Okay, revert here, don’t rely on my words alone, I’ll answer best as possible:
*]**Salvation **- Most simply, it is attained by confessing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, God-incarnate, whose death alone atones for the sins of the world.
*]**Baptism **- If you can get baptized, GET BAPTIZED, but if one dies faithful to Jesus but never got baptized, regretting never have gone through with it, God will respond to that. Thief on the Cross, wasn’t baptized by water, still yet was baptized by his confession of faith. Christians thrown to the lions without being baptized by water, still baptized by their blood in dying for the faith. Back to less deadly situations, if you believe and are aware of Baptism, DON’T PUT IT OFF!
*]**Works **- Works add NOTHING to us in our salvation. Those who faithfully follow Christ as Messiah/God will be driven to do good works, but that is more God working through you to will and to do his good pleasures, we get NO credit, for it is in faith that we are saved, not by our works. Don’t go serve soup to the poor at a homeless shelter thinking it will help you get to Heaven, but do it if you feel moved to do so, for it would be in the nature of one who is saved.
*]**Sacraments **- It is through the Sacraments that we interact with God. While some say that it is a relationship with Christ that we need, not a religion, what is a relationship with Christ without that kind of interaction as instructed in Scripture. “Do this in memory of me,” Jesus said, and by the traditions passed on through the Apostles, we do it weekly. Neglecting to do so is neglecting our relationship with God the Father Son & Holy Ghost. Like a boyfriend (forgive the analogy) who doesn’t see his girlfriend as often as he should, maybe he’s not so into the relationship. Do best to practice the Sacraments, unless you have something better to do (catch the sarcasm).
*]**Unbaptized infants **- They will certainly do not go to Hell, I believe the long speculated Limbo theory (which was never a hardcore doctrine) was officially passed off as false, but I personally don’t know whether it is Heaven of Purgatory they go. With Original Sin, Purgatory is likely, BUT I DON’T KNOW. Nothing unclean enters the Kingdom of God, so what better place for God’s mercy to take place than that realm of purification?
*]**Deathbed Confession of Faith **- I believe I addressed this earlier. Thief on the Cross next to Jesus likely wasn’t baptized, but he was saved at the moment of his faith. God would take all things into account, I’m sure, so if one dies confessing Jesus as Lord, God, & Savior, and seeks his mercy, without being baptized by water, he is saved, I’m sure again, by “Baptism by Desire.”
*]Non-Catholics Saved? - Now we’re getting into complicated matters, which I myself am not so expert in, but some non-Catholics may indeed be saved. I think I did hear the Vatican stating that it does not blame all non-Catholics for the separation, and that they could be saved simply by faith in Jesus (provided the faith is living, not dead, and it drives a person to do good by nature), I COULD BE WRONG, CHECK ME! Those who overtly refuse to be Catholic, to enter the Church or remain therein, are in deep peril I believe, but for those born afar in some other Christian splinter, who never had a conscious thought “maybe I should be Catholic” and lived on having faith in Jesus Christ, such may indeed again be saved (but through fires of Purgatory). SOMEONE CHECK ME ON ALL THAT!
*]Need to be Catholic? - We can only know the standard rules, so yes one should be Catholic. What if one is not? God will deal with him/her in his own way, so we cannot conclusively know. The Spirit moves as it wills, God works in mysterious ways, even calling on atheists who may try to resist could eventually find themselves in a relationship with Christ.
AGAIN, I’M ONLY A POOR LITTLE REVERT, DON’T BUY INTO MY ANSWERS
WITHOUT OTHERS CONFIRMING IT, PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO PROVIDE
MORE AUTHORITATIVE AND RELIABLE SOURCES!