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?




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.



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.


33 Thoughts on “Will Catholics Go To Heaven?

  1. no heaven for catholics

  2. I’m pretty sure that God wouldn’t reject one of his children who believed in Him, just because they followed Catholicism. I’m a Christian, I know God and His love is so great that we couldn’t come close to understanding it ‘yet’. God knows what’s in our hearts, He knows our every thought, He knows who genuinely loves Him. I don’t believe our Father would ever deny His loving, devoted child access to heaven. He loves us ALL equally, He wants all of us to ‘want’ to go home to Him but He gives us free will to go to Satan if we choose. I think the most important thing is to believe in Him and to have a strong relationship with Him. Ask Him for the answers, that’s what I do and He never lets me down.

  3. krysty on October 3, 2016 at 11:12 am said:

    i think no matter what type of christian you will go to heaven as long as you believe that Jesus died for your sins

  4. tom s on May 12, 2016 at 5:17 pm said:

    watching all the anti-Catholic videos on youtube keeps me away from the Catholic church,
    because they all [most] make sense. That’s why I attend non-denominational.
    I’d really like to read what a knowledgeable Catholic thinks of these videos,

  5. Thank you for addressing this issue “Do Catholics go to Heaven”. I spent twenty five years of my life as a Baptist born believer. It was not until I married that I converted to the Catholic faith due to my husband’s Catholic roots. I converted due to marriage, believing that this was the path that I was to take. I do not regret this path, otherwise, I would be regretting all that I have been blessed with in my life, namely my children and my relationship with my Lord. I have learned and grown in Jesus Chirst, because of what I have done to strengthen my love for my savior. No one can bring you to faith , but yourself. No pastor or priest will be by your side While you are justifiying your life works to the Lord when your own judgement comes. The great savior knows all that we do. As my faith grows and yes, I read the bible- I am currently on page 810 of the King James Bible. I love this book and it is my rock of knowledge that I give myself. It has hurt my heart terribly to read all the negativity that people judge on the Catholic faith. Catholics love Jesus Christ and it is really ironic how others judge this religion. I’m not going to spend much more time justifying judgements on others- I could be reading scripture right now from my bible- your bible. It’s all the same. Also, the worship of idols??? I have never stood in front of an idol or statue to worship anyone except Jesus when I attend mass. My time of communion is my rebirth to do be a better person- in the likeness of Jesus. My children have never stood in front of idols. The bottom line – is your true faith and love is the only way to get to the kingdom of Heaven. I have grown as a Christian, not due to my church belonging- but due to my belief that only I can be the forefront to make sure I am living the life that I am to live as A Christian.

  6. Anonymous on September 16, 2015 at 8:04 pm said:

    But it is like the bible say,,,, no one has the right to judge,,, ( cathlic, baptist, are any other religion !!! ) but me !!!!( jesus ) that is why each and every person should read the bible !!! And let the holy spirit within you paint a mintal picture and guide you to the path to get to heaven !!!! I feel ,,,, and this is only my oppion ,,,, when a priest, preecher, revrion explain a topic from the bible,,,, that he is giveing you HIS oppion of what it means !!!! I am not a priest are any kind of holy teacher,,, but , i feel like we all may be wrong ,,,,, because, god does not think like we think, see what we see, hear what we hear, and his ways are not our ways !!!! Do i believe in jesus ? YES !!! Do i believe jesus died for our sins? YES !!! Do i believe that jesus suffered, died and rose again ? YES !!! Do i believe that the only way to get to heaven is through jesus christ ? YES !!!! Do i pray every night and ask god for forgiveness and guidence to be the best i can be in his name ? Yes !!! I just hope and pray,,, that all religion is right !!! The only one that realy knows is GOD !!! I pray for all to be in heaven ,when its time!!!! May god bless us all !!! Thanks

  7. DON HILL on September 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm said:

    A Christian saved by God’s grace and his love for us . I am a soul winner , so I do my beat to gather in the sheep and for confessed believers in God the Father the Creator of all things and mankind in Gen chapter 1 verse 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and earth. And in Gen chapter 1 verse 26 part A And God said , Let us make man in our own image after our own likeness; Gen chapter 3 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed and her seed it shall bruise thy head and thou shat bruise his heal . ( still in the old testament ) Isaiah chapter 53 verse 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions , he was bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his strips we are healed . This is telling about Jesus back it up to Gen 3 verse 15 and Gen chapter 1 verse 26 .
    God is the Father the Creator Jesus is John chapter 3 verse 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus died on the cross he is our Savior John chapter 3 verse 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the son shall not see life :but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    • DON HILL on September 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm said:

      Romans 3 verse 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
      Romans 6 23a For the wages of sin is death .
      We ask God to forgive us of our sins ( which means to REPENT
      Jesus freely offers salvation to you with no strings attached . ” But the gift of God is eternal life .
      You accept the gift by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ . And by confessing Him with your mouth
      ”For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation Romans chapter 10 verse 10
      This tells me You are 100 percent sure today you do that that you will go to Heaven when you die
      That’s why the Bible says 1st John chapter 5 verse 13 These things have I written unto you believe on the name of the Son of God : that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life
      Need any more insurance ? romans chapter 10 verse 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved .”

