Katholisch Leben!

The Jesus Brothers

Wiedergeboren?

Die individuelle Vorstellung vom "Wiedergeboren sein" oder vom "Jesus als seinen persönlichen Herrn und Retter annehmen" (meist mittels eines einfachen Gebetes) hat es in der Geschichte der Christenheit in den letzten 2.000 Jahren nie gegeben. Warum? Weil Glaube nie nur als etwas rein individuelles gesehen wurde. Glaube ist ein Gnadengeschenk Gottes, das durch unsere freie Antwort angenommen wird. Diese Gnade erhält aber keiner nur für sich, sondern immer im Zusammenhang mit der Gemeinschaft aller Gläubigen - der Kirche als Leib Christi. Christus möchte uns nicht zu Egoisten erziehen - unsere Sendung, unsere Berufung und unsere Erlösung geschieht nie nur für uns alleine, sondern kann nur im Verbund mit der Berufung und Erlösung des Nächsten geschehen. Niemand existiert hier auf einer Insel. Wir sind gerufen, Bott, den Nächsten und uns selbst zu lieben - und das gibt es nur im Gesamtpaket! Abgesehen steht die Taufe zu Beginn unseres Daseins als Christen. Ein einfaches Gebet reicht hier nicht aus (viele nennen Jesus ihren Herrn - das tun letztlich auch die Dämonen, wie Er selbst sagte! Das reine Aussprechen des Wortes macht uns noch nicht zu Christen!)

Auch ist die Stelle (das Gespräch mit Nikodemus) im Kontext zu sehen - vor allem im Zusammenhang mit den vorausgehenden Kapiteln und des griechischen Originals. Hier ist nicht das Konzept vom "Wiedergeborenseins" angesprochen, das bei einigen evangelikalen Gemeinden vorherrscht, sondern des "Geborenseins von oben", also durch den Heiligen Geist - in der Gemeinschaft der Kirche!

(Quelle: u.a. http://www.fernkurs-wuerzburg.de/index.php)

Steve Ray "Are You Born Again? A Catholic Response"

Für einen wiedergeborenen Christen ist die Erlösung doch garantiert!

Tatsächlich? Sehen wir uns 2 Tim 2,12 an: "wenn wir standhaft bleiben, werden wir auch mit ihm herrschen; wenn wir ihn verleugnen, wird auch er uns verleugnen." (Einheitsübersetzung).

Standhaftigkeit und Durchhaltevermögen sind also Grundvoraussetzungen, um es bis "nach oben" zu schaffen. Wenn wir die Erlösung schon garantiert und sicher hätten, sobald wir einmal "gerettet" sind, warum sollten wir dann standhaft bleiben, um in den Himmel zu kommen, wie wir es hier lesen? Wir müssen das Rennen bis zum Ziellauf durchhalten. Jesus sagt uns in Lk 9,23, dass jemand, der Ihm nachfolgen will, sich selbst verleugnen und täglich sein Kreuz auf sich nehmen muss. Das widerspricht aber der Vorstellung von "einmal gerettet, immer gerettet"!

(Quelle: www.saintjoe.com)

 

John 3:3 - A Catholic Perspective and Interpretation with Scott Hahn

Es kommt doch gar nicht darauf an, was wir tun - Jesus hat doch bereits alles für unsere Erlösung getan!

Lesen wir Mt 7,21: "Nicht jeder, der zu mir sagt: Herr! Herr!, wird in das Himmelreich kommen, sondern nur, wer den Willen meines Vaters im Himmel erfüllt" (Einheitsübersetzung). Wir müssen also den Willen unseres Vaters im Himmel tun. Einfach nur zu sagen, Jesus ist unser Herr, ist nicht genug! Es reicht noch nicht einmal, Wunder iin Seinem Namen zu vollbringen oder das Evangelium zu verkünden. Es ist einfach eine Irrlehre, zu glauben, wir hätten einen festen Platz im Himmel! Wer so etwas glaubt, setzt tatsächlich seine Errettung auf's Spiel!

