Which will be the final fate of most mankind --- Heaven or Hell?

Christ taught that the pathway [gate/key] to the Kingdom was narrow … and few would find eternal life. That most would try to gain/climb to heaven by ‘easy way’ … and be rejected [parable of attending wedding w/o proper heavenly garments].

Do we really believe this in our modern age ? Do we think Jesus was just being ‘extreme’ with His language … just to scare us into being serious about the afterlife. Was Christ perhaps just presenting the ‘Christian Ideal’. Presenting us the worst case scenario of Hell … that applies only to the truly evil in society.

Do scriptures/traditions also teach that there is genuine hope for the majority of ordinary folk … that die apart from Christian discipleship.

Is Purgatory [or other ‘second chance’ means] planned only for the wayward Catholics/Protestants … and more importantly for the vast majority of people [in both ancient and modern times] who do not profess faith/baptism in Christ ?

I know the Catholic magisterium is hesitant to say that anyone will go to Hell … even Hilter, etc. Are they just being ‘non-judgemental’ — as Christ taught us ?

Seriously, don’t most people we know EXPECT they will make it to heaven … eventually ?

I’ve often wondered this myself. For Christ also talks several times of two in the field, one will be taken and one will be left. And then I wonder, if God loves us, would he want the vast majority of mankind to suffer in hell, because they didn’t love God enough (as the passage you cited seems to indicate)?

I think we need to take Christ at his word on this subject. He says in many places that there will be a separation, and that many who say “Lord, Lord” will not enter the kingdom.

This teaching transcends time and doesn’t change from age to age. In the modern age, our culture is trying to dampen that teaching and essentially make people think that everything will be OK. We know from the full bible that this has never been the case.

WRT what God wants - he wants us all saved, but he will not force it to be so.

I know I presumed on God’s mercy when I shouldn’t have. I fell away from the Church for a short time but still believed in God and believed I’d get to heaven because I *wanted *to go to heaven, but didn’t think I needed the Church or the sacraments to get there.

Now that I’m reconciled with the Church, I am far less optimistic that I will “make it”, especially if I die in the middle of the week before I get to Saturday confession. :blush:

I have a question about this (I’m Protestant) but studying and trying to get a better understanding of Catholic dogma generally. Shouldnt we (including Catholics) feel confident in our salvation once Baptized and if he truly belief and accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour and repent of our sins?

Even within the Catholic tradition including the 7 sacraments (rather than just Baptism and Communion as in the Protestant faith)- doesn’t the completion of the other sacraments (pennace/confession, for example) go ultimatley to “sanctification” rather than “justification” (i.e., you are “saved” but its a question of whether you are purified enough to go to heaven or must go through purificaiton/cleansing in purgatory)?

Blessings,

Brian

You forgot “and we are obedient to His Words…” to this equation. Belief and Obedience are one, not two different things.

Even within the Catholic tradition including the 7 sacraments (rather than just Baptism and Communion as in the Protestant faith)- doesn’t the completion of the other sacraments (pennace/confession, for example) go ultimatley to “sanctification” rather than “justification” (i.e., you are “saved” but its a question of whether you are purified enough to go to heaven or must go through purificaiton/cleansing in purgatory)?

Blessings,

Brian

If you commit mortal sin, you cut yourself off from the Graces of Christ. You must restore this through (the normal means of) confession.

Didn’t Paul exhort us to work out our Salvation in “fear and trembling”?

I think Assurance of Salvation is one of the most troubling heresies of our day.

Thank you for that clarification - I clearly have more reading to do re: Catholic doctrine. I’m working on it. :slight_smile:

Blessings,

Brian

No, problem, brother! I hope you enjoy your stay on these forums and learn enough about the Church to desire to Cross the Tiber very soon! Remember, swimming lessons are always offered! :wink:

Many Protestants rely on OSAS for their assurance. I know I used to. Problem is, — this can lull one into not taking their faith seriously. I used to think I had hit the spiritual lotto. A winner for life … no need to worry about the OT laws, don’t worry about future sins, etc.

Catholicism has really helped me appreciate that the details are very important. Christianity is a process of living. Christ called all to become His disciples. Its not enough to acknowledge Him as Lord … and then to fail to follow thru with life of discipleship. There are many, many parables that warn us about the pitfalls of weak faith.

As a wayward Protestant … would I of landed in Purgatory to learn discipleship ? I don’t know … but, I think that would of been an optimistic fate. Christ clearly teaches that anyone who turns back from the plow is not fit for the Kingdom.

I really believe Christ is being ‘deadly serious’ in the Gospel — about what is required to see the Kingdom. I think Christ opened my eyes to Catholic teachings.

The more I study the scriptures … the more I read that its all about true Discipleship. We are either 100% commited … or we are lukewarm. And, lukewarm faith doesn’t make the Kingdom … per teachings of Christ.

