Would you still be Christian if . .


#1

Would you still be Christian (live as you do, follow Jesus, avoid sin) if you found out that you did not need to be Christian (Catholic or Protestant) to “be saved” from the fires of hell?


#2

[quote=aridite]Would you still be Christian (live as you do, follow Jesus, avoid sin) if you found out that you did not need to be Christian (Catholic or Protestant) to “be saved” from the fires of hell?
[/quote]

Hypothetical questions are impossible to answer :slight_smile: - but, “I hope so”. “Being saved” is not the most basic thing - Christ is. But perhaps one has to begin from the less important things, to go the more important.

If there were no need to be saved, because there was nothing to be saved from, would I ? If this means, “If Jesus were everything we know Him to be, except Saviour (because there was no salvation needed)…”, “If the world were unfallen, and He came among us…”: well, that is really two further questions :slight_smile:

I think He is important because of Who He is, more even than because of the good we gain from Him (so far as these two things are separable - I’m not sure they are) - and that it would be entirely right to love and serve Him even if one knew one was damned.

Let’s rephrase the question a bit: would you still be a Christian if (to think the impossible) it were a sin to follow Jesus ?

I think your question is a very profound and thought-provoking one - thanks :slight_smile: ##


#3

If I could be saved without being a Christian, I’d create a religion whose only requirements were eating candy and watching TV, and I’d be a happy camper.

Unfortunately, this is not reality. If I know who Jesus Christ is, I am compelled to follow him, through all the difficulties He lies before me. I trust Him because I know He knows better than me what is good for me, so I follow the path he sets before me. His way is the only way.

Of course, those who don’t know who Jesus is aren’t damned eternally for their ignorance. As the Catechism teaches, (#847, quoting Vatican II in Lumen Gentium 16): “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.”


#4

[quote=aridite] Would you still be Christian (live as you do, follow Jesus, avoid sin) if you found out that you did not need to be Christian (Catholic or Protestant) to “be saved” from the fires of hell?
[/quote]

Yes, absolutely. Being a Christian is a way of life, and Christ is Life itself.

This question makes no sense to me. How can one be a Christian and commit sin by following the Christ?


#5

I answered no. I take my following Jesus very seriously to the point involving sacrifice of my time, treasure and talent, and in the face of ridicule. There are so many other, easier ethical lifestyles and philosophies that I could follow, I’d be foolish to remain a Catholic Christian if it weren’t TRUE.


#6

Of course, those who don’t know who Jesus is aren’t damned eternally for their ignorance. As the Catechism teaches, (#847, quoting Vatican II in Lumen Gentium 16): “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

I find this response quite telling. Interesting in light of what the God of Righteousness and Judgement has said in His Word.

Romans 1:16-32 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


#7

Hello aridite,

It is alright to obey God, as Jesus teaches, in order to go to heaven through Jesus rather than go to hell. However, when one reads scriptures one can see a far greater opportunity within our grasp. We, in possession of free will, have the capacity to love God.

Are there any poor to choose to, or not to, feed in heaven? Can you choose to, or not to, murder, lie or rape in heaven? In heaven you will not have the opportunity of free will to choose to show your faith, obedience and love for God. Now is the time of fulfillment of your everlasting treasure of love for God. The kingdom of God is at hand! It is produced in your heart on earth and it is your eternal treasure in heaven.

Even if I could get into heaven bearing nothing but hatred and nonrepentance to God, I would still strive to love God with all my heart while in possession of free will. Even if there was nothing but damnation for me in my future, I would still strive to love God with all my heart while in possession of free will. An eternal memory in God’s heart of how I loved Him with all my strength would be of far greater value to me than even eternal life for myself. There is no other opportunity in man’s possession, including the opportunity of eternal life, that is greater than the opportunity to love God.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com

NAB LUK 10:25
On one occasion a lawyer stood up to pose him this problem: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?” Jesus answered him: "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He replied:
"You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.

NIV 1JO 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

NAB MAT 13:44

“The reign of God is like a buried treasure which a man found in a field. He hid it again, and rejoicing at his find went and sold all he had and bought that field. Or again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant’s search for fine pearls. When he found one really valuable pearl, he went back and put up for sale all that he had and bought it.”