Nun zu Jn 14,21: "Wer meine Gebote hat und sie hält, der ist es, der mich liebt; wer mich aber liebt, wird von meinem Vater geliebt werden und auch ich werde ihn lieben und mich ihm offenbaren." (Einheitsübersetzung).

Wir müssen also Gottes Gebote halten! Die "einmal gerettet, immer gerettet"-Theologie ist nicht biblisch! Wie wir hier sehen, müssen wir mehr tun als nur Jesus als unseren persönlichen Herrn und Retter zu akzeptieren und das Sündergebet zu beten. Unsere Liebe zu Gott zeigt sich in dem, was wir tun, wie wir handeln, reden usw. Unsere Erlösung ist kein abgeschlossenenes und besiegeltes Geschäft! Ein Christ hat sein Kreuz zu tragen und Gutes zu tun: "Darum, liebe Brüder - ihr wart ja immer gehorsam, nicht nur in meiner Gegenwart, sondern noch viel mehr jetzt in meiner Abwesenheit-: müht euch mit Furcht und Zittern um euer Heil!" (Phil 2,12 - Einheitsübersetzung).

(Quelle: www.saintjoe.com)

 

Eucharistie und die "persönliche Beziehung zu Jesus"

Wurdest du auch schon einmal gefragt, ob du eine "persönliche Beziehung zu Jesus Christus hast"? Bei solchen Fragen bin ich froh, katholisch zu sein.

Abgesehen davon, dass die Kirche in den letzten 2.000 Jahren den Glauben nie als etwas persönliches gesehen hat, sondern immer in Zusammenhang mit dem Leib Christi, der Gemeinschaft der Glaubenden in der Kirche (keiner erhält seine Gaben für sich alleine, sondern soll sie zum Wohl der Kirche verwenden!) - als Katholiken haben wir die Eucharistie!

In der Eucharistie kommt Jesus Christus selbst zu uns - wir nehmen Ihn in uns auf!

Wie persönlich kann man noch werden?

(Frei nach Fr. Bill Casey)

 

Wie sollte ich antworten, wenn mich jemand fragt, ob ich gerettet bin oder wiedergeboren wurde?

Antworte laut und deutlich: „Ja!“. Sag ihnen, dass du durch die Taufe gerettet wurdest, wie die Bibel es in 1 Petr 3,20-21 sagt:

„Diese waren einst ungehorsam, als Gott in den Tagen Noachs geduldig wartete, während die Arche gebaut wurde; in ihr wurden nur wenige, nämlich acht Menschen, durch das Wasser gerettet. Dem entspricht die Taufe, die jetzt euch rettet. Sie dient nicht dazu, den Körper von Schmutz zu reinigen, sondern sie ist eine Bitte an Gott um ein reines Gewissen aufgrund der Auferstehung Jesu Christi.“ (1 Petr 3,20-21 – Einheitsübersetzung)

Manche Protestanten denken, sie wären durch einen einzigen Glaubensakt gerettet, an einem einzigen Zeitpunkt in ihrem Leben (meist ein kurzes Gebet). Nirgendwo in der Heiligen Schrift steht jedoch etwas Vergleichbares. Als Katholiken glauben wir vielmehr, dass die Erlösung ein Prozess ist, der mit unserer Taufe beginnt und unser ganzes Leben über andauert, genauso wie die Bibel es uns lehrt.

