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Salvation


"Zur Seligkeit berufen, aber durch die Sünde verwundet, bedarf der Mensch des Heiles Gottes. Die göttliche Hilfe wird ihm in Christus durch das Gesetz, das ihn leitet, und in der Gnade, die ihn stärkt, zuteil. „Müht euch mit Furcht und Zittern um euer Heil! Denn Gott ist es, der in euch das Wollen und Vollbringen bewirkt, nach seinem Wohlgefallen" (Phil 2,12-13)."
Katechismus der Katholischen Kirche, 1949
Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Salvation

(Greek soteria; Hebrew yeshu'ah).

Salvation has in Scriptural language the general meaning of liberation from straitened circumstances or from other evils, and of a translation into a state of freedom and security (1 Samuel 11:13; 14:45; 2 Samuel 23:10; 2 Kings 13:17). At times it expresses God's help against Israel's enemies, at other times, the Divine blessing bestowed on the produce of the soil (Isaiah 45:8). As sin is the greatest evil, being the root and source of all evil, Sacred Scripture uses the word "salvation" mainly in the sense of liberation of the human race or of individual man from sin and its consequences. We shall first consider the salvation of the human race, and then salvation as it is verified in the individual man.

Salvation of the human race

We need not dwell upon the possibility of the salvation of mankind or upon its appropriateness. Nor need we remind the reader that after God had freely determined to save the human race, He might have done so by pardoning man's sins without having recourse to the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Still, the Incarnation of the Word was the most fitting means for the salvation of man, and was even necessary, in case God claimed full satisfaction for the injury done to him by sin (see INCARNATION). Though the office of Saviour is really one, it is virtually multiple: there must be an atonement for sin and damnation, an establishment of the truth so as to overcome human ignorance and error, a perennial source of spiritual strength aiding man in his struggle against darkness and concupiscence. There can be no doubt that Jesus Christ really fulfilled these three functions, that He therefore really saved mankind from sin and its consequences. As teacher He established the reign of truth; as king He supplied strength to His subjects; as priest He stood between heaven and earth, reconciling sinful man with his angry God.

Christ as teacher

Prophets had foretold Christ as a teacher of Divine truth: "Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the Gentiles" (Isaiah 55:4). Christ himself claims the title of teacher repeatedly during the course of His public life: "You can call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am" (John 13:13; cf. Matthew 23:10; John 3:31). The Gospels inform us that nearly the whole of Christ's public life was devoted to teaching (see JESUS CHRIST). There can be no doubt as to the supereminence of Christ's teaching; even as man, He is an eyewitness to all He reveals; His truthfulness is God's own veracity; His authority is Divine; His words are the utterance of a Divine person; He can internally illumine and move the minds of His hearers; He is the eternal and infinite wisdom of God Incarnate Who cannot deceive and cannot be deceived.

Christ as king

The royal character of Christ was foretold by the Prophets, announced by the angels, claimed by Christ Himself (Psalm 2:6; Isaiah 9:6-7; Ezekiel 34:23; Jeremiah 23:3-5; Luke 1:32-33; John 18:37). His royal functions are the foundation, the expansion and the final consummation of the kingdom of God among men. The first and last of these acts are personal and visible acts of the king, but the intermediate function is carried out either invisibly, or by Christ's visible agents. The practical working of the kingly office of Christ is described in the treatises on the sources of revelation; on grace, on the Church, on the sacraments, and on the last things.

Christ as priest

The ordinary priest, is made God's own by an accidental unction, Christ is constituted God's own Son by the substantial unction with the Divine nature; the ordinary priest is made holy, though not impeccable, by his consecration, while Christ is separated from all sin and sinners by the hypostatic union; the ordinary priest draws nigh unto God in a very imperfect manner, but Christ is seated at the right hand of the power of God. The Levitical priesthood was temporal, earthly, and carnal in its origin, in its relations to God, in its working, in its power; Christ's priesthood is eternal, heavenly, and spiritual. The victims offered by the ancient priests were either lifeless things or, at best, irrational animals distinct from the person of the offerer; Christ offers a victim included in the person of the offerer. His living human flesh, animated by His rational soul, a real and worthy substitute for mankind, on whose behalf Christ offers the sacrifice. The Aaronic priest inflicted an irreparable death on the victim which his sacrificial intention changed into a religious rite or symbol; in Christ's sacrifice the immutation of the victim is brought about by an internal act of His will (John 10:17), and the victim's death is the source of a new life to himself and to mankind. Besides, Christ's sacrifice, being that of a Divine person, carries its own acceptance with it; it is as much of a gift of God to man, as a sacrifice of man to God.

