Non-Christians and Heaven


#1

Greetings!

I need some Bible verses to give my teacher to explain that Christians are not the only ones going to Heaven.

Thank you!


#2

I am not presently aware of any scripture that says non-Christians could go to heaven. I do recall that Jesus lamented “this generation” that even Sodom would sit in judgment of it; but that does not indicate that any of Sodom’s inhabitants actually entered Heaven.

Paul writes in the first chapter of Romans that God reveals Himself to non-Christians through His creation so that “they have no excuse.” Many theologians teach that if those who never hear the Gospel live according to the limited way God reveals Himself to them, they may yet attain grace through Jesus Christ (the only name by which we are saved). Those who do hear the true Gospel but reject it do so at their peril.

We should still preach the Gospel as it is the only perfect way of salvation.


#3

Elijah wasn’t Christian.

2nd Kings, 2:11:

11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both assunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.


#4

Everyone in Heaven is a Catholic and a member of the Catholic Church. The ordinary means of entering the Catholic Church is via the Sacrament of Baptism. There are, however, extraordinary means of entry into the Church, namely Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire.


#5

the only one i can think of is Matt 5 in the beatitudes where it says:

“Blessed are the pure in spirit, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs”

The way I interpret this is those who are truly ignorant, are “poor in spirit,” and have never been presented to the Truth are promised the Kingdom of Heaven.


#6

Hi Son Catcher

to further elaborate on the point you made…

there might be many christians who believe it is unfair that God would punish those who never had the chance to hear the Gospel.

I for one for a long time believed that if you did not hear the gospel how then can God punish these people for eternity?

then I realized…

Romans 1:20 makes it very clear as, Son Catcher pointed out, that no man is without excuse…

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

The fact is whether you heard the Gospel or not every human being on this earth will at some point in there life commit at least one of the following sins…

adultery, lie, steal, take Lords name in vain, not honor the Sabbath, covet, worship idols, have false Gods, not honoring parents, murder

having sinned, their soul will be separated from God

God is sovereign and will punish anyone with sin…anyone

this is not my words but God’s

no man is without excuse according to Romans

My christian friends…the fields are ripe for the harvest

there will be many people who will spend eternity in hell because of their sin.

May God send the missionaries to 3rd world countries to native tribes to spread the good news

May God send us to our mission field in our own neighborhoods, workplace, schools, grocery stores, shopping malls etc

God bless

mpjw

God bless


#7

I am not aware of any teaching of the Church that says that non-catholics can be saved. If there were a verse in the Bible containing such a belief, the Church would have contained it in it’s teachings.

The Church has always taught that outside the Church, there is no salvation.

God Bless


#8

Correct, the only question is whether sacramental Baptism is the only means of being brought into the Church. And the Church teaches what it has always taught, that although sacramental Baptism is the only ordinary means of entering the Church, there are extraordinary means (such as Baptism of Desire and Blood).


#9

There is much debate on BOB and BOD… It really isn’t clear where the Chuch has defined this as a dogma of the faith. I have not found anyone who is able to cite where this has been defined by a Pope or a Council. I am aware of the writings of some of the Saints, but not aware of when this was infallibly defined by the Popes…

God Bless


#10

In a private room next to mine there was a Jewish woman who was seriously ill. I went to see her three days ago and she was deeply pained at the thought that she would soon die without having her soul cleansed by the grace of Baptism. …I felt inspired to pray before the image which Jesus had instructed me to have painted. I said, “Lord, You Yourself told me that You would grant many graces through this image. I ask You then for the grace of Holy Baptism for this Jewish lady. .”…

…The moment came when the sick woman began to lose consciousness, and as a result, in order to save her, they…went off…to find help. And so the patient was left alone, and Sister baptised her, and before they had all rushed back, her soul was beautiful, adorned with God’s grace. Her final agony began immediately, but it did not last long. It was as if fell asleep. All of a sudden, ** I saw her soul ascending to heaven in wondrous beauty**. Oh how beautiful is a soul with sanctifying grace! Joy flooded my heart that before this image I had received so great grace for this soul. (916)

However, this was Saint Faustina… I wonder if the average person could pray for a baptism.

catholic-forum.com/churches/cathteach/divinemercy1.htm


#11

St. Thomas tells us that if a person were to live a good life, follow the natural laws, and seek the truth, God would reveal Himself to that person by either natural or supernatural means.

The miracle of Baptism is that anyone can administer the Sacrament in a case of necessity. Obviously, it is preferred that a Priest administer the Sacrament, but in a case of necessity, like the case stated above, a lay person can administer the Sacrament using the proper form and matter, along with the intent of the Catholic Church…

God Bless


#12

Well, considering that there are Saints recognized by the Church who were martyred before they were sacramentally baptized, such as Saint Revocatus and Companions, and also that the Catechism mentions it (e.g., CCC# 1258) – I’d say that the Church teaches it.


