Author Topic: People who died before Jesus resurrection  (Read 1255 times)

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Offline Phyllo

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People who died before Jesus resurrection
« on: January 08, 2016, 11:05:19 AM »
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  • Hi,

    I am in a conversation with a JW and am told that people who died before Jesus opened the gates of heaven have no chance of reaching heaven.

    I countered with 1Peter 3:19  JB ...and ,in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison.

    She told me that these spirits in prison are the angels waiting for judgement day. I don't think that Jesus would have visited these angles because they are damned.  I think these angels are different from the spirits in prison and it is a different place from 1 Peter 3:19.

    And even if by some miracle she is right I think that these people will be raised on the last day.

    Why should good people be punished because they didn't have the chance to know Jesus when he wasn't even born?

    Can some out there enlighten me?

    Thanks

    Offline McFiggly

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 11:47:22 AM »
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  • I can assure you that the Catholic teaching on this matter has always been that men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the prophets, King David, etc., who died before the Resurrection DID enter heaven as soon as Christ opened the way for them when He descended into hell after His crucifixion.

    Quote from: St. Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 27
    [51] And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. [52] And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, [53] And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.


    The place where the souls of the just abided before Christ's resurrection is often called "The Limbo of the Fathers". I believe some theologians extend this Limbo not just to Jҽωs (well, Noah wasn't a Jew, he preceded Abraham), but to all the just who lived prior to Christ's resurrection. For example, I believe St. Justin Martyr said that those Greek philosophers who discovered that there was an Almighty God reigning over the Universe and lived appropriately could be saved just like the just Jҽωs who lived under the Law prior to Christ. You can look up the "Hymn of Cleanthes" for an ancient Greek hymn, before Christ, which shows that God was not entirely unknown to the gentiles.

    Remember what Christ says to the Good Thief who died with Him at Golgotha: "Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise."

    Don't be disturbed by what JW say. They have no authority whatsoever. They follow a modern false prophet called Charles Russell who has no authority from God whatsoever. They have no right to preach to you at all. They have usurped the authority that rightfully belongs to the bishops lawfully ordained by God to preach his Word.

    edit: here is the Hymn of Cleanthes. It's quite good. With a few tweaks (like not using the name "Zeus") it could serve as a basic Creed, albeit it obviously lacks important revelations completely unknown at that time, like the Incarnation and the Blessed Trinity:

    Quote from: Hymn of Cleanthes
    Greatest of the gods, God with many names, God ever-ruling, and ruling all things!
    Zeus, origin of Nature, governing the universe by law,
    All hail! For it is right for mortals to address thee;
    For we are thy offspring, and we alone of all
    That live and creep on earth have the power of imitative speech.
    Therefore will I praise thee, and hymn forever thy power.
    Thee the wide heaven, which surrounds the earth, obeys:
    Following where thou wilt, willingly obeying thy law.
    Thou holdest at thy service, in thy mighty hands,
    The two-edged, flaming, immortal thunderbolt,
    Before whose flash all nature trembles.
    Thou rulest in the common reason, which goes through all,
    And appears mingled in all things, great or small,
    Which filling all nature, is king of all existences.
    Nor without thee, Oh Deity, does anything happen in the world,
    From the divine ethereal pole to the great ocean,
    Except only the evil preferred by the senseless wicked.
    But thou also art able to bring to order that which is chaotic,
    Giving form to what is formless, and making the discordant friendly;
    So reducing all variety to unity, and even making good out of evil.
    Thus throughout nature is one great law
    Which only the wicked seek to disobey,
    Poor fools! who long for happiness,
    But will not see nor hear the divine commands.
    [In frenzy blind they stray away from good,
    By thirst of glory tempted, or sordid avarice,
    Or pleasures sensual and joys that fall.]
    But do thou, Oh Zeus, all-bestower, cloud-compeller!
    Ruler of thunder! guard men from sad error.
    Father! dispel the clouds of the soul, and let us follow
    The laws of thy great and just reign!
    That we may be honored, let us honor thee again,
    Chanting thy great deeds, as is proper for mortals,
    For nothing can be better for gods or men
    Than to adore with hymns the Universal King.


    Offline RomanCatholic1953

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 12:03:08 PM »
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  • It is Church Tradition that the just have died and in the boson of
    Abraham  arose from the dead and visited people in Jerusalem.                 also received baptism after Christ died on the cross.
    They were now under the New Law and the Law of Moses was abrogated.

