How did people get to Heaven before Luther?

I’m curious since Catholics and Eastern Orthodox aren’t Christians in the eyes of some protestants how did anyone get into Heaven before luther? So is everyone before Luther burning in hell?

Not at all. There may be some protestants who take this extreme view, but from a Lutheran perspective, our Catholic brothers and sisters are Christians and good ones at that. And, it is far beyond our power to determine who is or who isn’t in hell.

Simple answer: Catholics and Orthodox are indeed Christians. Those who say they aren’t are simply wrong. Sure, I have some doctrinal differences with them, else I’d probably be one of them, but I still expect to see them in Heaven… if they really believe and aren’t just church attenders for reasons of family, networking or cultural belonging.

Likely all the Protestants here agree, because those who don’t… well, if they didn’t think Catholics were even Christians, they probably would avoid this site.

Since we are the original Christians, what makes you say we are not?

Agreed, it is not our place not are we qualified to judge who is and isn’t in Heaven and who is and isn’t a Christian.

Not to mention the Protestants that hold the view that Catholic aren’t Christian, are generally denominations that have cropped up in the last 200 years, they do not trace their roots to the Original Reformation and ususally hold most High Litergical Churchs (Lutherans, Anglican, Presbyterians) as not being “true” Christians right along with the Catholics.

The same as now…by the grace and mercy of God.

Agreed, and I would like to add that even among more recent denominations, that’s a minority view. In my experience, it’s mostly just Independent Fundamental Baptists (and similar groups) who say Catholics aren’t Christians.

My own church is Assemblies of God, part of the Pentecostal movement, which originated in the early 20th century, and very few of our members would say Catholics aren’t Christians, or that liturgical churches are lesser Christians. Some of us even attend Episcopalian services sometimes. (St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle has a lovely Compline service, and quite a few of us enjoy that.)

According to Luther there were people in all centuries that went against the apostacy of the Church and followed the bible’s true teachings.However since most people didn’t have bibles the little truth they did have they followed and discredited the Church’s teaching.Graduallly as time went on they were able to obtain more of the bible.Of course none of this is logical because first of all Luther wasn’t againsst the Church’s teaching at all.When he protested against the selling of indulgences and the Church finally excommunicated him he was anti Pope.From there is jusst snowballed and found many things he had to disagree with.

Before Martin Luther came along, people got to heaven through faith in Jesus Christ; not just an intellectual ascent or theoretical faith, but personally trusting in the real, living Christ.

Those Protestant Christians who believe Catholics/Orthodoxs are flat out IGNORANT! Their hatred blinds them far beyond human comprehension. Sometimes their hatred towards Catholics/Orthodoxs is stronger than their love for God. How sad!

I think the Protestants that take that position go through some mental gymnastics to say that there was a minority/remnant of the original early Christians throughout history, and that they are the spiritual descendants of those folks - there was a thread on here a while back about that, and a book called the “Trail of Blood.” Of course, history has proven otherwise (there is no historical connection between the various groups of heretics that appeared from time-to-time during the early days of the Church and modern evangelical Protestants), but you got to give them an “A” for effort.

Interesting subject. First let me point out that your question hinges on the assumption that no one before Luther preached the Gospel. Rather than pontificate on the subject I would ask if you have researched the history of “Sola Fide”(justification by faith alone) and its point of origin in Church history. Who taught it first and when did it appear? Did Christ preach what Luther preached? If not then we have to seriously question if Luther even preached the Truth that could get people to heaven. This is in serious doubt!

Long story short, people got into heaven before Luther by following the words of Jesus and it’s basically the same thing today. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life - there is no other way. Through Baptism into Christ; regular Communion, and by living a life of faith, hope, and love we journey toward the pearly gates. Whether we faithfully keep to this path goes a long way toward determining whether we make it in.

I agree. I have heard from Independent Fundamentalist Baptist who go around ranting Catholics are not Christians.

I should clarify I am Catholic this is a question for protestants who don’t believe Catholics are Christians. If you go to sites like CARM, Living Waters, jack chick and John MacArthur;s websites you would see that they think Catholics are going to hell. So my questions is how did anyone get into Heaven before luther if Catholics go to hell. Did no one get into till the 1500s?

It demands an answer. Good question!

Christians have always gotten to heaven the same way- God gets them there. But there were some important and far-reaching implications of the Reformation that made the odds better for everyone. So people were always saved the same way, but the Reformation allowed for that to happen on more of a regular basis for everyone concerned.

Yep, you’re welcome. :thumbsup:

I don’t know whether it was that same sect but I ran into the same attitude. More than once.

Incomprehensible, since Catholics date much farther back than 1500. And to imply that Luther and the other rebels made things ‘easier’ for people to get into Heaven is to ignore Scripture and the Word of God.

Most Protestant denominations are not sectarian in any sense of the word. This is especially true of anything that has “independent” in the name.

And to imply that Luther and the other rebels made things ‘easier’ for people to get into Heaven is to ignore Scripture and the Word of God.

Ignoring Scripture is the last thing they’d do. You know that.

Any particular reason you call them “rebels”? Do you have any precedent for that? Last I checked, that wasn’t acceptable. Did this change?

Calling whom rebels? What are you talking about?

Some Protestants ignore Scripture when it suits them. Or they mis-interpret. This is a fact. Not all. Some.

And Luther was in rebellion against his Catholic church. He later recanted. The more I learn about his ‘theology’ the shakier it seems to me.

Well, the Christians who don’t “mis-interpret” Matt. 16:18-20 have a name: “Catholic”: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Given this passage, I disagree that “not all” Protestants misinterpret scripture. This bit of scripture has the two “biggies” when it comes to distinguising Catholics from Protestants: Aposolic succession and the Sacarament of Penance.

Not to mention the Protestant Doctrine of sola fide. Take a look at James 2:17-26:

So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.

Thus, I fail to see how “not all” Protestants misinterpret scripture.

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