An vielen Stellen lehrt uns die Heilige Schrift, wie man „gerettet“ wird, aber nicht eine von ihnen sagt, wir werden durch einen einzigen Akte des Glaubens gerettet an einem einzigen Zeitpunkt. Wie bereits erwähnt, sagt uns 1 Petr 3,20, dass wir durch die Taufe errettet werden. In Heb 12,14 lesen wir folgendes:

„Strebt voll Eifer nach Frieden mit allen und nach der Heiligung, ohne die keiner den Herrn sehen wird.“ (Einheitsübersetzung)

In Mt 6,14-15 heißt es:

„Denn wenn ihr den Menschen ihre Verfehlungen vergebt, dann wird euer himmlischer Vater auch euch vergeben. Wenn ihr aber den Menschen nicht vergebt, dann wird euch euer Vater eure Verfehlungen auch nicht vergeben.“ (Einheitsübersetzung)

Wenn dir Gott aber nicht vergeben hat, kannst du dann wirklich Erlösung erlangen? Nein! Die Tatsache also, dass wir anderen vergeben, ist wesentlich für unsere eigene Erlösung.

Lesen wir 1 Tim 2,15:

„Sie wird aber dadurch gerettet werden, dass sie Kinder zur Welt bringt, wenn sie in Glaube, Liebe und Heiligkeit ein besonnenes Leben führt.“ (Einheitsübersetzung)

Joh 6,54 sagt uns:

„Wer mein Fleisch isst und mein Blut trinkt, hat das ewige Leben, und ich werde ihn auferwecken am Letzten Tag.“ (Einheitsübersetzung)

Und in Mt 19,16-17 heißt es:

„Es kam ein Man zu Jesus und fragte: Meister, was muss ich Gutes tun, um das ewige Leben zu gewinnen? Er antwortete: Was fragst du mich nach dem Guten? Nur einer ist „der Gute“. Wenn du aber das Leben erlangen willst, halte die Gebote!“ (Einheitsübersetzung)

Jesus sagte also nicht: „Nimm mich in dein Herz als deinen persönlichen Herr und Erlöser an“, Er sagte vielmehr, wir müssen die Gebote halten, um das ewige Leben zu erlangen!

Ja, als Katholiken sind wir wiedergeboren. Und als Katholiken glauben wir, dass wir gerettet sind („Denn wir sind gerettet, doch in der Hoffnung. Hoffnung aber, die man schon erfüllt sieht, ist keine Hoffnung. Wie kann man auf etwas hoffen, das man sieht?“ Roem 8,24. „Denn das Wort vom Kreuz ist denen, die verloren gehen, Torheit; uns aber, die gerettet werden, ist es Gottes Kraft.“ 1 Kor 1,18. „Nachdem wir jetzt durch sein Blut gerecht gemacht sind, werden wir durch ihn erst recht vor dem Gericht Gottes gerettet werden. Da wir mit Gott versöhnt wurden durch den Tod seines Sohnes, als wir noch (Gottes) Feinde waren, werden wir erst recht, nachdem wir versöhnt sind, gerettet werden durch sein Leben.“ Roem 5,9-10 – Einheitsübersetzung). Wir müssen allerdings bis zum Ende durchhalten und unsere Augen auf den Preis gerichtet halten. Erlösung ist ein Prozess, genauso wie Katholiken dies glauben und wie es die Bibel klar und deutlich lehrt.

(Quelle: Dr. John Martignoni www.biblechristiansociety.com)

Bist du wiedergeboren?

Antwort eines Katholiken:

Ja, ich habe Jesus Christus als meinen persönlichen Herrn und Retter angenommen - und noch mehr als das:

Ich wurde getauft und in den mystischen Leib Christi aufgenommen!

(Quelle: Prof. Dr. Scott Hahn: "Evangelizing the Batpized". CDs by www.saintjoe.com. Go and get them!!)

Are You Saved?

Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall. 1Cor 10:12

Now someone approached him and said, "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" He answered him, "Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matt 19:16-17)

 

"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." Luke 10:25-28

"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life." John 5:24

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day." John 6:54

"You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved." Matt 10:22

"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16

Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. John 3:5

(Quelle: http://www.infpage.com/concordance/additional.htm)

 

How should I respond to someone who asks me if I've been saved, or born again?

Answer with a resounding, "Yes!" Tell them that it is through Baptism that you were saved, just as the Bible says in 1 Ptr 3:20-21 and that it is through Baptism, water and the Spirit, that you are "born again," just as the Bible says in John 3:5.

