- When our Protestant brothers and sisters come up to us and ask, “Are you saved?” What quick and simple response can we give as Catholics??
Response: “I am saved, I am being saved, and I hope to be saved.”
Most times, this throws people off for a second and then they seek to understand. Now you have a dialogue about it and can explain more.
Scripture to support response:
As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5-8),
but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 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).
Q: Why can we not proclaim we are definitively saved once and always?
R: Logically and very simply put, by saying we are once saved and always saved, we put a limit on God’s free will.
This is why Paul spoke in the book of Romans about the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5, 16:26). It is not enough that one call Jesus Lord, for, as he said, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21; cf. Matt. 10:33, 18:35). If we are disobedient, God will “take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city” (Rev 22:19).
- What if someone asks, “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?”
Response: “Yes! In fact, I receive Him Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity at least weekly!”
(AKA: Jesus is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist we receive at Mass!)
Let us be on the offensive, not the defensive, when it comes to our faith!
We have the most incredible ability to learn about our faith every day during Mass, and have many opportunities to learn about our faith through free, authentically Catholic programs like FORMED. We promote it often because it is an incredible gift to the Church!
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If you desire to understand more about the scriptures mentioned above, I would encourage you to read on! Here are a few articles to explain!
The Bible really is clear
There are literally scores of biblical texts we could use to demonstrate the fallacy of “once saved, always saved.” But for lack of space, I’ll list a dozen.
1. In Matthew 6:15 Jesus tells us “if you do not forgive men, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your offenses.” I don’t care how “born again” you are or how many experiences you may have had, if you don’t forgive others, you will not be forgiven, according to the text. And there will be no people in heaven God refuses to forgive (see Revelation 21:27; Hab. 1:13)!
2. Galatians 5:4 says Christians can “fall from grace.” You have to be in a state of grace in order to fall from it.
3. In John 15:1-6, Jesus uses the metaphor of a vine and branches for himself (the vine) and Christians (the branches). And yet, he would then say if a Christian “does not abide” in the vine, he will be “cast forth as a branch . . . gathered, [and] thrown into the fire” (v. 6).
4. Romans 11:18-22 tells us we can be “cut off” from Christ and be lost. Verse 22 says, “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.”
5. Revelation 22:18-19 warns us that God can “take away [our] share in the tree of [eternal] life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
6-10. The sacred text assures us over and over again that if we commit certain sins and we do not repent of them, we will not go to heaven (see Matthew 5:44-45, 10:32-33; Ephesians 5:3-5; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:6-8). It makes no sense, if we are justified by faith alone, that what we do would be so plainly said to be the cause of eternal damnation.
11-12. Hebrews 12:14-16 tells us we can “sell [our] birthright,” or our “inheritance” in the image of Esau. And both Hebrews 12:14 and Romans 8:14-17 teach our “inheritance” to be eternal life.