Do people automatically go to heaven when they die?

Father would you please tell me if I am allowed to ask you more than one question at a time pertaining to the same subject. Thanks

Hi, Barry...

Thanks for the question.
According to the Teaching of Jesus Christ and the Tradition of the Catholic Church, there is both a Heaven and a Hell (and Purgatory, but will not expound on that right now).
If by Heaven we mean eternal Life and Communion with Almighty God our Creator, then clearly not all will automatically go to Heaven... because if they never strove in this life, struggling against sin and temptation, to keep the Commandments and grow closer to God - then how will they spend eternity with Him?
Hell is really the rejection of God and His Goodness, rejection of His Commandments; thinking to do "whatever I want, no matter what" without regard for doing good and avoiding evil.  If we reject God now, wouldn't it follow that we will reject Him for all eternity?  And this is what Hell is: the personal choice to reject God for all eternity.
Not all choose God, many reject Him; so it would follow not only that not all do not go to Heaven automatically, many sadly go to Hell.
Feel free in the future to ask maybe a few little questions on the same subject, if it will help us to answer and address the question you are asking.  Advent Blessings to you!

Fr. Timothy Johnson


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