Nice people in hell?


#1

The question is this, “Do nice people go to hell?” That is do people who choose not to follow Christ or the teachings of the church still go to hell if they are generally nice people? What do you think?


#2

What is nice? Jesus did not instruct us to be nice. He gave us certain guidelines, in the 10 Commandments, which would lead us to Heaven. None of which said “be nice and you will get your reward”.

Nice is a relative term subject to interpertation. A gray kind of word. God does not deal in gray - that is the domain of the enemy.


#3

[quote=Topher]The question is this, “Do nice people go to hell?” That is do people who choose not to follow Christ or the teachings of the church still go to hell if they are generally nice people? What do you think?
[/quote]

First of all, God alone judges who will be saved and who won’t. It is not up to us to decide such matters. I assume you know that, but some reading our words may not. :wink:

If a person is fully aware of the teachings of the Church and that they must accept them and yet rejects Christ and his Church they are very much in danger of hell as their final destination. To reject Christ knowingly is a very grave sin because it means the person rejects the very love of God that sent the Son to us, the Son who gave his life on the cross for us in order to fulfill the loving will of the Father for his wayward children.

If a non-believer cannot believe because of invincible ignorance or an insurmountable obstacle, but they do good things for love of God as they understand them, they are judged according to what they knew and how they used the graces God gave to them, for God gives grace enough to every soul to find him and serve him in love.


#4

[quote=jrabs]What is nice? Jesus did not instruct us to be nice. He gave us certain guidelines, in the 10 Commandments, which would lead us to Heaven. None of which said “be nice and you will get your reward”.

Nice is a relative term subject to interpertation. A gray kind of word. God does not deal in gray - that is the domain of the enemy.
[/quote]

Except that this is the reason we pray for all lost souls in purgatory.
I may have several really nice siblings…who have turned away from Catholicism, but lead spiritual lives responsibly. I do not believe for one second that they will end up in hell.

I believe, because I am praying for them, my children pray for them and our parents pray for them - now and will continue to do so after they die - that God will heed our prayers and be merciful upon them.

I fully expect their time in purgatory to be long, but that’s a relative term so it doesn’t really matter to me. What matters is that through my obedience and prayers I can save the souls of those around me who were not so obedient when they had the opportunity.

God does not want people to go to hell, He longs for them to be with Him and that’s why He calls on us, His followers, to help make that happen.


#5

[quote=Topher]The question is this, “Do nice people go to hell?” That is do people who choose not to follow Christ or the teachings of the church still go to hell if they are generally nice people? What do you think?
[/quote]

One of the central issues of our age. How often have we each heard someone say of another that so and so is living in with another, but is not married, yet so and so is is a good person? Or, how about saying one is living an immoral life due to adultery, contraception, drug use, or pronograhy, etc., yet they are a nice person.

Now, we obviously cannot judge one’s eternal destination and we ought to pray for one another and hope for the best, but it does strike me as strange that we equate holiness with being nice.

The danger is we start to think that salvation is simply about politeness or not being an axe murderer and all that other stuff is just legalisms, while all we have to do is say polite things and not be a Hitler and we are doing the will of God.

It is a very dangerous way to view the world. Once I was in line for confession at St. Patrick’s Catherderal in NYC. Two women were walking by sight seeing and one asked if the other wanted to go to confession and the reply came saying she did not need to confess because it was not like she robbed banks or anything. That type of reasoning is very popular today.


#6

[quote=jrabs]What is nice? Jesus did not instruct us to be nice. He gave us certain guidelines, in the 10 Commandments, which would lead us to Heaven. None of which said “be nice and you will get your reward”.

Nice is a relative term subject to interpertation. A gray kind of word. God does not deal in gray - that is the domain of the enemy.
[/quote]


I agree with this post whole heartedly. I hate the word nice! It is a deception of some sort. Nice people can do a lot of nice things yet live in total sin in co-habitating. I’ve met very nice people who are in the process of continual adultery without batting an eye. Because love is so nice and it feels good. This term is a totally secualr term, for sure.

And yet, I have met not so nice people who lead total christian lives. They can be cantakerous for different reasons and yet try to be ‘nice’! They go to bed crying about their uncharitableness…(not being nice according to the world). And yet, they try not t sin.

And then you have the people in the middle.
Now Have I confused everyone?

Here is the etymology of the word ‘nice’…

word-detective.com/back-q.html
Way back in the beginning, the Romans had a word for it – “nescius,” which in Latin means “not knowing” or, more bluntly, “ignorant.” The French turned “nescius” into “nice,” and used it to mean “stupid or simpleminded,” and it was this sense that was first carried into English. But by the fourteenth century “nice” had acquired another meaning, that of “wanton or lascivious,” so when Chaucer referred to a young woman as “nice,” he meant nearly the opposite of what we would mean today.


#7

[quote=YinYangMom]Except that this is the reason we pray for all lost souls in purgatory.
I may have several really nice siblings…who have turned away from Catholicism, but lead spiritual lives responsibly. .
[/quote]

We don’t pray for souls in purgatory because they were nice. We pray for souls so they can ascend to heaven. They have already felt the merciful hand of God in saving them from the fires of Hell.

You are correct that only God judges with His merciful hand. However, we have to be careful when we use this loose term.

Did not the Nazi’s believe they were being nice in sparing the world from Jews? Nice is too relative. (no - I am not comparing any one to the Nazi’s. I’m simply saying people act and interpret this word too liberally and use relativism as a guide.)

I also have a nice brother who leads a heathen lifestyle. God will judge - but steer clear of living a nice lifestyle. Live a Godly one and you have a far better shot.


