Can We Lose Salvation?


#1

Hi,

I was wondering, once we accept Christ is it ever possible to lose that salvation? I have heard people on both sides of the issue, but I am still confused as to what the Catholic Church believes.


#2

[quote=weasley_girl]Hi,

I was wondering, once we accept Christ is it ever possible to lose that salvation? I have heard people on both sides of the issue, but I am still confused as to what the Catholic Church believes.
[/quote]

Actually, you have asked a compound question, probably not on purpose. To ask if you can “lose” salvation is to assume that you can gain it simply by accepting Jesus Christ. The Church teaches that this acceptance is not sufficient for salvation (although, of course, it highly recommends it :wink: )

This Catholic Answers link should prove useful concerning the teaching of the Church on salvation:

catholic.com/library/Assurance_of_Salvation.asp

Blessings,

Gerry


#3

Thanks Gerry :slight_smile: I was raised Protestant, and I was always told that if you just believed you were saved, and that was all there was to it. I am looking at the article you recommended right now, but it is still sort of unclear to me how we get salvation in the first place.


#4

This might help:

**SALVATION/JUSTIFICATION
Q. Have you been saved? Is this the same as having been baptized and confirmed?
Q. We are often asked "Are you saved?"
Q. Being saved. Some people believe that once they accept Christ they are saved. **

Salvation is not the same as baptism and confirmation. Baptism and confirmation will be discussed further in the chapter titled “SACRAMENTS.” To properly answer questions concerning salvation, we must first define the terms. We Catholics and our separated brethren have different definitions for the words we commonly use.

Salvation. Catholics use this term to refer to the whole process, from its beginning in faith, through the whole Christian life of works in love on earth, to its completion in heaven. To our separated brethren this term means the initial step–climbing aboard the ark of salvation–not the entire journey to the final destination. As you can see, the Catholic has a much broader meaning for the term “salvation” or “saved” while our non-Catholic brethren have a much smaller view.

**Faith. ** To the Catholic, this is one of the three theological virtues [faith, hope and charity (love)]; faith is intellectual belief. To our separated brethren it is accepting Jesus with your whole heart and soul. In this case it is the Catholic who has the much smaller view while our non-Catholic brethren use it in a much broader sense.

With these definitions in mind, if someone asks you “Have you been saved?” you can answer “Yes, by the grace of God.” This will answer the question from the point of view of the non-Catholic who asked it. A more correct answer, from the Catholic perspective would be “I have been saved from the penalty of sin by Jesus’ death and resurrection, I am being saved from the power of sin by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and I will one day be saved from the presence of sin when I go to be with the Lord.”

**Q. Are Catholics taught that they are the only ones to go to heaven? **

No. The Catholic Church does teach that outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation, but one must look at what this really means. Paragraph 3 of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio, 21 November 1964) says that our separated brethren “who believe in the faith of Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” It also says that “all who have been justified by faith in baptism are incorporated into Christ, they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.” Everyone is saved through the Catholic Church, either as faithful members of that Church, or as members of churches which contain some significant elements of truth and sanctification found in the Catholic Church, or as persons who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience. For this reason, a Bishop is responsible for every soul within his diocese, not just the Catholic ones.

Continued…


#5

Q. Do Catholics believe you have to "work " your way into heaven? (James 2:24)
**Q. Aren’t we saved by faith alone? **

One of the two basic tenets of the Protestant Reformation (Revolt) was sola fide (faith alone), the other being sola scriptura (only Scripture). Sola scriptura was addressed in the chapter titled “THE BIBLE.”

What has been called “works righteousness” (earning a place in heaven) has been condemned as heresy by the Church. One cannot “work” their way into heaven, but neither is one saved by faith alone. One is saved by faith living in love. James 2:24 says:
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (KJV). What this means is that, like Abram (Abraham), one must live out the faith they have in God. In Genesis 15:6 we are told that Abram “believed in the Lord; and he credited it to him for righteousness” (KJV), but this is not when Abram’s faith first manifests itself: Abram has been doing whatever God has asked of him since Genesis 12:1 (some 10 years earlier).

In Luke 8:16, Jesus tells us in a parable about faith:

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (NIV).
Likewise, we are to live out our faith so that it shines forth and enables others to come to the light of truth. Also, in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we are told of the fate of one who fails to put God’s gifts to work; he is cast out. No one “earns” their way into heaven; to do so would be to put God under an obligation to bestow a gift that is His to give as He sees fit. But no one who consciously fails to put their faith to work will enter heaven either. The “works” which one does in living out their faith are works of love, not obligation. See Matthew 7:21-23 and Ephesians 2:10:

**Q. Why is the Baptist belief that “Once saved, you’re always saved” a heresy? **

This belief isn’t unique only to Baptists, many evangelicals and “nondenominational” groups also harbor this belief. The belief is not heretical, but it is mistaken and if taken to the extreme, could result in a sin against the Holy Spirit (see the chapter titled “SIN”) as it takes God for granted. Referring back to the definitions in the first question in this chapter, the non-Catholic believes that they are saved when they climb aboard the ark of salvation. Unfortunately, people fall off boats all the time. Some climb back on, and others drown. Our secular world is full of temptations which can lure us off the boat and into the sea of sin. Since nothing impure can enter heaven (Revelation 21:27), those who have not fully repented of their sins and gained God’s forgiveness will not be able to disembark when the ark reaches its final destination (even though they may have swum alongside the whole way). One never has absolute assurance of their salvation until they arrive at the pearly gates and hear the message “well-done good and faithful servant” instead of “Away from me you evildoer.”

