I understand your confusion, I’ve been there. I can assure you it is not you who are confused, but he.
[quote=Carolyn]A protestant asked me if I had assurance that I was going to Heaven.
I responded that only God knows that.
He asked: What keeps us from God?
I responded: Sin
Protestant: What did Jesus die for?
Me: Our sins.
Protestant: Which sins?
Me: All of them.
Protestant: “so if sin is what keeps us from Heaven, but the Lord paid for our sins by dying on the cross how can you NOT have assurance that you are going to Heaven?”
Paul answered the very same question in Scripture:
1 Corinthians 4:3-5
**3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.
Therefore, I do not even judge myself. Jesus knows if I am saved.
So I asked him then why wasn’t it a free for all on earth, if our sins are paid for why can’t we go out and rob and lie and party and cuss people out etc. Afterall, if Christ paid the penalty for sin doesn’t that mean there are no reprecussions for acting sinfully?
Excellent question. Did you point out that he didn’t answer your question?
Also, remember what Jesus said, “If you would follow me, pick up your cross daily.”
And Peter said, “Jesus came and died on the Cross leaving us an example that we should follow in his footsteps.”
In other words, Jesus died and paid for our sins, not so that we wouldn’t have to pay for them, but so that we also should pay for them. If God suffered for our sins, what makes us think we are too good to do so?
This guy got me SO CONFUSED.
He told me a story: suppose you are standing on a street corner, and there is a family standing there with you. You slip, into the path of an on-coming bus. The man in the family jumps out and saves you by pushing you out of the path of the bus, but in doing so the bus plows him over and kills him. What do you say to his family? Can you pay them back for what the man did? Is thanking them enough? Do they expect anything of you? God gave us his only Son who died for us. There is NOTHING we can do to pay him back.
There is nothing we can do to pay God back completely. There is plenty we can do to show our appreciation for what He has done for us. We can amend our lives and unite ourselves totally to His Will. We can obey His commands because we love Him.
Jesus said, “if you love me, do as I command.”
As for the man who gave his life for you in the example. You can do plenty to help his family in exchange for what he has done. You can befriend them, take care of the children when they need help, pay for movies, meals and entertainment and many other more substantial things.
Since he was making up an imaginary situation, let us embellish on it. Let us say that the man had given his life for the richest man on earth. Would that rich man have then ignored the family? Only if he was an ingrate. Otherwise he would have adopted the family and they wouldn’t have had to do another day’s work in their lives.
Augh! I totally have a headache now.
I don’t know why. I think you defended Catholic teaching admirably. Just because he didn’t understand doesn’t mean someone won’t come behind him and “get it”. Remember, we only plant seeds and water, God causes the growth.
There were other parts of the conversation but this is already too long. I am working on learning to defend my faith. Can any of you give me advice?
Pray, study, pray, practice, pray, read the saints, pray, pray, pray…
When I started, I learned two verses from Scripture by heart and built a canned response from it. Then I added to it a little at a time. Soon I could respond to any challenge. The two verses were Matt 16:18 and 1 Tim 3:15. My response was always that God established His Church and gave it authority over all of us. The Church is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth and therefore infallible. Because God made it that way.
I soon added Matt 18:17, 2 Thess 2:15 and 1 Thess 2:13.