      • DON HILL on September 1, 2015 at 11:51 pm said:

        Does Baptism get you into Heaven ? Is that a requirement or is it in remembrance of him? (Jesus )

        Is communion what gets you into Heaven ? or is it a remembrance in him (Jesus)

        Is anything that you do that gets you into Heaven other than your Believe in the Lord Jesus

        Get back with me for its nothing else I can do and Thank God for that . My belief your belief and we will all go to Heaven and what a day that will be . I’m glad this is on earth will not be my new Home . Looking to see you all on the other side … Be watching for any response …..

  8. Um Catholics are Born Again. So what you are saying because we believe we have to be good. Where as you don’t then we might be damned. Why?! We are both born again Christians. Catholics and Protestants. We both believe in Jesus and run to Jesus and accept him into our lives. We just believe that you have to be a good person and try not to do horrific sins. We don’t rely on good works. We expect that when you do bad things(mortal sin) you have to confess. Also to try and be free of sin. That is the pretty much the sameas what you do. So don’t use stupid arguments for the sake of trying to be controversial. We are born again Christians.

    • Chris hall on August 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm said:

      The bible says to call no man Father, for one is your heavenly Father. And yet the Catholic church teaches that a man who is PAID by the church of God is your father, who you confess your sins. Your sins are YOURS and YOURS to be forgiven by God your true and only Father. The Catholic church is wrong. It is a sin to believe a man can forgive you. If that he should even know your sins. Catholics do not baptise and the bible says you must be baptised. Mark 16: 15 says you MUST be saved AND baptised. But Catholic “fathers” sprinkle which is not baptism. Submersion is baptism. And you have created an office of power known as the papacy, the great “Father” of all right? And they are paid great money. They also teach that you cannot lose your salvation, but the bible is very clear that if we sin willingly after receiving the Holy Ghost we will not enter into heaven. There is no purgatory in the bible. The “saints” in the bible refer to all Christians, not the ones your “fathers” think are greater than others. “Saint” Mary was not immaculately conceived, only Jesus the Christ was, and she is not in heaven she is buried, sleeping and waiting for the second coming, as are all. The bible teaches many things that catholicism twists and turns and ignores. Catholicism is the Pharisee of the Christian.

      • Wainaina on September 16, 2015 at 12:07 am said:

        I wish you could first study Catholicism before commenting for it seems your understanding on the said matter is lacking.

      • paul hust on October 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm said:

        amen, those are the words I wanted to say Glory to God

      • Jacqueline on December 10, 2015 at 5:20 pm said:

        The entire “call no man Father” argument is completely misunderstood by Christian denominations who came way after the Catholic Church. Jesus is not forbidding the perfunctory use of honorifics nor forbidding us to recognize that the person does have a spiritual role as a father and teacher. The example of his own apostles shows us that.

        When it comes to a priest forgiving sins, Jesus said in John 20:19-23: As the father has sent me, so I send you..If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain them, they are retained.. If Jesus ha not come, there would be no forgiveness on earth.

        As for baptism and the sprinkle vs immersion, should we deny a person baptism by immersion because it is impractical or impossible for them?

        In regards to not losing your salvation…I thought that was a protestant/mainland christian teaching. They teach that all you have to do is accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and it’s done; you’re saved. You cannot lose your salvation if you truly repent after sinning. Everyone is always sinning and in need of repentance.

        The papacy is paid great money? And your pastors on TV are not? The Pope doesn’t own a dog who lives in a custom built doghouse with built-in AC. The Pope is a leader of his nation. He lives in his own “white house”.

        Purgatory isn’t in your Bible because you don’t have the Book of Maccabees for one thing.

        Mary was without sin. Luke 1:28 says she was “full of grace. Kecharitomene is Greek for perfection or abundance of grace. So it’s safe to say she was immaculately conceived.

        Although this is just a piece of a very long articulation.

      • This is well said! But many “will not” and “can not” understand this because they are blinded; their eyes haven’t been opened by God. Man wants to make his own way to heaven, he wants a god he can see, who is the pope. The pope is simply a man who will stand before Jesus Christ, just as we all must do. Scriptures teaches that only a few will find the straight and narrow gate to heaven; only a few will be saved.

        If we honestly seek the truth, God will NEVER lead us astray. Jesus has already told us that His truth sets us free (John 8:32). One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (Ephesians 4:5). God says, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols (Isaiah 42:8).”

        Salvation is all about Jesus Christ and the Cross—nothing more and nothing less!

