Destiny of non Christians
#1
What will happen to non Christians when they die?
Most people on earth are born into other religions. Many of them never get a chance to read the bible.
From India to China, natives of Africa, Australia and America. 
Will they all be cast into the lake of fire without ever getting a chance to learn about God?
It seems unfair for them and is the main reason why I'm finding it hard to put my whole faith in Jesus as the son of God.
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#2
Archbishop Lefebvre, "Open Letter to Confused Catholics":


"We must say it clearly: such a concept is radically opposed to Catholic dogma. The Church is the one ark of salvation, and we must not be afraid to affirm it. You have often heard it said, "Outside the Church there is no salvation"--a dictum which offends contemporary minds. It is easy to believe that this doctrine is no longer in effect, that it has been dropped. It seems excessively severe.

Yet nothing, in fact, has changed; nothing can be changed in this area. Our Lord did not found a number of churches: He founded only One. There is only one Cross by which we can be saved, and that Cross has been given to the Catholic Church. It has not been given to others. To His Church, His mystical bride, Christ has given all graces. No grace in the world, no grace in the history of humanity is distributed except through her.

Does that mean that no Protestant, no Muslim, no Buddhist or animist will be saved? No, it would be a second error to think that. Those who cry for intolerance in interpreting St. Cyprian's formula, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” also reject the Creed, “I confess one baptism for the remission of sins,” and are insufficiently instructed as to what baptism is. There are three ways of receiving it: the baptism of water; the baptism of blood (that of the martyrs who confessed the faith while still catechumens) and baptism of desire.

Baptism of desire can be explicit. Many times in Africa I heard one of our catechumens say to me, “Father, baptize me straightaway because if I die before you come again, I shall go to hell.” I told him “No, if you have no mortal sin on your conscience and if you desire baptism, then you already have the grace in you.”

The doctrine of the Church also recognizes implicit baptism of desire. This consists in doing the will of God. God knows all men and He knows that amongst Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and in the whole of humanity there are men of good will. They receive the grace of baptism without knowing it, but in an effective way. In this way they become part of the Church.

The error consists in thinking that they are saved by their religion. They are saved in their religion but not by it. There is no Buddhist church in heaven, no Protestant church. This is perhaps hard to accept, but it is the truth. I did not found the Church, but rather Our Lord the Son of God. As priests we must state the truth."

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Archbishop Lefebvre, "Against the Heresies," pages 216-217, on Proposition #16 of the Syllabus of Errors, in which Pope Pius IX condemned the following statement: "Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation":

"Evidently, certain distinctions must be made. Souls can be saved in a religion other than the Catholic religion (Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, etc.), but not by this religion. There may be souls who, not knowing Our Lord, have by the grace of the good Lord, good interior dispositions, who submit to God — God in so far as these people can conceive Him — and who want to accomplish His will. There certainly are not many such persons, because these people, not being baptized, suffer more than Christians the effects of original sin. But some of these persons make an act of love, which implicitly is equivalent to baptism of desire. It is uniquely by this means that they are able to be saved. Implicit baptism means the Church: by the very fact that baptism of desire is found implicitly in their act of charity and submission to God these persons belong to the Church. They are saved by the Church, by Our Lord Jesus Christ. For there is baptism of water, baptism of blood, baptism of desire (that of catechumens), then baptism of implicit desire, which is contained in an act of true love of God. How many are saved by this form of baptism? God alone knows. It is a great mystery for us. One cannot say, then, that no one is saved in these religions, but if he is saved, it is always by his attachment to the mystical body which is the Catholic Church, even if the persons concerned do not know it."
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#3
(08-21-2019, 01:37 PM)Porkncheese Wrote: What will happen to non Christians when they die?
Most people on earth are born into other religions. Many of them never get a chance to read the bible.
From India to China, natives of Africa, Australia and America. 
Will they all be cast into the lake of fire without ever getting a chance to learn about God?
It seems unfair for them and is the main reason why I'm finding it hard to put my whole faith in Jesus as the son of God.

God will not hold them responsible for what they reasonably could not have known.  If it is truly impossible for them to ever be admitted to heaven at any point, then I imagine, for most of them, their place in hell will be so pleasant, from our earthly vantage point, that it could only be said to be a torment by someone who has experienced heaven.
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#4
(08-21-2019, 01:51 PM)Melkite Wrote: God will not hold them responsible for what they reasonably could not have known.

