Worried.

I am a catholic teenager and I have a question that has been deeply distressing me. I am not entirely sure if God exists. To me, it just doesn’t seem possible. I wish that I felt otherwise, and I can say that I do, but I just cannot at this time, embrace a God that would allow all the terrible things in this world to happen. Please do not respond to the preceding sentence, I do not wish for help in embracing God, as I am hoping that later in my life I may be brought closer to Him. The following is my real question: If I never in my lifetime accept that God is real, will I go to hell regardless of how well I lived my life? For example, if I live my entire life according to the Bible, am a genuinely good person, and always do my best to help others and make the world a better place, will that not count for anything? Will I go to hell no matter how good of a person I am, just because I don’t believe that God exists? This has me seriously distressed, because assuming God exists, and he is omniscient, just saying that I accept Him will not be enough, as I can’t lie to Him, and I can’t change the way I feel. Please help, I am very worried and distressed that my entire life ahead of me could be meaningless.

(I am also not entirely sure if this thread belongs in the moral theology subsection, it was just the first one that I was at)

The first question is: 'Why would you live your life like a good person and accordingly to the Bible if you do not think that God is real?"

You said that you are not sure, and that is quite different from denying God. A lot of people might go (and did go) through that phase and that does not imply that you reject God. You are just accepting your limitation. When you accept your limitation and you keep doing God’s will, then you are showing faith. Just be honest to yourself and to God, he will send you enough graces to prepare you for heaven. His plan is for you to go to heaven, and you will go to hell only if you reject Him and what He wills for us. Remember being nor sure is not rejection.

Are you 100% sure that your parents are your real parents? Can you really prove it right now? No! You could show ways on how you 'might" prove it, but you cannot. You have have come to that belief because of the loving relationship with them. You will be sure of God’s existence only once you have a loving relationship with him.

One must accept Jesus as their own personal savior and lead a moral life to achieve everlasting life with God. You’re young and when I was young, I wasn’t sure God was real…I think many young people think this b/c they haven’t lived enough to know the glory of God…this is my opinion …I am aware that there are many God loving young people out there…but I’m going by my personal experience…I went from not sure about God to almost completely dismissing Him to a devout true believer and follower of Jesus…I’m only 39, thank you Jesus for coming into my life:)

Since the person before me had my first question. I have this question:
How do you get to heaven?
It is not by denying their is a Lord and a God. You have to accept there is a God and that Jesus Christ is the messiah, the savior that God sent to Earth to save us all. As a Catholic, you need to have the faith that God exists, and then have good works the reflect the faith you have. So living a good respectful life is important, but denying The Father, Son, and Holy spirit most likely will not bring you to a glorious eternity.

I suggest you buy Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn, a big chunk of the first part of the book is about why there is a God. I dont know how old you are, so it may be over your head a little.

But not believing there is a God because of the horrible things that happen is not a good reason. Why you may ask? Because a lot of the bad things that happen can be the devil tempting our faith. Someone with strong faith usually asks, why do such terrible things happen to me as I pray all the time, go to mass, read the bible… That is the way the devil tempts you not to believe. As for people dying, when they have lived their life, and given others the gift that God has given them to spread on the Earth, their time is up. For everyone has a purpose on this Earth.

I hope this makes more sense. I am 22, and once a teenager myself not long ago!! I also was a leader of Spirit Team at lifeteen, so I got asked this question a lot. I also would like to end this with asking- what harm does it cause in not believing? You are worried of eternity, eternity especially in hell. So believing in God and living the life you want to lead is important to salvation in heaven.

I would also suggest going to adoration, and talk to Jesus. Even though you “dont” believe right now- pray for understand and comfort in knowing their is a God.

Hope this helps!

So basically, as long as their is any part of me that still believes that their may be a God, that I have not 100% totally rejected the thought, I will still go to heaven so long as I live my life as a good person?

What great advice from someone so young…if only I was like you at 22, I probably would not have gotten into so much trouble…God bless you:)

No. You need to believe in God and Christ as God, follow the commandments of the Church and die in a state of grace, i.e. having confessed and received absolution for any mortal sins…

Doubts do not constute disbelief, but we have to push aside our doubts. There is a simple prayer that goes “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”.

God Bless

Thank you all for replies, however, I just don’t understand why a just and loving God would sentence me to hell just because He did not provide enough evidence for His own reality.

That is an excellent question!

Th fact that there are such a myriad of religions, and not just in monotheism, but in all world religions, kinda leads us to conclude that no one really knows the truth…if god wants us all to be saved, why confuse the **** out of us?

The believers will tell you that you have to believe and have faith that Catholocism is the one true faith, but if you ask this to a Muslim, they will tell you the same about Islam.

How are we to know? Why didn’t god provide us with enough evidence to fully believe in him?
The answer you will get is “becasue you need faith.”

For me, that doesn’t cut it…all it does is making a person choose between two (or more) equally un-provable stories…but that’s just me, right?

Please define enough evidence for you to believe in Him.

God provides evidence of his life all around you. I know this sounds cheesy, but it goes back to the story of Creation. God created this Earth, he created you and all of your friends and family.
Of course, some people in the world go through some terrible things in their life, and it causes them to question their faith.
I will give you three examples in my life recently:

  1. My grandma had bladder cancer, and they took it out (on my birthday) and everything went well, and she was walking and talking. Two weeks later she died. Why should God make her suffer through the surgury and the pain just to have her die? That took me a lot of time to think about, but one day I became inspired by this. She came out of the surgury, proved to us she could do it and fight. But maybe going to the bathroom in a catheter for the rest of her life wasnt something she exactly wanted. She had a peaceful death, instead of suffering from another disease. So this I have God to thank for.

