Good people go to heaven when they die, right? Well, according to the Gospels, not exactly.
Fr. Mike Schmitz points to at least four things Christ says we need for salvation:
- Baptism (John 3)
- The Eucharist (John 6)
- Faith (Romans 10:9)
- Doing the Father’s will (Matthew 25:31-46)
None of them are “be a good person”; and it’s probably better that way because everyone seems to have a different idea of what is good these days.
Christ has given us everything we need to achieve salvation. He wants us all to be at his wedding feast, including you; but unless you do what is necessary to get to the wedding, you won’t be there.
Considering what Fr. Mike is saying, these words of Christ make much more sense:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Fr. Mike quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 847. Below is the paragraph in full:
“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.”