Why does God not take into account how someone lived their general life? For example in the Bible we often hear about “the wicked” and “the just” and it does imply that God looks at someone’s whole life rather than how they happened to be living in the final moments before they die, should one sin however serious really be capable of cancelling out a lifetime of general goodness?
According to Judaism, Gd does take one’s whole life into account.
Well we believe that salvation comes through grace, which is a free gift. So the important criterion is grace, not works (what one does in one’s life). Now if one is in a state of grace one will typically do good works not in an attempt to ‘merit’ heaven (nobody can ‘earn’ heaven or conversely ‘earn’ hell) but as a consequence of being in grace.
Here’s the thing. Grace is a gift which can be accepted and rejected. . .over and over again. It is not a guarantee, a ‘once saved’ sort of thing. I can be in a state of grace and do good works as a consequence, but I’m not ‘earning heaven’. I am a ‘worthless servant’ because at the time of being in grace and doing good works, I’m just doing what I am supposed to do. And of course when I reject grace by doing evil, which is rejecting God, I have rejected salvation.
At the point of death if we are in a state of grace and with no attachment to sin we will be graciously (by God’s grace) allowed to enter heaven; if we are in a state of grace but still have a temporal attachment to sin we will be purified (Purgatory) and then enter heaven. If we are not in a state of grace we will have chosen hell. No matter what ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds we did in life, it does not matter if we are not in a state of grace at death.
That is what makes God so wonderful. His free gift allows a person to enter glory even if at times in the person’s life he did ‘wrong’. The glory is that despite doing the wrongs he did a final rejection of those wrongs and chose to submit his will to God’s.
And the sorrow of hell is that a person who may have done great good on earth, if he dies not in the state of grace, will have chosen to reject all the good he did and reject God’s will.
The main point is that God gives each and every person sufficient grace in his or her life to ‘choose Him”. So it’s never a ‘gotcha’ where God allows John to be a ‘good man’ for 70 years, make ‘one itty bitty mortal sin’ right before death, and then say, “Sorry, despite all your good deeds that one bad ‘cancels’ it —as if John would have gotten heaven BY HIS DEEDS. It doesn’t work that way.
It does work that way according to Saint Augustine and Aquinas, they admitted that it is possible for someone to live a life without sin and mess up at the last minute, it does happen in reality.
Remember, for sin to be mortal - that means sin that lands you in hell - it has to be serious, it has to be done with intent and knowing it is a sin that lands you in hell. That is pretty serious.
If a person is married and faithful for 40 years, then, decides to not only commit adultery but to do it in the livingroom in front of their spouse, that could wipe away 40 years of marriage?
We have the power to sever our relationship with God in a moment, but, the power is in our hands.
On the other side of it, think about the beautiful gift of the Apostolic Pardon.
Lets not compare it to marriage, a broken relationship with God can always be corrected, there is no reason why it can’t.
As long as we choose to repair it, YES!
Nobody said that a broken relationship with God could not be corrected —before death.
Afterward it’s a different story.
I mean for heaven’s sake, God speaks of this situation Himself in the Bible. He speaks to those who claim that it is ‘unfair’ if a person who has sinned repents and is saved, and also that it is ‘unfair’ if a person who has done good deeds decides to sin and is not saved.
God Himself. I refer you to Ezechiel chapter 18.
It still seems unjust to me that God would allow someone to die after sinning, i know that Gods way’s are not our ways but i still find it profoundly unjust that God could allow someone to die on account of a sin, i plead to God that he does not allow such a thing to happen, will God listen?
How is it unjust to let people make their own decisions? Accepting the consequences of those decisions is just part of the deal.
It depends what the person wants, do they want to die after they sin or do they want a chance to repent first?
No, it doesn’t. Free will is free will; you make your choice and you take the results that come from that. So choose wisely. And deliberately sinning because you assume you will have time and be able to repent is itself sinful - the sin of presumption.
What i am trying to say is that Hell does not have to be a result of commiting mortal sin, God is able to save all mortal sinners i am sure, unless he has told people otherwise. We find sin undesirable not because it leads to Hell but because it makes life less pleasant ultimately.
Well, I do think God takes our whole life into account. However, have you ever seen anyone die and/or have been around them shortly before they die? Some people are absolutely tormented and you can tell. Their state at the end matters too. Some of them are terrified at the things they ‘see’ (that the rest of us can’t) and some say wicked things and treat others horribly before they start actively dying. In contrast, others go very peacefully.
Which He sent His Son to do in person.
Most people find sin quite desirable, that’s why they risk Hell to do it.
That sounds really chilling! why would they be so tormented when they feel they are about to die? i got attacked by a thug last year, i will not say too much about the incident as it was very traumatic but i felt strangely calm during the ordeal even though initially i felt i was going to die, thankfully i did not suffer serious injuries as a result of the attack.
There is a difference between a sin —not necessarily a mortal sin—and UNREPENTED MORTAL SIN AT DEATH.
Wow you do have it backward. Sin is indeed quite alluring to ‘the world’. We can—and should-find sin to be undesirable not because of life being ‘less pleasant’ but because it offends God.
IMHO, a man’s whole life will be taken into account.
You see, the way we are at the end of our life is what matters as the spirit is steadfast. You see, the angels, being pure intellect and will, could choose and could not change their minds. Their wills are “fixed” once the choice is made. Our wills are “fixed” in a similar way after death, either for God ultimately or against God ultimately. If you die hating God, how can you enjoy Him?
It is a theoretical possibility that one could sin right before death despite not sinning previously, but it is very unlikely for this to happen in reality. Virtue or vice is a habit.