Do Catholics believe only they will go to heaven?


#1

I was born and raised Catholic, but have recently been attending Calvary Chapel because I feel that they don’t do enough teaching and learning through the Bible. Basically I feel like it’s too much tradition, not enough learning.

So my question is, do Catholics think that only they will go to Heaven, or do they think all Christians will go to heaven?

My feeling is that we are both taking different paths that lead to the same place. Would you say this is the wrong way to think about this?


#2

I personally think that Catholicism is the truest church (if not, why be Catholic?), but salvation can be attained outside the church.


#3

Catholics believe that there is no salvation except through the Catholic Church.
However, that doesn’t mean that all Catholics, for example, are saved.
St. Paul tells us that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Any baptized Christian (Trinitarian formula) who is not Catholic is still at least partially a member of the Catholic Church (catholic itself means “universal”). Catholicism is the “totality” of Christian teachings; Protestant Christians retain some of the truths found in full in the Catholic church, and thus are what we term “separated brothers and sisters”.
Likewise with our Orthodox brethren–they retain some of the truths found in full in the Catholic Church.

Jews are the “elder brothers” of Christians–in their scripture which Christians preserve as the “old testament” is the sign of their covenant with God and they also retain some of the truths found in full in the Catholic church; thus they too can be “saved through the Catholic church”. Muslims may share some similarities as well.

For those in “good faith” in other religious traditions, such as Hinduism or Buddhism, again just about every religious tradition even if it never heard of or uses the word “Christian” will share some “truth” with the Catholic Church. That is because the Natural Law is written on the hearts of men and women. There are certain truths which are recognized (even if not always followed) by all human beings because humans were created in the image of God and were created by God FOR God–to love Him and to serve Him. Therefore, once again, if a person in “good faith” but possessing no knowledge of Christ still manages to hold fast to partial truth, through the Divine Mercy of God that person may yet be saved “through the Catholic Church”.

Even those who profess no religion and recognize no God may, if invincibly ignorant (incapable of recognizing the truth of Catholicism/ Christianity), still be saved through the Divine Mercy of God as He has permitted “through the Catholic Church”.

Hope that answers your question. To put it simply, Catholics believe that God has willed that all might be saved, that salvation is through the Catholic Church, and that through the Divine Mercy of God all who are saved are saved “through the Catholic Church”.

God bless you.


#4

Does Calvary Chapel teach that Catholics will go to heaven?


#5

The Catechism Says:

“Outside the Church there is no salvation”

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338


#6

Tantum,

Isn’t Salvation through Jesus Christ…and not neccessarily through the Catholic Church? That statement makes me believe that even though what you mentioned aboved, you need to be a memeber of the Cathilic Church.

Ahimsa,

So far what I have learned, if you are saved, regardless of whether you are Catholic or some other form of Christian, you will go to heaven. I have notes in my Bible on a passage that touches on this in a way, but my bible is home, and I am at work, so I’ll ave to get abck to you with the exact quote…but…the passage says soemthing to the effect of, when you go into another city, do not cut down those trees which bears God’s fruit…and part of the interpretation taken from that is that even though we all have differences, our core belifs in Jesus Christ and him crucified to save our sins are the same, we should not cut each other down.


#7

Not all Christians go to Heaven and not all Catholics go to Heaven. As human beings, we don’t decide whether we’re going to Heaven or not. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian and who says the sinner’s prayer perseveres to the end.

That being said, there is no salvatuion outside the Church. If you are invincibly ignorant that what the Church teaches is true and you follow God’s grace with an open heart and obey the law written on all our hearts, than you may be saved. Your salvation still comes through Christ and His Church however, whether you know it or not.


#8

[quote=BrotherChazz]Tantum,

Isn’t Salvation through Jesus Christ…and not neccessarily through the Catholic Church?
[/quote]

Yes, and He founded the Church as His instrument of salvation. All who are saved are saved by Jesus through His Church.


#9

A few things Brother Chazz:

  1. Are you certain that your Catholic parish doesn’t have enough Bible studies? Most parishes have them, you simply have to look.

  2. What is the main motivation in your wanting to attend Bible study? Is it because you want to learn more about the Bible or because you want comraderie? If it’s the first case, then there are plenty of great books on the Bible and the Catholic Church. If it’s the second one, then there are, I promise, LOTS of service activites at your parish in which you can find that Christian fellowship which is so important.

  3. I think it’s ironic that you are asking the Catholic teaching on who is going to hell or not. Implicit in that question is the recognition that the Church has the authority to make those teachings. Rarely do I hear that question asked of any other religion or Protestant denomination. If you don’t believe the Catholic Church has any teaching authority, why care about the Church’s teaching?

  4. Tradition IS learning, it is the passed down knowledge of the last 2000 years. I wouldn’t discard it so quickly.

  5. Do not abandon the Eucharist before you know what it is. It is the Body and Blood of the Lord. Read John 6, the whole chapter, but especially verses 22 on. Your Protestant friends will say “Oh, he was being symbolic.” Why, if he was being symbolic, did the disciples say, “This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?” (v. 60)? Why would they get upset about symbols? Christ always explained his parables to them later, but here he doesn’t say “This is the meaning of my words, it is a symbol,” but rather says, “The words I have spoken are Spirit and Life, but some of you do not believe.”

No Protestants (that I know of) ever proclaim that their “Communion services” are anything but symbols. The only Churches that claim this are the ancient Churches of the East and West, the ones who can trace their core teachings back to Christ: the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches, who, with God’s grace, will someday be reunited.

  1. Protestants are pretty confused about the Bible and it’s meaning. Read “A Biblical Defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. Why go to a Bible study where you know they will be teaching confused theories? You might get SOME knowledge out of it, but you’ll also get alot of misinformation. Seems like a waste of time.

