Will Catholics go to heaven?


Clarify Share Report Asked November 28 2013 Mini David Benefield

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Stringio Colin Wong Supporter Founder, eBible.com
First, caveat, I am an Protestant. Second, some church history is order.

When Christianity was adopted by the Roman Empire, what we Protestants think of traditionally as the Catholic Church began. The word 'Catholic' means 'universal', as in the universal church. There was one church organization representing all of Christianity then: the Catholic church.

Sometime later, the Roman Empire split into the western empire and the eastern empire. Church organization was also split. The west became the Roman Catholic Church. The east became the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

Then sometime later in the 1500s, the Reformation took place, and the Protestant movement brought us much of what we have today - from traditional mainline denominational streams such as the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodists and so forth. This then expanded to non-denominational churches that we see today.

To answer this question, one has to separate the organization (Roman Catholic Church) from the person (his faith). That is to say, what is the relationship between God and a Catholic person? Are all the major "ingredients" there that qualify a Catholic to salvation?

Sometimes it's easy to fall to the various "rat holes" of what we can agree or disagree with the Catholic Church (the organization). Perhaps we reject the authority of the Pope. Or we are stained by the excesses of its past, including its persecution of Protestants. No organization is perfect. Not the Roman Catholic Church. Not any Protestant group for that matter either. We are all human, and thus being fallen, subject to imperfection despite the best of our intentions. 

Does a Catholic person believe that Jesus Christ, Son of God, died on the cross, rose on the 3rd day, and made atonement for our sins? Yes. Does a Catholic person believe that we are now carried by faith through God's grace for our salvation? Yes. Does a Catholic person believe in one God, manifested in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? Yes. Does a Catholic person believe in repentance of sin? Yes.

Let's pick a hypothetical scenario. You're in a life and death situation. A person is about to die. He says he wants to repent and come to Christ. How would you lead this person to Christ? What is the bare minimum that this person have to belief in, in order to be in God's family? Let's assume he/she is genuine in their repentance. Well, they would have to believe in Jesus Christ, believe He died for them, believe his death atoned for their sin, and through this believe (faith), by God's grace, receive salvation. Yes?

There are differences that Protestants cannot agree with the Catholic Church. We believe the supreme authority of the Bible, they believe the Church and Tradition have equal authority to the Bible. We believe the direct communion with God. They believe intermediaries through Saints is possible. We believe salvation is entirely by God's grace. They believe works is required to complete the salvation. Though this last point is probably argued even by some in the Protestant fold here on eBible. Bottom line there are significant differences in theology.

But are the differences enough to question a Catholic person's salvation? I suspect not but it's not my position to say whether any person will go to heaven or hell. That is God's prerogative and His judgement alone.

November 28 2013 20 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jennifer Henkel Bible/History Middle School Teacher, Lover of the OT!
The answer to this question hinges on what or whom the Catholic is trusting for the forgiveness of his/her sins and eternal life.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." He is the only mediator between us and the Father.

To be trusting in Mary or another dead Christian for admittance into Heaven is to deny the truth found in Scripture. To trust in good works, scapulars, pilgrimages or relics to gain favor with God is not Biblical and will result in eternal death in Hell.

Nothing but faith in Jesus for your forgiveness and submitting to Him daily will save you. To say, "Jesus AND (something else)" is syncretism (combining pagan beliefs with Christianity) and an offense to God.

Only God knows each person's heart and what he/she is trusting in for salvation from sin and entrance into Heaven.

November 29 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Charles Kennedy
I was catholic for 68 years and recently left the church, becoming a Presbyterian. I left because I read the Catechism, which says that the sacred scripture (Bible) is not enough for salvation. Salvation also requires sacred tradition and the Magisterium. 

This opened my eyes, for I always believed that faith in Jesus Christ was all that one needed for salvation. As I read further, I learned many things that I didn't agree with. For instance, I learned that if you don't go to mass every Sunday and holy day of obligation (when you are capable of going), you have committed a mortal sin. If you are capable of receiving communion (e.g. you have not committed a mortal sin) and you don't when you are at mass, you have committed a mortal sin. This means that if I don't confess missing mass or communion to a priest, I will burn in hell for eternity. 