#13

The Church teaches in the Council of Trent that man can be saved by baptism or at least by its desire. I assume you are familiar with the passage? (If not, I can search it for you.) All the doctors of the Church in the Tridentine and post-Tridentine period agreed that this taught explicitly that baptism of desire for catechumens is binding doctrine, if not de fide (e.g., St. Alphonsus Liguori believed it to be de fide). There really has never been a theologian in the history of the Church (save, perhaps a few Fathers, when the doctrine had not fully been understood) who rejected baptisms of desire and blood. These only apply, of course, to those who really hold the Catholic faith, when they can be either implicit or explicit. It is important to remember that someone must always have the faith in order to have a baptism of blood or desire. It can be implicit, e.g., as we see in the lives of some martyrs who were not fully instructed in the faith yet died very soon after accepting it (e.g., in the lives of the 40 holy martyrs and others). For the 40 holy martyrs, I don’t think it’s impossible that this Roman soldier would have been able to be baptized by one of the other martyrs (as they were freezing to death in snow and could have melted it in their hands), though this is not recorded of them. There are other examples where it doesn’t seem possible that the person could have been baptized, yet they are still saints and even included with the name catechumen in the Roman Marytrology.

Having said all that, I will say that I denied BOB/BOD for many years before realizing that it simply is Church teaching and always has been. Just because something is more “hard line” or protective of the rights of the Sacraments (which, obviously, we need to be and to react against the heretics who would say otherwise), that doesn’t mean it is really the truth. We always need to seek the truth without reserve, wherever it may lead us.


#14

I’m including a good article on the subject. I’d definitely make some reservations about his interpretation of what is meant by implicit desire, and he says himself that “Trent did not say that it can be vicarious but the possibility is not excluded by what it said.” This may be the case, but you can’t read more into Trent than it’s actually saying, and we need to consider, as he says above, the Thomistic approach that the Council presupposes. As you know, St. Thomas would not agree with how far this man would like us to go with implicit desire. I didn’t really read from there till the end, so I can’t speak to that portion of the article. Here it is: romancatholicism.org/trent-baptism.htm.

Trent: “And this translation [to the state of justification], since the promulgation of the Gospel, cannot be EFFECTED, WITHOUT THE LAVER OF REGENERATION, AT LEAST IN THE DESIRE THEREOF [aut eius voto], as it is written; “unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”” (Denz. 796)

I would add to this that the conjunction aut is even more forceful than the author of the article says. There are many ways to say “or.” Aut is a disjunctive form of “or”; vel is less so. You can say, I’m going to the pond, or (if you like) the lake. In other words, I’m going to something that could be called a pond or a lake. You’d use vel. If you were to say, I’m going to the beach or to the lake (two different things), you’d use aut. This makes it even clearer that you can receive justification either with Baptism or its desire, being two separate things (unlike how some people would interpret the declaration).


#15

Actually, there is no proof that they were not formally baptized before being martyred. As a matter of fact, St. Ambrose tells us that catuchemens were actually baptized right away.

“I know very well that many things still have to be explained. It may strike you as strange that you were not given a complete teaching on the sacraments before you were baptized. However, the ancient discipline of the Church forbids us to reveal the Christian mysteries to the uninitiated. For the full meaning of the sacraments cannot be grasped without the light which they themselves shed in your hearts.” (*On the Mysteries *and *On the Sacraments, *Saint Ambrose)

[LEFT]And the Pope as well:[/LEFT]
[size=3][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=2]Pope St. Sylvester I, [/size]
[LEFT][/FONT][/size][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Italic]First Council of Nicaea[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman], 325 A.D., Can. 2: “[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]For a catechumen [/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Bold]needs time and further probation after baptism[/FONT][FONT=PalatinoLinotype-Roman][size=3][size=2]…”[/size][/size][/FONT][/LEFT]

[LEFT][size=2]God Bless[/size][/LEFT]


#16

There is nothing in their hagiography to suggest that they were sacramentally baptized either before their arrest or while awaiting execution (as is mentioned in some other hagiographies).

And either way, the Catechism still speaks of such.


#17

But the Catechism is not an infallible document. We will have to agree to disagree… There has never been an infallible teaching on the BOB and BOD, or a dogma that teaches this.

I will agree that there is some speculation though…

God Bless


#18

Please see my previous posts.


#19

I most certainly will…

Thanks for sharing all your information and posting your references. All to often there is much debate with poor references, and sometimes none at all.

God Bless


#20

Most doctrine hasn’t taken the form of an ultra-explicit ex cathedra statement (such as the Immaculate Conception) – but through the Ordinary Magisterium.

The Catechism isn’t infallible itself (a text cannot have a charism, only people can), but it does teach the infallible teaching of the Church. It is “a sure norm” for teaching the Catholic faith.


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.