  2. My mom went to the doctor because she was suffering from pain in her stomach, after they did an endoscopy they determined that something just didnt look right, so they gave her a CT scan. They called her back two days later and told her to bring my dad to the meeting. (So I knew this was not good news. I prayed very hard, for God to please not have my mom get sick, as she had already had breast cancer, a hysterctomy, and now has arthritis), I prayed and prayed for it to be in her kidney or some place that can be removed easily. She came home and told me she has kidney cancer. She had her surgury and is doing well, she is home and it looks like everything is looking up. Even though this is not something I want my mom to go through, you have to have faith that God will provide you what is his will. Of course, if my mom had died-- it would have been a lot harder for me to see that. But you have to put your trust in him.

  3. I dont know if you live in the US but last week there was a very bad flood in the North Georgia area where I live. In one city, a lot of people lost everything they own. Many of these people may not even have jobs because of the economy. While I dont really know anyone that was affected that badly from the floods, I do know that loosing everything like that is not fair. People are coming together to donate what they can to these families. While some people might say, why would a loving God do that to people? Well-- what about all the lives he DID spare, by not having them die in the flood (I think around 10 people died), yes they dont have a home, but they still have their families. What about the people who didnt believe in God? Maybe they have more faith in God now, now that they were able to survive the storm.

I’m sure many people have horrible stories they can tell you about. But somewhere deep down inside, you have to ask, what did God want me to learn from this? That is his purpose, yes he is a loving God, but you will get tested for your faith, and you also have to stay on the path that he wants you to stay on.

Definitive proof of existence. Something that I can feel or see or hear. A 2000 year old work of fiction just doesn’t cut it. Nor do accounts of miracles. If God wishes for me to believe in Him, why not just make Himself known to me and everyone else?

The logic of this is like placing Ted Bundy in a positive light. “Think of all the women he DIDN’T kill!”

The other two examples are good, however.

Do you believe that Plato existed?

How about Alexander the Great?

Socrates?

What proof do you have that they existed?

I would suggest you pick up a copy of Strobel’s “The Case for Christ”

You base your whole outlook here on the assumption that god actually does exist, (which the OP is doubting) and you get that assumption and the evidence you cite to back that up (story of creation) from one source…the bible…which is not as trustworthy as you maybe think…

because faith is stronger than proof. Proof can be disproven and cast aside, faith on the other had is much much stronger. He has already shown proof through miracles but that just isent enough for some people, miracles can be labeled as unexplainable and ignored, can you think of anything God could Do that could prove his existence and not be dismissed by the scientific community?

Besides faith is a choice. you must Chose to believe, and by looking only for scientific evidence you will not find very much (if any). Still God works through people that is the best place to Look for God. Also Science may not be able to prove Gods existence but it cant disprove it either.

Contemoprary Historians.

Here’s a list of Contemprary writes from Christ’s time:
Josephus
Philo-Judaeus
Seneca
Pliny the Elder
Suetonius
Juvenal
Martial
Persius
Plutarch
Justus of Tiberius
Apollonius
Pliny the Younger
Tacitus
Quintilian
Lucanus
Epictetus
Silius Italicus
Statius
Ptolemy
Hermogones
Valerius Maximus
Arrian
Petronius
Dion Pruseus
Paterculus
Appian
Theon of Smyrna
Phlegon
Pompon Mela
Quintius Curtius
Lucian
Pausanias
Valerius Flaccus
Florus Lucius
Favorinus
Phaedrus
Damis
Aulus Gellius
Columella
Dio Chrysostom
Lysias
Appion of Alexandria

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

I’d have thought that God incarnate would fill at least a few chapters, if not books from unbiased, third-party, contemporary writers…not just a few hightly disuted and very possibly forged paragraphs.
But maybe my expectations are just too high? :shrug:

See Jayeffem? I told you they’s respond with “Faith”…

He has already shown proof through miracles but that just isent enough for some people, miracles can be labeled as unexplainable and ignored, can you think of anything God could Do that could prove his existence and not be dismissed by the scientific community?

Sure, have him grown an amputee’s arm back…and if he can do it again, it’ll a repeated experiment, so that would go far in the scientific community.
We’ve been asking for that for a long time now…

Also Science may not be able to prove Gods existence but it cant disprove it either.

And that is enough reason to base your life on following this person? Becasue you can’t disprove it?
Hmmm…

hi! i can relate to how you feel! i was born to Catholic parents and baptized as a baby. all throughout my schooling years i went to a Catholic school including a Catholic University. however, after a few tough emotional problems i encountered, i kept praying to God and it seems my prayers were never answered. sadness turned to frustration to the point that i became agnostic. i believed God was there but i started doubting His role in my life. i still said prayers from time to time but it was more of shouting at God telling Him that i don’t think He does anything for me or for anybody else, that i was badly disappointed in Him and i thought He was supposed to help me

but you know what, somewhere deep in my heart i kept calling for Him. knowing that i shouldn’t be separated from Him. sure enough God answered this call and revealed Himself to me! no, i didn’t have a clear vision of Jesus in front of me. but instead, a number of events in my life happened that led me to the answers of why God didn’t respond to my prayers. and these events were not everyday things. i think about it and i can’t give any other reasoning as to why some significant events occured. but it happened! and as i followed that path i saw what was going on around me and i realized, if God has given me all that i asked for, i would have been miserable! and best of all, after that journey i felt peace. peace i never felt for a long time. and through the years i had some more hardships but each time God was there and He steadied my ship through the storm. and after each time my faith grew stronger and stronger.

i suggest you do the same. the fact that you cared enough to ask this question here means deep in your heart you still seek to be with God. call out to Him and He will reveal Himself to you. i guarantee it

call out to Him. He is listening.

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