Catholocism is Hebrew faith with Christ. The real deal !!

Two points on this:
A) I often laugh when I ponder what Protestants are thinking when they enter Purgatory… “*****, those crazy Catholics were right all along*!”.
and
B) I heard someone say that we should always pray for the dead , but especially when passing a Protestant cemetery, because those poor souls don’t have all their family and friends praying for them. It saddens me, but also heartens me to think that I could be helping someone get out of Purgatory quicker.

Christianity apart from the once saved crowd which is only some Protestants is a unique religion in that those who are totally immersed in evil are offered a gift that is essentailly a free pass. It is the “amazing grace” aspect of the faith. I know how depraved and despicable I am. I am told, believe in Jesus, call on His name, receive baptism into His Church and all the evil you have ever done is washed away. It makes me a new creation. God loves me and I am off the hook. He takes away my sin.

For ardent followers of Christ things are different. Now I hear that the path to salvation is straight and narrow and few go that way. The path to destruction is broad and wide and most go that way. I still commit sins and they weigh heavily on my conscience. How could I betray my Savior yet again? I am told I will be judged by every word that comes out of my mouth and every thought that crosses my mind.

The message is very confusing and it confused the apostles. Peter asked if it were even possible that anyone would be saved, because Jesus made it seem impossible. Jesus gave a elusive answer. He did not answer the question, but simply said with God all things were possible.

So it seems He did not want to tell us the anwser. Who will be saved? How many will be saved? Will I be saved? The answer is wait and see. We will all be judged. We will not know our judgement until we receive it from the Lord.

What we can know is how we are doing in the moment. Right now if I am involved in some sin my conscience tells me. Are you penitent or impenitent? We all know the answer to this question. Am I sorry for my sins or am I indulging in sin? The answer is black and white, yes or no. There is no gray.

By the grace of the sacraments and personal prayer we receive the power to love and obey God. His yoke is easy and His burden light. Having recourse to the saints and especially to Mary we get great help and protection along the way. We are viators, on the way.

We all want to find a place of rest along the way in the spiritual life where everything is safe and there are no troubles. “Come to me you who are heavily burdened and I shall give you rest”. There is a paradox. We can always find rest in Christ, but He always also pushes us to keep going on the path of holiness. He always wants more from us, or for us.

The saints all lived holy lives. Which saint would have said he or she was holy enough? They always desired greater holiness. They never were satisfied with themselves. “Be ye holy even as your heavenly father is holy”.

Jesus asked Peter a question. “Do you love me”. He asks each of us the same question, persistently. He never stops asking that question of you. I tell my wife every day several times that I love her. Saying it once is not enough. I always tell my children I love them. Why do we have to keep professing love for one another?

If anyone wants to know in the moment if they are saved, it is in the answer to Jesus question. Do you love Him?

How do we know if we love God? “The love of God consists in this, that we keep His commandments.”, John tells us clearly.

“If a man loves me he wil keep my commands.”, Jesus tells us.

Do you love Him? If you do you are on the staright and narrow path to eternal life, for now.

Today’s AP story in papers … Pew Religious Research Poll.

70% of people with religious faith/church affiliation believe there are MANY different religions that can lead to eternal life.

The pollsters conclusion: Religion in America is 3000 miles wide and 3 inches deep.

So … at least in USA, 7 in 10 people think they are heaven bound.

Also … 6 in 10 Jews don’t believe in God.

This poll is a direct result of:
a) poor catechesis on the Church’s part.
and
b) Moral Relativism.

James adds … “Faith w/o works is dead”.

Clearly Jesus wanted his Disciples to rest assured in their Salvation … and all the original 12 [excepting Judas] died knowing Christ had kept them safe from the son of perdition.

Peter, Paul, and John clearly taught that any ‘later day’ disciple can have equal confidence in their salvation.

Christ did not want us to be of ‘doubting minds’ … and sends H.S. to give the assurance needed to be obedient/faithful to the End.

Its not the way we start the race … its how and [with whom] we finish.

WE DON’T KNOW. Stop asking.

Amazingly there wasn’t more than 2-3 % points difference in the views of Catholics vs Protestants.

All denominations are experiencing a meltdown of faith

I’m not sure if this is accurate. For instance, Paul tells us to work out our Salvation with “Fear and Trembling” - not with assurance.

And the Epistle that says, “I write this so that you may be assured in your salvation…” (paraphrasing), aren’t there, like, 21 “ifs” in the Epistle preceding this statement?

“If you do this, and if you do that, and if you don’t do this… then you can be assured …”

We need to know … start asking. You are your brother’s keeper.

True, the “Jesus is Love” mentality really swept through all the churches. People forget that Jesus spent more time preaching about hell than He did about Heaven.

But, I felt that I could only speak for my Church.

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