You see, many Protestants believe that they are saved by making one single act of faith at one single point in time in their lives. Nowhere does Scripture say such a thing. As Catholics, however, we believe that salvation is a process which begins with our Baptism and continues throughout our lifetimes, just as the Bible teaches us.

There are so many places in Scripture, which talk about how one is "saved", but not one of them says we are saved by one act of faith at just one point in time. As I just mentioned, 1 Ptr 3:20 says we are saved by baptism. In Hebrews 12:14 it says that we will not see the Lord unless we are holy, and that we have to strive for this holiness. In Matthew 6:14-15, it says we must forgive others or we will not be forgiven. Can you attain salvation if God hasn't forgiven you? No! So, our forgiving others is necessary for our salvation.

1 Tim 2:15 says that woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty. John 6:54 says we will have eternal life by doing something...eating the flesh and drinking the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Matthew 19, verses 16 and 17, Jesus is asked directly what one must do to have eternal life. Did He say, accept me into your heart once and that's it? No! Jesus said to keep the commandments and you will have life.

Yes, as Catholics we are born again. And, as Catholics we believe that we were saved, as Paul says in Rom 8:24; that we are being saved, as Paul says in 1 Cor 1:18; and that we will be saved, as Paul says in Rom 5:9-10, provided we persevere and keep our eyes on the prize. Salvation is a process, just as Catholics believe, and just as the Bible clearly teaches.

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute#1. Used with permission)

A Personal Relationship With Christ

In light of the emphasis of contemporary evangelicalism on the role or place of a personal relationship with Christ, it behooves the authors to put this emphasis in an historical perspective, in this appendix.

Some Catholic Christians and some non-believers are often heard to say that the Church never taught that a "personal relationship with Christ" was necessary for salvation.

The term "personal relationship" is, first of all, not biblical. Neither word nor the compound phrase is found in the Bible. But then, neither are such terms as "Trinity", "Incarnation", "Eucharist", "Lord's Supper", etc., found in the Bible. The expression "personal relationship" comes neither from the language of the Bible nor from the history of Christian faith. The expression comes from the humanist psychology of the last hundred years, principally that of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Eric Fromm. It also has its roots in over emphasis on the attitude of rugged individualism of the early development of America.

In using the expression "personal relationship" there is a danger in attempting to harmonize the formulas of the Bible with the formulas of psychology, psychiatry, and/or American nationalism. The language of the Bible and the languages of psychology, psychiatry, and nationalism reflect divergent perceptions and conceptualizations. Attempting to treat them as identical can only be artificial.

How did the Catholic Church of the past and how does the Church of the present teach the relationship each Christian must have with his or her Lord and Savior?

Many see the foundation for a personal relationship with Jesus implicit in John chapter three.

Jn 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."

Nicodemus, as Christians to follow for all ages, asked Jesus in return what was it that will allow a man to be "begotten from above." Jesus answered him repeating Himself:

Jn 3:5
Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

Again Nicodemus presses Jesus for a further explanation. Jesus answers only that belief and action - deeds, works done in God - will accomplish what is required.

Jn 3:12-21
... whoever believes in him ... whoever lives the truth ... his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

But Jesus seems not to be entirely clear on the requirements. But as the Church has taught through all ages, all of the Bible does present clear requirements for the Christian's relationship to Jesus.

The Catholic Church, using explicit Scriptures, has always found that the basis of a personal relationship with Jesus begins at the origin of the Christian life. The Church, from Pentecost onward, examines the language of Christ and Sacred Scriptures and the content of that language for God's desire for the Christian's relationship to Him. The Church begins at the beginning of life as a Christian.

The origin of the life of a Christian and of Christian perfection to which the Bible constantly calls us, is the Heavenly Father, Who communicates His life through the Son, and through the Son, the Holy Spirit.