Hence follows the perfection of the salvation wrought by Christ for mankind. On His part Christ offered to God a satisfaction for man's sin not only sufficient but superabundant (Romans 5:15-20); on God's part supposing, what is contained in the very idea of man's redemption through Christ, that God agreed to accept the work of the Redeemer for the sins of man, He was bound by His promise and His justice to grant the remission of sin to the extent and in the manner intended by Christ. In this way our salvation has won back for us the essential prerogative of the state of original justice, i.e., sanctifying grace while it will restore the minor prerogatives of the Resurrection. At the same time, it does not at once blot out individual sin, but only procures the means thereto, and these means are not restricted only to the predestined or to the faithful, but extend to all men (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). Moreover salvation makes us coheirs of Christ (Romans 8:14-17), a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9; cf. Exodus 19:6), sons of God, temples of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 3:16), and other Christs--Christianus alter Christus; it perfects the angelical orders, raises the dignity of the material world, and restores all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). By our salvation all things are ours, we are Christ's, and Christ is God's (1 Corinthians 3:22-23).

Individual salvation

The Council of Trent describes the process of salvation from sin in the case of an adult with great minuteness (Sess. VI, v-vi).

It begins with the grace of God which touches a sinner's heart, and calls him to repentance. This grace cannot be merited; it proceeds solely from the love and mercy of God. Man may receive or reject this inspiration of God, he may turn to God or remain in sin. Grace does not constrain man's free will.

Thus assisted the sinner is disposed for salvation from sin; he believes in the revelation and promises of God, he fears God's justice, hopes in his mercy, trusts that God will be merciful to him for Christ's sake, begins to love God as the source of all justice, hates and detests his sins.

This disposition is followed by justification itself, which consists not in the mere remission of sins, but in the sanctification and renewal of the inner man by the voluntary reception of God's grace and gifts, whence a man becomes just instead of unjust, a friend instead of a foe and so an heir according to hope of eternal life. This change happens either by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance according to the condition of the respective subject laden with sin. The Council further indicates the causes of this change. By the merit of the Most Holy Passion through the Holy Spirit, the charity of God is shed abroad in the hearts of those who are justified.

Against the heretical tenets of various times and sects we must hold

that the initial grace is truly gratuitous and supernatural;
that the human will remains free under the influence of this grace;
that man really cooperates in his personal salvation from sin;
that by justification man is really made just, and not merely declared or reputed so;
that justification and sanctification are only two aspects of the same thing, and not ontologically and chronologically distinct realities;
that justification excludes all mortal sin from the soul, so that the just man is no way liable to the sentence of death at God's judgment-seat.

Other points involved in the foregoing process of personal salvation from sin are matters of discussion among Catholic theologians; such are, for instance,

the precise nature of initial grace,
the manner in which grace and free will work together,
the precise nature of the fear and the love disposing the sinner for justification,
the manner in which sacraments cause sanctifying grace.

But these questions are treated in other articles dealing ex professo with the respective subjects. The same is true of final perseverance without which personal salvation from sin is not permanently secured.

What has been said applies to the salvation of adults; children and those permanently deprived of their use of reason are saved by the Sacrament of Baptism.

(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13407a.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)


Assurance of Salvation?


There are few more confusing topics than salvation. It goes beyond the standard question posed by Fundamentalists: "Have you been saved?" What the question also means is: "Don’t you wish you had the assurance of salvation?" Evangelicals and Fundamentalists think they do have such an absolute assurance.

All they have to do is "accept Christ as their personal Savior," and it’s done. They might well live exemplary lives thereafter, but living well is not crucial and definitely does not affect their salvation.

Kenneth E. Hagin, a well-known Pentecostal televangelist from the "Word Faith" wing of Protestantism, asserts that this assurance of salvation comes through being "born again": "Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Though much of Hagin’s theology is considered bizarre in Protestant circles, his explanation of being born again could be endorsed by millions of Evangelical Protestants. In his booklet, The New Birth, Hagin writes, "The new birth is a necessity to being saved. Through the new birth you come into the right relationship with God."

According to Hagin, there are many things that this new birth is not. "The new birth is not: confirmation, church membership, water baptism, the taking of sacraments, observing religious duties, an intellectual reception of Christianity, orthodoxy of faith, going to church, saying prayers, reading the Bible, being moral, being cultured or refined, doing good deeds, doing your best, nor any of the many other things some men are trusting in to save them." Those who have obtained the new birth "did the one thing necessary: they accepted Jesus Christ as personal Savior by repenting and turning to God with the whole heart as a little child." That one act of the will, he explains, is all they needed to do. But is this true? Does the Bible support this concept?

Scripture teaches that one’s final salvation depends on the state of the soul at death. As Jesus himself tells us, "He who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt. 24:13; cf. 25:31–46). One who dies in the state of friendship with God (the state of grace) will go to heaven. The one who dies in a state of enmity and rebellion against God (the state of mortal sin) will go to hell.