I learned that Mary was conceived without original sin, was a virgin all her life, and her body and soul were taken to heaven, just like Jesus. I learned that Mary is a mediatrix - a mediator between God and man - and has influence over our salvation. The catechism says that priests are given powers far beyond that of angels, as priests can change the host and wine into Christ's very body and blood. And, of course, priests can forgive sin. Totally unbiblical.

Then I studied the history of the catholic church. I learned that Constantine declared catholicism as the official church of Rome in 313AD, and the first pope came along around 600AD. Yet, the church says St Peter was the first pope. 

Up until 1100 or 1200 AD, priests were allowed to marry and have familys. They became wealthy landowners. The pope around that time decided the priests were becoming too powerful and decreed that they must give up their wealth, land, wives and families. There was no phase in time. On a particular day the families were put out on the street with no support. The priests accepted a vow of celibacy. Many wives committed suicide, others fell into prostitution. 

In the early 1500s, the pope wanted to build St Peters Basilica. The Vatican was low on money, so he sold indulgences. An indulgence was a reduction in time in purgatory. You could purchase them for people already in purgatory or for yourself when the time came. The pope was also selling Bishop postions. That was the last straw for Martin Luther, and he posted his 95 Theses, which was essentially the beginning of the Reformation. 

In 1555, Queen Mary of the Tudors, a devout catholic, sent her aids throughout England asking catholics one question: Do you believe in Transubstantiation? If you answered no, you were burned at the stake. Around 1000 "heretics" were burned at the stake from 1555-1558. 

One last thing - the Pope with his Bishops form the Magisterium. This is the only body that can accurately interpret the word of God. They are infallible in their interpretation and meet to establish church dogma. This dogma is the sacred tradition. It lies outside the Bible. If you research these meetings, such as the Council of Trent, you will be able to read the "canons" that contain the dogma. At the end of each canon, there is a statement that basically says if you don't believe what the canon says, you are anathema. Anathema means cursed, damned. For instance, if you do not believe in transubstantiation, you are anathema. 

After studying the Catechism, church history and the Bible, I came to the conclusion that catholicism is a false religion with a false Christ, and I needed to leave. I had to be certain, as the Catechism states that a member who leaves cannot be saved. So, can catholics go to heaven? I believe they can, IF they are like I was - ignorant of what their religion teaches. But if they discover that catholicism contradicts the Bible over and over again, they will have to make a choice - the Christ of the Bible or the Christ of Catholicism. Only one Christ will lead to salvation.

December 15 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Debra Davis
I was so pleased to see the statement of faith. Having grown up a fourth generation Roman Catholic, I honestly have to say I never heard the gospel preached as the apostles preached it though I had been in mass every Sunday, and even every day during lent.

I was 33 years old before I heard of Peter's presentation of the gospel, of righteousness imputed through belief in Christ's atoning death as the bible says. I had been given my first scapula at 6, started praying to the saints shortly after, and lighting candles for my early release from purgatory as I was painfully aware of how short I fell of God's commandments. I couldn't get out the door of the confessional with the priest before I had sinned in some way or another. I was always concerned about this as I took communion. But I didn't know what else to do. 

I lived in dread fear that I would, try hard as I might, do as many good deeds as I could, and Christ would say, 'depart from me, I never knew you'. and it seemed so very wrong that gangsters could get a 'get out of purgatory free card' for giving lots of money to the church. What about the hard working poor? I thought how can I trust a God like that? 

Then I learned the Truth. Jesus says perfect love casts out fear. That fear was cast out after I left the catholic church after hearing the gospel that Jesus had paid for ALL of my sins. Further I learned there is no purgatory, that is just a way to get money. I learned that those heresies were actually contained in the apocrypha which is a book written during what is called the silent years, the 400 years between the writing of the old testament and the new testament. So they were written by false teachers because Jesus sent no prophets during that time. But the catholic church incorporates them into their gospel, which is why most Catholics don't know that if they repent and place their faith in Christ's atoning death on the cross, that they will be in the presence of the Lord at the moment of their death. 

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

The saddest thing of all is many devout Catholics don't know what the bible says because the priest tells them from birth, that they alone are the chosen ones who can interpret it. I wept for months when I read the truths of the Holy bible for myself, they are so very precious. To see that God has promised our inheritance is RESERVED for us in heaven! that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and no one can take us out of the father's hand, that unless we have a righteousness that is NOT our own, but from Jesus Christ which He paid for by His death on the cross, such wonderful love. 

I pray that Catholics eyes are opened as mine was to the truth of the Savior who loves us and gave Himself for us that we might be redeemed from the curse of the law. "For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to as many as believe on His Name". John 1:12

Though it's wonderful to be 'reasoning together' as the apostles did,please be careful not to lump the different denominations with their opposing theological doctrines together. Someone like me would still be going to hell if I hadn't been confronted with the truths of the Scriptures so I could repent and trust Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Living guided daily by His Holy Spirit now is my great delight. It's more wonderful than words can ever say.

February 24 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Todd Anders
The bible says "it is not His will that any perish but that all should come to everlasting life". Anyone who can lay aside their opinions and traditions long enough to search the scripture and "work out your own soul's salvation" can find a very simple straightforward plan established by the man to whom Christ said "I give you the keys to the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven". And on the day of Pentecost (which we all believe was the day the new testament church was established) Peter stood up "with the other 11" and preached "Jesus and him crucified" then gave to us the plan of salvation that was then used throughout the rest of the book of acts. 

We do not have a single example of anyone anywhere in the book of acts being saved any other way than what Peter established on the day of pentecost. Read acts 2, acts 8, acts 10, acts 19. Even the apostle Paul himself followed this same plan! The only we can TRULY know we are saved is if we use the plan that was used by every person who received salvation in the only eyewitness account left to us by the men who walked with our redeemer and actually heard His words and were anointed by His own hand to fulfill his wishes for this lost and dying world. 

Read the second chapter of acts and see if the way the catholic church preaches salvation matches what peter preached and established once and for all on the day of pentecost. Jesus said Himself " through your traditions you have made the word of God of no effect" if a catholic person will come out of their tradition and follow the plan laid out by word and example in Gods holy writ yes he or she can be saved.

November 29 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
We have to go by what the bible says. The gospel. First Corinthians 15:1-4 That Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, that He was buried and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures. If we believe He did it for us we are saved and have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace ye are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after ye believed were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit in whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Hebrews 13:5 And be content with such things as ye have, for He hath said, I will never leave you or forsake you.

There is no such thing as purgatory in the bible. Once we die we either go to heaven or hell. If we have trusted Jesus as the only way to be saved plus nothing, we are saved and given eternal life. We are to call no man father. If we are a child of God, God is our heavenly father.

We are not saved by works. Romans 11:6 No one can earn heaven by what they do or do not do. Salvation is a free gift from God without works.

Any Catholics that believe they are saved by grace plus works are not saved, any one else that believes it. Romans 11:6 You can not add works to grace or it is no more grace. Either Jesus paid it all or nothing. He will not pay part and give the glory to man who can boast in his own salvation. Mary was a sinner just like all the rest of us. She was not the mother of God. We are not to have idols in the church. We pray to God alone, through Jesus. Priests can not forgive sin. Only God through the blood of Jesus who paid for all our sins so that we would not have to go to hell to pay for them. The Pope is a sinner just like the rest of us. He is not the authority, the word of God is. 

First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know ye have eternal life.

March 02 2018 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Basil Emeokoro
The Nicene Creed:
We believe in one God, 
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of all that is, seen and unseen. 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
of one Being with the Father. 

Through him all things were made. 

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man. 

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried. 

On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son. 

With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. 

He has spoken through the Prophets. 

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. 

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. 