1 Jn 4:7-10
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

The initiative for the life of a Christian is a movement descending from the Father to men: the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit sanctifies man.

1 Jn 4:10
In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us ...
2 Cor 13:13
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.
1 Pet 1:2
... in the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification by the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ: ...

The movement descending from the Father to man touches man first in baptism.

Rom 6:3-5
Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
Col 2:12-13
You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him ...
Eph 2:4-6
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,

Through this participation the Christian is a new creature living in an atmosphere clearly new.

2 Cor 5:17
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

This new life of the Christian is directly a participation in the life of Christ, is the life of a member, joined with the Head, in the Body of Christ which is the Church.

Eph 4:15-16
Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body's growth and builds itself up in love.

The movement through Christ in the Father, founded in participation in the divine life - the movement of life in its origin involves union with Christ and - through Christ - with the Father.

Jn 14:23
Jesus answered and said to him, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."
Jn 14:20
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.
Col 3:3
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

The new life of the Christian is an assimilation of God through Christ. This life begins in baptism.

Gal 3:27
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Rom 8:9
But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Rom 8:14-17
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, "Abba, Father!" The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.

The new life of the Christian is a personal gift of the Father.

Rom 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

The response to this personal communication in the Christian is the gift or the donation of self to God through Christ.

2 Cor 11:2
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
1 Cor 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
1 Cor 6:19
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Corresponding to this ontological state, the Christian life is not to be lived for itself, but for Christ and - through Christ - for God.

Rom 14:7-8
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom 6:11
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as (being) dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

How is this gift of self of the Christian to be made manifest? It is first manifested in service to God because service to God involves conformity to the divine will and also praise to God.

Christ is the model for the Christian of service in the divine will.

Heb 10:5-7
For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: "... a body you prepared for me ... 'As is written of me in the scroll, Behold, I come to do your will, O God.'"
Jn 4:34
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work."

Jesus teaches us that obedience to the will of the Father is our calling.

Mt 6:9-10
This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Mt 12:50
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The total earthly servitude of Christ consummated on the cross was praise and glory to God.

Jn 17:4
I glorified you (Father) on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.

Just as with Christ, the servitude of the Christian is simultaneously praise to God.

1 Cor 10:31
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
Eph 1:11-12
In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.

The gift of the self for the Christian is the denial of self.

Mk 8:34-35
He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."
Mt 19:21
Jesus said to him (the young man), "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

In the life of the Father through Christ, charity/love holds first place.

Mt 22:36-40
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
1 Cor 12:31-13:13
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. ... So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Gal 5:14
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Rom 13: 8-10
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

(Quelle: http://romanticcatholic.com/apologetics.html - used with permission)

 

If you were to die tonight do you have absolute assurance that you will go to Heaven?

Ever been asked the question: “If you were to die tonight do you have absolute assurance that you will go to Heaven?”

That’s a question that many Evangelicals use when approaching Catholics to try and start the process of pulling them out of the Catholic Church. I recently attended a seminar at Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA), which is one of the largest – if not the largest – Protestant churches in the Birmingham area. They were holding a series of classes over a several week period on various non-Christian belief systems. They had one on Atheism, on Islam, on Jehovah’s Witnesses, on Mormonism, and then guess which non-Christian faith tradition they covered after Mormonism? You got it! Roman Catholicism! (And please read “Roman Catholicism” with a sort of deep and sinister tone in your head.)

Well, I didn’t attend the other classes, but I did go to this one. And, one of the pieces of literature they handed out was on how to approach Catholics so as to witness to them about Jesus Christ. Below is first the text of the “approach” they suggested, and then my comments follow.


Challenge/Response/Strategy
“A Simple Approach in Witnessing [to Roman Catholics]”

1. Don’t attack Roman Catholicism!!!

2. Ask them the question, “Are you a Christian?” (They will probably answer, “Yes, I’m a Catholic.”)

3. Respond by saying, “Great, then do you believe that Jesus Christ is your Savior?” (They will probably answer, “Yes”.)

4. Ask, “If you died tonight, do you know for sure that you have eternal life, that you will go to heaven and be with the Lord?”  (They will probably respond that they hope so or they are trying, or how is it possible to know that.)