For many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals it makes no difference—as far as salvation is concerned—how you live or end your life. You can heed the altar call at church, announce that you’ve accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, and, so long as you really believe it, you’re set. From that point on there is nothing you can do, no sin you can commit, no matter how heinous, that will forfeit your salvation. You can’t undo your salvation, even if you wanted to.

Does this sound too good to be true? Yes, but nevertheless, it is something many Protestants claim. Take a look at what Wilson Ewin, the author of a booklet called There is Therefore Now No Condemnation, says. He writes that "the person who places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his blood shed at Calvary is eternally secure. He can never lose his salvation. No personal breaking of God’s or man’s laws or commandments can nullify that status."

"To deny the assurance of salvation would be to deny Christ’s perfect redemption," argues Ewin, and this is something he can say only because he confuses the redemption that Christ accomplished for us objectively with our individual appropriation of that redemption. The truth is that in one sense we are all redeemed by Christ’s death on the cross—Christians, Jews, Muslims, even animists in the darkest forests (1 Tim. 2:6, 4:10, 1 John 2:2)—but our individual appropriation of what Christ provided is contingent on our response.

Certainly, Christ did die on the cross once for all and has entered into the holy place in heaven to appear before God on our behalf. Christ has abundantly provided for our salvation, but that does not mean that there is no process by which this is applied to us as individuals. Obviously, there is, or we would have been saved and justified from all eternity, with no need to repent or have faith or anything else. We would have been born "saved," with no need to be born again. Since we were not, since it is necessary for those who hear the gospel to repent and embrace it, there is a time at which we come to be reconciled to God. And if so, then we, like Adam and Eve, can become unreconciled with God and, like the prodigal son, need to come back and be reconciled again with God, after having left his family.


You Can’t Lose Heaven?



Ewin says that "no wrong act or sinful deed can ever affect the believer’s salvation. The sinner did nothing to merit God’s grace and likewise he can do nothing to demerit grace. True, sinful conduct always lessens one’s fellowship with Christ, limits his contribution to God’s work and can result in serious disciplinary action by the Holy Spirit."

One problem with this argument is that this is not even how things work in everyday life. If another person gives us something as a grace—as a gift—and even if we did nothing to deserve it (though frequently gifts are given based on our having pleased the one bestowing the gift), it in no way follows that our actions are irrelevant to whether or not we keep the gift. We can lose it in all kinds of ways. We can misplace it, destroy it, give it to someone else, take it back to the store. We may even forfeit something we were given by later displeasing the one who gave it—as when a person has been appointed to a special position but is later stripped of that position on account of mismanagement.

The argument fares no better when one turns to Scripture, for one finds that Adam and Eve, who received God’s grace in a manner just as unmerited as anyone today, most definitely did demerit it—and lost grace not only for themselves but for us as well (cf. also Rom. 11:17-24). While the idea that what is received without merit cannot be lost by demerit may have a kind of poetic charm for some, it does not stand up when compared with the way things really work—either in the everyday world or in the Bible.

Regarding the issue of whether Christians have an "absolute" assurance of salvation, regardless of their actions, consider this warning Paul gave: "See then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22; see also Heb. 10:26–29, 2 Pet. 2:20–21).


Can You Know?



Related to the issue of whether one can lose one’s salvation is the question of whether one can know with complete certainty that one is in a state of salvation. Even if one could not lose one’s salvation, one still might not be sure whether one ever had salvation. Similarly, even if one could be sure that one is now in a state of salvation, one might be able to fall from grace in the future. The "knowability" of salvation is a different question than the "loseability" of salvation.

From the Radio Bible Class listeners can obtain a booklet called Can Anyone Really Know for Sure? The anonymous author says the "Lord Jesus wanted his followers to be so sure of their salvation that they would rejoice more in the expectation of heaven than in victories on earth. ‘These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13).’"

Places where Scripture speaks of our ability to know that we are abiding in grace are important and must be taken seriously. But they do not promise that we will be protected from self-deception on this matter. Even the author of Can Anyone Really Know for Sure? admits that there is a false assurance: "The New Testament teaches us that genuine assurance is possible and desirable, but it also warns us that we can be deceived through a false assurance. Jesus declared: ‘Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 7:21)."

Sometimes Fundamentalists portray Catholics as if they must every moment be in terror of losing their salvation since Catholics recognize that it is possible to lose salvation through mortal sin. Fundamentalists then hold out the idea that, rather than living every moment in terror, they can have a calm, assured knowledge that they will, in fact, be saved, and that nothing will ever be able to change this fact.