NAB LUK 12:31

“Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”


#8

[quote=aridite]Would you still be Christian (live as you do, follow Jesus, avoid sin) if you found out that you did not need to be Christian (Catholic or Protestant) to “be saved” from the fires of hell?
[/quote]

The poll question is different to the above. The poll question asked … to be saved. This question is to be saved from the fires of hell.
Do you mean from the lake of fire?
Most people are going to hell when they die until Jesus comes back.
To be saved.
I dont think the question understands "to be saved"
To be saved, which we in Christ are is not a one time event at judgment.
In Christ I am saved to my knowledge every day and sometimes many times a day and probably countless more times I am unaware of.
As the Holy Spirit leads me, I am saved from missing the bus, I am saved by obtaining a good seat on the bus, I am saved from forgetting my whatever as I leave home, I am saved by His guidance in my work, I am saved from food poisoning by saying grace before eating, I live in Thailand and food poisoning is most common, especially for non thai stomachs. Litterally I am constantly in a state of being saved. He makes choices with His wisdom and His knowledge of the future for me all the time.
This is where a christian who does not seek God’s will, and the leading of His Holy Spirit misses out on the sheer joy of being in Christ. You think that being a Christian is a difficult path of sacrifice and denial all for a one time event of “being saved”. How utterly poor you are who are in this seat.
Tell me, do you really think that Paul who was probably the most afflicted recorded Christian in the bible had no joy. What do you think sustained him. Me, in my life, have a distinct advantage over nearly every one in Thailand that I meet. They have to compete and do in a very nasty manner to put themselves in a one up position in every aspect of their life, Me , the Holy Spirit pulls buses up next to me so I can get on first etc etc etc etc etc. The pack are left behind to fight for the minor placings. Of course when I am attacked it is not nice, but I know this is for my learning and growth, and really how precious is the truth. Nearly all the world seeks the truth in some fashion or another, whether it be a scientist or a person reading his astrology. The christian does not need any of this, just trust and belief and the truth is revealed to him as he needs it.
There is nothing that can come any where near to life in Christ, even here on earth, with the life style and the promise behind and above all else.
Oh that all could experience the joy of life in Christ when you are led by the Holy Spirit.
In another thread I witnessed about my being bitten by a dog.
I was God’s messenger to tell this family of the consequences of their cruel treatment of this beautiful dog. The owners starve the dog, possiblly to make it savage and they lock it up in a cage for most of the day. It likes me patting it when I come home at night if it is out of the cage. When I come home it barks quietly at me and stands up at the high metal gates with its head close so I can scratch, pat and massage it. Usually he falls down on the ground in ecstacy. The other night, I saw a wild look come over him just after I started to pat him. He smelt hamburger on my hand and went beserk and tried to eat my hand. My hand healed very quickly from some 8 punctures. I am still on a course of anti-rabies shots. I felt compelled to witness to this family, but at the time I did not recognise it was His will. It was after that I had this realisation. But it gave me a great insight into His love. He loves the dog, the family who mistreat the dog and the person or persons who will be bitten severly if the owners dont take notice and treat the dog in a loving way and also feed him. Now you can see, if the person does God’s will, he will be saved, the dog will be saved the wife will be saved, the person whose is going to be bitten will be saved ( and they would be completely unaware of being saved as nothing happens to them) friends are saved from grief and anger, people are probably saved from legal and financial problems, maybe saved from a conviction etc etc. So you can see that in obeying God. that is following His Holy Spirit, one small act can save so many and this is a continuous chain of living every moment of every day, 24 hours a day for billions of people. Listen and be saved.
Christ grow in your hearts
walk in love
edwinGhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#9

The question is an impossibility. If unsanctified people were present in heaven, it would no longer be heaven. By definition heaven will be a place where we can exist without the suffering imposed by our own sinfulness.

The question might be better phrased this way:

“Would you still be a Christian if there were no afterlife?”

My answer: Yes. Grace makes life here joyful, not just sometimes pleasurable.


#10

Only Satan would tell anyone that, so yup, go go gadget Jesus!


#11

I voted yes. The following poem (author unknown) sums it up for me:

I am not moved, my God, to love you
By the heaven you have promised me.
Neither does hell, so feared, move me
To keep me from offending you.

You move me, Lord, I am moved seeing ;you
Scoffed at and nailed on a cross.
I am moved seeing your body so wounded.
Your injuries and your death move me.

It is your love that moves me, and in such a way
That even though there were no heaven,
I would love you,
And even though there were no hell,
I would fear you.

You do not have to give me anything
So that I love you,
For even if I didn’t hope for what I hope,
As I love you now, so would I love you.


#12

There have been some pretty interesting replies. I realized after I posted the poll that, as some posters have pointed out, if all are save (and no one is not saved (from hell, at least)) then the Christian faith would, in some serious sense, be false. In which case, it does seem foolish to commit yourself to something false. On the other hand, it wouldn’t matter since all would be saved. Perhaps, this is a diabolical possibility to consider. [Though, I swear, nobody put me up to it.]

With all the discussion of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus, I was just wondering if people thought it would make a personal difference if it turned out that God’s mercy was so powerful as to able to save everyone despite themselves. [If y’all want to discuss whether his mercy is that powerful and how it accords w/ EENS, go nuts; I won’t be joining in.]

For myself, being Christian is more than getting the pie-in-the-sky when the show is over, as well as avoiding hell. I suppose I deserve hell, and I can’t fault God if I end up there. But my experience is that I am being saved as life goes on: more than saved from late buses, I think I am being saved, by God’s grace, from myself and my selfishness. Please God, my salvation is my sanctification. I could be self-deluded – I wouldn’t know would I?

