Nature's state

Does anyone here know where the Bible and/or the Church say that

  1. Any sin, no matter how small, without Christ deserves punishment that lasts forever

  2. that no sin could ever have been successfully repented for without Christ

1 John 5:16 says the opposite.

[2) that no sin could ever have been successfully repented for without Christ

Have no idea. However it does not appear to be an accurate statement. People in the OT repented.
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I’ve never seen or heard the first statement so I couldn’t comment.

As to the second statement, I think it’s more accurate to say that repentance is impossible without God’s grace.

Jesus is God. So…

Yes Jesus is the second person of the triune God, IOW God is 3 persons. Grace doesn’t just come from Jesus, it comes from the Trinity. That’s how I think of it anyway :shrug:

Do you mean in the sense that there is no salvation without Christ? If so, then:
Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

And from the Catechism:
#432 The name “Jesus” signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

That seems to go against Rev that we are judged by what one has done. If one has done little harm, the punishment must commensurate with the harm. Otherwise the notion of just and fair God comes into question. The punishment that last forever seems excessive and paints a petty God.

  1. that no sin could ever have been successfully repented for without Christ

Prior to Christ salvific act on the cross, the OT talk about folks who repented and God forgave them e.g. Nineveh. During those times, Christ is not specifically identified. Just God. But since this is a triune God, one can also attribute Christ is involved.

The Magisterium specifically teaches that venial sin does not deserve eternal punishment (never-ending) but only temporal punishment (ending after a time).

But without Christ, we would not have salvific grace, nor any grace at all.

The grace for repentance, and every other grace, is from Christ.

This is contrary to Church teaching. Per the Catechism (italics original; boldface mine):

CCC 1857 For a *sin *to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave [ie, serious] matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”[sup]131[/sup]
__________131 RP 17 § 12.

I’ve always heard that Christ’s redemption affected the Old Testament. Anyway, some Catholic writers I’ve seen wrote that any sin whatsoever deserves hell, but that the merciful ecomnomy of salvation established by Christ is such that only mortal sins send one to hell. I am wondering if perhaps man’s nature can repent without God’s grace for a VENIAL sin. I may be referring to a hypothetical “state of nature” separate from the action of grace, but it still is an interesting question.

Vatican Council I stated: “If anyone says that man cannot be raised by God to a knowledge and perfection which surpasses nature, but that he can and should, by his own efforts and by a constant development, attain finally to the possession of all truth and good, let him be anathema.”

Blessed Duns Scotus was of the opinion, I’ve read in a book recently, that God could have had things different. That the good of grace is not ontologically necessary except because God so willed. So I think he was of the opinion that God could bless natural repentance from mortal sin by giving that person heaven.** I am wondering though in the present economy whether repentance from venial sins can operate apart from grace**

No, but it’s a different type of Grace than Sacramental Grace.

God exerts a Grace called prevenient Grace upon every person at all times. This Grace calls us to conversion and repentance, but it cannot (in itself) save us.

That is not the correct understanding of prevenient grace.

The initial grace of justification is prevenient (per Trent). But that is not a continuous grace. The continuous grace is habitual grace, which is not always prevenient.

Actual graces can be prevenient or subsequent. But by definition, the initial grace only is prevenient, and later graces are subsequent, not prevenient. We cannot cooperate with prevenient grace, it is God acting alone (operating, not cooperating). We can cooperate with habitual grace and subsequent actual graces.

That seems correct, to remain just, God could NOT send a person to Hell if they caused little harm during their lives, even if they were not religious people. I have wondered what happens to these kind of people, personally, I know quite a few like this, they do a lot of good, no hate for anyone or anything, etc but they are just not religious in the sense of attending mass, worshiping God, but I guess, in their own little way, even without them recognizing it, they ARE living according to how God instructs, so…??

I didn’t actually say that. If they were not religious, they could already be breaking the Sabbath which is a mortal sin. If one is NOT a member of God’s family, there is no reason for Him to take those people into his house. No one is owed heaven. If it is a venial sin, everlasting torment seems disproportionate to the sin. I suppose it is possible to have hell with varying levels of torment. Hypothetically, those that caused little harm attached with almost undetectable levels of torment. Or just the absence of God is sufficient torment, no additional inputs required.

I have wondered what happens to these kind of people, personally, I know quite a few like this, they do a lot of good, no hate for anyone or anything, etc but they are just not religious in the sense of attending mass, worshiping God, but I guess, in their own little way, even without them recognizing it, they ARE living according to how God instructs, so…??