But this portrayal is in error. Catholics do not live lives of mortal terror concerning salvation. True, salvation can be lost through mortal sin, but such sins are by nature grave ones, and not the kind that a person living the Christian life is going to slip into committing on the spur of the moment, without deliberate thought and consent. Neither does the Catholic Church teach that one cannot have an assurance of salvation. This is true both of present and future salvation.

One can be confident of one’s present salvation. This is one of the chief reasons why God gave us the sacraments—to provide visible assurances that he is invisibly providing us with his grace. And one can be confident that one has not thrown away that grace by simply examining one’s life and seeing whether one has committed mortal sin. Indeed, the tests that John sets forth in his first epistle to help us know whether we are abiding in grace are, in essence, tests of whether we are dwelling in grave sin. For example, "By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother" (1 John 3:10), "If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20), "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).

Likewise, by looking at the course of one’s life in grace and the resolution of one’s heart to keep following God, one can also have an assurance of future salvation. It is this Paul speaks of when he writes to the Philippians and says, "And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). This is not a promise for all Christians, or even necessarily all in the church at Philippi, but it is a confidence that the Philippian Christians in general would make it. The basis of this is their spiritual performance to date, and Paul feels a need to explain to them that there is a basis for his confidence in them. Thus he says, immediately, "It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel" (1:7). The fact that the Philippians performed spiritually by assisting Paul in his imprisonment and ministry showed that their hearts were with God and that it could be expected that they, at least in general, would persevere and remain with God.

There are many saintly men and women who have long lived the Christian life and whose characters are marked with profound spiritual joy and peace. Such individuals can look forward with confidence to their reception in heaven.

Such an individual was Paul, writing at the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day" (2 Tim. 4:7-8). But earlier in life, even Paul did not claim an infallible assurance, either of his present justification or of his remaining in grace in the future. Concerning his present state, he wrote, "I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby justified [Gk., dedikaiomai]. It is the Lord who judges me" (1 Cor. 4:4). Concerning his remaining life, Paul was frank in admitting that even he could fall away: "I pummel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified" (1 Cor. 9:27). Of course, for a spiritual giant such as Paul, it would be quite unexpected and out of character for him to fall from God’s grace. Nevertheless, he points out that, however much confidence in his own salvation he may be warranted in feeling, even he cannot be infallibly sure either of his own present state or of his future course.

The same is true of us. We can, if our lives display a pattern of perseverance and spiritual fruit, have not only a confidence in our present state of grace but also of our future perseverance with God. Yet we cannot have an infallible certitude of our own salvation, as many Protestants will admit. There is the possibility of self-deception (cf. Matt. 7:22-23). As Jeremiah expressed it, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). There is also the possibility of falling from grace through mortal sin, and even of falling away from the faith entirely, for as Jesus told us, there are those who "believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away" (Luke 8:13). It is in the light of these warnings and admonitions that we must understand Scripture’s positive statements concerning our ability to know and have confidence in our salvation. Assurance we may have; infallible certitude we may not.

For example, Philippians 2:12 says, "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." This is not the language of self-confident assurance. Our salvation is something that remains to be worked out.


What To Say



"Are you saved?" asks the Fundamentalist. The Catholic should reply: "As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13)."

NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

(Source: https://www.catholic.com/tract/assurance-of-salvation)


I have a friend who says that Baptism is a symbolic act and that it has nothing to do with salvation...how can I answer them?

Simple. By showing them what the Bible says. First, nowhere does the Bible say that Baptism is merely a "symbolic" act...that passage simply does not exist.

Second, let's see what the Bible does say about Baptism:
Ezek 36:25-27, it says, "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses...a new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you...and I will put My spirit within you..." Here, in the Old Testament, we have a foreshadowing of New Testament baptism.

Now, let's see if the New Testament corresponds to what we just read in Ezekiel. Acts 2:38, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Note that there is no symbolic language here...this is real! The Book of Acts says, "Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins." Ezekiel says, "I will sprinkle clean water upon you and you shall be clean from your uncleanness." The Book of Acts says, "...and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Ezekiel says: "...and I will put My Spirit within you." Do you begin to see how God, in the Old Covenant, was preparing us for what He gives us in the New Covenant?

Acts 22:16 - "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins...". 1 Cor 12:13 - "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body..." What body was that? The Body of Christ. 1 Ptr 3:21: "Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you..."

Scripture simply does not support the non-Catholic notion that Baptism is symbolic. Scripture does very directly and very clearly support the Catholic teaching that Baptism saves us; that Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ; that Baptism washes away sin; and that through Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit...just as the Catholic Church teaches!

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

How do I respond to someone who believes that only the "chosen" ones are saved? This person is a Calvinist. I realize there is the whole free will issue but I am curious as to the best way to respond to this person?

