Catechumen: So: jerking off is a mortal sin? And you’ll go straight to hell if it’s unconfessed? The same as if you killed 6 million people? Guess I’m damned.
Catholic Prayer Warrior: There are different degrees of punishment in hell. It is definitely not a place you want to spend for eternity. I have recently compared the reports of what hell is like from individuals who have been there. Once you learn about hell, you would not even want someone who killed 6 million people to go there.
God grieves at the loss of every soul that chooses to sin without repentance. Is jerking off worth spending eternity in hell? After what I learned in my research, I try to repent as soon as I choose to sin. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. God loves us when we tell Him we are sorry. If you want to pay for your own sins, consider what Jesus did for us through the Passion of the Cross.
Catechumen: I’m about to enter the Catholic Church on the Easter Vigil. I’m about to change my mind. Okay: I’ll buy that we send ourselves to hell by sin. But God keeps people in hell; forever! That’s not justice. It’s like giving someone a life sentence in jail for stealing a loaf of bread, only a million times worse.
I keep hearing and reading about God’s mercy – but a God that keeps people in hell for all eternity doesn’t seem like a loving Father but like a vindictive monster. I wish I could feel God’s compassion – but all I feel right now is His vindictiveness. I don’t know where to turn – certainly not back to a wishy washy liberal Protestant tradition I came out of – and not to the evangelical holy rollers either.
Catholic Prayer Warrior: That is awesome you are considering coming fully into the Catholic Church. I can totally relate to your religious experiences.
The good news is “God is love.” His mercy and compassion are beyond what we can comprehend.
The problem is sin. It is pleasurable for a time but becomes a terrible task master and leads to death, spiritually and physically. Let me tell you a story.
I was born Catholic, went to Catholic elementary and high schools. When I discovered masturbation, as hormone fueled boys do, I was unwilling to repent. Playboy magazine was just beginning and I refused to give up my subscription. The priest said it was okay to look at the pictures as long as I did not enter into sin. “Yeah! Right, like that is even possible.”
I felt guilty, so I turned away from the church, embraced sexual sins and got involved in sex, drugs and rock and roll in the late 60s. One sin just lead to another. Soon I was dead in my sins. My heart was hardened and I did not care if I was going to hell. I did not have any idea of what hell would be like.
God says, “There is a pathway that seems right to a man, but in the end it’s a road to death.” Proverbs 14:12
I experienced the darkness, depression and despair of total depravity for ten years. That path was awesome in the beginning, filled with pleasure and fun, but it eventually destroyed the value and joy of life. No amount of sin could fill the empty void that can only be filled by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Death was the only possible release of the never ending torment and depression. But, God had mercy on my soul. I started waking up in the middle of the night filled with horrific nightmares of demons dragging me into hell, saying the words of the only prayers I could remember: “The Lords Prayer” and the “Hail Mary”.
Right before I committed suicide, because of the loss of hope, I accepted the free gift of salvation. I know it was the endless rosaries of my parents and grandparents that helped save my soul.
I advanced from a born again Christian to a reformed Calvinist, then Protestant and after 4 years of study returned back to the Catholic Church. As a self-taught bible scholar, I realized after years of research on the history of the church, oral tradition, the magisterium and the bible, the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and passed on through apostolic succession.
Their consistency on the teachings of the sanctity of life, marriage and worship provided the foundation for my return. Transubstantiation, the true Body and Blood of Jesus, under the appearances of bread and wine was the most powerful source of grace, mercy and spiritual power available in the universe. Going to Holy Communion daily provided me spiritual strength to repent of my sins and lead a holy life. I now pray 6 rosaries a day and go to Eucharistic Adoration as often as possible.
I rejoice at being a Catholic in good-standing for 18 years and believe it is the ultimate pathway to eternal life. The best part of being Catholic is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is awesome to have all your sins washed away by God through the actions of the priest.
God loves us when we are dead in our sins. He died so that we might have forgiveness and eternal life. It is a free gift. We only have to receive it with gratitude for what He has done for us.
He always gives us the grace to repent of our sins and the forgiveness that goes beyond understanding. You have to realize that when we harden our hearts because of sin and refuse to take advantage of the love, mercy and grace God offers us every moment of our lives, we chose our fate to spend eternity in hell.
After studying many books on individuals who where allowed visions and experiences of hell, the common lament of the souls suffering in hell was that they loved eating, drinking, sex, drugs more than they loved God. Everyone they knew told them hell does not exist and the devil is not real.
They wanted to be gods like Jesus, knowing and experiencing the difference between good and evil. Unfortunately, they became enthralled by the dark side, never realizing that an eternity of sin and hatred of God and His laws was not as pleasurable as they were lead to believe by Satan and his demons…and that is a story for another time.
If you want to read more of my story, visit catholic prayer warriors by doing a search on google. It shows up about half way down the first page.