**Q. Please explain justification. **

Justification is the process by which a person is made righteous, holy and pure before God. This is accomplished by the grace of the Holy Spirit working within us; empowering us to recognize and repent for our sins and avoid sins in the future. The grace working within us causes an interior conversion to take place so that we no longer desire things which we now recognize as sinful. In the Catholic tradition, our justification comes about through our faith in Christ and in a life of good works which are a response to God’s invitation to believe.

St. Paul condemns claims that salvation comes through the “works of the law” (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16; 3:10) but “works of the law” are different from the life of good works described above. Those who depended upon the “works of the law” were the Jews (like the pharisees for example) who depended upon performing all the rituals prescribed in the Book of the Law. Such rituals were circumcision, ritual washing, temple sacrifices, avoiding certain foods, etc. (they had enumerated 613 laws which, if observed perfectly, made the individual righteous). The life of good works which the Catholic Christian lives is the life one lives because of their love for God and their fellow man. It is the life through which their faith enables them to radiate their hope and love. God has given every person unique gifts and abilities; how we use these talents in our everyday lives are the good works upon which we will be judged (John 5:28-29).

From St. Charles Borromeo Church’s
"Glad You Asked"
scborromeo.org/index2.htm


#6

“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).”

catholic.com/library/***…f_Salvation.asp


#7

I agree with JGC. Every day should begin with a morning offerng to Jesus with a renewal of your commitment to live and preach the Good News by word and action.


#8

JGC,

I think that may be the best I’ve heard it said to date. Do you mind if I copy it onto a prayer card, along with the cited scripture? I love to have stuff like this ready at hand, especially since I’m not always great at memorizing things. Although, I must admit that the Holy Spirit is pretty darn good at preparing me before an interesting question arises!

I think I’ll go ahead and assume this is one of those preparations and take the cue!
:tiphat:

Well said.

God Bless,

CARose


#9

Thanks Fidelis, that was great!

I already am aware of what you posted… it was well done. I copied it in case I have to explain to others.

Thanks.


#10

:amen:


#11

[quote=CARose]JGC,

I think that may be the best I’ve heard it said to date. Do you mind if I copy it onto a prayer card, along with the cited scripture? I love to have stuff like this ready at hand, especially since I’m not always great at memorizing things. Although, I must admit that the Holy Spirit is pretty darn good at preparing me before an interesting question arises!

I think I’ll go ahead and assume this is one of those preparations and take the cue!
:tiphat:

Well said.

God Bless,

CARose
[/quote]

Wish I could take the credit. If you click on the link at the foot of my earlier post you’ll get the full article!

JGC :thumbsup:


#12

When ever someone asks me, “Are you saved?”, I turn and ask, "What must I do to share in everlasting life? They will answer, “Accept Jesus as your personal saviour.” Then I will say, “That is not the perfect answer to this question. What is Jesus’ answer to this question?”

Pease visit: Jesus, What Must I Do To Share In Everlasting Life?

NAB MAR 10:17
"Good Teacher, what must I do to share in everlasting life?" Jesus answered, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments:
‘You shall not kill;
You shall not commit adultery;
You shall not steal;
You shall not bear false witness;
You shall not defraud;
Honor your father and your mother.’"

I have heard that from Martin Luther on down, the Protestants claim that Jesus teaching was nullified after, and because of, His death. Now they focus on St. Paul’s post ressurection teachings where obeying the commandments, as Jesus teaches for salvation, is no longer needed. St. Peter warns us to be careful with St. Paul’s writings because the ignorant can distort St. Paul’s writings to their own distruction. After hundreds of years of Protestantism, has no Protestant questioned the ignorance of casting out Jesus teachings for what they think St. Paul is saying?

NAB 2PE 3:14 Preparation for the Coming.
So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight. Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation. Paul, our beloved brother, wrote you this in the spirit of wisdom that is his, dealing with these matters as he does in all his letters. There are certain passages in them hard to understand. The ignorant and the unstable distort them (just as they do the rest of Scripture) to their own ruin. You are forewarned, beloved brothers. Be on your guard lest you be led astray by the error of the wicked, and forfeit the security you enjoy.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#13

Jesus’ Teaching on Losing Salvation

Matt. 7:18 - Jesus says that sound trees bear good fruit. But there is no guarantee that a sound tree will stay sound. It could go rotten.

Matt. 7:21 - all those who say “Lord, Lord” on the last day will not be saved. They are judged by their evil deeds.

