OK, I’m new here and this is a complex topic for me. If I’m a Catholic in good standing, received the Eucharist within the last week, and have not committed a mortal sin since, can I assume when I die I’ll go to Purgatory/Heaven and not hell? Thanks.
This is a complicated question. No one should ever assume they or anyone else is saved. This is a big disagreement with our Protestant Brothers and Sisters as they assume if they take Christ as there personnal Savior they are saved and can never lose Salvation.The Church teaches we are Saved by a combination of Faith, Grace, and Good Works. Only God knows whats in someones heart and so only God knows whos saved. The church does declare some to be Saints and to be in Heaven but has never declared anyone to be in Hell.Paul perhaps the most Faithful Christian ever next to the Blessed Mother said that he was working his Salvation out in fear and trembling. He saw Christ and still made that statement. I dont know about you but if Paul felt that way about his own Salvation we all need to pause. In the end it is the Grace of God that saves us. Grace comes through the Sacraments such as the Eucharist and Baptism. But some Grace is also a gift from God. So we are Saved through Grace and Faith in Christ and the fruits of this are our good works.
You can have hope and confidence in the goodness and mercy of God, but you have no assurance of salvation until you actually have it.If you knew you were saved you would be saved, but only a handful of people can live Earthly lives like that - St Stephen was one of them, for maybe half an hour before he was martyred.
Yes, you can have a moral assurance that you are saved. If you are not in mortal sin, then you will be saved. Everyone who has sanctifying grace upon their soul when they die is going to heaven. What the Catholic church condemns is when a person says they know with absolute certitude that they will be saved; without a divine revelation from God, no one knows with absolute certitude for we can all fall into grave sin which keeps us from acheiving eternal life.
Actually all grace is a gift from God and precede faith, Eph 2:8-10.
While it is true that our good works are the fruit of Grace and Faith, I understand the Council of Trent taught that good works are also partially the cause of our justification. This is whay they are necessary for salvation.
Anyone more learned than I (that’s most of you!) care to correct me on this or clarify further?
In such a scenario you could be morally confident of being saved. However, you will only know for sure when you stand before God and he says you’re in!
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 1:3-11
We are commanded to make our calling (and hence, salvation (Check Romans 8:30) sure, so yes, we can know, and we should seek to know
How do we find out though?
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
1 John 5:13
Read through 1 John. God’s purpose in writing it was to give us a litmus test to see whether or not we are walking in the Truth, and are on the narrow way.
We can leave “Sola Fide” debates for other threads, but not only can we know if we are saved, we are commanded to find out.
St. Paul writes about his concern that “after having preached to others,” that he himself might be lost.
There are two sins at opposite ends of the scale. There is the sin of Despair, the idea that I have committed such a grievous sin that I cannot possibly be forgiven or saved.
The other sin is that of Presumption. No matter what I am saved.
Salvation is a process. The more fully the Holy Spirit becomes a part of our lives, the more aware we become of personal sinfulness and the need of forgiveness and of God’s grace in forgiving our sins. In this way we continue our journey home to the Father. I am not yet there.
Of course not! You can know that you have been saved (through faith/baptism/confirmation), and that you are being saved(Eucharist, Reconciliation), but what you cannot know - apart from personal revelation -is that you will “persevere to the end” as a faithful follower of Christ into glorificiation. You can have confidence, based upon your current standing, that IF YOU WERE TO DIE NOW that you would go to Purgatory/Heaven but once "NOW’ has passed and you havent died, you are no longer speculating on “NOW” but are speculating on the future. Do you know the future?
Yes, you can assume all you want!
Just remember: when you “assume”, you make an “—” out of “u” and “me”.
No guarantee of glorification here. :nope:
Clearly in these verses the potential to “fall” and not receive a “rich welcome into the eternal kingdom” is a possibility and excludes certainty now. IF you do these things THEN you will be welcomed - but IF NOT then NO YOU WONT BE WELCOMED. The things we are called to “do” occur in time and we must “work out our salvation” in time and persevere in the faith until we are called home. Again, there is no personal guarantee that anyone will persevere to the end.
Sorry, but God calls everyone - not everyone responds however. In addition, in order to guarantee the perseverance to the end unto salvation you seem to be assuming that the admonition to “make your calling and election sure” is a once in a lifetime event. Why?
“Having” eternal life and “persisting” in eternal life until the completion of our earthly existence are two different things. We can enter into eternal life, have it, and subsequently lose it and exit out of eternal life by “making a shipwreck of our faith”.