There are those among the Calvinists who believe that God has pre-destined people for Heaven, and that He has also pre-destined people for Hell. "Double predestination" is the term frequently used to describe this belief. They believe a person's fate is determined solely by God, and that the individual has absolutely no choice in the matter.

In essence, this boils down to a question of whether or not we have free will. Are we free to accept God or to reject God, or has that already been determined for us? If you can show someone who holds to this belief that Scripture is pretty clear that we do indeed have free will, then you just might plant some seeds of truth with them.

Luke 7:30, " ...but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by [John the Baptist]." It was God's purpose that the Pharisees and lawyers be baptized by John - that they repent of their sins and turn to God. But they rejected God's purpose for them. How could they do that if they don’t have free will? If it was God's purpose that they repent and be baptized by John, then if the strict Calvinist belief is true, they would have repented and been baptized by John, but they didn’t and they weren’t. They clearly exercised free will in opposition to the will of God.

Luke 13:4-5, " Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Jesus very clearly is saying to His listeners that they have it within themselves to change their fate. They are headed for death and damnation, but He tells them they can choose to repent and avoid that fate. In other words, Jesus clearly believes that these people have free will. If they did not have free will, they could not change their fate. And, if God has already predetermined their fate, then why would Jesus tell them they can change their fate?

1 Tim 2:3-4, " This is good and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

This pretty much seals the deal. God wants all men to be saved. It doesn't say God wants only the elect to be saved, but rather " all men." If God wants all men to be saved, then He certainly does not predestine any to Hell. Also, if God wants all men to be saved, and man does not have free will to oppose God's will, then all men are predestined for Heaven. Yet, no Calvinist would say that all men are among the elect. Which means, there is an inconsistency between this particular Calvinist belief and the Word of God.

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

I was talking with an Evangelical co-worker and he said the Bible teaches that once we are “saved,” we can never lose our salvation. Is that true?

Absolutely not. In fact, the Bible is full of passages that either directly or indirectly contradict this doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” For example:

Rom 11:17-23, “But if some of the branches were broken off [the Jews], and you, a wild olive shoot [the Gentiles], were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree [Jesus Christ], do not boast over the branches...For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you...Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.”

Paul is talking about how salvation has come to the Gentiles, while many of the Jews have rejected it. And he makes it very clear that once you have been grafted into Christ, you must “continue in His kindness,” or you can also be cut off. So, even after you’ve been saved, you can still be cut off from Jesus Christ.

This is further seen in Galatians, chapter 5. Verse 1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery [sin].” If once saved always saved is true, then one cannot “submit again” to a “yoke of slavery,” and Paul’s warning makes no sense.
But Paul goes on in verse 4 to say, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” Paul is talking to Gentile Christians who had been wrongly taught by the Judaizers that they have to be circumcised and obey the Mosaic Law in order to be true Christians. Paul tells them that is false, and if they submit to circumcision and to the Old Law, they will be “severed from Christ.” If once saved always saved is true, though, they can’t be severed from Christ and, once again, Paul’s warning is meaningless.

We also have the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke chapter 15. The Prodigal Son was in his father’s house, and the father here is representative of God the Father. Then, the Prodigal Son leaves his father’s house and goes and lives a sinful life. In the end, though, he repents and returns to his father. After the Prodigal Son returns, the father says this of him in verse 24: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

In Evangelical terminology, to be dead is to be unsaved, and to be alive is to be saved. Notice very carefully, though, that the father says the son is alive “again.” In other words, the son was alive, or saved, when he was in his father’s house at the beginning of the parable; was “dead,” or unsaved, when he left his father’s house and lived in sin; then was alive again, saved again, when he repented and returned to his father’s house. Alive, dead, alive again. Saved, unsaved, saved again.

Once saved always saved? I don’t think so.

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

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)

How do I answer my father-in-law (a Methodist) when he says he read the Catechism and it says that only those belonging to “The Church” will achieve salvation.

First, ask your father-in-law if he agrees with the statement that one must be a member of the Body of Christ in order to be saved. As a Methodist, he should say that he agrees. Then point out to him that the Bible tells us that “The Church” is the Body of Christ (e.g. Col 1:24). So, when we say that one must be a member of “The Church” in order to be saved, what we are really saying is that one must be a member of the Body of Christ in order to be saved.

So, I think there should be agreement between the two of you on that once “The Church” is identified as the “Body of Christ.” The real question is: Is the Catholic definition of “The Church,” as being the Catholic Church, the correct definition of what the Church is? Or, is the Methodist definition of “The Church,” which is generally along the lines of: All those who have accepted Jesus into their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior regardless of what denomination they belong to, the correct definition? (For an in-depth treatment of this topic, go to: www.biblechristiansociety.com and order the free talk - CD or mp3 download - entitled, “One Church.”)