If they are not worshiping God, they are not living according to his instructions. Being nice does not earn anyone to heaven too. Being neutral and not doing harm does not earn the right to heaven either. Omission could be a sin, not doing the right thing when charity requires an action. If there is no love in the heart, I’d find that difficult to get into heaven.

A nice atheist person, since he does not believe in God, wouldn’t mind if not invited right? To do so would be against his will. And there is no reason to drag someone unwillingly to heaven because he didn’t think it exist. Since he doesn’t believe in God, then he most likely never repented his sins (and I’m sure everyone sins), and since he has no real standard of measurement of the mortality of the sins he committed, and assuming he did committed mortal sins that were not repented or confessed, hell is quite likely. If one has no intent of making a permanent home with God, someone else will prepare a home for them elsewhere. And the punishment will commensurate with the harm, there. Bottomline is we need a gate pass. No gate pass, no heaven. Regardless of how unharmful one is .

One is in heaven because one is a family member in good standing. One could also be in heaven if invited. Of that I am not sure how God does it, we never try to restrict his freedom to predestine anyone to heaven (as if we could)

Altho not classified as a dogma or doctrine, it is a “common teaching” of the Church that there are varying degrees of punishment in hell.

From Denzingers "The Source of Catholic DogmaCouncil of Lyons:
464…The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments. The same most holy Roman Church firmly believes and firmly declares that nevertheless on the day of judgment “all” men will be brought together with their bodies “before the tribunal of Christ” “to render an account” of their own deeds [Rom. 14:10 ]. …
catecheticsonline.com/SourcesofDogma5.php

Council of Florence:
693…Moreover, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds.
catecheticsonline.com/SourcesofDogma7.php

Well, if people live their entire earthly lives without God in it, and they dont know God, going to an afterlife without God, would likely be fine with them, just an extension of their earthly lives, likewise, those that enjoy God in their lives and know him, go on to Heaven, also sort of an extension of their earthly lives.

The main point remains though, to be a JUST God, the crime must fit the punishment, of course its not just to send an atheist person that has done little harm in the world to the same exact place and level of suffering as a person who actively enjoys evil, killers, child molesters, etc. that wouldnt make any sense.

If God can create everything in the universe, somehow I have a feeling he has a way to deal with things like this, whether it be different levels or places in the afterlife.

I did mention that perhaps hell has varying levels or states of punishment that commensurate with the sin. Yes, it is true , the punishment will reflect the sin. But I wouldn’t know how God compartmentalize souls there. But it should be an insignificant effort for him to customize a hell for each soul there. Some with more , some with less impact. Just different levels of unpleasantness I guess.

  1. No one is sinless. Some may deny the concept of sin exist, although some how they could still differentiate between right/wrong, moral/immoral. And that is an exercise of freewill.
  2. For those that deny God, it is obvious that they wouldn’t ask God for forgiveness.
  3. Therefore, they have sins that remain unforgiven.
  4. Hence it is unlikely God will invite them to his house to stay.

Does my sequence of logic makes sense?

But many people deny God while alive, because they dont really buy into the story of his life and what really happened, however at their death and when they find out all this is very real, its highly possible they could change their tune, but this gets into the question of whether our free will is immortal, like our souls or only temporary while alive on earth.

Personally, from my understanding of the bible, free will is a gift to our souls at our creations, they are immortal in nature, so a ‘gift’ of the soul is probably a forever kind of thing, but thats a different thread altogether.

Free will is a component of what makes a human soul “human”. Without it, our soul would no longer be a human soul – it would be some different, lower ranking type of soul. In heaven we will not become lesser types of beings than we are here on earth.

Personally, from my understanding of the bible, free will is a gift to our souls at our creations, they are immortal in nature, so a ‘gift’ of the soul is probably a forever kind of thing, but thats a different thread altogether

It’s a gift only in the sense that our whole nature is a gift. But it is not an additional gift. There were extra “preternatural” gifts given to Adam and Eve that were lost/taken away after they sinned, but those gifts were not constituent parts of their human nature.

Well that is a problem I don’t have to solve because only God knows the reason why they reject him. If it is invincible ignorance, they may still have a chance. But in this modern age, that is very difficult to claim.

But just ordinary people like me with just ask this one simple question: why do they think they deserve heaven? It is not owed to them. Even for believers, it is already difficult as it is. Any particular reason why an atheist is entitled to heaven? Being good? Hmmmpf!

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