Wednesday, February 3, 2021

High School Youth Group, January 17th, Catholic Response to Atheism, Session 10, Can Atheists Go To Heaven? (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

 We discuss whether non Catholics, non Christians, and even atheists can go to heaven.  Salvation only comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, but he alone knows the heart of each person -- perhaps there is some hope of salvation even for those who have not come outwardly to full communion with the Catholic Church

Listen online [here]!


High School Youth Group – Fall 2020 – The Catholic Response to Atheism

January 17th  - Session 10 – Can Atheisms Go to Heaven?

“The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God.”  -Psalm 13:1



I. Calendar: Classes continue until May 2nd. No class on March 7th, 28th, and April 8th.


II.  Review of the Problem of Evil

A. A good God would only allow evil so as to bring about a greater good.

B. Christ came to suffer with us and to redeem our suffering.



III. Can Atheists Go to Heaven?   Baptism is necessary for salvation

A. Among all the sacraments, only three are necessary in the sense that without them salvation is impossible. First, there is baptism, which is “simply and absolutely” necessary to all people. Second, there is confession, which is necessary to any who have committed a mortal sin after baptism. And finally, holy order is necessary not to each individual but to the Church as a whole. However, “contempt of any of the sacraments is a hindrance to salvation.” (ST III, q.65, a.4)


B. We must be very clear on this point: No one who has died without having been baptized has any hope whatsoever of salvation. Without baptism, one cannot be saved. All those who are saved were baptized while on earth.

Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mark 16:16 - He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Titus 3:5 - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.



IV. Three Types of Baptism

A. Water:  Sacramental Baptism

B. Blood: Martyred for the faith before able to be baptized

C. Desire: Wanting to be baptized but dying before able



V. Can anyone be saved for being a “good person”?

No.  However, the goodness of a person can indicate that God is working in a hidden way in their soul.  We can never judge, but we can hope for the salvation of others.  However, this teaching should inspire us in the missionary work of the Church! We must spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth!


“The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are ‘reborn of water and the Spirit.’” (CCC 1257)



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