I was asking in the first question if it is possible and probable for someone who does good deeds but has no faith to be saved. And also, what of the good Pagans in Scotland who died but never heard Christ's teachings?
And I guess my answer wasn't clear. If, in the example of the paths through the forest, Christ is the Guide and the Church is the safe path, then the other paths which are not safe are other ways through life, i.e. other faiths, atheism etc. If we choose to follow these other paths through life, we may or may not make it to the goal on the other side, but if we do make it, it is only because the guide (Christ) has taken pity on us and pulled us out
of trouble. So, what I am saying is that the only sure and certain way is to follow Christ and His Church, however, if someone chooses a different way, they may or may not be saved depending on the circumstances, but we can never be sure. But if anyone following another way (other than Christ and His Church) is
saved, it is still Christ Who saves them. Thus, "No one comes to the Father except through Christ".
However, even after Jesus released everyone from Hell, what of people who lived and died after his ascension? Were they guarenteed a place in heaven?
If we had no choice but to be saved, then we would have to be robots with no ability to make choices. If someone chooses to reject God's Love throughout their life, God will not force Himself on them.
Even today, children raised in an Athiest household cannot be held responsible for their skeptisism of religion.
Yes, but at some point, children grow up and must take responsibility for their own choices. We cannot use outr childhood experiences as an excuse for our behaviour for the rest of our lives. There are many Saints who had awful childhoods, for example, St. Barbara's own father beheaded her, St. Markella's own father tried to rape her, St. Phanourious was the illegitimate son of a prostitute....
Folks, let be serious here, and secular. God isnt going to visit each and every one of these people. He COULD, but he wont.
And how do you know? God is "everywhere present and fills all things", and "the Light of Christ shines on all". Exactly how
is one supposed to understand God in a "secular" way?
My grandmother is an athiest. She was raised Anglican, but has left God mostly behind, yet still lives a moral and upstanding life. Both her son and husband died within 2 years of eachother. Certainly people who experience that become secularists. But is that a reason for her to be condemned by God?
A Christian is forbidden to pass judgement on anyone
, either one way or the other. This is why we pray for all. Unless God makes it clear that someone has entered Paradise after death (by Glorifying one of His Saints) we have no way of knowing who is or isn't saved, so we pray for all. So, do not judge your Grandmother one way or the other- that is Christ's job.
I was wondering WHEN did the fall of Satan occur? Was Satan in hell when Adam and Eve died, or was he in Hell sometime after Job?
Firstly, don't think of it as "in hell" as though hell is a place. I think that is why you are getting confused. The devil is still our adversary
who tries to lead us away from God (1 Peter 5:
just as he was in Job's time. The evil one was cast out of Paradise (i.e. rebelled against God) sometime after the universe was created. If you read the Genesis account, God curses the Serpent and prophesies the coming of Christ to utterly crush him immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve.