I came across this recently and thought I would share here…seeking thoughts and replies from CAF to the question "Are You Saved? "
I recently was (caught in situation) with a evangelical, who upon learning I was Catholic, kept asking me questions. I need to be better prepared! Thank you in advance for your reply
" 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)"
I think that part of the problems Catholics have is that they are not out on the hunt… the Church militant does not actually mean “search and destroy.”
I think you are more prepared than what you believe you are (if those were the answers you gave evangelical; however, I think that it is important to have more than just a response… engaging these people would allow for two things: a) you whet your mettle and, more importantly, you can help to challenge both their misconceptions about the Catholic Church and the erroneous interpretations of Scriptures–leading them to seek a deeper understanding of the Word and Christ and His Church.
The best method is to start by listening–you must know what they understand by being “saved” or whatever other topic they may be concerned with.
Always be generous. Language and modals are important (as St. Francis used to say, “when necessary use words…”); people will take with them, more so than Scriptures, your charity–or lack thereof.
While you don’t have to versed in the early Church writings, you should be familiar with a few important topics covered by the Didache (newadvent.org/cathen/04779a.htm) and St. Justin Martyr (newadvent.org/cathen/08580c.htm)… when issues come up about Church Doctrine and “early Church” (euphemism for that’s how *we *do it) you can have plenty of evidential sources about it.
You can download a Bible to your smart phone or computer which can help you search for passages that can demonstrate why their assertion is not Scriptural.
An excellent passage for the “saved” ones is Jesus’ discourse in St. John 15:1-10–particularly:
3 Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
Though the Twelve were “saved” (clean) because of Jesus’ Word (Grace received through Him), Jesus insists that they must remain (abide) in Him. It is not enough that the Twelve have learned from Jesus. It is not enough that they have experienced His Presence… they, as all Saved (Believers), must abide (obey, accept, follow, adhere to…) in Him.
That’s why Jesus continually warns us to be ready, to stay alert, to abide in Him… He warns of the calamities to come and He Calls us to Stand:
19 Stand firm, and you will win life. (St. Luke 21:19)
36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (St. Luke 21:36)
However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (St. Luke 18:8b)
Yet, not even the Twelve are automatically “saved:”
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (St. John 17:15-19)
Why would the Twelve need protection from Satan if they are automatically “saved”? Why would Jesus Sanctify Himself in order to keep them from Satan’s reach if they are already “saved”?
Salvation, as Christ and the Apostles have made it known, is an ongoing process, those who persevere till the end will get the Crown of Glory: Eternal Salvation!