Why All "good people" won't be in Heaven

Hello non-Catholics,

As you probably know the Church teaches that it isn’t enough to be a “good person” to be saved (that’s Pelagianism). I outline, briefly, the Church’s teaching as to why this is true here, if anyone is interested:


My question to you is what is your religion’s (or personal) response? Are all “good people” saved? (Catholics feel free to answer with your personal take too.) Is it better to be a “good Buddhist” than a “bad Catholic”?


It’s good news that Heaven isn’t reserved for only the perfectly good!

Through God’s promise of salvation, that there’s room in heaven for rotten sinners like me.

thank You, for relaying more reflective Truth from our Tradition. :eek: :thumbsup:

God bless

The blog in the link is your blog?

I have read some posts on it before!

Personal opinion: I have no idea who enters heaven, or how God works his wonders. I can only have faith.

While I’m opposed to indifferentism and have no wish to undermine the necessity of the baptism and of the Church for salvation, the other side of the coin is that God is not some sort of lawyer or journalist or activist who waits to make a point of throwing good people in hell on a technicality. It’s been said notably in the recent teaching of Pope John Paul II that God offers everybody a concrete opportunity of salvation. The same also defined love as not using your neighbour in instrumental ways. So basically for God each one of us is a goal rather than a mere tool, I’d say.

Then there’s the whole thing of baptism of desire and whether it requires a detailed identifcation/knowledge of what baptism is (on the dogmatic side). The Church does pray for good people (‘the just’ etc.) to find God through following their conscience.

And then there’s God acting outside the regular channels.

Therefore I’m not a fan of any imagery of good people in Hell, even though yes, it’s necessary to preach the necessity of baptism and the Church.

I thank God that God is not even remotely like what some people who believe in God think God to be.

You thank God that you know what He is like while others don’t, huh? That reminds me of something…

[quote=Jesus Christ] “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

But are there any “good people” at all? (excluding Our Lord and Our Lady, of course).

The “Pharisees” of today are not all that different from the Pharisees of Jesus’s Day.

Is that your point?

Certainly. Recently baptized infants would fit into this category.

To my mind, salvation depends on the will’s response to God. Not on outward actions, not on a personal and/or intellectual acceptance of Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, not on any sacraments, and certainly not upon what religion a person belongs to. Each of these can lead one closer to God, and possibly make it easier for the will to respond favorably to him, but none of them are what salvation fundamentally rests on.

This is an interesting, yet confusing teaching.

I see a hole with the premise that all good people won’t be in heaven.

Or rather, some, or a lot of ‘good people’ will end up in hell.

The problem is that by choice is how all creatures with free will end up separated from God. (vs Mercy required to be with God for humans, due to our nature)

Thus it would seem, if you do not choose God, you can’t be labeled good.

BUT, there is an instance of your point in my favorite parable - of the 10 Virgins.

10 were looking forward to the party, all headed out to the party. 5 prepared well for the party, 5 did not prepare well. The 5 that were not prepared, were denied access and in fact told they were not known.

It would seem the 5 that were denied could be labeled by us as ‘good’, yet unprepared. Some might argue that they can’t be labeled ‘good’, if they were not prepared.

What the parable doesn’t say is that they were then sent somewhere. Which would cause us to question my point about ‘choice’ being required to end up separated from God.

I don’t want to derail my own thread, but I have to ask, how are you a Catholic by practice if you are an agnostic by belief?

Good point, although I think what the Church (and God) would think of as a “good person” would be very different from the common use of that expression, as in “he doesn’t go to Church, but he’s basically a good person, so he’ll go to Heaven.” In the eyes of God a person in a state of grace is “a good person” not because of their own “goodness” but because they have accepted His mercy and have come back into union with Him. The wordly “good person” who therefore deserves Heaven (none of us do) tends to be someone who hasn’t raped or killed someone. The 5 unprepared virgins might not be explicitly consigned to the outer darkness, but they hear the same words as do those who didn’t feed Christ when He was hungry or clothe Him when He was naked, “Amen I say to you, I know you not” and we know they were indeed damned.

Scripture tells us in a number of places: faith, baptism, but the single thing that makes salvation possible is grace. Without grace, there is no salvation, because no one can be saved by the law. We know what Christ told us in John 3:16. What we don’t know, can’t know beyond this is how grace is bestowed.

Lutheran and Catholics agree that not all will be saved. We also agree that we can pray that they are.


We also agree that no one is saved apart from grace and, apparently, on the Doctrine of Justification.

But what is “good?” It has become a relative term. What I’d consider good may be good for me, but bad to you. So how do you describe “good people.” It’s almost laughably colloquial: “Oh, you know he’s good people, so you should hire him…”

Jesus even posed a similar question to a scholar of the law when he called Him “good teacher.” “Who are you to say I’m good?” It’s a valid question. What’s good to a Jew isn’t good to you. They believe in God but deny Jesus as the Messiah, so how do they get to Heaven? They’re being “good” by denying this Man, Jesus as Lord. :o Ummmm…food for thought.


[bibledrb]Luke 18:19[/bibledrb]

Pretty close on the JDDJ, though there are still things to work out. But to the point we have traveled these last years since Vatican II, we all should say Amen.


I am an agnostic by belief because, while I think that there is a good possibility that God exists, but I am by no means certain. Since agnosticism is not a practical philosophy, I live my life, for all intents and purposes, as if Catholicism were true, since it is the worldview that I think is most likely to be accurate.

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