I may have an advantage over others, but I don’t rejoice over the advantage – I am profoundly thankful for the graces I’ve been given in being Catholic. Would that everyone were. I don’t think its wrong to want to avoid hell, though, and even this imperfect contrition is enough for forgiveness. Also, the reasons why one becomes Christian may not be the reasons they stay Christian. Hopefully we all grow in our faith.


#13

Hell is what we are saved FROM!


#14

[quote=aridite]. I suppose I deserve hell, and I can’t fault God if I end up there. But my experience is that I am being saved as life goes on: more than saved from late buses, I think I am being saved, by God’s grace, from myself and my selfishness. Please God, my salvation is my sanctification. I could be self-deluded – I wouldn’t know would I?

I may have an advantage over others, but I don’t rejoice over the advantage – I am profoundly thankful for the graces I’ve been given in being Catholic. Would that everyone were. I don’t think its wrong to want to avoid hell, though, and even this imperfect contrition is enough for forgiveness. Also, the reasons why one becomes Christian may not be the reasons they stay Christian. Hopefully we all grow in our faith.
[/quote]

I have a question about this: I know we can’t say we are 100% certain that we are saved, as we don’t know the future and God won’t violate our free will by preventing us from rejecting Him or committing a mortal sin. But doesn’t “moral certainty” (we can have moral certainty, but not absolute certainty) right now mean that the only people who are going to be surprised that they aren’t saved are the arrogant presumptuous people who assume they’re saved because they’re so great and/or because they believe “once saved, always saved?” If you have humility, and are aware of your own weakness and still follow Jesus, asking Him to perfect you, can’t you have that moral certainty that gives us confidence in Him? I mean confidence in Him, not in ourselves, I know I can’t offer God anything for my salvation, except His Own Mercy in what Jesus did for me on the Cross. Any thoughts? I do know that Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta struggled for years with darkness and doubt.


#15

[quote=aridite]Would you still be Christian (live as you do, follow Jesus, avoid sin) if you found out that you did not need to be Christian (Catholic or Protestant) to “be saved” from the fires of hell?
[/quote]

Yes definitely. I have found profound peace in service. Living a Christian life is so rewarding and so fullfilling.


#16

[quote=juno24]Yes, absolutely. Being a Christian is a way of life, and Christ is Life itself.

This question makes no sense to me. How can one be a Christian and commit sin by following the Christ?
[/quote]

That was a good answer you gave, I thought.

I did say that such a thought imagined an impossibility :slight_smile: - what I was driving at, the - purely conceptual - distinction between the attractiveness of Christ Himself, and, His moral character. The trouble is, that He is essentially mysterious, so it is very hard to speak rightly of Him :slight_smile: ##


#17

[quote=Luke24]I find this response quite telling. Interesting in light of what the God of Righteousness and Judgement has said in His Word.

Romans 1:16-32 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
[/quote]

Hi!

Sorry, but I missed your point. What exactly was it? In your own words please…

Phil


#18

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## That was a good answer you gave, I thought.
[/quote]

Thank you!

[quote=Gottle of Geer] I did say that such a thought imagined an impossibility :slight_smile: - what I was driving at, the - purely conceptual - distinction between the attractiveness of Christ Himself, and, His moral character. The trouble is, that He is essentially mysterious, so it is very hard to speak rightly of Him :slight_smile: ##
[/quote]

Yes, you did say it might be an impossibility! lol.

Have a great day!
Judy


#19

There will be a day when everyone on this earth will be christian.Maybe sooner than you think. First all the rightious [saved] will have to be lifted up then God will send His army to defeat evil,then we will live with Christ in the new Jerusalem. :confused: God Bless.


#20

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## Hypothetical questions are impossible to answer :slight_smile: - but, “I hope so”. “Being saved” is not the most basic thing - Christ is. But perhaps one has to begin from the less important things, to go the more important.

If there were no need to be saved, because there was nothing to be saved from, would I ? If this means, “If Jesus were everything we know Him to be, except Saviour (because there was no salvation needed)…”, “If the world were unfallen, and He came among us…”: well, that is really two further questions :slight_smile:

I think He is important because of Who He is, more even than because of the good we gain from Him (so far as these two things are separable - I’m not sure they are) - and that it would be entirely right to love and serve Him even if one knew one was damned.

Let’s rephrase the question a bit: would you still be a Christian if (to think the impossible) it were a sin to follow Jesus ?

I think your question is a very profound and thought-provoking one - thanks :slight_smile: ##
[/quote]

With respect to the original Q., keep in mind that you are simply being asked if everyone were to be saved, would you still be concidered to be a Christian. The answer will be Yes. Reason- In order for anyone to be saved they have to know Christ, Jesus. To know Christ, Jesus and his ways, thru him you can only be saved. Therefore labelling all that have been saved as CHRISTIANS. Amen! God Bless


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