medical help.

However, to answer your question, anyone who dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin goes to Hell.

So if I die in mortal sin is it certain that I will go to hell?

No one here can answer that in a specific case. Questions of culpability and extenuating circumstances are in play and way beyond the scope of our job descriptions. Trust in God’s mercy - even if you don’t fell it just now.

If you die in a state of mortal sin, then yes. Hell awaits.

I would question if it can be known if anyone has died in that state. Only God can say.

Though here I think the question relates to whether you’re morally culpable for your sins. Like in the case of a man who’s family was murdered and he then commits suicide while knowing it’s wrong. He still has committed sin, but he wasn’t in the right state of mind because of the shock and depression he would lose part of his culpability, possibly to the point of ignorance. I’m not so well geared towards knowing how culpable people are though, so I suggest trying to make it to confession. It’s very intimidating before your absolved, but once you receive absolution it’s a very rewarding feeling.

I pray that you can overcome your fear,


There’s a saying that goes “Between the saddle and the ground, many a soul is lost and many a soul found.”


The OP is not questioning if someone has committed a mortal sin or not (i.e. have the 3 conditions been met). They are also not asking what happens if they repent just before death.

They ask “So if I die in mortal sin is it certain that I will go to hell?” and the answer to that is yes anyone who dies in a state of unrepented mortal sin goes to Hell.

So if a mortal sin is repented, is it still mortal?

At Confession, once repented the sin is forgiven and absolution given. You are then no longer in a state of mortal sin.

True enough.
But I am speaking more along the lines of the individual that realizes their mortal sin state, but is killed before they can make confession.
Let’s assume killed in the confessional line (so we need not concern ourselves with intent).

Is the desire towards reconciliation enough to reduce the mortal sin to a mere venial sin?

Why are you blaming God for what God can’t do, or can’t have done?

In general terms, no specifics please, why are you bitter towards God?

I understand that not everything is black and white. So if I die in mortal sin is it certain that I will go to hell?

If you stubbornly hold to the idea that being in mortal sin, if it really is mortal sin, is acceptable for you as something “you can live with”, then should you die in with that conviction you have chosen something other than God to be with for eternity.

The simple fact is, and there is no question about this, that you will exist as a person throughout all eternity. Once earthly death comes you can no longer make revocable choices, and are eternally committed to whatever decisions you make from then on.

The thing you need to do is commit yourself to the idea that NOTHING is more important than choosing God over not-God, and that you will never despair of being unworthy of making that choice.

God, and all of creation, with the exception of the jealous demons who’ve made their choice and resent your being able to do the right thing, love you and want to show you that you are more than worthy to give God all your sins as your sacrifice to Him and allow Him to grace you with salvation, with being able to choose Him.

The Catholic Church teaches that this is indeed the case. However, I have found that there is a great deal of ambiguity regarding just what that implies. For example, mortal sin can only be committed with “full knowledge and full consent of the will.” That’s rather general termanology and may be interpreted very broadly. Does anyone ever have full knowledge of anything? That seems to be a matter of opinion. Theologians and visionaries have said many, many things about hell and salvation, some apparently contradictory. Many saints have talked about the “fewness of the saved” and “hellfire and brimstone” visions, like the Fatima children. But St. Alphonsus Ligouri said that "God pardons all who pray with humility. One of the happier saint was Julian of Norwich, who had a vision in which Christ told her how “all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” Some of the earlier theologians, like Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa taught of a final restitution of all things and, while some of this was later condemned, some recent theologians have been talking about the possibility of hope that all will find salvation. So, you see, the teachings here are complicated.

For myself, I’ve found meditating on the harsher concepts, hell and brimstone, detrimental to my spiritual health. Some say it helps motivate us to not sin, but isn’t it better to avoid sin out of love of God and neighbor, rather than a self-centered fear of hell and desire for Heaven? I would rather do the right thing simply because it is right and good and love because it is good, instead of worry about going to hell if I slip up.

This reminds me of the “baptism of desire” scenario where a catechumen dies prior to baptism.

In these extraordinary cases you have to trust in God’s mercy. We are bound to the Sacraments, but God isn’t.

Sure he is.
Else God would be a liar.

However the point is taken. God is bound as well by his word, and therefore the sacraments. But God ultimately decides the administration of the sacraments.

I was recalling the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

God could never be “bound” by anything lest He becomes finite…teachccd

Know that God loves you so, so, much, no matter what. He is with you right at this moment. Go to a place where you can see the sky and realize how big it is, stretching over your head so you can see nothing else. God’s love is bigger! He has great mercy too. What is there to be afraid of? Trust Him.

Yes, mortal sin is a complete turning away from God, a cold refusal of His love, a killing of the soul. It equals hell. Go to confession! It’s really not that bad :slight_smile:

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