Non-Christians going to Heaven?

Okay so I’ve heard that the Church says that it’s possible for someone who isn’t a Christian to go to heaven.
I believe this, but I want to make sure my beliefs are in line with the Church’s teachings, I don’t know if it’s just one of those rumors.

I’m asking if say someone who is a Muslim(Or Hindu,or a Jew, or anything) and truly seeks and loves God, and at least tries to live their life for him, but is simiply misled, is it possible for them to go to Heaven, what does the Church say about this?

166. Are all obliged to belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved?

All are obliged to belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6)
167. What do we mean when we say, "Outside the Church there is no salvation?"

When we say, “Outside the Church there is no salvation,” we mean that Christ made the Catholic Church a necessary means of salvation and commanded all to enter it, so that a person must be connected with the Church in some way to be saved.
168. How can persons who are not members of the Catholic Church be saved?

Persons who are not members of the Catholic Church can be saved if, through no fault of their own, they do not know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, but they love God and try to do His will, for in this way they are connected with the Church by desire.

This is from here: its helpful for basic Catholocism information. So in summary: we are bound to the means of salvation God has established, God can make exceptions

I hope this is helfpful :thumbsup:

It is a defined Dogma of the Catholic Church that there is absolutely NO possibility of salvation outside of it. Period. It has been defined Ex Cathedra at least seven times. Here’s one statement from the Dogmatic Council of Florence (1441), from “Cantate Domino”:
The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that no one can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms; no one, not even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

As an ex-protestant, I was initially worried that the Catholic church taught some kind of universalism. This most certainly isn’t the case, however. People in other religions can be saved, but they are only saved through the redemptive sacrifice of Christ. Other religions cannot provide some kind of “alternate route” to salvation that doesn’t involve Jesus. I think the best example of this is in the Bible, and is the story of Cornelius in Acts. Cornelius was a pagan, but once he heard about the Gospel he immediately accepted it and wanted to have his family baptized. Peter then remarks that people of all nations can please God. This, then, is the disposition that enables someone to be saved outside the Church. They are ignorant of Christ and His Church due to no fault of their own, but they are seeking God so earnestly that, given the opportunity to know about Christ, they would accept him as their lord and savior and become united to His Church. In this sense, they truly “desire” the salvation that comes from Christ even though they don’t know that this is what they are seeking it. Someone can desire the cure for a disease without knowing that it is penicillin that they are after. Likewise, someone can sincerely desire God without knowing that it is Jesus they are after.

Romans 2
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Romans 3
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”**
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. ** 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.** There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. ****He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 6
18 **You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. ** 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 **For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. **

When you pull texts out of Romans without following its line of argument that being only one sin sends one to hell and those under the law and gentiles not under the law have at least one sin – “all have sinned”, one can follow the teachings of Karl Rahner and thus fall into the error you are trying to preach.

continued in next post**

As for the Cornelius read on, Peter preached the Gospel to him,

Acts 10
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues** and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Acts 17:30-32 (New International Version, ©2011)
30 **In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. **31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”

The excuse of ignorance disappeared with Jesus coming to earth and dying for our sins. This is plain because “in times past God winked at their ignorance, but now commands…”

Sorry, I don’t personally see invincible ignorace are viable today.**

Bottom line in short,

It only takes one sin to send a gentile to hell.

ignorance was an excuse in the past but is no longer a vaild excuse.

Thanks this was helpful to me also.

However, I did hear that if someone is living a Christian life and is still in search for the Truth that once they die and meet Christ that they will accept and believe in Him since He is the one they have been searching for all their life. In which case that person is saved.

Is this also just a rumour or is it true?

Based on Hebrews 9:27 it is a rummor. But based on the theift on the cross with Jesus, death bed conversion, one could in fact, repent this side of death.

[quote=Catechism of the Catholic Church]1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Seems to be true… :thumbsup:

My own presentation might not have been sufficiently clear, as I got accused of being a Rahnerite. I think this article gives a very good explanation of The Church’s teachings, and in a way that reveals the errors of both theological liberals and the Feeneyites.

I suppose a simple reply no offence meant,is that all that lived prior to the manifestation of our lord.would also be able to have conviction of life there after,how/why ever not!

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