How do Protestants get to Heaven?

When I asked our priest if the church thinks protestants go to Heaven, he said Yes.

If the Catholic church focuses on the sacraments as a road to Heaven and salvation, what is it that gets protestants to Heaven?

Is it their faith of belief in Christ - please help here - it’s a big piece of the puzzle of understanding for me.

Thanks All!

Such general questions really do not offer much insight…
Yes some protestants will go to heaven just as some Catholics will go to hell. It just stands to reason…

If the Catholic church focuses on the sacraments as a road to Heaven and salvation, what is it that gets protestants to Heaven?

Is it their faith of belief in Christ - please help here - it’s a big piece of the puzzle of understanding for me.

Thanks All!

Sacraments are a means and channel for grace. They ease our way to heaven. They do not guarantee it.
Just as Jesus focused on the heart of the individual rather than on the adherence to “Law” so does the Church focus on the heart. All is built upon Agape and it is how one embraces Agape and lives it out that will determine if one goes to heaven or not.


Here is one person’s dramatized idea:

Flight F-I-N-A-L - Rev. Forrest McCullough - YouTube
► 7:30► 7:30
Nov 2, 2013 - Uploaded by GeeGee7
Your attention please. I am thy captain. The flight thou art making today is the same which …

Baptism now saves you. That is what the Bible says and that is what it means regardless of where the baptism was performed.

The difficulty is in finishing the race. Catholicism offers the fullness of truth on how to do that. Protestants can as well but their teaching makes it harder in some cases.

Ultimately God judges our hearts based on how we answer his call to the best of our knowledge and abilities.

Thanks AGAIN James - another good answer that makes me not need to ask another question.

I hope you have a great day!

Why, it’s by the mercy of God, of course! :wink:

Naturally, though, it’s true that, through baptism we all share in Christ’s death, and thereby, hope to share in his resurrection. It’s just that the means by which we attain this salvation differs: Catholics, by a participation in the order of grace (through the sacraments and our response to God’s grace in the actions of our lives); and Protestants, by God’s mercy. The Church would assert that we know that the Catholic route leads to salvation, while we trust that God, in His mercy, saves those who do not have the fullness of the truth…

It’s not being a Protestant that get’s you to heaven, it’s being Born Again that does it.

So far, nobody is really answering your question because nobody knows.

Maybe if a protestant has not taken advantage of God’s Grace, protestants are not as morally aware as catholics because they don’t think morality is the way to salvation.
Take the example of Archibishop Justin Welby, he wants to get rid of the words “sin and repentance” from the Christening words, which is kind of abominable, to think that he can have the authority to propose that kind of radical change.

But, some sincere protestants will hear the moral guidance from the blble and live by it, I think maybe it is those people, this also applies to catholics. There is such a thing as taking advantage of God’s Grace, and taking things too far.

Mira Hindley was a serial killer and a devout catholic, she thought everything was forgivable so long as you went to confession. She partook in some heinous crimes, without remorse, it seems? She had some psychopathic traits, which meant she was one of those people who justified themselves to be right about everything, no remorse.
What about those people?
If she confessed and taken sacraments, would she have gone to heaven?

1 Like

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

It all has to do with the difference between redemption and salvation, terms which many of our Evangelical brethren tend to mix together as if they were the same thing.

When Jesus died on the cross he redeemed the world–everyone living and deceased awaiting Christ’s coming. This redemption made our salvation, and that of the peoples before Christ, possible.

This being the case, all those who cooperate with God’s grace may be saved.

Most Protestants are not formal heretics who have denied the faith of the Church in favor of some heresy. Rather, most are material heretics, which means they do not know they are heretics and so are not culpable. One cannot be a heretic of any kind unless one is a Christian. And Protestants are Christians by reason of their baptism, which initiates them , as well as Catholics, into Christ.

Their salvation, like any Catholic’s salvation depends on how they cooperate with God’s grace. This means living in God’s love by loving him and our neighbor, as Christ commanded us.

We live this out in our daily lives, which often requires us to “take up our cross” to follow Our Lord and by proper obedience to those whom Christ has put in authority over us.

Those who commit themselves to following Christ, as they know how, will not be spurned by Christ. But, having all the tools, the sacraments which Jesus established for our benefit, go a long way in helping us do this.

You’re quoting 1 Peter 3 here; it seems that you are suggesting that the immediate effect of baptism is salvation. I would suggest that it’s necessary to be careful in how you interpret this verse, both by looking at it in context and by examining what the writer means by ‘save’ here.

