Will Catholics Go To Heaven?

Will Catholics go to Heaven?

By Tim Finley

In January of 2012, while listening to Dr. Steve Brown’s Christian radio talk show, I was disturbed by a statement made by Steve (Steve has spent years as a Christian pastor, seminary professor, speaker, author, etc.) and his pastor, Pete. I was so disturbed by their opinions regarding Catholics and their eternal destination, and the fact they didn’t mention Jesus’ statement that a person must be born again that I wrote the following letter to Steve asking him to expound on his interpretation of the doctrine of salvation. My letter and Steve’s reply are, as follows: (you can make your own evaluation)

January 25, 2012

Hi Steve,

Tim Finley here. I wrote the book titled JESUS CHRIST Is the EASY and ONLY Way to HEAVEN, which you were kind enough to endorse. Last week you and Pete attempted to answer a question regarding the prospects of a Catholic going to Heaven. Although you tried, I am still unclear as to your straightforward opinions. I think you kind-of beat around the bush and never talked about being born again, as stated by Jesus Christ in the following verse…

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3

When one is “saved,” he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when he died on the cross, is what it means to be “born again” spiritually.

Isn’t the Bible very clear regarding what a person must do to go to Heaven? If a Catholic believes strictly what the Catholic Church teaches, which rejects the tenets of orthodox Christianity as taught by Jesus and the Apostles, isn’t there a possibility that person who depends on Apostolic succession for their salvation running the risk of eternal damnation? I think we born again Christians must be bold and brutally honest when teaching what the Bible says about salvation, even if it hurts someone’s feelings. Must a person be born again to get to Heaven and how does one do that?

Thanks,

Tim

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 26, 2010

Dear Tim, Thank you for your email. Steve has asked that I pass on his response. Sincerely, Robin DeMurga, Key Life

 

Hi Tim,

I appreciate what you wrote and you are, of course, right in terms of details. The problem is that Jesus hugs a lot of people who are wrong about a lot of things. One is not saved by affirming or believing a set of truth propositions.  One is saved by Jesus and running to him. The truth propositions (doctrine) have only one purpose and that is to point us to Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. The doctrines are important because the truer they are, the better they point to him.

The Roman Catholic Church is wrong about so much… but they do get Christology right (often better than Baptists and Presbyterians).

I’m going to “cut and paste” below some information from our database of things that I’ve written or taught about this subject in the past. I suspect you may have some trouble with some of it, but I do think it’s fairly clear.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Bless,

Steve

Following is what Steve cut and pasted:

     “While many Protestant Christians attack the Catholic Church, there are Christians in the Catholic Church as there are non-Christians in the Catholic Church. The same can be said for Presbyterians, Baptists and all the rest. What is important is one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

     Our salvation is based on our acceptance of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross . . . that’s it. It is not a matter of a particular doctrinal position in terms of theology. John 3:16 explains the simplicity of salvation well, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ Salvation is simply a matter of repenting from sin; believing in Jesus Christ; and accepting Him into one’s life. It is having a heart open to God.

     While I have some serious problems with the Catholic Church, I also have a great respect for it. I have a priest friend in Boston who has led more people to Christ (using the Four Spiritual Laws) than any two Protestant ministers I’ve ever met. In fact, in Miami there is a very strong Charismatic Catholic group of Christians who know the Gospel, the Bible and how it applies to them. They have received Christ personally and are now walking in obedience to Him. At St. Lewis Catholic Church, the priest is one of the finest born again Christians I have ever met.

     It is interesting to note that the Gospel is proclaimed during almost every Catholic Mass: ‘Blessed be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’”

     Regarding the practices of all denominations, I believe that there are cultural overtones in all religious manifestations. Salvation is a leaning on Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. God may say about our practices, when Christians get to heaven, “That was a whole lot of nonsense, but that’s okay.” The fact is, we’re all confused.

     It is interesting to note that the Catholic Church is a wide umbrella. It incorporates a wide variety of views, opinion and doctrine. At some points, the Catholic Church even contradicts itself. For example, the Catholic Church, as a group, includes both Augustine (hyper-grace) and Aquinas (the necessity of works). Strange bedfellows.

 

7 Thoughts on “Will Catholics Go To Heaven?

  1. Why do I feel drawn to the Catholic church and have done for yrs? I have been a born again Christian for 22yrs. I attend a Pentecostal church and have always done but sometimes its like a pop concert! Please e.mail me your thoughts. We cannot assume that just because it’s a certain denomination, like Evangelical that all are saved? God bless Karen.

  2. I am a born again Christian. SO why have I for years feel drawn to the Catholic Church? I have been a Christian for 22 yrs. I go to a Charismatic church and have been brought up in this. Sometimes I feel like it’s a pop concert! Obviously, I

    • I became a Christian in 1980, at the age of 34. I was drawn to the Catholic Church then because I liked their liberty of drinking, smoking and gambling. I still don’t see anything wrong with those habits if done in moderation. Smoking will not send someone to Hell – in fact it may get them to Heaven sooner than desired because it is so harmful to one’s health.

      Another reason I was drawn to the Catholic Church is because they seemed so “religious” with all of their rituals, statues, etc. Being in that atmosphere made Christianity seem very sacred, which it is, however upon further investigation by comparing what Catholics believe to the Bible, I soon realized it wasn’t for me.

      The most serious problem with the Catholic Church is they believe woks must be added to Jesus’ shed Blood for salvation. A Catholic cannot lay his or her head on the pillow at night with the full assurance that if their heart stops beating during sleep, they will go immediately to Heaven. THAT IS DEPRESSING. If you study the Catholic faith and compare it with orthodox Christianity, I am sure you will realize it may be considered a cult.

  3. scooter on April 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm said:

    Hello Tim, my question is why do you think catholics are in danger of hell if they fully acknowledge the Holy Trinity and believe Jesus is the way? Even knowing all of their wrong practices, does that serperate them from the Lord? I am a christian and I thought the only unforgivable sin is rejecting Jesus or blasphemy. I did understand Steve’s reply to you. I feel the same that many denominations have some questionable practices but it is expected because they are being ran by humans who are not perfect and just sinners saved by grace like the rest of us. If you could shed some light of this it would be much appreciated.

    THANKS
    GOD BLESS

    • Scooter,

      Sorry it took so long to get back with you, but I have been working on my next book.

      First, I will address what you refer to as wrong practices, a person can have many wrong practices but there is one practice that will send someone to Hell. That is the practice of believing you can earn your way to Heaven and I have heard nothing from the Vatican to the contrary. I am 68 years old, was once married to a Catholic, and once considered joining the Catholic Church until I realized their practices were so wrong that I could never, ever embrace what they teach. There are many fine Catholic people but I believe the Catholic Church to be a cult.

      In the 50 years I have been following and studying Catholicism, I have yet to hear a priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope tell any of their sheep that they must be born again to receive eternal life. This is a travesty. Paul said it best:

      Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. Galatians 1:8-9

      Good people do go to Hell.

      Tim

  4. I was basically seeking for plans for my blog and noticed ur article, “Will Catholics Go To Heaven?
    | Heaven Is Easy Ministries”, do you really care in the
    event I actually utilize a bit of of ur tips? Many thanks -Elizabet

    • Sure, you can use some of our information, but would appreciate it if you would recommend our website. Tim’s book, JESUS CHRIST Is the EASY and ONLY Way to HEAVEN is a wonderful resource, as will be his next book, WILL GAYS GO TO HEAVEN?, to be published in about six weeks.

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