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Michael Haydon wrote:

Hi, guys —

My girlfriend of 5 years was recently saved in the Church of Christ. She believes that the only pathway to Heaven is through Jesus Christ.

I concur that this the only way for a Christian but I have many close Jewish and Muslim friends.
I contend that it is not for us to judge who will get into Heaven and God may decide to let a Muslim into Heaven if he has not received the Enlightened Word that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

She contends that belief in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior is the only pathway to Heaven.
In other words, a person cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven under any circumstances without a belief in Jesus.

  • Who is right?

Michael

  { Who has the more correct view on the salvation or lack of salvation for the non-Christian? }

Mike replied:

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the question.

It's important to keep in mind, her belief system comes from the erroneous view of Sola Scriptura which totally ignores the Sacred Tradition that has been passed down through the Catholic Church.

That Tradition which is included in the Catechism says:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of 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 - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."

Just a few days ago we received a similar question from another Catholic. This should help clarify any remaining questions you have on this issue:

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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