Regarding what the Catechism teaches about “no salvation outside of the Church,” we need to look at a few paragraphs:

#846: "Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

#847: “...Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.

#848 says: “Although in ways known to Himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please Him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."

What do these paragraphs tell us? 1) If you knowingly reject the Church and its teachings as the “ordinary” means of salvation, you cannot be saved. 2) Ignorance of Christ and His Church does not automatically incur damnation, nor does it automatically result in salvation, either. In other words, someone who is not formally a Catholic “may” be saved, if they have lived an extraordinary life, through some “extraordinary” means by which God joins them to the Body of Christ, the Church.

However, as #848 states, we (Catholics) have the “obligation” to evangelize all men. Why? Since Catholicism contains the fullness of revealed truth, it is logical to say that any person’s best chance of getting to Heaven - of obtaining that holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14) - is to be 100% Catholic and thereby have access to all the grace that God provides through the Sacraments, particularly through the Eucharist and Confession, as well as all the other treasures of the Church.

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

Catholics say that faith and works are necessary for salvation and that one has to be baptized in order to be saved; yet, the Good Thief did no works and was not baptized, and still Jesus told him he would be in paradise. Doesn’t this prove Catholic

No, it does not. Luke 23:42-43, “And he [the Good Thief] said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.’ And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’”

Is the Good Thief saved? Obviously he is, based on Jesus’ words. Does this prove that works and Baptism have nothing to do with one’s salvation? Definitely not. Let’s consider first the “works” part of this.

My question to anyone who says the Good Thief did no works is this: If he had not opened his mouth in defense of Jesus, would he have still been saved? Maybe, but we don’t know for sure. However, we can say with great confidence that he would not have received Jesus’ promise of Paradise if he had remained silent. So, the next question is: Was verbally defending Jesus while hanging on a cross, which prompted Jesus’ promise of Paradise, a work?

Indeed it was, especially when you consider what the Good Thief was going through. Many people do not realize that when one is crucified, they usually die by asphyxiation. Fluid slowly collects in their lungs making it harder and harder to breathe, until it gets to the point where they literally suffocate. In order to breathe, one must lift themselves up from their hanging position and take a breath. Well, to do that, you have to push up on two feet that just happen to have this huge nail sticking through them. This is why they broke the thieves’ legs to make them die quicker. By breaking their legs, it prevented the thieves from lifting themselves up to get air.

In other words, the mere act of breathing is something that is extremely painful. So the Good Thief, in order to speak, had to first press up on his feet to get air, which caused excruciating pain, and then he used some of this very precious breath to speak in defense of Christ. I consider it an incredible work for someone with nails through his hands and feet - struggling to breathe because of the fluid building up in his lungs - to use some of his precious breath to defend Christ. In spite of all his misery and pain, he thought of someone else before himself. How can anyone claim the Good Thief did no works?

Finally, let’s address the Baptism issue. The most important thing to remember here is that the New Covenant had not yet been instituted - the Old Covenant was still in effect. The Old Covenant equivalent of Baptism was circumcision (Col 2:11-12). This thief being a Jew, he was undoubtedly circumcised. Therefore, the fact that he wasn't baptized, as far as we know, is not relevant in this situation. Was Moses baptized? Was David? Was Abraham? No, but they were all circumcised and they were all saved - under the Old Covenant.

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

Jesus said: “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit' (John 3:3-5). I have seen a good number of non-Christians living a righteous life. Will they not enter the Kingdom of God?

The Church teaches, as God clearly states in John 3, that Baptism is necessary for salvation. The Church believes that God wants all men to be saved, and therefore gives all men the opportunity for salvation. The "ordinary" means of salvation is through the Sacraments (beginning with Baptism) given to us by God through His Church. But, the Church holds out the possibility that there is some "extraordinary" means of salvation known only unto God, by which those who are not physically baptized may still receive the grace of salvation through Christ Jesus.

As St. Paul says in Rom 2, when speaking about those who have not the law, "...their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus."

The Church teaches that non-Christians who are invincibly ignorant of the truths about Jesus Christ and His Church, "may" be saved. In other words, it is possible for them to be saved, if they are indeed righteous, if they have never been told about Jesus, and had no way of finding out about Him and thereby believing in Him. If, however, they have been exposed to Christ, and know something of the claims of Christianity, yet have either rejected those claims or not investigated those claims (willful ignorance), then they may indeed have a difficult time come Judgment Day.

This is why it is so incumbent upon us, as Catholics, to do all in our power to bring Christ to the world, to bring Truth to the world. The best chance any person has to be with God in Heaven for all of eternity is to be a Catholic who is devout, regularly receives the Sacraments, and does all in their power to be holy. It is difficult enough to be holy with all the graces available to us as Catholics, how much more difficult for those who do not have Baptism, who do not regularly go to Confession, and who do not regularly receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist! Therefore, we cannot simply sit back and say, "Well, these are good people, surely God will take them to Heaven even though they are not Christian." That is gambling with someone's soul based on a personal opinion, or on a "feeling."

