How many of you believe you can do whatever you want, break the commandments of Almighty God, and after death will still go to Heaven?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches: "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". CCC 1033.
In the lesson of St. Matthew's Gospel 13: 24-43, Christ teaches about the eternal effects of our choices. The farmer lets the weeds and the wheat grow together until harvest, "then at harvest time I will order the harvesters, first collect the weeds and bundle them up to burn, then gather the wheat into my barn." The disciples ask the Lord to explain this parable and He says,
"The weeds are the followers of the evil one and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world..the Son of Man will dispatch His angels to collect from His kingdom all who draw others into apostasy, and all evildoers. The angels will hurl them into the fiery furnace where they will wail and grind their teeth. Then the Saints will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom."
The Four Last Things for which our lives on earth is a preparation are death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.
"Death is an end to man's earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When 'the single course of our earthly life' is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: 'It is appointed for men to die once'. There is no reincarnation after death." CCC 1013.
"Death puts an end to human life at the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in His Second Coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the Cross to the Penitent thief, as well as other New testament texts speaks of a final destiny of the soul--a destiny which can be different for some and for others." CCC 1021.
"At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come to its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteious will reign forever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:
"The Church...will receive her perfection only in the glory of Heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ. CCC 1042.
How wonderful for us the Church in which God's mercy is fully and abundantly ours. How good God is to us enabling us the security of knowing we are in a state of grace after with sorrow confessing our sins. Knowing our weaknesses and our sinfulness, we do indeed need the Church and all the graces of Christ that are ours in the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass and the Sacraments.
God's perfect love for us shows itself in the gift of our free will. We have the power to choose Him or reject Him. We have the opportunity and the grace to choose authentic, real love in Christ.
Choose the Lord and His law that you may live, and live abundantly.
Note: some of these points are taken from an article in the Wanderer written by Fr. Kevin M. Cusick entitled The Four Last Things.