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Jnes wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was asked today by a friend, what changed with Christ and, to my own wonder, I wasn't really able to give an answer.

  • Was it easier for a Gentile or a Jew to go to Heaven or go to Hell before God became man?
  • What difference did Christ's death make?
  • What about the sins of the people of the Old Testament; weren't they properly atoned for?
  • Then what exactly was the purpose of the salvation of Christ?

I never really thought about this, nor have I been properly catechized on the difference between the requirements of salvation now versus then.

The main pillars of my personal faith are really that:

  • Christianity is the largest religion
  • the number of illustrious and noble martyrs throughout history
  • the faithful, and
  • the miracles Christ performed

but I don't quite understand salvation and the importance of Christ's offering in history.

  • Could you clarify this a bit?

Thank you

Jnes

  { What changed with Christ's incarnation [or his becoming a man] and his divine life on earth? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear Jnes —

From the first moment of the fall, God had a plan. His Word came into the world, first as a promise to Adam and Eve, then as a covenant with the nations (Noah), then as a covenanted promise with Abraham, then with a special Word to His chosen people who would bear that Word and prepare for the Savior.

This saving Word was always in history preparing, what would have been the state of man, for what was not currently the state of man. All would have been unable to be saved, but because of the Promise, those who cooperated with the Light in them by:

  • natural law, as St. Paul attests, or
  • with the light of the Word given them, the Mosaic Law

they were kept in a state of waiting (sometimes in what has been called Limbo, the Bosom of Abraham, or perhaps even Hades, the generic underworld).

Christ went and preached to the souls in the underworld (1 Peter 3:18-19) so that they could have an opportunity to choose Him, and He led those who accepted Him to paradise that day, along with the good thief.

Mary Ann

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