A Protestant asked me


#1

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?"
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?

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.

Augh! I totally have a headache now. 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?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to me THIS WEEK… the 1st time was at a wedding… when a woman found out I was Catholic it totally opened the floodgates for the same type of stuff! Please help! Somebody or something is testing me!


#2

[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?"
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?

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.

Augh! I totally have a headache now. 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?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to me THIS WEEK… the 1st time was at a wedding… when a woman found out I was Catholic it totally opened the floodgates for the same type of stuff! Please help! Somebody or something is testing me!
[/quote]

According to that guys story God doesnt expect anything of us as Christians. That does not confuse me but only cause me to give thanks for the Catholic Church, it is the Catholic Church that saves us from this kind of false teaching.


#3

Carolyn I just figure out where you messed up when you were talking to him…it took me a second but I think I got it!

[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.
[/quote]

It’s that last answer that got you into trouble. When he asked me which sins were forgiven I would have said the ones that have been repented of and confessed, not all of them. That would have changed the rest of the conversation.


#4

You two are talking past one another here. He means one things when he says assurance of salvation and Christ paying the penalty of our sins and you mean another.

What Catholics have is a moral assurance of salvation. That means that God has done his part, but we have to do ours. We can slip up in doing our part but God can’t.

His example really has nothing to do with an assurance of salvation. Naturally, we can do nothing to pay God back for the graces he freely bestows on us, but we can do what would be pleasing to him and what will ensure our salvation–living the life of Christ within the Church he founded.

The mind set you are up against here cannot comprehend faith being a work. They confuse grace with faith, but grace is a gift of God and faith in our response to that grace, as are our good works.

I would suggest you not engage such people until you have learned much more, except to answer questions about assurance of salvation by saying that you are trusting in Christ for your salvation (which you are). That might get them off your back and give you some breathing space, too.


#5

[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?"
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?

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.

Augh! I totally have a headache now. 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?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to me THIS WEEK… the 1st time was at a wedding… when a woman found out I was Catholic it totally opened the floodgates for the same type of stuff! Please help! Somebody or something is testing me!
[/quote]

Well, he is right in one sense. There is nothing we can do that can pay God back for Christ’s Sacrifice. For some bizzare reason, non-Catholics can’t seem to get it in their heads that Catholicism teaches that God’s grace is an unmerited gift. We don’t give God love, faith and hope because it supposedly pays him back. We do it because it is right to love the one who loved us first.

Scott


#6

Tell him to read the BiIble–phil 2:12–"… workout your salvation with fear and trembling." Roamns 11:22 " see the kindness and severity of Gid, toward those who fell and you also will be cut off unless YOU REMAIN in the kindness of God." there are other verses as well Matthew !9: 17 “If you wish to enter life keep the commandments.” if we are assured of salvation why the necessity to keep the commandments—bring up these verses to him and challenge him and let him know that he is wtheone ho is not following his Bible not you----


#7

The answer to me would seem to be that since God gave us free will He cannot FORCE us to ACCEPT Him and by relation, His salvation.

So, we have a choice. Christ’s blood can only cover our sins if we let it. The acceptance of God implies conversion. True conversion is the wish/will to enter into fuller communion with the will of God. True repentance is the desire/will not to sin again (even if sometimes that will fails).

At some point in our lives, after beginning conversion, we could decide, for whatever reason, to reject God, and to reject His offer of salvation. In this sense, salvation is not assured since it depends on our choice of whether or not to accept God and His salvation.

The Protestant is right. The idea of paying God back is false. The idea of acceptance/refusal is not.


#8

Thank you everyone for your responses.
It is an awful feeling not to be able to defend my faith.
And Martino, I did mention that we need to repent of our sins in order for them to be forgivin.
You all bring up some wonderful and helpful points.
I will study and pray fervently. Please pray for me and for others like me who wish to charitably and intelligently defend the faith.

Carolyn


#9

The argument that guy was developing could lead to universalism, as you seemed to recognize. There are a few ways to avoid universalism, though.

  1. Calvinists avoid it by claiming that Jesus didn’t die for everybody’s sins. He only died for the sins of the elect. But that still leaves us with the problem you raised, which is that it seems to leave people free to sin with no consequences. The Calvinist response is to say that before regeneration, we are dead in our sins. We can’t help but sin, because we have a sinful disposition. But in calling the elect, their hearts are regenerated so that they are able to please God. A regenerated person does not continue to live in agregious sin, because he now has a desire and disposition to please God.

