Will I go to hell if I have sex before marriage?

Hey there Heather,

If one DOES have sex before marriage, will they go to hell? Thanks!

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for writing and asking such an important question. First of all, let me say that God, and God alone, who, as we say in Mass “will judge the living and the dead” is the only one who decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. That being said, it is important to know that sex outside marriage is a serious sin (“thou shall not commit adultery” is in Exodus 20:14, and “fornicators… shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven” is in 1 Cor 6:5-6) because it not only harms us, but also the people we love and those we date, often in ways we can’t immediately see. However, no sin is too awful for Christ to forgive. Therefore, Jesus can and will forgive us when we come to him with a sorrowful, repentant heart. He also calls us to stop participating in such sin (“Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more” is in John 8:11). In the area of sexual sin, the incredible gift of secondary virginity is given to those who seek forgiveness and commit the remainder of their lives to chastity. Through secondary virginity, one can be purified emotionally and spiritually through the grace of God. To discover more about this gift, read Secondary Virginity. Catholics who have been involved in sexual sin should go to Confession; it is an incredible sacrament we receive in order to complete the healing process that begins when we confess our sins directly to God. We especially need this sacrament after serious sin, and it helps to remind us that we are not defined by our sins – rather, we are defined by what God says about us – we are His children! God wants to cleanse us from our sins so that we can become filled with His love and become the awesome people He created us to be. When we embrace Jesus, receive His forgiveness, and strive to live according to His teachings on a daily basis, we don’t need to worry about whether or not we are going to hell; rather, we should simply enjoy our ongoing relationship with God!

To find out about starting over, check out: Do You Want a Second Chance? You Can Start Over.

By Heather Gallagher
The REAP Team