Assurance of Salvation


Hi everyone,

I was recently listening to a debate on salvation between a Catholic and a Protestant, and the question of assurance of salvation came up. The Protestant challenged the Catholic to respond to the following scenario: You have just died and stand before God. He asks you why you should be let into Heaven. The Protestant said he would simply respond that Christ completed his salvation and thus he would say that he should go to Heaven because of Christ. He said that since he was assured salvation by Christ’s sacrifice, this answer was all he needed. How would a Catholic explain why they should be let into Heaven?



If Jesus were to ask me that, the only thing I can even think of saying would be, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner”.




Thank you…Jenny


On one of Fr Larry Richard’s CDs from (either Confession or The Mass Explained, I’ve loaned them out so I can’t check) he says, “Because Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins.”


I agree with Jenny; Nita’s short answer wins.

Then there’s always (from here) -
“Are you saved?” asks the Fundamentalist. 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. 1:8, 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).”


There’s also a slight variation on the words of the centurion - ‘Lord, I am not worthy to enter, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.’

I think the emphasis should be on God’s grace and mercy in permitting us access to heaven, rather than foolishly thinking we ‘deserve’ to enter it. We don’t - not by anything we do, nor by any faith we have.


The Protestant question is nothing more than a form of salvation by works. In this case, to be saved one must give the correct answer.

Catholics know that we are not saved by giving a correct answer. Or perhaps one could say that our entire lives are our answer.


Of course, a Hindu or atheist could give the same answer. They would just have to keep it in mind as a contingency.

But I don’t think that Jesus will play this game with us. The only real description we have of this particular scenario is the one that Jesus himself gives in Matt 25:31ff regarding judgment.


This is a great answer. Will borrow this one Mike.
Would just add that Christ showed us how to live our entire life.


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