If someone was never informed about the truth of Jesus Christ, would that person be held accountable? Would that person still have the possibility of being saved by God? And, if someone can get into heaven without knowing who Jesus is, then why preach the gospel to them. Because if we tell them about Jesus, then they might reject the truth and therefore go to hell. If we would not have told them, they might have gone to heaven. So, what does the Catholic Church teach about “invincible ignorance?”
In Catholic theology, for someone to be “invincibly ignorant,” means that not only are they ignorant, but they are not responsible for there ignorance. But, is ignorance always “bliss?” Jesus said that the “Truth” will set you free (John 8:31-32), so that means error is never good. Ignorance is never good. In fact ignorance can be said to be dangerous, especially with regards to salvation. You and I are to seek God’s truth and follow it, wherever it will lead us. And once we know the truth about something with regards to faith and morals, then we are obligated to follow that truth. We are then held to a higher standard of obedience, thus the quote, “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Jesus speaks to this issue in the 15th chapter of John where he talks about those obeying the word he had spoken to them, “…if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin (John 15:21-25).” Once we are convinced of a truth given to us by God and knowingly turn our backs to it, then we will be held accountable. We will have sinned against God. We are also held accountable if we purposely avoid hearing and thus knowing the truth just so we can stay ignorant. But if we had never heard of a certain truth, then we would not be held accountable. You and I are bound by our conscience, even if it is only the “law written on our hearts.”
In the Catholic Church, the Church Jesus founded, there resides the fullness of truth. It is the sacraments that are the ordinary means to help a person receive “sanctifying grace,” which in turn helps the person to live a life of saving faith. As long as we cooperate with the life and the grace we are given, live a good life, be sorrowful for your sins, etc., then it makes it easier to wind up in heaven. So that is why we need to bring the gospel to everyone.
What about those Protestant Christians who believe that once I repent of my sins and ask Jesus into my heart, I can be assured of heaven. Well, this believe is actually very dangerous because of what it entails. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you commit adultery because you are just as saved before, during and after. This type of belief is dangerous because it does tend to contribute to more sin. An example of this would be: What is going to help you more, the doctrine that says; “if you flip that switch and turn on that pornography in your hotel room while you are all by yourself on a business trip, then you would be cheating on your wife and that would put you in mortal sin. And if you die in that state without asking for forgiveness, then you will go to hell.” Or would the other doctrine help you more which says, “your saved no matter what sin you commit, whether that be mortal or venial.” This doctrine itself can tend to lead people away from God and his truth, and thus give them a false since of eternal security.
For more on mortal vs. venial sin, go to my post at:
For more on how we are saved, go to my post at:
Whether we are Christians or not, or whether we know it or not, we are only saved through Jesus Christ. As long as we seek God’s law written on our hearts, then we have the possibility of being saved. If we are truly invincibly ignorant of certain God truths, then we may not be held accountable for those particular truths. Ether way, you and I are called to seek God’s truth and follow it with a sincere heart and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around us.
Until next time, God bless.