    Offline OHCA

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 12:03:09 PM »
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  • Quote from: Phyllo
    Hi,

    I am in a conversation with a JW...


    JW = Full of --it

    Offline Arvinger

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 12:11:45 PM »
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  • Of course, people before Christ could have been and many were saved, and it was limited not only to Jҽωs. Gentiles who were outside of the Old Covenant could be saved through observing the Natural Law - this is how many Catholic exegetes interpret St Paul's teaching in Romans 2:

    Romans 2:14-15 "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves:
    15 Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another"

    In this context "works of the law" are unlikely to mean Mosaic Law, since Gentiles were not part of the Old Covenant. Thus, "the law written in their hearts" must mean Natural Law, observance of which was salvific before the Incarnation.

    St. Justin the Martyr, First Apology (2nd century): "We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, and Ananias, and Azarias, and Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious."  


    Offline Phyllo

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 02:23:37 PM »
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  • Thank you all.

    So then Jesus did not descend to the condemned angels in 2 Peter 2:4 right?

    But to the spirits in the Limbo of the Fathers or as I might say Abraham's Bosom kind of like a holding tank for good souls until Jesus opened the gates of heaven.

    Romans 2:14-15 is a good point also.  Natural law is written on our hearts so we know good from evil.

    Offline McFiggly

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    « Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 05:09:15 PM »
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  • Quote from: Phyllo
    Thank you all.

    So then Jesus did not descend to the condemned angels in 2 Peter 2:4 right?


    Correct. That part of hell Jesus refers to as gehenna, the lake of fire, where the unjust go. Christ did not go there. He went to the Limbo of the Fathers, Abraham's Bosom, was a place of natural happiness / rest, where the just awaited the opening of the gates of heaven. The Limbo of the Fathers was a part of hell (i.e. Christ did descend into hell, just as the Creed says), it's just the very "outer edge" of hell, where the punishment is the very least. Technically they could not enter heaven before Christ's sacrifice upon the cross, because until that time the sin of Adam, Original Sin, was not redeemed.

    Here is Fra Angelico's painting of Christ rescuing the just in Limbo.


    Offline poche

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    People who died before Jesus resurrection
    « Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 10:51:06 PM »
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  • Your friend is wrong on this point. This goes to show the importance of knowing your catechism. That way when your friend says something you could filter out the nonsense.


    Offline Cantarella

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    « Reply #8 on: January 08, 2016, 11:26:56 PM »
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  • Quote from: McFiggly
    Quote from: Phyllo
    Thank you all.

    So then Jesus did not descend to the condemned angels in 2 Peter 2:4 right?


    Correct. That part of hell Jesus refers to as gehenna, the lake of fire, where the unjust go. Christ did not go there. He went to the Limbo of the Fathers, Abraham's Bosom, was a place of natural happiness / rest, where the just awaited the opening of the gates of heaven. The Limbo of the Fathers was a part of hell (i.e. Christ did descend into hell, just as the Creed says), it's just the very "outer edge" of hell, where the punishment is the very least. Technically they could not enter heaven before Christ's sacrifice upon the cross, because until that time the sin of Adam, Original Sin, was not redeemed.

    Here is Fra Angelico's painting of Christ rescuing the just in Limbo.



    Thank you for the good explanation McFliggy, and such a beautiful picture!.
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.

    Offline Phyllo

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    « Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 12:08:21 PM »
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  • Quote from: Cantarella
    Quote from: McFiggly
    Quote from: Phyllo
    Thank you all.

    So then Jesus did not descend to the condemned angels in 2 Peter 2:4 right?


    Correct. That part of hell Jesus refers to as gehenna, the lake of fire, where the unjust go. Christ did not go there. He went to the Limbo of the Fathers, Abraham's Bosom, was a place of natural happiness / rest, where the just awaited the opening of the gates of heaven. The Limbo of the Fathers was a part of hell (i.e. Christ did descend into hell, just as the Creed says), it's just the very "outer edge" of hell, where the punishment is the very least. Technically they could not enter heaven before Christ's sacrifice upon the cross, because until that time the sin of Adam, Original Sin, was not redeemed.