To back this with a scripture verse: "For until the law sin was in the world; but sin was not imputed, when the law was not." -Romans 5,13 (emphasis mine)
"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church -- which is, of course, quite a different thing." -Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

"Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity." -Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
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#5
The formula for Heaven is very simple : Heaven = Death + Sanctifying Grace

No one goes to Heaven without Sanctifying Grace.

Because of Original Sin no human being is born with Sanctifying Grace. There have been few exceptions where people were preserved from Original Sin totally (e.g. the Blessed Virgin Mary), or purified after their conception (e.g. St John the Baptist, and St Joseph), but before birth.

Only God can cause Sanctifying Grace in a soul. The only way we know this happens is through the Sacrament of Baptism or for God to grant a person the Faith, Hope, Contrition and Charity (which we call "the Desire for Baptism"). This is impossible without at least the rudimentary elements of the Faith.

To put it plainly, non-Catholics (as such) cannot go to heaven. Period. 

There are no non-Catholics in Heaven. If someone has not visibly entered the Church, and somehow makes it to Heaven, it will be despite his false religion. It will be because God has granted some unique grace that we cannot know unless God show it to us. Thus, we cannot trust that this every has occurred.

Non-Catholics who die without ever having had use of reason would (according to the common theological opinion) go to the Limbo of the Children, which is in Hell (because it is not in Heaven), but where there is no suffering, and perfect natural happiness.

Non-Catholics who die having had use of their reason, but without Sanctifying Grace will spend eternity in Hell.

What we do know is that God provides every soul, no matter its place, state or condition, during it's lifetime, sufficient grace that it could reach Heaven. If a soul misses heaven and suffers in Hell it will be because of a willful rejection on the part of that soul of the graces necessary for it. Thus, every soul in Hell is there due to its own fault, and no soul is every unjustly deprived of eternal happiness (firstly because it is owed to no one, and secondly because of this sufficient grace).
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#6
(08-21-2019, 04:17 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: What we do know is that God provides every soul, no matter its place, state or condition, during it's lifetime, sufficient grace that it could reach Heaven. If a soul misses heaven and suffers in Hell it will be because of a willful rejection on the part of that soul of the graces necessary for it. Thus, every soul in Hell is there due to its own fault, and no soul is every unjustly deprived of eternal happiness (firstly because it is owed to no one, and secondly because of this sufficient grace).

What have theologians said about that and Limbo? Or does that only apply to avoiding the punishments of Hell, rather than the lack of the Beatific Vision? If that applies to everyone, including the unborn who are either aborted or miscarried, then either they don't receive the grace for heaven, or they receive the grace of baptism without receiving the Sacrament, and they're too young to have the desire for it, unless God, knowing they'll never be born, allows them to make that choice in the womb.
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#7
(08-21-2019, 04:42 PM)Paul Wrote: What have theologians said about that and Limbo? Or does that only apply to avoiding the punishments of Hell, rather than the lack of the Beatific Vision? If that applies to everyone, including the unborn who are either aborted or miscarried, then either they don't receive the grace for heaven, or they receive the grace of baptism without receiving the Sacrament, and they're too young to have the desire for it, unless God, knowing they'll never be born, allows them to make that choice in the womb.

There are a number of solutions to this. God could place the desire for Himself in the soul of an unborn child, and while the child would not be able to articulate this desire, it is not unthinkable; for neither can the child articulate his desire for his own mother, though such desire the child certainly has. It could be that God, by a miracle, suspends time just before the instant of death, and reveals Himself to the soul of the child, who can then (by another miracle) desire baptism (even explicitly).

It may be, as Aquinas suggested, that limbo is their destiny. We cannot know. What we can know is that God is infinitely powerful and intensely desires the salvation of every human being. Any unlikely scheme we could concoct by which God could save the unborn, we can be guaranteed that God has a better one.

We can trust in a father's mercy, but never presume on it; we can trust in the Father's Mercy, but never never presume on Him.
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#8
(08-21-2019, 01:37 PM)Porkncheese Wrote: What will happen to non Christians when they die?
Most people on earth are born into other religions. Many of them never get a chance to read the bible.
From India to China, natives of Africa, Australia and America. 
Will they all be cast into the lake of fire without ever getting a chance to learn about God?
It seems unfair for them and is the main reason why I'm finding it hard to put my whole faith in Jesus as the son of God.

