Myself, I think what a person believe reflects what they do-- at least in a general sense. So, while we all do make mistakes and sin before God, I think God’s judges in proportion that which he has revealed in contrast to that which he has enabled them to believe.
[quote=Valke2]Why should someone who rejects God in this life be punished in the next?
I think, in a sense, if you’re aksing for why the ultimate permanancy of the final judgement, the reason is because the actions we make are permanent and we cannot take them back.
By God’s grace even the greatest evil can be turned into something good-- and all things work toward God’s plan no doubt. But not all things we do are necessarilly the positive way of bringing about God’s plan either. We can accomplish God’s will in a very negative way too.
[quote=Vlake2]If,as some have suggested, Hitler could have repented before he died and been granted salvation, while how many of the 6,000,000 jews he was responsible for murdering would be suffering in hell, according to some beliefs… then why should he not be given the opportunity to repent after death?
To be clear, since I think this was me who brought up this proposition, I would need to stress that I highly doubt that 6,000,000 Jews went to hell because they did not confess Jesus as Lord with their lips.
More often than not, people ‘believe’ in God by their actions-- and, from my own Catholic perspective, I’m quite positive that many Jewish people do believe in Jesus as the Christ even if they don’t know that Jesus is the Christ.
This isn’t to say that we are saved by our works. We are not saved by our works. We are saved by the Holy Spirit as he works within us to manifest the actions that God has fore-ordained that we should walk in. Many people, however, simply do not walk in the paths that God has fore-ordained for them.
Whether this is something that happens because of circumstances beyound their control, or something which they deliberately choose, only God’s Spirit can say for sure.
Although it’s a Christian thought more than than a Jewish one, if the Jewish people could be saved during the ancient Biblical era due to their faith in God and his promise in an unknown messiah yet to be revealed, I’m also sure that modern Jewish people could likewise still be saved due to their faith in God and his promise in a messiah that, from a Christian perspective, is still unknown to them.
[quote=Valke2]Why have anyone condemed to eternal hell? Why is the forgivness espoused by the Church and other branches of Christianity conditional upon the sinner asking for it? What purpose does such a requirement serve?
More often than not, it’s because the confession of sins does tend to lead one closer to God. However, the forgivness espoused by the Church and other branches of Christianity is not always conditional upon the sinner asking for it. On a spiritual level, the sins of our lives can and do wreathe havok and blaspheny upon the state of our immortal souls.
So, unlike the Gnostics, who beleived that their immortal souls were immune to their physical sins, the Church effectively teaches the exact opposite-- our sins can and do often inflict damage upon our spirits. Some sins can mortally wound our souls-- therefore cutting off our ‘spiritual umbilical cord’ to God so to speak.
In this sense, confession is not merely a game of semantics where God approves of people because they give him glory. People give God glory when they allow the Holy Spirit to repair and restore their own spirit. Therefore confession is not just repenting before the Lord. Confession is a visible manifestation of God’s invisible grace working within the believer and healing their soul so that they may inherit eternal life with God in the world to come-- and this is yet another sacrament that leads us toward the Eucharist.
That’s how I see it anyway.