Friday, December 5, 2008

Can a Satanist Go to Heaven

Q: I used to talk to this Satanist every day. But then I found out he secretly hates me because I’m Catholic and he hates Christians. Don’t get me wrong, he’s actually a really, really nice guy. He’s against abortion, and he really cares about other people. For a Satanist, he’s actually not much different to a Catholic, regarding morals.

So, what I’m trying to ask is, will he go to Hell? I mean, he’s really nice, but he hates Christians, and he’s a Satanist. What are his chances of going to heaven? Because I understand that God is rather harsh when it comes to judgment.

A: In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official teaching of the Church states in #1033: “We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: ‘He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. That is key for anyone who wants to know how he or she can be united with God in heaven: to love Him. If you don’t love God and don’t freely choose to do His will, you are freely choosing to be separated from God after death—which is called Hell. As it also says in CCC #1033: “To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell’.”

For your friend to go to Heaven, the question is not whether he had been good or moral enough to go to Heaven, since many people who don’t love God or don’t believe in God have good morals. The question is: did he love God with his all his heart, with all his mind, with all his soul, and with all his strength?

People who don't love God and have no desire to do His will, through their own freewill God gave them, freely choose to reject God. By rejecting God and not having faith in Him, they refuse to allow God’s grace to flow through them. And, before they die, if they refuse to believe in Him and convert, they will choose Hell—the eternal separation from God.

Therefore, if the Satanist were to choose Heaven, he would have to come to freely love God, convert and repent for all of his sins against God.

Matthew 7:13-14 says: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that lead to life, and those who find it are few.” For everyone, the path to Heaven is narrow and hard, but with God’s help and grace, everyone can get to Heaven if they freely choose to love God and put their trust in Him, for God is a merciful God, who does not want “anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Pray for the Satanist, that he’ll come to realize that God is the only One who deserves worship, and the One whose love for him is incomparable to any other love he’s known.