5. If they indicate that they don’t know for sure then ask: “What is it that separates us from God?”  (The answer you want is sin: Rom 3:32, 6:23.)

6. Then ask, “Which sin of ours doesn’t Christ fully atone for?”   (The answer should be none – He died for all our sins.  1 Pet 3:18; Heb 10:10–12; Rom 8:1; Rom 5:1.)

7. State: “To truly receive Christ as your Savior, you must trust in Him alone, that He took all of our sins on the cross that we might know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:11–13).”


My Response:

Well, we’re good up until Question #4. The first thing I do whenever someone asks me this question is to immediately ask them: “Where is that question in the Bible?”  Where does Jesus, or Paul, or Peter, or James, or anyone else ask someone, “If you died tonight do you know for sure that you would go to Heaven?”  Ask them to give you book, chapter, and verse.  They can’t do it, because that question is not in the Bible.  In other words, these “Bible–only” Christians have made up some sort of salvation test that is nowhere found in the Bible…it is a man–made invention.

Now, of course they’ll come up with some sort of reply to your question, and then get back to asking you to answer their question.  So, when asked if you “know” that you would go to Heaven should you “die tonight,” go ahead and answer the question like this: ”I do not judge myself.  I am not aware of anything against myself, but that does not mean I am acquitted.  It is the Lord Who judges me.” 

Now, if they try and point out that the Bible says that we can “know” – which they interpret to mean “have absolute assurance” – that we are saved and heading to Heaven and, therefore, any one who is “really” a Christian would have absolute assurance of their salvation, then simply repeat, “I do not judge myself.  I am not aware of anything against myself, but that does not mean I am acquitted.  It is the Lord Who judges me.”  If they then imply, or come right out and say, that your response is faulty, or somehow wrong, or that your response indicates that you are not saved – which they will eventually do – then simply point out that your response is almost an exact quote from Paul  – 1 Cor 4:3–4.  Tell them you are simply answering their non–scriptural question with a quote from Scripture itself.  And, if they take that to somehow mean that you are not saved, then they are directly insinuating that Paul himself must not have been saved…because those are Paul’s words!

Or, another option would be to simply say, “Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall.”  Again, this is a direct quote from Paul (1 Cor 10:12), that will throw your questioner for a loop.

Now, if you want to get all the way throug h the test, rather than engaging in battle at Question #4, you could simply answer #4 with something like this: “I am not the judge of such things, God is.”  Which is basically what Paul is saying, but since it’s not a direct quote from Scripture they may not recognize that you have responded with a solid scriptural principle – God is our judge, we are not.

So, let’s say you answer #4 with, “I am not my own judge, God is,” and they then interpret that as the poor little Catholic taking the bait and they move in to spring the trap with question #5, “What is it that separates us from God?”  And you, quite rightly, answer with, “Sin.”  They then think they’ve sealed the deal with Question #6, “Which sin of ours doesn’t Christ fully atone for?”

What do you do?  How do you respond?

What I would say in response to the question: “Which sin of ours doesn’t Christ fully atone for,” is this: “The unrepented one.”  Now, Christ did indeed atone for all of our sins, repented and unrepented; however, the atonement is not applied to the unrepented sins.  So turn around and ask your questioner this: “Does Christ forgive YOUR unrepented sins?”  Now this could present quite a problem to your questioner, because this person, based on the fact that they asked you this series of questions, undoubtedly believes not only in salvation by faith alone, but also in the dogma of once saved, always saved.  In other words, they believe that once they’ve accepted Jesus, they are going to Heaven no matter what they do after that.

