Faith/Spirituality Forum: Opening Heaven's Gates

Opening Heaven's Gates QUESTION from Dick Public August 4, 2001 Dear Bro. Ignatius:
Please don't think my questions are not important. Many years ago I fell away from the Church. I was an alter boy and went to a Catholic school. Then in my late teens I developed a social phobia, where I couldn't stand to be in large crowds. That led to drinking & worse. I still fell a yearning for the church. Anyway, a few days ago I was searching thru my computer, and came across a discussion program on HELL. I heard nothing bad about the church, except that they were saying how hard it was to get into heaven. That even the church goers every Sunday would have a hard time entering. That there were different punishments according to the bad things you did in your life. That the only ones permitted to enter, would be the pure of heart. If this is so ?????. I thought that Christ died for our sins on the cross! CONFUSED
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 31, 2001 Dear Mr. Public:
Christ did die for our sins. But we must repent of our sins. The Cross allows us to bring those sins to the Cross to be washed away. But that can't happen unless we repent and confess those sins.
Those who go to heaven are those who die in a state of grace. That means that at the point of their death all mortal sin has been confessed and absolved.
If a person rejects God's forgiveness and does not repent of mortal sin and dies refusing to repent, then that person goes to hell.
Jesus told us that the road to heaven is narrow and few travel it. Unfortunately, and surprisingly for those of us to are believers, there are many people who reject God.
Since God gave us free will and since he will respect our free choice we have the freedom to choose God or not. If not, then we will spend eternity without Him. That is not God's choice, it is ours.
I suspect the discussion group you came across was not Catholic. Beware of such groups. Such groups are notarious is posting misinformation and erroneous theology.
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