We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

June 27 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

All praises to you loving god mar 12 Vivian McLemore
In my humble response to this question I would like to say Christ Jesus did not die for any religion. He died for us all,. Catholicism is my religion and Jesus is my Savior. Most all religions practically violate the Apostle Doctrine (Acts 2:42) in some way with their man made religious rules, rituals and practices. If you look at the churches today, you find all kinds of heresy, immorality, and spiritual sickness. You also find some wonderful things too.

But every place you see bad things, you can trace it back to a wholesale neglect or rejection of scripture – the Apostles’ Doctrine. We ignore their mandates about church leadership. We do not take seriously the holiness of God in our churches. The only solution is to pay the price of repentance and obedience. Also, please review the Seven Churches in the Book of Revelations (Ephesians 2:1-3:22) even they lacked something spiritually. God is NOT a respecter of person. He looks at our heart and not outward appearances. The harshest human critics playing God's role of judging always tend to be our very own fellow Christian brethren. You without sin cast the first stone! 

Regardless of your Christian religion preference of practices remember what the Living Word says in the Book of Romans 10:12-13 "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of ALL abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED." (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21. 10:12-17 

There is NOT one God to the Jews, more kind, and another to the Gentiles, who is less kind; the Lord is a Father to ALL men. The promise is the same to ALL, who call on the name of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as God manifest in the flesh. All believers thus call upon the Lord Jesus, and none else will do so humbly or sincerely.

Catholics believe in Father God and on His beloved Son Jesus and Holy Comforter (Trinity). Father God urges you to understand His commands. In the Book of Luke 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him! Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light to the Jews and Gentiles alike. It is NOT my religion preference but on the Word of God I so do place my faith, trust and belief in. His WORD declare you will be saved. Know this and remember it is God's Word will never fail nor return to Him void. The Living WORD does not think like the World does. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8-9.

Let us stop being busy bodies and be the fisher of men casting Jesus salvation net out to others who are lost in world. May we all walk our journey of faith with more love than judging others. Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6).. going forth in His will.

March 09 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Luke Stechschulte
I am a "Roman" Catholic in Ohio and believe that the only way to get to heaven is through Jesus Christ; he died for our sins, and all we have to do is accept this. Once we accept this, I believe "good works" are more prevalent in a persons life, but not the way for salvation. 

Also, the pope is just the figurehead of the Catholic church, just as any protestant leader is to their denomination. I do not know personally any Catholics including myself that the Pope is really any closer to God just because of his position. We all hope to think he keeps God's word better than the average person. Also, we do not pray to Mary and the "saints" for salvation, but modernly view them as people who followed Christ on earth, therefore we presume to be in heaven, and we just honor them and the lives they lived in Christ.

I read the Bible often, and every week at mass, at least two readings from the Bible are read and reflected on for every Catholic present. We have been encouraged by the last 3 priests we had to spend time in the word of God as often as possible.

I believe most Catholics today think and feel the same way I do; we go to Bible studies at other peoples homes, etc....so, all in all, my guess is the percent of Catholics saved by the blood of Jesus is the same as Protestants.

June 27 2014 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Kevin McCallister
I consider Jesus, not only my Lord and Savior, but my best friend. It has always puzzled me why Catholics believe they need an intermediary between them and Jesus to get to the Father. That’s the whole message of Jesus coming to earth as a man, so we could see him, feel him, touch him, and BELIEVE in him. There isn’t one person on earth to whom I feel I must communicate with them through their mother, so why would anyone believe they need Mary to intercede for them? I speak directly to the Father in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I mean no disrespect to anyone of the Catholic faith.. nor am I judging. I feel so strongly and want to get the message out to all that will listen.

When Moses came down from the mountain and saw that Aaron had created a golden calf, an Idol, it infuriated him (Moses) and God. 