#8

What is that old saying …“The highway to hell is paved with good intentions.”


#9

I guess what I’m saying is that I view this world as so temporary and all the people on it…despite all which has been revealed so many are too busy or too stubborn to see the light. And I cannot do more than I already am to help them despite their stubborness.

But many people really are nice…they really are good people, compassionate toward others, honest, loving…but when it comes to heeding God’s word, they’re misguided or stubborn.

I recognize it is not enough for me to be content with just being ‘nice’ and honest. I have been given a greater level of responsibility for the grace of God has revealed His truth to me, and to those much is given, much is expected.

It seems to me, those who are still floundering, apparently ‘knowingly’ may very well be floundering ‘unknowingly’ because the grace of God has **not **revealed His truth to them. God’s timing is His own with regard to each of us, so I continue to pray for the day these people are graced by God and can come to the truth. In the meantime, I cannot begin to presume or judge whether or not they will be saved in the end, but I certain can, and must - out of obligation - pray that they will be saved.


#10

[quote=Topher]The question is this, “Do nice people go to hell?” That is do people who choose not to follow Christ or the teachings of the church still go to hell if they are generally nice people? What do you think?
[/quote]

Jesus never said that all you had to do is be “nice” and you’ll make it to heaven. You have to do much more. A person could be one of the nicest people in the world but if they are not following what the Church teaches they may not make it to Heaven.


#11

I’m not convinced every Nazi is in hell, particularly those who honestly did not know what they were doing. I view them as the soldiers who whipped Christ and hung him on the cross because they were following orders, or feared for their own lives if they did not comply.


#12

[quote=Mt19:26]Jesus never said that all you had to do is be “nice” and you’ll make it to heaven. You have to do much more. A person could be one of the nicest people in the world but if they are not following what the Church teaches they may not make it to Heaven.
[/quote]

Jesus calls us followers to more, we, certainly have to do much more than just be 'nice…but to those who do not know him, I’m not so sure they are going to be judged in the same light we will be judged and being ‘nice’ may be all that is required of them. Only God knows the answer to that one.


#13

[quote=YinYangMom]I’m not convinced every Nazi is in hell, particularly those who honestly did not know what they were doing. .
[/quote]

I fear you lost my point. :frowning: I did not say they were in hell either.


#14

[quote=YinYangMom]I guess what I’m saying is that I view this world as so temporary and all the people on it…despite all which has been revealed so many are too busy or too stubborn to see the light. And I cannot do more than I already am to help them despite their stubborness.

But many people really are nice…they really are good people, compassionate toward others, honest, loving…but when it comes to heeding God’s word, they’re misguided or stubborn.

I recognize it is not enough for me to be content with just being ‘nice’ and honest. I have been given a greater level of responsibility for the grace of God has revealed His truth to me, and to those much is given, much is expected.

It seems to me, those who are still floundering, apparently ‘knowingly’ may very well be floundering ‘unknowingly’ because the grace of God has **not **revealed His truth to them. God’s timing is His own with regard to each of us, so I continue to pray for the day these people are graced by God and can come to the truth. In the meantime, I cannot begin to presume or judge whether or not they will be saved in the end, but I certain can, and must - out of obligation - pray that they will be saved.
[/quote]

I agree with all you said. My comment was a general one regarding our notions of morality. Too often we have fallen into a trap where we equate niceness with what is necessary for salvation and that is a disservice to all involved.


#15

[quote=YinYangMom]Jesus calls us followers to more, we, certainly have to do much more than just be 'nice…but to those who do not know him, I’m not so sure they are going to be judged in the same light we will be judged and being ‘nice’ may be all that is required of them. Only God knows the answer to that one.
[/quote]

Now, here I am starting to lose you. There are several issues today that we all may know from the natural moral law that are rejected by many who claim to be nice and even to be followers of Christ. This is where it gets confusing.

The world says personal autonomy and voluntarily poorly formed consciences are noble. This is an error. We can start an entire thread on this alone. I am not saying we can, or should, force the faith on all. What I am saying is that the notion that being “nice” or “good” in some way mitigates our blame for rejecting the moral law is not true.

You mention that those who have more talents will have more expected of them and I agree, but we live in a time where God has given us many graces and many means of knowing the truth, yet it is rejected often and we we want to find an excuse for such things rather than calling all to a higher standard.


#16

For all intents and purposes, it seems that the majority of those who profess belief in God would believe that being nice will earn their way into heaven. Near the very beginning of this thread, I’d read someone’s comments that, ultimately, God will make that decision. I wholeheartedly agree and, as such, it might not be our place to boldly say, one way or another, who will go to heaven and who will go to hell.

I’m not a bank-robber or axe murderer either, but I’m still flawed. I still have moments of weakness for which I must ask for forgiveness. I’m a very “nice” man, but I don’t lean on that to get me into heaven. It seems (at least in my humble view) that full faith in the saving grace of Jesus is where salvation is received and acts of kindness and charity are merely the outward evidences of your inner faith and love.

Having read the Bible as thoroughly as I have, I see only one way to heaven… and that’s through our Mighty Savior, Jesus.

Graças a Deus!


#17

True some nice people will go to hell and some will go to heaven.


#18

What does nice imply? I mostly see it used to say someone is polite, behaves well in company, and doesn’t make waves. These characteristics are no guarantee of heaven. Sometimes nice also means some amount of observance of the golden rule (do unto others…). This does not encompass all of morality, nor is it a guarantee of heaven.

So, of the people in hell, I think it is possible that some of them could have been called “nice” while on this earth.


#19

Read The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis; nice is never enough.


#20

I have heard this quote somewhere…the devil kills you with kindness.


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