The corruption of sin makes it easier to desire evil when you don’t have the sacraments, but we still do have the natural law. God isn’t going to send someone to hell for being in a situation they can’t help, but we are expected to follow the truth- however much we may know of it- to the best of our ability.
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#9
(08-21-2019, 08:05 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote:
(08-21-2019, 01:37 PM)Porkncheese Wrote: What will happen to non Christians when they die?
Most people on earth are born into other religions. Many of them never get a chance to read the bible.
From India to China, natives of Africa, Australia and America. 
Will they all be cast into the lake of fire without ever getting a chance to learn about God?
It seems unfair for them and is the main reason why I'm finding it hard to put my whole faith in Jesus as the son of God.

The corruption of sin makes it easier to desire evil when you don’t have the sacraments, but we still do have the natural law. God isn’t going to send someone to hell for being in a situation they can’t help, but we are expected to follow the truth- however much we may know of it- to the best of our ability.

God isn't sending anyone to Hell. We go by "spiritual inertia" if we do not have Sanctifying Grace.

The Natural Law does not provide Sanctifying Grace. Keeping and following the Natural Law, even perfectly, is also incapable of producing Sanctifying Grace because the Natural Law and natural acts, are, precisely, natural, where as Sanctfying Grace is supernatural.

What is supernatural cannot be produced by merely natural acts. There is an infinite chasm between these, bridged only by God's grace.

The truth is that if we do not have Sanctifying Grace, no matter what else might happen, or what law we keep, or what understanding we have, we will go to Hell. Period.

Invincible ignorance is a lack of due knowledge—a privation. A lack of something cannot do something. If a man is invincibly ignorant of God, then he will not be guilty for what he cannot know, but ignorance cannot confer Sanctifying Grace.

If a man truly did not know that masturbation were wrong and was invincibly ignorant of this, he would not be guilty of a sin, even though objectively he would commit a sin. Ignorance, however, does not remove Original Sin, nor does it confer Sanctifying Grace.

Without Original Sin removed and Sanctifying Grace conferred, no one can enter heaven.

In no way is this unfair, since Sanctifying Grace is a free gift of God. We are in no way owed it. It is not unjust to not have a gift one does not deserve.
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#10
(08-21-2019, 04:42 PM)Paul Wrote: What have theologians said about that and Limbo?

Not a great deal.

Limbo is only a hypothetical place which is certainly not in Heaven, so is part of Hell

Augustine would have children who die without Baptism in Hell, but suffering very little. Later theologians, especially the Scholastics would suggest that since the pains of Hell are for actual sins, and it is the deprivation of Heaven which is the punishment for Original Sin, that those without actual sin would not suffer in Hell, because they have not chosen to sin.

Because this touches on the mystery of Providence and Predestination, and we're in speculative territory, it's pretty nebulous.

(08-21-2019, 04:42 PM)Paul Wrote: Or does that only apply to avoiding the punishments of Hell, rather than the lack of the Beatific Vision? If that applies to everyone, including the unborn who are either aborted or miscarried, then either they don't receive the grace for heaven, or they receive the grace of baptism without receiving the Sacrament, and they're too young to have the desire for it, unless God, knowing they'll never be born, allows them to make that choice in the womb.

The statement was meant to cover those who have reached the age of reason as regards their choice. One without perfect use of his will cannot choose, hence why he cannot commit an actual sin and thus Limbo.

As you point out, they do not have a choice, but then also are not punished with the pains of Hell, so perhaps the better way of putting it is that God give to every soul that He wills to be able to use its reason sufficient grace to get to Heaven.

He has given those who those who do not make it to this point either entry to Heaven by having been baptized, or at least the absence of eternal suffering if they were not baptized.

There are some that assert that the desire of the parents for the unbaptized (in the womb, for instance) can substitute for the lack of Sacramental Baptism. This could be called a pious opinion. There is no reason to believe this except, some would say, the goodness of God, yet it is not condemned. It is an theory which cannot be proven. It does have its dangers, however, because those who assert this easily then delay baptism of children because "God understands and is merciful".
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