  2. Study the history of Christianity. “To know history is to cease to be Protestant” - St. John Newman


#10

[quote=SL20]The Catechism Says:
[/quote]

So what this is saying if I’m readin it correctly, and please help me if I’m not, I mean no disrespect, is that Even if you know the Bible, believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you still need the Catholic Church or you will not go to heaven?

Do you really think God would say: Well Brother Chazz, I’d love to let you into heaven, you believed in me and my Son and why he was sent to earth, and you praised and worshiped me, but you went to Calavry Chapel on Sunday’s, not Catholic church, so I’m gunna have to say no…sorry…

Thats how it seems to me is the Catholic thinking…and it troubles me greatly.


#11

Well, do you say Catholics are saved then? I mean being saved and going to Heaven mean the same thing. So obviously all who are saved are in Heaven. Do you think a Catholic who believes in all the teachings of the Church and is firmly resolved to follow those teachings is saved?


#12

Christ is the HEAD of the Church, the church is the BODY of Christ. They aren’t separate entities. They are a single whole.

Once again, read what I wrote and the post which referenced the catechism.

All Christians are members of the body of Christ, and all humans are called to be members; all humans are made in God’s image and for God’s will.

Not that I’m saying that you shouldn’t be Catholic (you should :smiley: ), or that there are “many paths” (there aren’t). There is ONE path, Jesus Christ, the way, the Truth, and the Life, and ONE church which He instituted to evangelize and lead His people. . .through the Divine Mercy of God there are many people COMING onto that path from different directions. Of course, those coming from the Catholic Church are like those riding on a smooth superhighway in an air-conditioned limo, while others are riding bikes, on foot, even struggling through swamps, desert and jungle. (However, the limo stops all the time to let out Catholics who would rather try “another way”, and to let IN non-Catholics who flag it down and say, “I want to do it YOUR way”.)


#13

[quote=BrotherChazz]Do you really think God would say: Well Brother Chazz, I’d love to let you into heaven, you believed in me and my Son and why he was sent to earth, and you praised and worshiped me, but you went to Calavry Chapel on Sunday’s, not Catholic church, so I’m gunna have to say no…sorry…
.
[/quote]

If you knowingly and with full consent rejected part of His Truth then you rejected Jesus and you will not be saved unless you repent. Not all who say “Lord, Lord” are truly Christian.

If knowingly and with full consent reject the Eucharist and walk away like the desciples in John 6, you will not have eternal life within you.


#14

[quote=Genesis315]Yes, and He founded the Church as His instrument of salvation. All who are saved are saved by Jesus through His Church.
[/quote]

So I can not be saved unless I go to Catholic Church, regardless of what I believe and do?


#15

[quote=Genesis315]If you knowingly and with full consent rejected part of His Truth then you rejecteed Jesus and you will not be saved unless you repent.
[/quote]

Ok, I’m having a tough time with this. Can you point out to me in the Bible where it tells me this, that even if I believe in him and his teachings and everythign I need to be in his Catholic Church?
Thanks in advance to everyone who is replying and has replied!


#16

[quote=BrotherChazz]So I can not be saved unless I go to Catholic Church, regardless of what I believe and do?
[/quote]

No, you may be saved if you are invincibly ignorant that what the Church teaches is true. You will still be saved by Jesus through the Church even if you are not Catholic in name and practice.


#17

There is lots of great information on this subject in the Catholic Answers library. Please don’t leave the Catholic Church until you have at least learned what the Church officially teaches, and compare it with the writings of the early church. You will find that the Catholic Church is the only one that still teaches what the early Christians learned from the Apostles. Then when you are satisfied that you know enough to make an informed decision, and remember to pray fervently about it, you can feel better about your decision whatever that may be.

I left the Church years ago, only to feel the tug of the Holy Spirit later and return. When I began to read what the Church teaches and why, and compare to the ancient writings, I knew without a doubt this was where I belonged.

May I suggest starting here: catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp

God Bless you on your search for truth!
Dave


#18

Yes, salvation is through Christ Alone. but you have to remember that the Catholic Church is the living remnant of Christ on earth. one does not have to necesarily be a “member” of the catholic church to follow some of the teachings. technically, any Christian who was baptised “in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit” is essentially a Catholic, they just do not follow all of the teachings of the church, and that is why we call them “separated brethren”. And as you say the Catholic church is all tradition, and no teaching, then shouldnt we be doing something about this? just a thought.


#19

[quote=BrotherChazz]Ok, I’m having a tough time with this. Can you point out to me in the Bible where it tells me this, that even if I believe in him and his teachings and everythign I need to be in his Catholic Church?
Thanks in advance to everyone who is replying and has replied!
[/quote]

You are not believing in Him and all His teachings if you are not Catholic. You do not eat His flesh and drink His blood for one example. You also reject the people He put in charge which in turn rejects Him. If you are invincibly ignorant that this is true, you can still be saved however.


#20

The thing is, there is a difference in knowing about God, and knowing God. The best preacher or sermon can at best teach you *about *God, but it is a whole different thing when you actually know God. Would Curch really be necessary if it was only meant to teach you *about *God? I can learn way more in my opinion on my own, studying available books and resources, and I can do that on my own time, much more than an hour a week. If that is the purpose for Church, than I can have a very efficient Church at my house with myself doing my own studying. That is not the full purpose of Church. The most important thing is being able to receive the Eucharist, in which way we can actually know God. I know now that if there isn’t a good sermon or not much “teaching,” I can do that on my own if need be, however what I can only receive through the Catholic Church is the Eucharist, and that is something I can not do on my own. The very thought of the necessity of Church makes sense, if it delivers something that can no where else be obtained.

Peace,
Michael


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