The question is NOT whether we can know whether we are saved - that is a given we all agree upon. The question is whether we can know that we are among those who “persevere to the end” and WILL be saved: judged as a “good and faithful servant” and welcomed into Our Father’s house. You seem to be locked into the false notion that salvation is an instantaneous, complete and PERMAMENT event in the life of the Christian. I dont see that notion anywhere in any of the verses you have quoted.
PS - God did not write 1 John, he inspired John to write it.
Perhaps this will help: “Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned.” If I remember correctly, I think this from somewhere in Augustine.
I would say you can trust confidently in the mercy of the Lord. I would stay away from assuming and presuming…
This is a complicated question. No one should ever assume they or anyone else is saved. This is a big disagreement with our Protestant Brothers and Sisters as they assume if they take Christ as there personnal Savior they are saved and can never lose Salvation.
First of all this a blanket statement and not true of all Protestants. The Bible states that we can lose our salvation, if you belong to a Bible believing church you should understand that losing your Salvation is possible.
The Church teaches we are Saved by a combination of Faith, Grace, and Good Works. Only God knows whats in someones heart and so only God knows whos saved. The church does declare some to be Saints and to be in Heaven but has never declared anyone to be in Hell.Paul perhaps the most Faithful Christian ever next to the Blessed Mother said that he was working his Salvation out in fear and trembling. He saw Christ and still made that statement. I dont know about you but if Paul felt that way about his own Salvation we all need to pause. In the end it is the Grace of God that saves us. Grace comes through the Sacraments such as the Eucharist and Baptism. But some Grace is also a gift from God. So we are Saved through Grace and Faith in Christ and the fruits of this are our good works.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
There are many Scriptures just like these letting us know that if remain faithful, we will be saved. The Scriptures tell us about loosing our Salvation as well as being assured of our Salvation.
I believe you can, if the Holy Spirit reveals it to you.
You are truly preachin’ to the choir when you tell Catholics that losing your salvation is true - it is your Protestant brethren that need to hear it. They claim to be “Bible believing” churches as well and some of the most educated, bible literate among them
are adherents to the “Once Saved, Always Saved” theology. The reality is that the Bible, alone, simply does not result in unity of faith on some essential issues. Far too much ambiguous language from a culture we are ill-equipped to understand. Perhaps you will see the wisdom of Christ in establishing a visible authority, founded on Peter, for His Church.
But I digress…Im glad we are on the same side of this issue!
Unfortunately a lot of Christians convince themsleves that they are receiving regular loqutions from the Holy Spirit when it is pretty obvious that nothing of the sort can be going on.
It is very dangerous to base your faith on a feeling. At the reviival meeting, it is fine to be overwhelmed by a sense of love and communication with the divine. But you can’t stay there forever, and even the new friends often fall away. Then, sadly, the real shallowness of the conversion can become all too obvious.
You are truly preachin’ to the choir when you tell Catholics that losing your salvation is true
You may be right about preaching to the choir to Catholics on losing your Salvation, but Catholics need to listen when it comes knowing if your saved or not. How sad it is that some Christians feel that even when they live their lives for Christ they may end up in Hell.
- it is your Protestant brethren that need to hear it. They claim to be “Bible believing” churches as well and some of the most educated, bible literate among them are adherents to the “Once Saved, Always Saved” theology.
The reality is that the Bible, alone, simply does not result in unity of faith on some essential issues.
Tradition has the same problems as well, my in-laws are all Catholic and have different views on church matters. I know that you will say they are just uneducated when it comes to church doctrine, but they know what the church teaches. You can show a Protestant Scripture that warns them about losing their Salvation but sometimes they just refuse to see it. It happens on both sides of the fence.
Perhaps you will see the wisdom of Christ in establishing a visible authority, founded on Peter, for His Church
I see the wisdom in the Scriptures just as God intended and not wisdom in man.
Thanks for your input Philthy
I wouldnt say Catholics who “are living” their lives for Christ should question whether they may end up in Hell. Not at all.
The ambiguity only arises when some (usually our OSAS brethren) attempt to say - prior to having completed living their lives in the grace and fellowship of God through faith in Christ - that they cannot lose their salvation.
Sorry, my friend, but you are claiming that the Church teaches different views when you claim that your inlaws “know what the Church teaches” and yet “have different views” on church matters. I don’t believe that claim on any essential Church teaching to be true. The Church can and does speak in our native language, in our culture and in clear unambiguous terms. Scripture simply doesnt. Your argument is predicated on your belief that Tradition does not convey the Truth clearly based upon individual Catholics and that is simply a fundamentally weak argument
[quote=nondenom] I see the wisdom in the Scriptures just as God intended…/quote]
Oh really? How do you know exactly that what you “see” is any more true than what another Christian sees? The bottom line is, you dont. That is the whole point.
Thanks for your input too!