heaven or hell


#1

protestant believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. no Christ no heaven.
I do have a friend who is a catholic who i ask why are u all not spreading the gospel and telling people about Jesus christ.
He say that everyone will enter heaven no matter believers or not.
but in the bible Jesus say “through him is the only way to heaven” is it true that even non believers will enter heaven to what the catholics teaches.

I’m from singapore.


#2

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. Not everyone will enter Heaven; the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Catholics have a sacred duty to spread the Gospel and tell everyone about Jesus Christ. No one who knowingly rejects Jesus Christ will enter heaven.

Anyone who enters Heaven, does so because of Jesus Christ but Heaven is not restricted to only those who have an explicit faith in Jesus Christ:

Infants and small children and some mentally retarded people are not capable of having an explicit faith. If they die before reaching the age of reason, are they to be condemned to Hell? Not necessarily. Jesus said that the kingdom of Heaven belonged to such as these.

The holy man and women in the Old Testament (the prophets, etc.) did not have explicit faith in Jesus Christ. Had they been given the opportunity they surely would have but they never had the opportunity. Were they condemned to Hell? No. (See Hebrews 11:1—12:24) They entered heaven after Jesus’ death on the Cross because during their lifetime they responded to the graces that God gave them and strove to do his will in everything as they understood it.

Today, man and women who through no fault of their own do not have an explicit faith in Jesus Christ but who nevertheless respond to the graces that God gives them and strive to do His will in everything as they understand it, like the holy men and women of the Old Testament, may also enter heaven.

Suggested reading: Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Outside the Church there is no salvation” (846-848) and Mission - requirement of the Church’s catholicity (849-856)


#3

Great post Todd!

I’ve always thought of it this way- some people are Christians, they just don’t know it.

I would also like to add that though the Church has confirmed many, many people are in heaven, it has never confirmed anyone is in hell- not one- and it is not seemly to do so.

It is very important that we understand the fullness of faith is only avaliable through Catholicism and do our best to demonstrate the benefits of living life as a faithful Catholic Christian. We also should be aware of the explicit warnings in the Gospel and treat them with the utmost seriousness.


#4

Catholics believe this too.

It is a shame your friend is not taking his baptismal call to conversion and evangelization seriously.

That is not Catholic teaching.

Whoever enters heaven, enters through Jesus.

I suggest you read the Catholic Catechism for more information on what the church teaches.


#5

Let me play counterpoint on this one.

If you believe in the Trinity - three persons in one God - is it true that by believing in God, you believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. And if you believe in the Holy Spirit, you believe in God and Jesus. Sort of shoots down the idea that it requires sole knowledge of Jesus, doesn’t it?

When Jesus says, “Noone can come to the Father except through me.” doesn’t he mean through His teachings and ways of life?

If Jesus in His humanity and Divinity is the perfect person and God, and our goal is to strive to be more like him in our humanity. By doing so, don’t we gain an insight to his way of life and thus should gain salvation?

So it is not so much that we follow Christ it is that we know Christ - isn’t it?


#6

Why is it that folks seem to forget that the key word in this part is MAY. In the CCC, paragraph 847, it states three conditions:

  1. “seek God with a sincere heart”
  2. “moved by grace”
  3. "try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience "

If a person meets these three conditions, which on there own are actually difficult to do faithfully throughout their life, then they MAY be saved.

“those too may achieve eternal salvation”

The CCC goes on to say…

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.”

If there are people who “don’t know they’re Christians” then we are not doing our job.

Peace,

MilesJesu


#7

I’m sorry. I thought this was a poll.

I was going to choose “Heaven”.

My bad! :wink:


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.