  2. Some people say that Jesus died for all sins, but that the atonement he provided is not automatically applied to sinners. It’s put in a “bank account,” and we can draw on it by putting our faith in Jesus. Universalism is avoided, because salvation can only be had by those who put their faith in Jesus. But that still leaves the problem you raised–leaving people free to sin. These people usually respond by saying that if a person is really sincere in their faith, then they will want to please God, and so they won’t continue to live in sin. They quote Peter who said, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God” (1 Peter 2:16). Likewise, Paul said, “For you were called to freedom, breathren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).

  3. Another way to avoid universalism is to say that Jesus died for all sins, but his atonement wasn’t sufficient to cover them completely. Although apart from Jesus, we could not be moral enough to go to heaven, with Jesus’ partial covering of our sins, we are able to be moral enough to go to heaven. Jesus makes up for what we lack. That answers both problems at once–universalism and the problem you raised about freeing us to sin. In this scenario, we’re not free to sin, because there’s still our own part to do that plays a roll in our salvation.


#10

“”"“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? “””"

Is the man that saves you suppose to be Jesus? and the bus, sin?

What would Jesus say to you after saving your life? He’d say, Child, if you want to live (salvation) then DONT stand in the path of the bus (sin) again!

Tell you friend not to stand in the Path of the bus again!

The part about the family was there to throw you off!

GOD BLESS


#11

I have come to put it this way: Yes, Christ’s Sacrifice is all-sufficient, there’s nothing I can add to it, I cannot work my way into Heaven. It is, however, necessary to follow Christ all the way to the end. If I fail to do that, either by mortal sin or apostacy, I’m not saved. Following Christ means putting on His Behavior, Mindset, Attitude, doing what He would do, in the strength of the Grace He has given me, ie, faith working in charity. This is what is meant by “works:” following Christ to the end. It isn’t simply fiduciary trust, as Karl or somebody says, it’s a committment of trust that acts upon faith. How does that sound, everyone? I’m honestly wondering myself.


#12

This guy is following the Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS) line.

Now, if OSAS is true, there is no sin. You can commit murder, rape, child molestation and it isn’t wrong – because God won’t count it against you.

Now we KNOW that’s not true!

And Jesus tells us it isn’t true. From the Gospel of John (20,21-23)

21 (Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Now this occurred after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. If ALL sins were forgiven by Christ’s sacrifice, why does He later give the power to forgive sins to the Apostles?


#13

[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?"
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?

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.

Augh! I totally have a headache now. 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?

This is the 2nd time this has happened to me THIS WEEK… the 1st time was at a wedding… when a woman found out I was Catholic it totally opened the floodgates for the same type of stuff! Please help! Somebody or something is testing me!
[/quote]

To turn his own example back on him… You sure can’t do anything to thank his family for the sacrifice, but by no means are you assured that you will never step off the curb into traffic again.

Catholics do not believe in salvation by our own works alone. (Protestants assume that because we reject sola fide we must assume that faith is not required, only good works, but you and I know that’s not true, right?) We also believe that although one is initially justified by faith and repentence and baptism, a person can lose that justification and die outside of a state of grace, thus going to hell. One is not assured of heaven even though nothing can add to Christ’s sacrifice, and to believe so does nothing to reduce the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice.

Peace and Charity,


#14

Hi,

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?”
[/quote]

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.

cont’d


#15

This is the 2nd time this has happened to me THIS WEEK… the 1st time was at a wedding… when a woman found out I was Catholic it totally opened the floodgates for the same type of stuff! Please help! Somebody or something is testing me!

It is God. The time has come for his children to prophesy!

Acts 2:17
“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Remember the Scriptures tell us always to be ready to give reasons for our hope.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Sincerely,

De Maria


#16

[quote=Carolyn]…This guy got me SO CONFUSED…
[/quote]

Gods peace be with you theophilus Carolyn,

I believe you got this point wrong. Your Protestant friend did not get you confused at all. What you have trouble with is the confussion of his false theology! He is the one totally confused. You are just having trouble sorting out his folly.

Try to get your friend to state one point at a time. Let him see the light you have to shine and the darkness he lives in. True, he may be a good Christian but his theology needs some organization, spot cleaning and some basic logic.

If you cannot understand the logic of an insane maniac does that make you confused or the insane maniac? You’re nnot confussed at all, you just need more time to see each of his confused thoughts brought into focus so they can be proven wrong.

A prisoner of Christ,


#17

I knew I could count on all of you to help.
Your responses are encouraging and give me a good course of study and prayer for this week. I appreciate any and all comments.
While conversing with the guy I actually kept repeating silently to myself: “Help me Holy Spirit” over and over!
Many of you affirm the feeling I had when I said I was confused… deep in my heart I knew what HE was saying was twisting things so much… he continually argued that all we need to do is believe in Him, citing John 11:25-26 (“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live”) I said to him if this was all we needed to know then the Bible would be awfully short!
Again, thank you for your responses. Keep them coming. :blessyou:


#18

Gospel of John (20,21-23) 21 (Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. 23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Now this occurred after the Crucifixion and Resurrection. If ALL sins were forgiven by Christ’s sacrifice, why does He later give the power to forgive sins to the Apostles?