So, because they believe in once saved, always saved, they have to believe that Christ forgives their sins whether they repent of them or not.  Yet, if they answer your question with a, “Yes,” Christ does indeed forgive their unrepented sins, they are flying in the face of Scripture: 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  “If,” we confess our sins.  If we repent.  If we don’t, we are not forgiven.  If we are not forgiven, we are not saved.  This can also be very clearly seen in Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Rev 2 and 3.

But, if they answer in accord with Scripture and say, “No,” Christ does not forgive their unrepented sins, then how can they believe in once saved, always saved?  Because once they’re saved, they could always commit a sin for which they do not repent.  God does not force us to repent.  Repentance is not automatic, even for a Christian.  And, if they have a sin for which they h aven’t repented, which means it hasn’t been forgiven, which means they have lost their salvation since, as they pointed out earlier, sin separates us from Christ…then how can once saved always saved be true?

Now, as in any of these situations, they will have undoubtedly have a response…words will come out of their mouths.  But, I can guarantee you that it is not a response that will make much scriptural sense.  So, no matter what they say in response to your question, examine it very carefully because it will not be consistent either with Scripture, or with one of their earlier statements.  There will be a disconnect…an inconsistency…in what they say, guaranteed.  You just have to pay attention and just keep coming back to your question until they have given you a logically and scripturally–consistent answer.

And, if they ever get to #7, tell them that you agree with that statement 100%.  As a Catholic, we believe that we must trust in Christ and in Him alone for our salvation.  We believe that His death on the cross paid the full price for our sins that we may know that we have eternal life.  However, you don’t necessarily agree with their interpretation of the verses from Scripture that they are alluding to.  Again, they interpret the word “know” as meaning “absolute assurance,” which, in fact, it does not necessarily mean, and they wring a “once saved, always saved” dogma out of the Scriptures that they are twisting in order to try and pull you out of the Church.  Yet, the dogma of once saved, always saved, flies directly in the face of Scripture.

You can conclude by telling your questioner that you believe you were saved by God’s grace alone, but that now that you are saved, in order to run the race to the end, you need to cooperate with God’s grace in your l ife and produce good fruit, or you will be like the branches of the vine in John 15:1–6 that get cut off from the vine, thrown into the fire, and burned.  And ask them if they believe they will remain a branch of the vine if they do not produce good fruit.  See what they say…


In Conclusion


The guy that presented this class at Briarwood Presbyterian is a Protestant apologist who is known nationally for his work with cults – and, yes, he believes the Catholic Church is a cult. I proposed to him at the end of his class that we have a public “dialogue” at Briarwood Presbyterian so that both sides of the issue can be fairly presented. He agreed, and I’m waiting to see if he follows up. If not, I’ll soon follow up with him.

 

(Quelle: www.biblechristiansociety.com - used with permission)

 

Once Saved Always Saved - Ist unsere Errettung sicher?

Sehen wir uns an, was die Bibel dazu sagt (alle Zitate aus der Einheitsübersetzung):

Etwa: Matthäus 7,21: "Nicht jeder, der zu mir sagt: Herr! Herr!, wird in das Himmelreich kommen, sondern nur, wer den Willen meines Vaters im Himmel erfüllt."

Oder Matthäus 24,13: "Wer jedoch bis zum Ende standhaft bleibt, der wird gerettet."

Dann noch Römer 11,22: "Erkenne die Güte Gottes und seine Strenge! Die Strenge gegen jene, die gefallen sind, Gottes Güte aber gegen dich, sofern du in seiner Güte bleibst; sonst wirst auch du herausgehauen werden."

Und Philipper 2,12: "Darum, liebe Brüder - ihr wart ja immer gehorsam, nicht nur in meiner Gegenwart, sondern noch viel mehr jetzt in meiner Abwesenheit -: müht euch mit Furcht und Zittern um euer Heil!"

Paulus schreibt in 1 Korinther 9,27: "vielmehr züchtige und unterwerfe ich meinen Leib, damit ich nicht anderen predige und selbst verworfen werde."

