Although evangelization is a core activity of the Catholic life, a lot of Catholics today don’t understand what it entails. Having been involved in Catholic evangelization for a quarter of a century, I’ve encountered many evangelization-related myths. There’s seven common ones you should definitely know, and how to bust them, too.
Myth 1: Evangelization is Unnecessary Because Everyone is Going to Heaven
A common belief among many people today—including many Catholics—is that most, if not all, people are going to heaven. As long as you’re not Hitler, you’ll be fine in the afterlife. The growing prevalence of this belief over the past few decades as coincided with a decreased impulse to evangelize. This isn’t a coincidence. After all, why go to the trouble of trying to get someone to become Catholic if they already have the best benefit of being Catholic—a path to heaven?
However, Catholic teaching in this regard is clear: “[T]he Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire’” (CCC 1035). The rejection of this fundamental teaching has emasculated the driving force behind evangelization and missionary work. Yet we bear responsibility for the souls around us, and because of this we have a duty to keep them from the clutches of the devil. Eternal life is no game: we need to stop treating it like one.