    Here is Fra Angelico's painting of Christ rescuing the just in Limbo.



    Thank you for the good explanation McFliggy, and such a beautiful picture!.


    Me too--Thanks to all

    Offline Phyllo

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    « Reply #10 on: January 09, 2016, 12:09:22 PM »
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  • Quote from: poche
    Your friend is wrong on this point. This goes to show the importance of knowing your catechism. That way when your friend says something you could filter out the nonsense.


    You are right.  I should have the CCC at hand and look it up right then and there.


    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #11 on: January 09, 2016, 12:23:49 PM »
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  • Quote from: McFiggly


    Don't be disturbed by what JW say. They have no authority whatsoever. They follow a modern false prophet called Charles Russell who has no authority from God whatsoever. They have no right to preach to you at all. They have usurped the authority that rightfully belongs to the bishops lawfully ordained by God to preach his Word.


    Well said. Good answer overall, I just wanted to underline this part --

    I also liked OHCA's succinct post: the JW are full of --it.

    They are heretics with no authority, a religion of MAN created only a hundred fifty years ago. Just ignore them. Tell them you're not interested. If one of them seems interested in Catholicism, then by all means talk to them. But 99% of the time they want to convert YOU in which case you should dismiss them, politely or otherwise (depending on your inclination).

    Arguing religion with people who are SET IN THEIR HERESY (i.e., not having doubts about it) is casting your pearls before swine. And note that Our Lord pointed out an actual danger for you in doing so.

    Quote from: Matthew 7:6
    Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.


    Everyone knows He is talking about wasting your time. But note the last part: you might actually suffer damage to YOUR faith in the process of trying to convert people who aren't interested in conversion.
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    Offline Phyllo

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    « Reply #12 on: January 10, 2016, 07:40:11 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    Quote from: McFiggly


    Don't be disturbed by what JW say. They have no authority whatsoever. They follow a modern false prophet called Charles Russell who has no authority from God whatsoever. They have no right to preach to you at all. They have usurped the authority that rightfully belongs to the bishops lawfully ordained by God to preach his Word.


    Well said. Good answer overall, I just wanted to underline this part --

    I also liked OHCA's succinct post: the JW are full of --it.

    They are heretics with no authority, a religion of MAN created only a hundred fifty years ago. Just ignore them. Tell them you're not interested. If one of them seems interested in Catholicism, then by all means talk to them. But 99% of the time they want to convert YOU in which case you should dismiss them, politely or otherwise (depending on your inclination).

    Arguing religion with people who are SET IN THEIR HERESY (i.e., not having doubts about it) is casting your pearls before swine. And note that Our Lord pointed out an actual danger for you in doing so.

    Quote from: Matthew 7:6
    Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.


    Everyone knows He is talking about wasting your time. But note the last part: you might actually suffer damage to YOUR faith in the process of trying to convert people who aren't interested in conversion.


    Thank you.  

    Actually I have learned a great deal about their heresy and at the same time a great deal about my Catholic religion.

    I know what I beleive and she questions that so I am forced to find out why I beleive what I believe.  I am then forced to read the CCC, delve more deeply into the bible and Church Fathers. So consequently I have a firmer belief now than before.  And for that I thank her. If this makes sense to anyone.

    Thank you all for your replies.

    God Bless

    Offline 2Vermont

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    « Reply #13 on: January 10, 2016, 07:58:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: Phyllo
    Quote from: poche
    Your friend is wrong on this point. This goes to show the importance of knowing your catechism. That way when your friend says something you could filter out the nonsense.


    You are right.  I should have the CCC at hand and look it up right then and there.


    I would avoid the JPII Catechism.  Use a pre-Vatican II Catechism.
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17

    Offline Phyllo

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    « Reply #14 on: January 10, 2016, 10:22:49 AM »
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  • Quote from: 2Vermont
    Quote from: Phyllo
    Quote from: poche
    Your friend is wrong on this point. This goes to show the importance of knowing your catechism. That way when your friend says something you could filter out the nonsense.


    You are right.  I should have the CCC at hand and look it up right then and there.


    I would avoid the JPII Catechism.  Use a pre-Vatican II Catechism.


    I agree.  I have the Baltimore and council of Trent catechisms'.  Some things are OK in the CCC.  I know enough from my pre Vatican II Catholic school upbring to know the difference.


     

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