First, the context: 1 Peter 3:20-21 says “in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which few persons, eight in all, were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.” Notice that what is being asserted here is a comparison: in the days of Noah, people were ‘saved through water’ (διεσώθησαν δι’ ὕδατος – ‘diesothaysan di(a) hudatos’), which we see as ‘prefigur[ing] baptism’ which ‘now saves us’ (ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα – ‘antitypon nun sozei baptisma’). This isn’t just a statement about baptism; it’s a comparison between the rescue from the waters of the Flood, and baptism (which that rescue prefigured).

So, what does the writer mean by ‘saved’, here? Is he suggesting ‘salvation’, as we use it in a theological context? I think not. The words he uses here, in describing the situation during the Flood and the situation of baptism, are διεσώθησαν and σῴζει, respectively. These are both verbs, and both come from the same root (σῴζω, ‘to save’); they mean “to deliver out of danger” or “to deliver into safety”. Are they the same word as the one that we use theologically to mean ‘salvation’, though? That word, σωτηρίας (‘sotayrias’) is also used in 1 Peter, but back in chapter 1: “even though you do not see [Christ] now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of [your] faith, the salvation of your souls.” Now, it’s true that this word, too, is derived from σῴζω, but here, it is not talking about the general notion of ‘rescue from danger’. In this usage, the writer is clearly talking about the theological notion of salvation through Jesus. Couldn’t these be the same idea, the notion of the ultimate salvation of our souls, though? I would suggest that they are not: in 1 Peter 3, he’s talking about being rescued from death (which is an event that happens and is done), while in 1 Peter 1, he’s talking about an on-going process – the process by which we are saved by Jesus. So, I would assert that the ‘salvation’ of 1 Peter 1 and the ‘rescuing’/‘saving’ of 1 Peter 3 are distinct notions.

How are we to understand the comparison between the Flood and baptism, then? It is not the process of the salvation of our souls – rather, in the case of ‘the days of Noah’, it’s simply the rescue from the waters of the Flood; likewise, in baptism, it’s the rescue of our souls from death through the waters of baptism. Yet, it’s not asserting that baptism is the end of the story; baptism is just the beginning, an “appeal to God for a clear conscience” – that is, a means for justification, not salvation. Baptism is not what saves us, per se, although it is the means through which we begin to hope for salvation…!

(Therefore, inasmuch as you utilized this passage to answer the question “how are Protestants saved?”, I would think that your answer (“through baptism”) isn’t entirely accurate, per se. Baptism is part of the answer, but not the whole story… :wink: )

Thank you,

That’s why I went on to say ,

"The difficulty is in finishing the race. Catholicism offers the fullness of truth on how to do that. Protestants can as well but their teaching makes it harder in some cases.

Ultimately God judges our hearts based on how we answer his call to the best of our knowledge and abilities."

Baptism is the ticket on the ship. We need to work to not jump off. :wink:


Yep, I noticed that, but it kinda confused me – in the beginning, you seemed to be answering that baptism was how Protestants were saved, but by the end, you seemed to be saying that baptism was just the beginning of the process of salvation. So, I figured that a brief word study might be helpful – if not for you, then for someone who might think that you were saying something that you might not have intended to say… :wink:

I would assume that all Christians get to Heaven by God’s grace through our Faith in Jesus Christ.

That’s my plan anyways.

Problem is, no two denominations can agree what precisely it MEANS to be “born Again”

Marcus Grodi (Coming Home Network) has written a book titled “What Must I Do To Be Saved?” He contrasts what so many Protestants believe and what the Catholic Faith teaches.:thumbsup:

Must be all my protestant friends are wrong because we all agree…

Yes please - any info on the original question would be nice!

Just looking for that “saving element or elements” - is it faith in Christ, state of your heart, trying to follow His teaching?

It is one of the most fundamental errors in any Christian theology to try to separate the things you list above…Faith in Christ IS (or should be) the “state of one’s heart” and this combination requires that one follow His teachings…

“Faith without works is Dead” St James tells us…and Faith without love is nothing St Paul declares.

Hope this helps


What does it mean then?

What denom. Are you and your friends?

It’s seems straightforward that “born again” means something different to the Lutheran vs the Baptist vs the Methodist vs the Anglican vs the Pentecostal.

Some it means “asking Jesus in your heart”

Others "saying the sinners prayer "

Others. “Baptism”

Others “baptism of the Holy Spirit through tongues”


"And what does The Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8

I think that sums it up well!

Actually the Omni was a little car sold by Dodge in the 1970s. It wasn’t all that great so If Jesus got rid of his Omni, that was a good thing!:smiley:

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