Is it essential that we believe in God to go to Heaven
Pope Francis has said atheists can make it to heaven.
No it is not essential to even be christain to make into heaven.
Let me remind you of the story of the good samaritan.
Think about it this way. If 10 Catholics walk past a dying man in the streets with their noses in the air basking in self rightouesness and let him die. There excuse? we already believe in God, we automatically get into heaven. Some other responses are we dont take care of this scum.
An Atheist feeds the man and takes him to a doctor and pays for his medical bills, and helps him get a job. His response: It was the right thing to do.
Who do you think Jesus rewarded more?
Faith is nice, but Jesus made it clear good works, compassion, and charity are the most important factors for Salvation. Remember Jesus died for all of our sins, not just Catholics.
Blessed be the lord
Irrespective Of what anyone else says here: yes, it IS essential. Because Heaven cannot be earned - it is granted freely to those who expect the Savior - Jesus Christ.
Of course, an atheist might obtain faith at the last moment of his life - ecerything is possible with God. This is the only thing pope Francis or anyone else might talk about.
Juris, You’re telling me Jesus told us the parabal of the Good Samaritan for no reason? This is exactaly of what he was afriad of. In America we look down on Atheists, and other religions, but they are good people as well.
Are you honestly telling me that in my above example the Catholics would go to heaven for beileving in God, and the atheists would go to hell? Have you heard the message “whatever you do for the least my people you have done for me” If an atheist is compassionate to the poor and commits good works then he was kind and gracious to jesus by feeding, clothing, and nourishing him and would be let in.
I think if someone lives by the examples of Jesus (love your neighbors, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc etc), but simply does not think that a God exists, he/she will still go to heaven.
I think when we die, we “meet” God and decide at that point whether we want to humble ourselves to Him completely or not.
Nonetheless, there is no official Church teaching on this. We cannot claim that all atheists will automatically go to Hell for being atheist. We can give our opinions, but when it comes to officially speaking, the best we can do is say “I don’t know.”
Perhaps it is best to stop worrying about who can and can’t get into heaven and focus on making sure we are doing the will of God to the best of our ability. Catholics are taught that we are not saved by faith alone,
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
“Just do good” was his challenge, “and we’ll find a meeting point.”
I’m ready for an arguement. I will not let you condem a whole group of people to hell.
Redeemed is not a synonym for “going to heaven.” All creation was redeemed at the incarnation, but it is the baptized who receive sanctifying grace.
All that being said, only God knows the depths of the heart and the individual circumstances of each person. If God wants to save someone (Christian, Jew, atheist, pagan, etc.), He can do it, and we can be assured that if He does that it would be in line with His Justice and Mercy.
I partially agree with that, but you make it seem like just the simple fact of not being catholic significantly decreases the chances of making it into heaven.
Your view sounds like the traditionalist Catholic view. Vatican II led to more tolerance of other religions by the Church.
That might be the most insulting thing someone has ever said to me. I have posted twice in this thread and never said that I think all atheists are going to hell. I asked for a source as to when Pope Francis said that atheists can go to heaven, noted that redemption does not equal personal salvation in Catholic theology, and then also noted that God can save whomever He wants because He is God. Please do not presume to put words into my mouth and paint be as an atheist-condemning hate-monger.
I’d be interested to know where in the documents of the Second Vatican Council it was said that atheists go to heaven.
Again, I am not saying that no atheist can go to Heaven. Definitely not saying that. I am legitimately curious.
…This is why I think it’s better to either assume the best (that an honest and good atheist person does have a shot at heaven), or to just say “I don’t know, only God knows,” rather than saying “they all go to Hell.”
Vatican II never said that directly as far as I know. It just allowed for more tolerance.