By our Baptism we are all called to evangelize. If it's not something we are comfortable doing, then we need to pray to God to give us the strength and the wisdom to get out there and do it anyway. The lives of souls are at stake.

No one can say whether or not someone will end up in Hell, that is a judgment reserved for God alone. However, one can indeed say that getting to Heaven is not an easy thing and that we need all the graces possible in order to persevere in holiness to the end, and that the greatest graces available to us are found in and through the Sacraments. Therefore, one can conclude that those outside of the Sacraments have the odds stacked against them.

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


Dear Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven?
by Matt Slick

If you're a Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven when you die?

As a Protestant, I can say that I know I am going to heaven. This isn't arrogance. It is confidence in the work of Christ and not my own work. It is confidence in the ability of Jesus to save me completely, to have fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and to have cleansed me from my sin totally.

Therefore, because all my hope and trust are in him and not what I can do, I know I am going to heaven.

If my salvation depended on my goodness and abilities in any way, then I can't have any confidence that I will make it to heaven because I am an imperfect sinner.

But God is perfect and requires holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). This is why God provided Jesus who fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), including loving God (Deut. 6:5) and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.

This is why we should trust Jesus alone and not Jesus and our goodness or Jesus and our church or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor.

But, what about you? Do you have that confidence? If not, perhaps it is because of the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).

“This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).

“Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).

“The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).

Are you as a Catholic able to keep all the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church says are necessary for salvation? We both know you can't.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven?
by Matt Slick

If you're a Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven when you die?


John Martignoni
Dear Matt Slick,

Since you go by the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura), I have to ask: Is this little salvation quiz of yours in the Bible? If not, why are you asking it? Also, do I have to answer your question in a certain way as a requirement for getting into Heaven?


Matt Slick
As a Protestant, I can say that I know I am going to heaven. This isn't arrogance. It is confidence in the work of Christ and not my own work. It is confidence in the ability of Jesus to save me completely, to have fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and to have cleansed me from my sin totally. Therefore, because all my hope and trust are in him and not what I can do, I know I am going to heaven.


John Martignoni
Matt Slick says, “I know I am going to Heaven.”

God says, “Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall,” (1 Cor 10:12). You might want to read that over a few times, Slick.

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says, “I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes...” (1 Cor 4:3-5).

Matt Slick says, “I do indeed judge myself before the time, before the Lord comes, and even though I am aware of all sorts of things against myself, I am thereby acquitted.”

Sorry, Slick, but your words do indeed seem to indicate just a wee bit of arrogance on your part.

Oh, and one other thing: If Jesus has cleansed you from your sin “totally,” then how come you still sin?


Matt Slick
If my salvation depended on my goodness and abilities in any way, then I can't have any confidence that I will make it to heaven because I am an imperfect sinner.


John Martignoni
You seem to be implying, Slick, that Catholics believe it is their own “goodness and abilities” that cause them to be saved. First of all, I challenge you to find anywhere in official Catholic teaching where such a thing is taught. It’s not. For you to put forth such a thing is for you to knowingly and willingly participate in a lie. But since Jesus cleansed you from your sin “totally,” then I guess that’s okay, right?

Secondly, I can prove to you that Catholics put more confidence in Christ for their salvation than even you claim to do. I can prove that with two words: Infant Baptism. Catholics believe that when an infant is baptized, that infant is saved. The infant cannot do any works. The infant cannot even have faith. In other words, there is absolutely nothing the infant can do to effect its own salvation, yet Catholics believe that infant is indeed saved through Baptism. How? All, completely, totally, and gratuitously by the grace of God and absolutely nothing else.

And here is the official, dogmatic, teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter from the Council of Trent:

“…so unless [men] were born again in Christ, they never would be justified, since in that new birth through the merit of His passion, the grace whereby they are made just, is bestowed upon them.” (Denzinger, p. 249)

“…man himself receiving that inspiration [of the Holy Spirit] does nothing at all inasmuch as he can indeed reject it, nor on the other hand can he, of his own free will, without the grace of God, move himself to justice before Him.” (Denzinger, p. 250)

“…the meritorious cause [of man’s justification] is His most beloved only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who…merited justification for us by His most holy passion on the wood of the Cross, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father…” (Denzinger, p. 251)

“…no one can be just but he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated…” (Denzinger, p. 251)

“ …and are, therefore, said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace itself of justification; for, ‘if it is a grace, it is not now by reason of works…’” (Denzinger, p. 252)

“Canon 1: If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done either by his own natural powers, or through the teaching of the Law, and without divine grace through Christ Jesus: let him be anathema.” (Denzinger, p.258)

I don’t believe there is anything there about Catholics believing that a man can be justified, or saved, in any way, shape, or form by their own “goodness and abilities.” To say that Catholics believe such a thing is a lie, pure and simple.

