Author Topic: Do you think those who are well-intended but deluded will make it to Heaven?  (Read 179 times)

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Offline LivenotoneviL

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Here's a tough topic that I've been thinking about recently - what do you think about those who have good intentions, usually due to lack of education, who choose to remain outside the Church?

For example, my grandfather when he passed away was a Protestant minister - I don't even know if he finished high-school - I think he did - but he was a very hedonistic individual who drank and smoked, but also was a person who slept around. However, he came to Christ when he was older by his reading of the Bible, and after being a part of an Evangelical church for a while and restraining his passions, he ran his own church and definitely made a positive impact on some people.

When we were at his funeral, it was really surreal to have to be on the side of the shepherd with all the sheep coming to you; so much people I didn't know were severely heart broken over his death and came up to us for counseling now that he passed away.

Clearly, he moved a lot of people, and he held moral values that were more in line with Orthodoxy.

However, I often ponder every once in a while about his final destination - whether it is the Good Place or the Bad Place, or whether before the Last Judgment he can get to the Good Place.

At the end of the day, all I have to do is trust God will do the Just thing, as He knows the souls and hearts of every single man and True Justice will prevail. "'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay' says the Lord."

But do you think that someone who sincerely tried to follow his conscience but doesn't end up in Orthodoxy due to limited access before the end of his life will make it into Heaven?

Or do you take the "Extra Ecclasiam Nulla Salus" thing really, really strictly?
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Offline Orthodox_Slav

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I'm sorry but you know only Christians can enter into heaven!
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Ultimately, we will all be judged by how Christ-like we have been in life, whether consciously or unconsciously. We are also told that prayer for the dead can count a lot towards their salvation. I suspect there will be plenty of surprise admissions in heaven.
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Offline Alpha60

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Here's a tough topic that I've been thinking about recently - what do you think about those who have good intentions, usually due to lack of education, who choose to remain outside the Church?

For example, my grandfather when he passed away was a Protestant minister - I don't even know if he finished high-school - I think he did - but he was a very hedonistic individual who drank and smoked, but also was a person who slept around. However, he came to Christ when he was older by his reading of the Bible, and after being a part of an Evangelical church for a while and restraining his passions, he ran his own church and definitely made a positive impact on some people.

When we were at his funeral, it was really surreal to have to be on the side of the shepherd with all the sheep coming to you; so much people I didn't know were severely heart broken over his death and came up to us for counseling now that he passed away.

Clearly, he moved a lot of people, and he held moral values that were more in line with Orthodoxy.

However, I often ponder every once in a while about his final destination - whether it is the Good Place or the Bad Place, or whether before the Last Judgment he can get to the Good Place.

At the end of the day, all I have to do is trust God will do the Just thing, as He knows the souls and hearts of every single man and True Justice will prevail. "'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay' says the Lord."

But do you think that someone who sincerely tried to follow his conscience but doesn't end up in Orthodoxy due to limited access before the end of his life will make it into Heaven?

Or do you take the "Extra Ecclasiam Nulla Salus" thing really, really strictly?

I hope so and I pray so, but I cannot say this with any certainty.  St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Isaac the Syrian and Origen doubtless went overboard on the theme of apokatastasis. 

I am deeply saddened however by some Protestant fundmentalist Christians, and some Catholics, and indeed some Orthodox, the last case being especially distressing, who seem to relish the idea of Hell as a perpetual place of torment for people they happen to dislike.

It is not Christian to desire people to burn in Hell.   Indeed such a view seems to miss the whole point of our faith.
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Offline HaydenTE

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I see Orthodoxy as the “ordinary” means to salvation. If one is a faithful Orthodox Christian, they can be reasonably assured of their salvation. I do believe that there are “extraordinary” means to salvation, although none of them are guaranteed.
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Offline Agabus

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I'm sorry but you know only Christians can enter into heaven!

Only through Christ can anyone enter Heaven. But that may or may not entail being a Christian in the formal or even explicit sense.

I do believe that there are “extraordinary” means to salvation, although none of them are guaranteed.
+1

I believe there will be far more people there than we imagine. But then again I've never been able to shake that postmillennial optimism about Death being conquered. God's margins of victory are not slim.
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