Almost Saved

So here I am driving down the street and I drive by this Protestant ecclesial community church and there on the billboard, yes a billboard, why don’t Catholic Christians start putting up billboards?

I recall the days when I was young driving by our local movie theatre with the marquee you could see the feature of the day…War of the Worlds, no not Tom Cruise, the original…actually my aunt worked at the local theatre, but that was then and this is now…what happened to those days…

anyway so I am driving down the street and there on the church marquee…kinda sounds ominous, the church marquee…there it says this…

“Almost saved is like being Totally lost”

Some thoughts.

Almost Saved?

How does someone think up the notion of "Almost Saved’ and then put it on a marquee?

I got saved, well I am almost saved…nah I thought you were saved…no I am almost saved…well what’s holding you up…dunno…sometimes I feel saved and sometimes I don’t then when I do I wonder if I am and then of course…

Almost saved. What’s up with that?:eek:

They probably allow for nothing except 100% certainty of ones salvation. Catholicism recognizes that salvation is a process; we’re saved, being saved, and will be saved, but God alone knows and will judge based on His criteria of justice. We can have assurance of salvation but not the certainty He has, due to our human weakness, ignorance, and frailty.

anti-catholic types do have a very good imagination.:frowning:

That was my first thought, too. It’s a swipe at Catholic belief because we don’t believe we’re actually “saved”, or “safe”, until we actually pass Judgement, over the veil. We tend to take Paul’s words, “with fear and trembling work out your salvation”, to heart. Many Protestant denominations believe that once you “accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior”, you don’t ever have to worry about losing your salvation, because Jesus already paid the price for all of your sins. It’s a dangerous attitude to have, because it gives people a false sense of security.

It is the sin of pride. They might be surprised to find Christ rebuking them at judgement.

I would rather remain doubtful of my salvation than think I’m totally certain of something only God knows.

And… Religious billboards, like religious bumperstickers, are an undignified way to preach. just my opinion.

I doubt it is meant as a swipe at Catholics, though they certainly do get caught up in the net it casts.

Within Protestantism you tend to have two different beliefs, the one is that Salvation happens at a specific exegent moment where the individual becomes “born again”. The other belief tends to align with Catholicism, that there is a process to it all. It is the other Protestants who hold this belief, who are otherwise much like them, that they are targeting with the comment.

This is an interesting thought. The notion of the marquee strikes a note. In many and various ways in times past the marquee was the announcement of what was to be seen in the theatre. Vaudeville preceeded movies as you know. I never saw vaudeville. I recall the anticipation of the movies, I recall watching movietone news, cartoons, coming attractions with the announcers voice demonstrating such panache. That was yesterday. On the other hand could it be that those that use religous billboards come from that era?

Perhaps they see their ecclesial communities as those theatres where those that enter are to be entertained in some way although I never found these communities entertaing.

Makes you wonder, does it not, what mind thought of using the marquee.:shrug:

There are a lot of Catholic billboards in our city! :slight_smile:

There’s a really cute one that has a picture of a middle-aged woman with a mischievous smile, and a word balloon with the question, “What have you done for your marriage today?” The “smaller print” on the billboard names “Catholic _______” (the name of a marriage organization within the Catholic diocese). It’s a great outreach for the Catholic Church, and a great reminder to everyone, Catholic or not, to nurture their marriage.

And there are pro-life billboards in our city with the word “Catholic” in the copy.

During the Catholics Returning Home campaign, there were billboards up all over that went along with the great television commercials.

And I’m guessing that some parish, organization (K of C?), and/or individuals will probably put up a billboard welcoming our new bishop and wishing our old bishop Godspeed. I would chip in for that!

The Catholic schools have billboards up. The one that I notice is the billboard promoting the traditional Catholic school (the children attend the Latin Mass, Latin is taught, Rosary prayed daily, etc.–a great school with excellent credentials and very good students).

Our large parish has one of those digital signs in the front lawn–we are on one of the busiest corners in the city, and tens of thousands of cars pass every day. The sign usually has some witty saying, or a Bible verse, or an admonition on it, some kind of “Thought for the Day” that I’m sure many non-Catholics enjoy reading. A lot of times, there are cute little graphics on the sign, too.

And our Bishop has a 30-second television spot every weekday with a “Thought for the Day” that is absolutely wonderful. I have evangelical Protestant friends who tell me that they really enjoy the Bishop’s pithy comments on this TV spot.

There are also radio spots, especially for the schools.

I don’t consider any of this “undignified.” It’s a sensible way to spread the Good News. Jesus used the methods that worked best to reach out to people. Why shouldn’t modern-day Christians emulate Him?

Yes I am with you. The old school teaching.

Things like why would St Paul tell the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Why would he tell the Romans who have been grafted into the Olive Tree (which we know is Christ) showing that they WERE saved, but that they will be cut off from the olive tree just like the unbelieving Jews were if they do not continue in kindness. Why would he say this if it were not true.

But most important I am with you on, Only God knows and will judge us.

Paul said it the best. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by You, or by any human court. 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!!


While I’m not sure what they meant by “Almost saved is like being totally lost”, my guess would be that they are trying to speak to people who, for want of a better term, could be thought of as religious procrastinators…IOW, people who are mildly interested in seeking God but distracted or entangled in other “worldly” things to the extent that they keep putting off seeking Him.

How God will judge us is His business, so I wouldn’t really say I believe “Almost saved is like being totally lost”, whatever is meant by it.

I doubt the billboard is meaning to pass judgment on genuinely perplexed but searching people…I don’t know, but I really doubt that’s the intent.

And I highly doubt that it’s meant as some sort of anti-Catholic swipe.

Hi Nine_Two—

I’m moderately fluent in “Evangelical-speak”, and I wouldn’t be so sure as you are about who the billboard is meant to speak to.

I agree with you that it’s doubtful that it’s a swipe at Catholics.


Aesthetically, billboards and commercials aren’t things I’m attracted to. But, some other people find them thought-provoking and helpful, so I see no no need to look down on their use.

Having grown up evangelical, I’d say I doubt it’s a swipe at Catholicism. Rather it comes down to the way evangelicals conceptualize salvation. Remember to them there is really no closer or farther away - someone who dies without “accepting Christ”, no matter how close they were to doing so or how sincerely seeking the truth, is damned. So there’s a real urgency to get people to convert, because what happens if you decide to go home and think about it and get hit by a car and die? There’s no hope held out for the non-Christian.


Some Evangelical are inclusivist, some are exclusivist. The term “Evangelical” covers a broad group.

The idea that “someone who dies without ‘accepting Christ’, no matter how close they were to doing so or how sincerely seeking the truth, is damned” seems more like something I’d hear from a hard-core Fundamentalist.

Point taken. My upbringing was from proud and openly admitted fundamentalists. But this “almost saved” talk is what I heard all the time, so I suspect it’s out of the same motivation.

Just so we can be clear: anti-catholic is anyone who isn’t catholic? That seems to be the definition.

At least they’re trying.


Better than reading whatever abomination happens to be the flavor of the month.

I’m not a big fan of seeing billboards everywhere you go, but I would much rather see a billboard that’s promoting Christian living than some of the others for Planned Parenthood, and other advertisements for booze or whatever else that promotes sinful pass-times and activities.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit