Do catholics believe that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ?..being good isn’t enough, you need to believe/trust in Jesus also, right?
Catholics believe that God provided a way for mankind to return to friendship with Him and that way revolves around the life and death of Jesus Christ. Believing in Him and and what He did and what He accomplished for us is one of the conditions which the Church proposes as necessary for our salvation.
This doesn’t mean that Catholics believe anyone is barred from heaven if they honestly don’t believe in Jesus. However, their salvation still comes through Jesus, even if they honestly don’t believe, but to believe and not to follow Jesus is another matter.
I include a few scriptures so you get the idea…Jesus is about loving…and our salvation.
“Anyone who fails to love can never have known You, because You are love. Your love for us was revealed when You sent the Son into the world to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away so that we could have life through Him. Since You have loved us so much, we should love one another, and You will live in us, and Your love will be complete in us, because you let us share Your Spirit.” [1 John 4, 111:8-13]
Jesus says, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.” [John 14:23] “You shall love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.” “What does God ask of you? Only this: to venerate God, to follow all God’s ways, to love God, to serve God with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and laws of God that are for your good.” [Deuteronomy 6:5, 10:12]
“Since the Father loved us so much that He sent You to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away, we too should love one another.” [John 4:10-11] “By such love, everyone will know that we are Your disciples.” “Anyone who says ‘I love God’, and hates his brother is a liar, since a person who does not love the brother that he can see, cannot love God whom he has never seen.” [John 15:12-13, 12:35, 4:20-21]
“Do not let your love be pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other…If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you must make hospitality your special care.” [Romans 12:9-13]
“Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate” even to the sacrifice of His beloved Son. “Do not judge others and you will not yourself be judged. Grant pardon and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure.” [Luke 6:36-38] “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be children of your Father in heaven, for He causes the sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and His rain to fall on honest and dishonest persons alike…You must therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:43-48]
“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You; or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and make You welcome; naked and clothe You; sick or in prison and go to see You?” Jesus replies “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” “In so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least, you neglected to do it to me.” [Matthew 25:37-40, 45-46]
“Is there a poor brother among you, one of your brothers, in any town of yours? Do not harden your heart or close your hand against that poor brother of yours, but be open-handed with him.” [Deuteronomy 15:7-8] “Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, ‘for God loves a cheerful giver.’” [Proverbs 28:2] “And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you…for yourselves…for all sorts of good works.” [2Corinthians 9:6-8] “None of us lives for himself only.” [Romans 14:7]
Catholics believe that Jesus Christ (and His Catholic Church) is the only way to heaven. However, an explicit faith in Jesus Christ (and membership in His Catholic Church) is not always necessary to get to heaven. The Catholic Church teaches that there is a well-founded hope that even non-Catholic (unbaptized) infants and small children who died before reaching the age of reason and for whom an explicit faith in Jesus Christ was not possible will go to heaven. Also, those who are invincibly ignorant of Jesus Christ (or His Catholic Church), who through no fault of their own do not know of Jesus Christ, but who are otherwise people of goodwill, who try to do God’s will as they understand it through the dictates of their conscience, may also go to heaven, presumably because they would have believed in Jesus Christ, if they had heard of Him.
Yes; Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.
However, an explicit faith in Jesus Christ is not always required to get to heaven:
Catholics believe that the Jewish Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.) and prophets (Moses, Elijah, etc.) went to heaven without an explicit faith in Jesus Christ.
Catholics believe in infant baptism and that baptized infants and small children who die before reaching the age of reason, before reaching an age when an explicit faith in Jesus Christ is possible, will nevertheless go to heaven. Catholics also believe there is a well-founded hope that even unbaptized infants and small children who die before reaching the age of reason will go to heaven.
Catholics also believe that those, who are invincibly ignorant of Jesus Christ, “who, through no fault of their own, do not know Jesus Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience,” may also go to heaven, through the merits of Jesus Christ, presumably because they would have believed in Him, if they had only been told of Him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 847)
Today’s reading in every Catholic Church in the world.
The people who cried Lord, Lord… were not saved.
Those who said they did miracles in His name were not saved.
More is required, only the people who acted on their faith and did His will …
Salavation is only through Jesus and yes you are correct that good works is not enough to be saved but neither is faith alone.
Yes, salvation is only through Jesus Christ and his body, the Catholic Church. One who, though not personally knowing Jesus Christ, who none the less does his will, lives a life consonant with love of God and fellow man, may be saved.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (par. 161):
“Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation in necessary for obtaining that salvation. Since ‘without faith it is impossible to please [God]’ and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life ‘but he who endures to the end.’”
So, yes,----ultimately speaking----the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ, whether the one being saved realizes that fact explicitly or not.
No, not “also” - faith in Christ is not an additional help to salvation: it is salvation, & the only way to salvation. There is salvation in no other name than His (Acts 4.12) He is not an “extra”, any more than breathing an “extra” way to live, along with eating & sleeping: they would be impossible,useless, irrelevant, if we did not breathe - for they presuppose doing so. To do it, is the essential precondition of our being able to do them, or any thing else.
So with Jesus Christ - except that the analogy breaks down, because He is far more necessary to our being at all, not to speak of our salvation, than any thing whatever. As for goodness without Christ - unicorns are less fantastic than such a non-existent thing. God is alone Good - so it is meaningless to speak of our being good without Him.
We can trust & believe in Christ, only because He lays hold on us before we even dream of doing anything of the kind - His activity contains ours, & we cannot lift a finger unless He acts: if He did not sustain us totally at every instant, we would not be, or act, or even continue in being. His importance & necessity to all creations in every way cannot be exaggerated.