So, Catholics actually put more confidence in Christ than you do. You see, when you say that your salvation does not depend on your abilities in any way, that’s not quite right, is it? Here’s an interesting question for you: You probably know the date you got saved, right? It was on a particular day sometime in the 20th century. But, can you tell me what was different on that day as opposed to the day before you were saved? Did Jesus do something new and different for you on the day you were saved that He had not done for you the day before you were saved? No. Slick theology says that Jesus did all that needed to be done for your salvation with His death on the Cross sometime back in the 1st century - “It is finished,” (John 19:30).

So, what was different about the day you were saved in the 20th century as opposed to the day before you were saved? Was the difference something you did, or something Jesus did? The difference was something you did, wasn’t it? You acted. You believed. You accepted. You confessed. You repented (all are action verbs, by the way). You did something that, in your opinion, resulted in your salvation. So, in Slick theology, you had to DO something in order to be saved. That little Catholic baby didn’t. Who, then, has more confidence in Christ - Slick, or Catholics?


Matt Slick
But God is perfect and requires holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). This is why God provided Jesus who fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), including loving God (Deut. 6:5) and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.

This is why we should trust Jesus alone and not Jesus and our goodness or Jesus and our church or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor.


John Martignoni
“Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.” If that is the case, then every man should be saved. Because Jesus did everything that is necessary for every man to be saved, didn’t He? But, as I showed in my comments above, if you were “unsaved” one day - 2000 years after the death of Christ - and then “saved” the next day, the difference between those two days is not something Jesus did, it’s something the believer DID that the unbeliever did not do. So, Jesus didn’t do “everything” that is necessary for us to do, did He? He didn't believe for us, did He? He didn't accept Himself into our hearts as His personal Lord and Savior, did He? Now, that all happened by the grace of God, but we had to act on that grace. We had to DO something.

And, by the way, you are correct in saying that God is perfect and requires holiness. In fact, we can’t see the Lord if we aren’t holy (Hebrews 12:14). But here’s the difference between Slick theology and Catholic theology: In Catholic theology, we have such confidence in Jesus that we believe He can, and does, make us holy. Slick theology doesn’t have any such confidence in Jesus, which is why Jesus has to love God for us and love our neighbor for us, and be holy for us, because Jesus can’t, even by His grace, enable us to do so.

Slick theology says we could never be worthy of receiving anything from God. We could never be holy. Catholic theology says with God, “all things are possible,” (Matt 19:26) and that we, the followers of Christ, “are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit,” (2 Cor 3:18).

I am also surprised to hear Matt Slick say that we should not trust in the Body of Christ. “He [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church...” (Col 1:18). Jesus’ body is the church. Jesus is the Head of the church. Matt Slick says we should not trust the church. I find that absolutely fascinating...and revealing.


Matt Slick
But, what about you? Do you have that confidence? If not, perhaps it is because of the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).


John Martignoni
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)


Matt Slick
“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).


John Martignoni
“And He has put all things under His feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him Who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:22-23) Is the Body of Christ - the fulness of Christ Who fills all in all - not necessary for salvation?


Matt Slick
“This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).


John Martignoni
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)


Matt Slick
“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).


John Martignoni
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54)


“Baptism...now saves you.” (1 Peter 3:21)


Matt Slick
“Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).


John Martignoni
“So every one who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father Who is in Heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in Heaven.” (Matt 10:32-33)


Matt Slick
“The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).


John Martignoni
“And behold, one came up to Him, saying ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? And He said to him...“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matt 19:16-17)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love...” (John 15:10)

“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.” (1 Cor 7:19)

“And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)

“...and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:22)


Matt Slick
Are you as a Catholic able to keep all the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church says are necessary for salvation? We both know you can't.


John Martignoni
God: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

Slick: God’s commandments are too burdensome for man to keep. Jesus cannot give you the grace you need in order to keep the commandments and precepts of God.

God: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev 14:12) The saints are those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Slick: The saints are those who have faith alone because they are unable to keep the commandments of God.


Who do you want to believe...Matt Slick...or God?

Catholic theology: All things are possible with God and Christ can and does give man the grace to keep His commandments and His grace can make us holy.

Slick theology: God can’t do any of that so we don’t need to even bother trying to be holy.


Now, tell me again, who it is that has confidence in Jesus?

(John Martignoni)

AirMaria.com: Nov 07 - Homily: The Game Plan