Matt. 12:30-32 - Jesus says that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore (the Greek for “therefore” is “dia toutos” which means “through this”) blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This means that failing to persevere in Jesus’ grace to the end is the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. We must persevere in faith to the end of our lives.

Matt. 22:14 - Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This man, who was destined to grace, was at God’s banquet, but was cast out.

Luke 8:13 - Jesus teaches that some people receive the word with joy, but they have no root, believe for a while, and then fall away in temptation. They had the faith but they lost it.

Luke 12:42-46 - we can start out as a faithful and wise steward, then fall away and be assigned to a place with the unfaithful.

Luke 15:11-32 – in the parable of the prodigal son, we learn that we can be genuine sons of the Father, then leave home and die, then return and be described as “alive again.” John 6:70-71 - Jesus chose or elected twelve, yet one of them, Judas, fell. Not all those predestined to grace persevere to the end. :blessyou:


#14

In Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23, Jesus said:

A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. 7Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He who has ears, let him hear.

. . .
[size=1]18Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.[/size]

Nothing outside of us can take our salvation away from us (Romans 8:38) but we can throw it away ourselves (Hebrews 10:26-36). In the above passage, Jesus mentions several things - tribulation, persecution, the cares of the world, and the delight in riches - that might tempt the believer into later abandoning his faith or tempt the believer into trivializing his faith so much that it becomes sterile. In either case, the one-time believer would lose his salvation. [size=2][/size]

[size=2]

[/size]


#15

If one dies in the state of unrepentant serious sin (Mortal) one would lose their salvation. Jesus gave us the formula for eternally salvation, but we must cooperate with His graces.


#16

We cannot lose our salvation. This is because we never had our salvation in the first place.

If we are in the state of grace at the moment of death, we will be saved. If we are not in the state of grace at the moment of death, we will be damned.

Also, we do not become Christians by believing in Jesus. We become Christians by being baptised.


#17

[quote=mayra hart]Jesus’ Teaching on Losing Salvation

Matt. 7:18 - Jesus says that sound trees bear good fruit. But there is no guarantee that a sound tree will stay sound. It could go rotten.

Matt. 7:21 - all those who say “Lord, Lord” on the last day will not be saved. They are judged by their evil deeds.

Matt. 12:30-32 - Jesus says that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore (the Greek for “therefore” is “dia toutos” which means “through this”) blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This means that failing to persevere in Jesus’ grace to the end is the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. We must persevere in faith to the end of our lives.
[/quote]

Even in the face of martrydom?

[quote=mayra hart]Matt. 22:14 - Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This man, who was destined to grace, was at God’s banquet, but was cast out.

Luke 8:13 - Jesus teaches that some people receive the word with joy, but they have no root, believe for a while, and then fall away in temptation. They had the faith but they lost it.

Luke 12:42-46 - we can start out as a faithful and wise steward, then fall away and be assigned to a place with the unfaithful.

Luke 15:11-32 – in the parable of the prodigal son, we learn that we can be genuine sons of the Father, then leave home and die, then return and be described as “alive again.” John 6:70-71 - Jesus chose or elected twelve, yet one of them, Judas, fell. Not all those predestined to grace persevere to the end. :blessyou:
[/quote]


#18

[quote=Chris Jacobsen]We cannot lose our salvation. This is because we never had our salvation in the first place.

If we are in the state of grace at the moment of death, we will be saved. If we are not in the state of grace at the moment of death, we will be damned. ]
[/quote]

Does that mean we will be hated forever as God’s biggest failures?


#19

can you lose your salvation once you accept jesus as lord and savior? most, though not all, fundamentalist believe that once you accept jesus as your lord and savior, it is impossible to lose your salvation. this doctrine is known as “once save, always saved”. like many other protestant doctrines, this teaching was unheard of before the reformation. mt24:13 tells us that we must"endures to the end" in order to be saved. st paul says the same thing in 2tim2:12: that we must hold out to the end if we want to reing with christ. in rom11:22, christians are warned that they will be cut off if they don’t persevere with kindness of god. hebrews 6:4–6 describes people who sharers in the holy spirit ( born again christians) but then fall away from god. remember st paul’s advice:" work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (phil2:12). who should have more assurance of salvation than st. paul? yet he says: “i pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others i myself should be disqualified” (1 cor9:27). scipture is very clear: christians can lose their salvation.:blessyou:


#20

I would say that there’s a lot more to salvation than I was taught as a Protestant and I am convinced, just from reading the Bible that OSAS is unscriptural and out of context. St. Paul, mega-christian that he was says “lest having preached to others I should be lost” which sort of says it all to me. I also have to note that all the epistles in the NT are written to churches and all deal w/some kind of mess therein. In other words scandals and sin are no stranger to churches because they are made up of wimpy human beings (like moi :whistle: )

The above post that talks of having to endure to the end is also spot on. Conversion is not a one-shot-deal (as portrayed by some), but an ongoing process. As usual, I believe that the Catholic Church has the only doctrine(s) (on this and everything else) that make any real scriptural sense at all. As a result, I will live, die and go to heaven or hell as a Catholic, it all depends on how I cooperate with His superabundant grace.


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