Pope Francis: Jesus Is the Only Way to Heaven

Pope Francis
Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 13, 2016. |

Christians should only look to Jesus for Heaven, Pope Francis said during a recent mass.

The pontiff made his comments Monday while speaking from Casa Santa Marta at the Vatican, saying that only through Jesus can people go to heaven

"The Lord thus clearly says: you cannot enter eternal life by any entryway that is not the door – that is not Jesus," the pontiff said. "He is the door of our life – and not only of eternal life, but also of our daily lives."

The pope added that he who attempts to reach heaven by an alternative way to Jesus "is a thief and a robber."

"He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door," but rather goes a different way, "is a thief and a robber," the pope said, noting that "there is no other" route.

"Jesus shows the way forward: there is no other who can show the way," Francis said.

"Any decision I take, I take either in the name of Jesus, passing by way of the door of Jesus, or I take it a little – shall we say in simple language – through the smuggler's hatch [It. contrabbando]? We enter the enclosure through the door, which is Jesus," the pope stated.

The pope also stressed the importance of Jesus and eternity in a February 2015 homily, saying that all humans have a hunger that can only be satisfied through a relationship with Jesus Christ, who he described as the "bread of life."

"We all have this hunger […] It is the hunger for life - the hunger for eternity - that only He can satisfy because He is the bread of life" he said.

Along with looking to Jesus for eternal salvation, the Pope also spoke on the importance of the church in one's faith.

Francis said during a mass in May 2014 that God meant for us to live in a Christian community, rather than be isolated.

"Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church. Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians," the pope said. "A Christian without a church is something purely idealistic, it is not real."

"Jesus Christ did not fall from the sky like a superhero who comes to save us. No. Jesus Christ has a history. And we can say, and it is true, that God has a history because He wanted to walk with us. And you cannot understand Jesus Christ without His history. So a Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life," Francis added.

The pontiff added at the time that just as it is difficult for Jesus Christ to be understood alone without the Christian religion, so it is equally difficult to understand a Christian alone without also taking into account the Church and their Christian brothers and sisters.

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