What to say when Christians tell you you're going to hell?


Hi there,

I’ve been told by Christians a few times I’m essentially going to hell, as a Catholic, because we have ‘added’ things to the religion that are not in the bible.

This bugs me, but I mostly just give a flippant reply as I don’t much feel like talking semantics for the next 3 hours.

Although I would love to know what replies people here would give, or like to give, in such a situation?


Even the Catholic Church never says that a certain specific person will or will not go to Hell or Heaven before they die. That is known only to God Himself. By saying that, they are claiming to be God or at least know the mind of God regarding your final judgment while your still alive.


I congratulate my “friend” on his divine appointment as surrogate for St. Peter who holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven and who decides who enters, and ask where in the scripture Jesus gives authority to my friend to declare who will enter heaven.


This is a great opportunity to bring up that every reference in the Bible about judgement is in the context of deeds. Scripture says that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgement. And in every passage judgement is about deeds. I like to bring these presumptuous comments into the present. What if we both died to day, and go to judgement? Then bring up the passages about the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares.

Such statements are a sin of presumption, which is the same sin of Adam and Eve in the garden. They wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil. however, it is only God who can know the heart of man, and that is why we do not presume to know who goes to heaven or hell. If God wants us to know someone is in heaven, He will manifest this through the process of recognizing saints. Otherwise, we leave all to His just judgement and mercy.

Many who say “Lord, Lord” will be cast into utter darkness, for He will say “I do not know you”.


Tell them they’re preaching a false gospel, but God is merciful, unlike them.


If they caught me on the wrong day I’d probably simply say ‘I’ll be sure to look you up when I get there, then’ …


The ONLY Judge is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity … also known as Jesus.

Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the Judge … He who makes the decision on who makes it to eternal life and who does not.

The very first person admitted to Heaven was Dismas, the “good thief” … so who is to decide or even discern who will “make it” and who will not.

But, I would say this … if you want to get on Jesus’ good side, be nice to His Mother!

And I would offer that thought to the Protestants and others of that persuasion such as Evangelicals and Pentacostals.


Give them the Fatima writings … something to ponder.


First, ask them where the Bible says this. They will probably point you to Rev. 22:18-19–“I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city decribed in this book.”

Then ask them what the author meant by “this book.” They will probably say, “The Bible.”

Ask where the verses claim that by “this book” John meant the Bible. They will not be able to, since the word “Bible” is not used in the text. Then point out that John couldn’t possibly have meant that because:

  1. Context. John refers to “this book” also as “this prophetic book” which means it was only the one he was writing at the time, that is, Revelation

  2. Revelation was written about 100 A.D. but the Bible was not put together in its final form until late in the 4th century

Now point out that they themselves have added something to their religion that is not in the Bible. They have added an interpretation that is not supported by the text. Worse still, they are using this interpretation to condemn people to hell.

I would then take them to Matthew 7:2–“For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” In other words, they have just condemned themselves, for they are doing exactly what they claim a Christian will be damned for doing: adding things to their religion that are not in the Bible.

Hope that helps!


Ask them to intercede — oh, wait…

Seriously, I would categorize further discussion with people like this under “waste of time”. If someone has already set themselves up as the messenger of God’s judgment, they don’t care what you have to say in response.


If they were a stranger, I would probably ask why they were so eager for me to share their eternity with them (not the most charitable response, I know- hopefully it just sounds cool to think about saying, but wouldn’t actually be said). If they were a friend, they’d know better than to say that- I don’t have any friends who think that. I am always amazed to discover how much people seem to know about others’ faith, spirituality, and their relationship with God when it is doubtful that they have actually sat down and discussed the matter with them.


:smiley: I ask them where they think their Bible came from and ask where in the Bible it says that it is the sole authority of Christianity…that usually gets a :confused: response…


:rolleyes: :yawn: Just because I’m Catholic??? [sign1]Horsefeathers![/sign1]
I try to ignore the vitriolic propaganda of people who are generally to dumb or lazy to do their own homework like I did. My Testimony

If it’s a one on one I just look at 'em and say, “and that’s the end of any chance you’ll ever have to “witness” to me” and be on my way.

If we are in a group or something, I make them support their allegation and then demolish it with scripture and historic facts. Usually they can’t get away fast enough because they want to take their shot and stand there feeling like they are winners and when they discover that I know the Bible as well (or in most cases better) than they do they seem to feel the deep rooted need to get somewhere else…:wink:

  1. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Only God decides who goes to Hell.

  2. Ask them where in the Bible it says that the Bible is the only authority. It’s not there.

It’s really that simple. Your friend has no case. He is not God, and his position isn’t scriptural. In fact, by saying that you can’t add to the Bible, he is in fact adding to the Bible! By his argument, HE is going to Hell!


Brilliant! :smiley:


Ask them if they believe that anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior is saved.

If they say yes, then assure them that you HAVE accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and thank them for their concern.


Based on all the other posts, here is a very short sentiment that might be useful:

“Who died and made YOU the Judge?”


I’m with tm…say, “Ok, well I would appreciate you praying for my soul every day. Thanks!”
:slight_smile: And then live the gospel for these people by your actions. :smiley:


I usually find this assertion horribly ironic, given that most Protestants seem to believe one cannot lose one’s salvation. If this is the case, then there are a whole host of things a person might do and still go to Heaven, provided he has at one time or another “believed in his heart and confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord.”

So you see, their reasoning is contradictory. If the only thing necessary for salvation is faith, then it doesn’t matter what else a person does, does it?


I didn’t know I was going to Nebraska!

(Back in the mid '90s, the Associated Press put out a news story about Hell, Nebraska and the road construction going on there. I remember reading it thinking, do they get time off Purgatory for living there? And what would St. Peter say at the Pearly Gates when he asked where they came from?)


I say, “That’s God’s judgement. All I can do is trust in Christ my Savior to sort it out.”

I am reminded when an extreme sectarian was tricked by her son into attending the confirmation/inquirer’s class at the local Episcopal church, she said at the end, “I don’t understand it. He believes everything that I believe, but he’s going to hell and I’m not.”

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