GOOD ONE!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this verse, and I never saw that point!! TYVM!!

My question for the Protestant proselytizer goes this way: “Yes, I’ve accepted Jesus, but how do I know that He has accepted me?” Usually, they’ll tapdance around this with a good checklist of verses on faith alone being sufficient.

However, I like to bring up Acts 10:34-35 “Then Peter proceeded to speak and said, ‘In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.’” If faith alone is enough, if the sinner’s prayer alone is enough, why even use the words “and acts uprightly”?

Then I’ll lead the way on a good walk through the Gospel of Matthew, particularly 10:16-22 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves…You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” Now, remember, this is Jesus Himself speaking, not Peter or Paul or anyone else interpreting. What (I’ll ask)? Even though I believe right now, I’m NOT saved until after a time of trial, and then only if I endure to the end?

Next, I like to discuss Matthew 7:21-23. Remember, this is still Jesus himself speaking. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” And I’ll turn to my evangelizer, who usually by this time is starting to feel more like the pupil than the teacher. How is it that they could prophesy and drive out demons in Jesus name if they were not actually filled with the Holy Spirit? In order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, wasn’t it true that they had to accept Jesus - that is, to be “saved”? Surely they would not drive out demons in Jesus’ name if they were filled with the devil… So, if they were “saved,” why are they now being rejected by Jesus???

I like to wrap by showing Jesus tell the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-9 and explain it in 13:18-23. Each type of seed that sprouted, however briefly, represents a person who did indeed receive Jesus in his/her heart, i.e., they were “saved.” But only the seeds which fell on good soil were able to keep producing. The others died.

For the stubborn proselytizer who still insists on arguing with me, I have an encore: Revelation 3:5. “He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life.” WHOA! BLOT HIS NAME OUT!! Can anyone give an example of God threaten something that He could not do??? So, the he who does NOT endure to the end, who does NOT conquer, will be BLOTTED OUT??

Stand firm on this point, friend. God and salvation are not like instant chocolate pudding - add milk and get saved. Salvation is a life-long endeavor, You have to stand firm to the end, but when you do the reward will be immeasurable.


#19

[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.

[/quote]

Hi Carolyn,

This is a famous Protestant trap. I think you what I have let up top in quotes is the crux of the problem. You are speaking two different languages (Cathlaneeze and Protastantize) I know that was dumb I know. Ya see the Protestant thinks that the only reason Christ died was for our sins. Yes that is partially true but as catholics we know that is not the only reason. Fisrtly some scripture:

Colossians 1:24 (Please read)

When Christ died He opened up a way for sins to be forgiven, but he also gave us a share in His divine life and His suffering. Paul says “I fill up in my flesh what is lacking in Christs afflictions”

As members of His body will most certainly suffer as Christ did on earth. Paul knew that to make heaven he would have to put his flesh to death and walk as Christ did on earth. In essence he took on a share of that suffering.

Most protestants do not understand this concept because it is not taught to them that when we suffer in our flesh redemption is being played out. Our suffering brings graces to others. So Jesus died not only to forgive sins, but the work that he started when he was on earth is being lived out by His church, the mystical body of Christ! Does any of this make sense? Not only that, through His instrument the church through the sacraments and the preisthood Christ continues to work in the same manner he did when he was on earth. His church is literally his hands and feet!

Yes of course Jesus died for all our sins, but if we do not cooperate with his graces and walk as he did what can we expect? Martin Luther equted human beings as “dung covered over with snow” and that once the dung was covered you could do nothing against the truth. I believe God thinks more highly of us than that don’t you?


#20

It’s worth noting that many Protestants who push “Once saved, always saved” are doing it because they desperately want to believe that themselves. So, we have to defend Catholic doctrine charitably.

My best friend honestly believed that herself, for many years, and was spreading “blessed assurance” with others. When I tried to show her the fullness of scripture, which clearly shows “always saved” is incorrect, she told me that she could not bear this teaching. She had been hurt and abandoned many times in her life, and the idea that her salvation might not be assured was something she literally could not deal with.

It took a long time for her to accept and understand that, although God will not rip the gift of salvation away from us, he still leaves us with the free choice to walk away from it. And it took the worst possible circumstance for her to understanding to mature - her own mother, once a “saved” person, abandoned Christianity.

So spread the gospel, friends, but do so with understanding and compassion.


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