It’s ok I’m sure to respect Mary, the mother of Jesus, but she is not a deity. She has no more clout with God than you as a living soul do in life. I’ve visited Catholic churches and there are statues of Mary in and around the church. People pray to Mary.. fall to their knees in front of these pictures and statues and cry.. in the Catholic church the crucifix has a dead Jesus on it.. My Lord and Savior is NO LONGER ON THAT CROSS! He lives! And the empty cross is a representation that he lives.. 

I beg of you to open your eyes and realize that as a Catholic you are putting her on a pedestal and idolizing her. She is not your Savior. Jesus is. Talk to him directly and find peace and salvation.

March 02 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Rowland
All RCs are required to venerate Mary, saints, relics and believe that the elements in the mass are changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. They are also required to accept the infallibility and to submit to the authority of the Pope. If a person does not adhere to these things and more, according to the Council of Trent they are under a curse. Although meeting in the middle of the 1500s these the pronunciations of this council still pertain. If anyone believes they are justified on the basis of the righteousness and death of Christ alone, received by faith alone, Trent pronounces a curse. Better be saved by believing this biblical truth, trusting Christ as Saviour, than to fear the statements of a man made council.

March 03 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Benny Chee
Read the nicene and apostle creed. These are the fundamental doctrines. Catholics believe in them.

As for their practices and traditional norms, we should let God tell us when we meet HIM but in my opinion they are not matters concerning salvation.

August 12 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Derrol PORTER Emancipated by the Liberating King
There has always been "faith plus" elements injected into God's way. All the way back to Eden when Satan proffered "did God say?". {Genesis 3:1}

We can choose to believe Jesus when He said, the only way, the only truth, and the only life that gets one to the Father is through Him and through Him only, not Him plus. {John 14:6}

Faith in Jesus and what He did and confessing that He is the only Lord is the way to heaven {Romans 10:9-10}.

In short, the difference between religion and real righteousness is the word "done" not "do". Jesus did it all, so He doesn't need tradition plus what He did for us in order to get us to heaven.

Catholic or any other denomination doesn't get one to heaven, Jesus blood sacrifice on the cross, and Jesus breaking death's hold by His resurrection and one's belief and trust that this is God's way to heaven gets one to heaven.

March 02 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini lynn Sander
God's church is everyone on the planet who has accepted Jesus shed blood on the cross as payment for their sins. When God looks at us, He does not see Catholic, Methodist, baptist, Muslim... He either sees the blood of Christ or not.

Gal 3:26-28: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Denominations are man made and I suspect sadden God's heart because they are essentially divisions in the church. 

Read 1 Cor 1:10-17, 3:1-23...Some wanted to follow Paul, others follow Cephas, others Apollos. Paul rebuked them saying "he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." They were focusing on men rather than on Christ, much the same way this question and answers are focusing on a denomination.

We will not stand before God as a denomination, but every person individually will have to give account to God.

We should be spiritually mature enough to be able to discern what is not biblically correct in a denominations doctrine but not start viewing individual people as being that denomination because God doesn't view them that way.
He is not willing for any to perish and wants all to come to repentance. Christ's death was for anyone who will believe.

March 02 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Fb img 1517874101010 Joseph Grennell
I have also left the Catholic Church after 50 years. I now belong to a Christian Fellowship which simply believes that Jesus died on the cross so that sin could be forgiven.

So I invited Jesus into my life, prayed to God to forgive me my sins and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I then felt reborn and started to change my whole way of thinking about how to serve God. 

From that point onwards my whole life has changed. I spend more time praising God and spreading his word. Moving out of the Catholic Church with all its rituals, statues and relics was the best move I ever made to save my soul for eternity.

Praise God

September 14 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Elena Hellums
I believe if a Catholic believes in repentence and faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross, and how God raised Him back to life they will be saved. Repentance means turning away from the sins that RC commit in that they worship idols, like Mary, and believe in their own righteousness/good works are also needed in order to get to heaven. That emphasizes man and not God, and that is a sin of the Pharisees, and I believe RC’s who do not truly repent of their sins they commit (idolatry, pride, etc.) nor believe in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the world and rose again on the 3rd day, will go to hell.

March 29 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining