Credopedia To hell without baptism?


To hell without baptism?

Victor asks:“Do unbaptized people go to hell after death?” – We answer!

mins read | Stani Mičkovicová

Baptism is not a ticket to heaven

Whether young or old, rich or poor, ignorant or wise, everyone will encounter death sooner or later. In this context, many Christians ask themselves: What happens to people who are unbaptized and die?

There are no one-size-fits-all answers to complex questions. And the same goes for questions about life and death, heaven and hell. But one thing is certain. God does not send anyone to hell. That would completely contradict His nature. He wants to save everyone, every single person. That is why he sent his Son into the world. The criminal who was crucified together with Jesus was not baptized, and yet Jesus spoke the saving words to him: “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Nothing is impossible for God. He is Lord over life and death!

But: Baptism is by no means a ticket to heaven – just as being unbaptized says nothing about whether you will go to hell or not.

God knows us better than we know ourselves. Lucky us!

Man is a living being, loved by God, who cannot be squeezed into a generic mold. There is no “one-size-fits-all manual” to get to heaven. God, who is Love, has many possibilities and can find ways us humans would not think possible. Every single person is a mystery in themselves and only their Creator knows the most hidden depths of their being. Only God knows all the motives and intentions of man, his efforts and struggles. He also knows their sins, even the most hidden ones that no one else can see. The Creator God knows every single person much better than they know themselves. He always judges people with infinite wisdom and mercy. God’s decisions transcend human concepts and encompass the entire complexity of human existence. “Even all the hairs of your head are counted,” says Holy Scripture, “So do not be afraid!” (Mt 10:30)

What does the Catechism say?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says: “The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. (Cf. Jn 3:5) He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. (…) But, this is important: “God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.” (CCC 1257)

Yes, God is not even bound to the sacrament of baptism. He is not bound by any laws because he is perfect Love. And such love cannot go wrong. God’s justice does not mean he acts according to a single blueprint. God’s justice is to give everyone what they need for their salvation.

Christ died for everyone, not just for the baptized. The Catechism goes on to say: “Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. ” (CCC 1260b)

"Baptism of blood" and "baptism of desire"

We now know that baptism is necessary for salvation for all those who have found faith in Jesus Christ and have had the opportunity to be baptized throughout their lives.

However, some people have died for the sake of their faith but have not yet been baptized. What about them? Their martyrdom is also called “baptism of blood”.

But even those who, under the influence of grace, sincerely seek God and strive to live according to their conscience long for baptism, even if they do not yet understand what baptism is. In this case, we speak of the so-called “baptism of desire”.

And what about the many unbaptized children who die, like the millions of children who are aborted all over the world? Here too, God’s mercy is greater than anything we can imagine. He says to the people of Israel: “Can a woman forget her baby, a mother her natural son? Even if she could forget him, I will never forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15) God is father and mother at the same time!

Heaven or hell? You decide!

“In the world, people are often silent about heaven and hell,” said St. Jean Marie Vianney. Having to deal with dying simply does not fit into our usual plans. Yet our lifetime is tightly linked to eternity. Death does not separate us from life: On the contrary!

But if life does not end with death, what does life after death look like? And where do I go after death? The church says … YOU decide!

Heaven is the endless “moment of Love”. Nothing will separate you from God anymore! Your soul will love and “drink” love to the fullest. Now, it is truly alive! You will enjoy the immediate presence of God and be able to see God face to face: The privilege of angels and saints. That is why it is so important to strive for personal holiness in this world.

Hell, on the other hand, is the state of eternal separation from God, the absolute absence of love. But careful! It is not God who condemns man. It is the human being who rejects God’s merciful love and voluntarily excludes himself from communion with God. God created man with free will and respects his decisions. Even God does not want to force someone to love. As a “lover”, he is “powerless”, so to speak, if someone chooses hell instead of heaven.

Choose heaven today!

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