How were the dead judged before Christ


Did Christ have mercy on sinners who went to Hell because they were unaware that there was an eternal punishment for living sinfully?


Whether one is aware of the eternal torment that their actions would warrant wouldn’t affect their judgement. God could show mercy on those who were ignorant of the sinfulness of their actions or those who didn’t know who God truly is, but I wouldn’t suspect that mercy would be shown to someone only because they didn’t know their actions warranted retribution.


I think having imperfect contrition is enough to merit someone salvation, imperfect contrition is when we repent of our sins because we do not want to be condemned, it is not as good as perfect contrition where we avoid sin because we love God and fellow man but it is a start!


But whether they were sorry for what they did before their judgement is important. I doubt someone is going to be shown mercy only because they didn’t know about Hell.


I don’t know about all of that but it’s likely that prophets existed to lead, warn, and teach. But the Lord knows best.


One cannot say too much about the subject because we don’t know all the circumstances, Christ possibly preached to those souls that had lead sinful lives and those that accepted his teachings joined him in Heaven.


If much is given, much is expected…If little is given, little is expected,God determines the responsibility of every person.


Well sure, but that’s rather minimal. That will get you into purgatory for some period of time, but we shouldn’t aim just for purgatory!


Perfect contrition does not mean we avoid sin. It means our prime motivation for contrition is that we are sorry for having mortally sinned and offended God.
In a case where someone was in a state of mortal sin if they made an act of perfect contrition (which is conditional upon getting to Confession as soon as possible) but died before getting to Confession they would be saved.
Making an act of imperfect contrition and dying before getting to Confession does not save you.


You put it much better than I did, @thistle!


Well you are talking about what happens after Christ, before He was on Earth there was of course no Confession the way we know it now. How did Christ deal with those souls that were shocked to find themselves facing eternal punishment? I can just imagine the dialogue between Christ and the sinner: Sinner: are you the great being who created everything?
Christ: I am indeed and i judge everything too
Sinner: well Lord my life was not great, i along with a friend killed a man because i wanted to eat his antelope he was carrying but i also did good, i looked after my wife when she was ill.
Christ: You committed sins and died, you will face the consequences very soon of eternal death
Sinner: Lord i believed that when you died your soul was sent to an underworld with no suffering or pleasure
Christ: now you know where your soul is, you failed to live sufficiently well so i will have to allow you to choose Hell
Sinner: Is it worse than the underworld we believed in as a tribe?
Christ: it is a lot worse as the feelings are not neutral, they are only negative, it is all you will experience so get used to being bored and lonely.
Sinner: Had i known how pitiful eternity could be i would have strived harder to live a better life
Christ: it is too late now, there is no repentance after death, you are set in your sins so you have chosen Hell
Sinner: I have chosen something i never was taught about when i was alive but i was a bad guy so i totally deserve what i am getting.


Mostly true I think. This is just speculation, but i would gueas that of two equally great sinners, the only difference being that one knew of thr existence of Hell, and the didnt, the first would be punished more harshly. That’s is because the knowledge was an additional grace which he rejected. He will also suffer more remorse.


Before Christ the Jews knew about Hell and they knew about sins and they knew about the punishment for different sins.
Those who died before the death and resurrection of Christ either went to Hell or to the Limbo of the Fathers to wait for the coming of Christ. Those in the Limbo of the Fathers would be allowed into Heaven. Those in Hell remain there.


The Jews certainly knew about Hell, what about the pagans in Europe or America at the time, what happened to them?


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