    • Anonymous on January 20, 2016 at 5:16 am said:

      Ethan. It’s not what you believe, it’s how you worship God. Referring to your paganistic ways and rituals and omitting the second commandant to suit your own practice. Are you so blind that you believe in Catholicism. If you don’t conform to christianity, you are going to stay lost I am not judging you, I’m trying to lead you to salvation because right now, you are headed into satan’s kingdom. Me, I’m a born again christian and I have no doubts about my salvation. Get on board before it’s too late

      • Anonymous on January 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm said:

        Catholics are Christians. I honestly don’t really like Pope Francis, for he is destroying ancient Catholic traditions. Personally I am still searching: I have witnessed multiple miracles performed by Catholic Christians, and want to keep the traditions of ancient Christians, however I cannot stand Pope Francis doing what he is doing. He can visit mosques and synagogues, but not a traditional Latin Mass. I especially cannot stand him saying that we worship the same Abrahamic God as polytheists. You “Christians” may get your wish, Catholicism is going to play a huge role in the coming years whether it establishes one world religion, or goes back to its original teachings. Faithful Catholics are just as good as you guys, and even more strict with their beliefs; they follow the 10 commandments very strictly and have to see their priests to be forgiven for mortal sins, which can be embarrassing, then they are told a penance they need to perform to be forgiven fully. Its much more strict than Protestants have. So don’t think all Catholics are Satan worshipers who hate Protestants. However I will agree with you guys on two things:

        Jesus is our savior &
        Pope Francis is a suspicious dude…(Possibly plotting against Christians, both Catholic or Protestant)

  9. James on July 9, 2015 at 12:42 pm said:

    I guess the 33,000 plus Protestant denominations have it all right then, but hey, lets single out the Catholic Church.

  10. Michael Keane on May 21, 2015 at 7:05 am said:

    My understanding of this question as a Catholic .Jesus was asked what do I have to do to make it to heaven.Jesus replied keep Gods commandments .My wording That means either Saturday or Sunday I keep holy the sabbath day and go to Mass .When at Mass do this in memory of me bread and wine becomes body and blood of Christ .Most Catholic Churches have baskets at the entrance of the church so that food is placed for the less well off .If you went to Mass often enough you would find that we are asked to give to charity on a regular basis .St Vincent de Paul is one of the biggest Catholic charity’s in Australia
    I go to Mass because I can pray and relax and look at how I am keeping the commandments.I often fail but I keep trying .

  11. God love us and the world made catholic churches! is this how we express our love torwards him

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

      • WOW ~ LOTS of misinformation on this site regarding Catholics. Please get your facts straight before condemning our faith and regarding us as all going to hell.

        • Please feel free to tell us what facts are incorrect. Have you been born again? We would love to hear your testimony. Thanks!

          • Lorie Gloria on March 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm said:

            Well I’ve been a Christian for 20 years now and I was born a Catholic Because of course my parent were Catholics I remember as I was growing up going to church with my parent arguing and coming from church my parents would still be fighting and arguing I couldn’t understand why that would happen. I also remember as I was growing up my parents had a statue of Jesus the Virgin Mary and some other once I don’t remember but I do remember about Jesus and the Virgin Mary because they also had them at the Cathelic church I would always see people bowing down to the Virgen Mary statue and the statue of Jesus. So when we would get in trouble for not listening or doing something we weren’t suppost to My dad would make us get on our knees to pray to all this statue,s that they had on some alter at home he would have us pray for ours on our knees and I would look at them and wonder if they could even here anything we would say and of course as I grew older I realized that no,they can’t hear us it didn’t metter how loud I would pray o cry so when I first came to know Jesus I learned in the Ten Commandments that we weren’t suppose to worship idols at all or even bow down to them so once you get into the word which is the Holy Bible you will learn a lot of truth. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free John 8:32 we can’t be a Christian if you worship and bow down to them God is a jealouse God punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation Exodus 20:5 so even though you may say well I don’t worship them or even bow down to them your still participating with those worshipers and those that bow down to them because you know that that’s what most of all Catholics believe and do just like if you would be hanging around some one that committed a murder you didn’t do nothing you didnt even move a finger to commit this murder but your as guilty as them because you were there you saw it and didn’t do nothing about it so thats how guilty you are when you participate with things that are against Gods Law I love you and don’t get me wrong I’m not judging you im just saying how God spoke to me and opened my eyes to the truth.salvation it’s not in a religion but in a person Jesus Christ.have a Bless Day.

    • You shouldn’t follow Chatholics. they change the commandments of the world

      • Anonymous on July 3, 2015 at 1:18 am said:

        i’m catholics and our commandments are as similar as christian commandments plus catholics are considered as christians too

  14. 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.


    • 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.


      • Anonymous on February 18, 2017 at 9:05 am said:

        Catholicism teaches you are “born again” when you are baptized – made free from “original sin.” There is temporal punishment due for sin committed after that. Therefore, sacraments necessary for maintaining the status. If not completely purified upon death, Purgatory is necessary and prayers, offerings and masses said for the dead will speed the process but the exact time of release into heaven cannot be known with any certainty.

  15. 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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