Wiederum Paulus: 1 Korinther 10,11-12: "Das aber geschah an ihnen, damit es uns als Beispiel dient; uns zur Warnung wurde es aufgeschrieben, uns, die das Ende der Zeiten erreicht hat. Wer also zu stehen meint, der gebe Acht, dass er nicht fällt."

Und noch einmal: Galater 5,4: "Wenn ihr also durch das Gesetz gerecht werden wollt, dann habt ihr mit Christus nichts mehr zu tun; ihr seid aus der Gnade herausgefallen."

Ziemlich deutlich wird es hier: 2 Timotheus 2,11-13: "Das Wort ist glaubwürdig: Wenn wir mit Christus gestorben sind, werden wir auch mit ihm leben; wenn wir standhaft bleiben, werden wir auch mit ihm herrschen; wenn wir ihn verleugnen, wird auch er uns verleugnen. Wenn wir untreu sind, bleibt er doch treu, denn er kann sich selbst nicht verleugnen."

Oder hier: Hebräer 6,4-6: "Denn es ist unmöglich, Menschen, die einmal erleuchtet worden sind, die von der himmlischen Gabe genossen und Anteil am Heiligen Geist empfangen haben,die das gute Wort Gottes und die Kräfte der zukünftigen Welt kennen gelernt haben, dann aber abgefallen sind, erneut zur Umkehr zu bringen; denn sie schlagen jetzt den Sohn Gottes noch einmal ans Kreuz und machen ihn zum Gespött."

Nochmal Hebräer 10,26-27: "Denn wenn wir vorsätzlich sündigen, nachdem wir die Erkenntnis der Wahrheit empfangen haben, gibt es für diese Sünden kein Opfer mehr, sondern nur die Erwartung des furchtbaren Gerichts und ein wütendes Feuer, das die Gegner verzehren wird."

So etwas wie einen Moment des Christ-werdens, ab dem man dann für alle Zeiten "gerettet" ist, gibt es also nicht. Ganz im Gegenteil...

Ezekiel

Ezekiel 33
 
 1Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

 2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

 3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

 4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

 6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

 8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

 9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

 10Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

 11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

 12Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.

 13When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

 14Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;

 15If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

 16None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

 17Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.

 18When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

 19But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

 20Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

(King James Version)

 

I’m a Born-Again Christian and I was wondering why the Catholic Church doesn’t do the altar call to have people accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior since it says that you must make this declaration to be Born Again?

The Catholic Church does, in a sense, make an altar call at every Mass. When people approach the altar to receive Communion, they are indeed accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, as they accept His body and blood into their bodies. Jesus says in John 6, verse 51 and following, that unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you have no life in you. If you eat His flesh and drink His blood, you will have eternal life He says, and He will raise you up at the last day.

He repeats Himself on this matter in John 6 like He does nowhere else in Scripture. Catholics take Jesus' words literally - we believe what He says. That is why we believe we receive His actual body and blood during Communion (or the Lord's Supper as you might call it). So when a Catholic approaches the altar to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, they are saying with their bodies, “I believe.” And just minutes before they approach the altar, they have, with the recitation of the Nicene Creed, declared with their lips that they believe. They believe Jesus is the Lord and Savior of mankind and they believe He is present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity - in the Eucharist that they receive.

My question to you, however, is where does it say that someone must make a “declaration” in which they "accept the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior" in order to be born again? Nowhere does the Bible say such a thing. In fact, the Bible says that one is born again by being baptized. John 3:3-5 says that unless one is born of water and the Spirit (baptism) one cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

So it is through water and the Spirit that one is born again. All Catholics, by virtue of their baptism, are Born Again Christians. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that one should not make a declaration that Jesus is their Lord and Savior - we need to constantly proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ - but the Bible does not say that one is "born again" by making such a verbal declaration of acceptance of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. And, I assume you want to go by what the Bible says, right?

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute. Used with permission)

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Resources

Being Born Again: A Commentary By Fr. Barron