Often people ask a question, can we be sure that any particular person will end up in hell or heaven? This is a rather complicated question, which we will consider in this article.
We can’t be sure where a person’s soul ended up after death, since the final decision depends on the will of the Lord.
However, in the Bible and theology there are several sins that most likely won’t allow a person to go to heaven.
Repentance of Sin
The most serious sin is unrepentant one, this is called a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, in other words when a person intentionally doesn’t want to repent of sin.
By committing suicide, a person takes away from himself the opportunity to repent of his sins, and also goes against the will of the Lord who gave him life.
But Does This Mean That all Suicides Go to Hell?
No, it all depends on the circumstances. We must take into account the state of affect and the psychological condition of the person who committed suicide, it’s quite possible that the person was in an inadequate state at that moment and it’s not his fault.
Also, we shouldn’t forget that some warriors commit suicide in order not to be captured or to protect their comrades.
This can happen because of feelings of love for their colleagues and for those they protect. Such a death wouldn’t be considered suicide.
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An Unforgivable Sin
Jesus says: “all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
If a person rejects the actions of the Holy Spirit, then a person can’t achieve salvation.
What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?
The essence of the sin can be explained simply: if a person, knowing exactly the truth, resists it (that is, when a person’s mind and conscience resist his action), and he still commits something bad, this is an unforgivable sin. In this case, a person calls “evil good and good evil”.
The Church Fathers write: “There is no unforgivable sin, there is an unrepentant sin,” when a person consciously struggles with his repentance. With such a sin, a person cannot go to heaven.
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What Do The Commandments Say?
Jesus Christ says, ” Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
That means that The Old Testament commandments are binding on Christians, and those people who are mired in unrepentant sins, which are listed in the commandments, distance themselves from paradise.
Here is a list of all the commandments:
1. I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day
4. Honor thy father and mother
5. Thou shalt not kill
6. You shall not commit adultery
7. You shall not steal
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
But it’s worth remembering that a person can repent of any of these sins, in which case a person doesn’t go away from paradise and can even reach a state of holiness.
Read Also: Did Moses Go to Heaven?
What Else Did Christ Say?
Jesus Christ said the conditions under which a person won’t go to heaven. They complement the ten Old Testament commandments.
For example, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) – If a person doesn’t increase his spiritual state, but only follow formalities, then he won’t enter paradise.
Knowing the law without caring about living according to the law doesn’t bring a person closer to paradise.
Jesus also forbade to be in a rage, to insult and to condemn: «anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment» (Matthew 5:22).
If a person is constantly in a state of anger and condemnation, then he rejects the feeling of love and distances himself from God.
In such a state of mind, a person can’t go to heaven. The same applies to lust: «But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart» (Matthew 5:28).
If a person is in lust and doesn’t try to fight it and doesn’t repent of his thoughts, then this also prevents him from entering the kingdom of heaven.
Litigiousness, avarice, and mercilessness bring a person closer to hell. Jesus urges people not to set material wealth as the goal of their lives. In order to get to heaven, there must be love in a person’s soul. But if a person prefers avarice, he gets love out of his soul.
A person must forgive the sins of people so that his sins may be forgiven.
Christ forbade starting a prayer if a person holds a grudge against someone. Moreover, Jesus said that God won’t forgive your sins if you don’t learn to forgive the sins of others.
«If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins» (Matthew 6:15). This is a very important aspect by which repentance is achieved.
Therefore, we can assume that if a person held a grudge against many people during his lifetime, then this clearly didn’t bring him closer to paradise after death.
This phenomenon is very close to condemnation, Jesus says: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged,” people should see their spiritual illnesses, and not point a finger at the spiritual illnesses of other people. Such a state brings malice into the human soul and displaces love.
Related Read: Are Adam and Eve in Heaven?
Where Will Unbaptized People Be?
From a theological point of view, if a person is in the church environment and is convinced of the truth of the faith and at the same time doesn’t accept baptism because he’s afraid of responsibilities, then he commits a clear sin.
However, it’s worth remembering that many biblical characters weren’t baptized, but they are considered righteous.
There were also many saints who didn’t have time to be baptized. It all depends on a person’s faith. The Holy Fathers wrote that if a person has no faith, then people baptize him, but the Holy Spirit will not baptize. The same goes for Holy Communion.
The proof that an unbaptized person doesn’t necessarily go to hell is the words of Christ: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” It was about unbaptized children who were pure in their souls.
God also calls us to be like these children. Baptism cannot save a person, it’s only an auxiliary means for those who know the truth. Only faith and righteous life can save a person.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven, ” Christ calls us not to be like the Pharisees, who formally observed religious commandments, but kept many vices in their soul.
The main thing to remember is that to get to heaven, you need to fight your temptations and vices, repent of your sins, and also have faith and love in your soul.
CharalamposCharalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.
This free cheat sheet can help make prayer easier and more meaningful.
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