Is God merciful?

As a catholic, I believe God is merciful. But something has been bugging me So I decided to post in the non-Catholic forums. Will God truly be merciful to all non-catholics who through their lives have heard and have been told of Jesus and His Works but yet continue to go about their daily lives believing in another religion and its teachings? Will these people be judged harshly?

The short answer is YES…the longer answer is found in the Cathecism:

818 “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers… All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”272 (1271)

819 “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth”273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.”274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”276

God is merciful. We humans also have responsibility, and that responsibility is to seek truth and follow it. God holds us to what we know and what is revealed to each of us, and how we respond. So, yes, if someone has truly heard the gospel it’s their responsibility, with God’s help, to respond to it. If they choose not to, they are indeed rejecting God’s mercy, because His Justice and Mercy meet on the cross and if someone spurns His mercy, then they will receive His Justice by their own choice.

Also, I do believe scripture shows that there are varying levels of Hell or what someone would experience based on their lives and what they know and what they are given. To whom is given much, much is expected.

If you are baptized you are saved end of story. You can lose that salvation but that is why we have confession and Gods mercy. Would God send Buddha who was born before Christ to hell?

Suppose a believing Catholic passes away with unresolved venial sins. Does that believing Catholic get mercy in the afterlife? If so, is that what Purgatory is for? Same question but for unresolved mortal sins. Does the believing Catholic get mercy in the afterlife for unresolved mortal sins? Thanks in advance.

Protestant understanding of the RCC’s position; Venial sin on the soul at death gets you purgatory, and mortal sin would get you Hell.

If someone dies in a state of mortal sin, they cannot be saved. The idea is that man in sin is not turned toward God, and his will becomes fixed at death like the angels after their Fall. Now, I think the question you are asking is whether someone can commit acts that generically fall under the category of mortal sin, yet not be condemned to hell. The answer to that is yes, depending on the circumstances, such a sin may not be mortal. A sin committed unintentionally, for example.

I would encourage you to look into vincible and invincible ignorance as well as natural law to answer your questions.

Of course if you have a spiritual director who has told you not to read things, then disregard my advice. :smiley:

My opinion is that a person who lives a good life will not be sent into hell, but the hard sell for entering heaven comes with only an unblemished soul can enter heaven. I would say that time in purgatory is applicable and the issue for a lot of those souls is not having the level of graces we Catholics have.

I’m not sure anyone can answer that, because so much of sin depends on intention, and who but God can tell fully what that is?

Thank you for your opinion as well as all others that have posted here on this thread. It’s been something I have been pondering. To tell you the truth, I have quit praying for all other souls that refuse to hear God’s Word (Or what they think are God’s Word)

I would go with Yerusalyim’s answer in Post #2, but I would also express my concerns for
those who are not only born outside of the Catholic Church, but who also go out attacking
the to attack the Church. Whether it be criticisms on the Full Canon of Scripture, an kind
of pessimism towards the Papacy, how Catholics call upon Saints (particularly Mary), etc.
Could God forgive if it was all out of ignorance, he could, but it still leaves me nervous.

Leaves you nervous? Why?

Some describe Purgatory as a temporary Hell, and use that to demean Catholic doctrine,
but in truth, Purgatory is a mercy. Just as God forgave David who repented of his sins but
nevertheless punished him for his deeds, those who will receive Salvation must be purified
in the fires of Purgatory before entering in to Heaven.

Someone else here will have to explain the venial/mortal sins part, sorry.

Yes Gaz. We must be purged of our sins before we can be in Our Lords presence. If your in Purgatory, you are on your way up! As for a mortal sin. Well we do believe in God’s Mercy. But He gave us free will so we must make our own choices. Heaven or Hell?

IMO it would be pretty idiotic to send anybody who leads a moral and ethical life to hell just because they are not Christian.

Whether *Merciful * or not. *Idiocy *is not a trait I think such a being as the God Christians believe in possess.

As to the Buddha. He is going neither to Hell nor to Heaven because he realised neither of these paths would lead to peace with oneself.

As to the original question. Is the question about if God thinks he is merciful or if we think he is merciful?

Peace!
Victor

Aahhh… but that begs the question.

It’s “Do we think”. So where do you think Buddha is? Would Heaven not be peaceful to oneself?

God is so merciful. So God does not coerce humanbeing in one way to go Heaven. People who have faith will go heaven. I think that faith is not only Catholic faith. Because God is eternal and God had seen and see all times. God did not decided to come earth to save people otherwise God would not send prophets. Before Jesus people believed prophet and they will go Heaven. After Jesus people will go Heaven but provided that not reject God and prophets. That is God’s canon since first human to end of world.

The mortal sin is that to reject God and saying there are many Gods(shirk). God can forgive other sins if sinfull people confess, repent and forswear for their sins.

You have it backwards, you truly do. God sent prophets BECAUSE he was coming
in human form to die for our sins. I agree that one must not reject the One God and
the prophets to go to Heaven, but what does that mean, really? According to Scrip-
ture (Old & New Testament), Muslims do not accept everything that the Prophets
have said nor do they accept the God who loved them so much that he came to
pay the penalty for sin on our behalf.
For God so loved the world, as to give his only
begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him,
may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
– (John 3:16)

Yepp it does dunnit? :).

@kimg901 and @Kliska

The long answer is that it is not about where he is but about what he discovered about the true nature of the Self. But if we go into that we are gong to derail this thread.

The short answer is from this old gata accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an07/an07.051.than.html. But to understand what is said and why is of course another long answer. The same in fact as the one above.
*
But the instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns anguish, discerns the origination of anguish, discerns the cessation of anguish, discerns the path of practice leading to the cessation of anguish, and so for him that anguish ceases. He is freed from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs. He is freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"Thus knowing, thus seeing, the instructed disciple of the noble ones doesn’t declare that ‘The Tathagata exists after death,’ doesn’t declare that ‘The Tathagata doesn’t exist after death,’ doesn’t declare that ‘The Tathagata both does and doesn’t after death,’ doesn’t declare that ‘The Tathagata neither does nor doesn’t exist after death.’ Thus knowing, thus seeing, he is thus of a nature not to declare the undeclared issues. Thus knowing, thus seeing, he isn’t paralyzed, doesn’t quake, doesn’t shiver or shake over the undeclared issues.*

The Tathagata is another name for the Buddha.

/Victor

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.