Killed in a State of Mortal Sin?

I know if you die unrepentant of your mortal sins you will probably be going to Hell. However, what about people who are murdered or die as a civilian casualty in war? If they didn’t have a chance to get to confession before they died would they still be Hell bound? How is that even fair?

God is not bound by the Sacraments. Trust in his mercy.

This is a very good reason to avoid mortal sin!

Trust God to give you a chance to repent.

And try not to get killed! :slight_smile:

If you die/are killed feeling remorse for your sins and intending to confess them (assuming you understand the necessity of confession) then you will be forgiven. God judges the heart and not technicalities.

I don’t mean to imply that confession is a mere technicality, of course. It’s important and we have to do it. But if we are can’t, God isn’t looking to condemn you on that basis. God knows all things, and presumably knows that if you had not been killed, you would have gone to confession.

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God knows the state of one’s soul: we don’t. Worry about the things that you can change or make better. Think of the St. Francis Prayer for peace and change. What is “fair?” Does God “play” by our rules and sentiments? Peace.

This is not a blanket statement that any person should make.

We can hope we will be forgiven, but so far as God has revealed to us, only confession or a perfect act of contrition are capable of alleviating the punishment due for mortal sin. (a.k.a. Damnation.)

We do not have the right to impose any action on God in this regards. So far as we know, if we die in a state of mortal sin we are Hell-bound. God’s mercy is such that a repentant sinner may be forgiven through His grace, but we cannot rely on this or even promote it as a likely possibility.

Even if God will forgive a repentant sinner who hasn’t be able to make it to confession, it’s much better to live your life assuming He won’t, since then you’re more apt to avoid sin.

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You’re right, I should have said remorse motivated by the love of God, as opposed to fear of punishment.

It gets trickier, of course, when we’re talking about non-Catholics or non-Christians who are unaware of the necessity of confession and may have an incomplete, flawed understanding of God. All we can do there is trust God to do whatever is good and just.

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Agreed. I pity those who do not know the joy of confession.

Private revelation (and internally consistent theology) says that divine mercy is presented to souls prior to their departure from the body to enable them to be saved.

Priests are creatures and are incapable of doing a single good thing in their life without God. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is infinitely valuable because of Christ, but this is not the only channel he acts through.

Rejecting grace is an eternal sin and will condemn them forever.

This ^^

To continue your comment about having an incomplete or flawed understanding of God: that would also make it possible (or even probable) to have diminished culpability for the mortal sin to the point in which it may not even be mortal.

For a sin to be mortal it must meet the criteria of being grave matter committed with full knowledge of the gravity with full consent of the will. If someone isn’t a Christian there could be any number of reasons why, including being taught the wrong thing about the God and the Church from youth.

To the OP, as stated by the others, trust in the Mercies of God who is both Mercy and Justice Itself. God knows the heart and will never send someone to Hell unless they truly deserved it.

People reject God, God doesn’t reject people.

God is constantly reaching for people.

Hell residents choose to be separated from God.

Small, but not so small in meaning, clarification.

With regard to the subject, be sure to use faith AND reason when thinking about this stuff.

Starting of course, that God is reasonable.

If anyone considers all the evidence, it’s God.

Since God loves His creation, where His creation reach for Him, that is strong evidence to God.

God knows His creation is weak (sinful), He doesn’t need reminders to know.

Nor is there an end to the Mercy of God.

If someone dies willingly rejecting God, then they will be separated from Him.

How does the manner of death matter? Is someone who is dying a slow death the only type of person who can be given sufficient chances to repent? Are not even those who die suddenly given ample opportunities throughout their life?

God gives everyone sufficient grace to repent and to die in a state of grace. He does not, on the other hand, give everyone sufficient grace at every second of their lives. If that grace is rejected time and time again, then God, in justice, may withdraw those graces, or else stop giving them. If someone dies after having rejected those graces time and again, then of course they are not being treated unfairly. They are being held to the consequences of their own decisions. God has already given them a superabundance of opportunities.

But whether or not a particular individual has actually rejected God or not is none of our business; that’s for God to judge, Who judges perfectly and completely justly. We also don’t know when God might withdraw graces. He might even continue to give graces in a way known only to Him and a soul in the final seconds of a person’s life.

There’s nothing wrong with being interested in theology, which all that the OP is doing. The Church has elaborate answers to such questions, and folks shouldn’t be afraid of asking them. The faith is rich and rational.

So…you are saying that every non-Catholic is going to hell. With a few limited exceptions Protestants do not have the sacrament of reconciliation. Are they all going to hell? I think not. The Church in its “wisdom” prescribes confession as a way…but it is not our job to limit what God can do. And since He hopes that all are saved (unless you are Calvinist) there may well be a last chance.


I agree with your posts on this subject. Too many wanna be theologians running around. They…and we…are basically expressing our opinions or our understand of God’s teachings. His mercy is infinite and so is his justice.


but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Thanks for asking:)

First if ANYONE dies with unconfessed OR unforgiven Mortal sin they ARE hell bound.

Where’s the justice in this?

In Divine Justice God had to have at least 2 categories of sin: Greater [Mortal] & Lesser
[Venial] 1 John 5:016-17

1Tim.2 Verses 3 to 4 “[3] This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
[4] who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”

GOD"S NORM [and command method ] for sin forgiveness is Sacramental Confession to a rightly Ordained Priest; [John 20: 19-23] which, BTW, completes and perfects OT use of priest for sin forgiveness:[Exo 28:1 & Lev 5: 16-18]

BUT God also permits in cases of emergency a HIGHLY conditional “Act of PERFECT contrition.” The PROBLEM here though is ONLY God knows if one’s contrition IS “PERFECT”; [nothing less is sufficient] and even then it is mandated that Sacramental Confession be made ASAP; which too is a condition of the “exception.”

So God makes possible in emergencies for an alternative that is conditionally acceptable to Him.

Keep in mind also that for a sin to BE a Mortal sin; THREE conditions must exist as the NORM:

Serious matter

Pre-knowledge that the act will be a Mortal sin if willed to be done**

Then freely willing to do it anyway KNOWING that it IS a Mortal sin

** There ARE however sins that are** intrinsic evil**s [things written on our hearts and mind by GOD; that everyone can and should know are ALWAYS Mortal sins; such as abortions, murder, adultery, Slander, Missing Sunday or Holiday Mass on purpose and many others as well. [Heb 8:10 & Jer. 31:33]



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