Catholics: Am I, as a Protestant, saved?

Or if you will, am I in a state of sanctifying grace?

I may disagree with some doctrines of the Catholic Church (such as the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary), but I believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth, the Atonement, and Christ’s death and resurrection.

I may strongly hold to Sola Fide, but my faith is not the only part of my Christian life. I really try to live my life in obedience to God, and whenever I sin (however big or small) I confess my sins to God and strive to repent (1 John 1:9).

I may not believe that baptism is required for salvation, but I have been baptized (by immersion) in a Protestant Church in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I may not believe in Transubstantiation, but I partake in communion in a Protestant Church.

I may not be a member of the Catholic Church and I may strongly hold to Sola Scriptura, but I am an active member of a non-denominational Church, doing what I can to edify the Body of Christ.

Christ is my Redeemer, my All-in-All, and I believe I am saved because Christ died for my sins. In Him, alone, I trust for my salvation.

So, based on what I said above, am I in a state of sanctifying grace? Or am I doomed to hell unless I repent of what I believe and/or convert to the Catholic Church?

Note: I know that Vatican II Degree on Ecumenism says that Protestants are considered brethren in imperfect communion with the Body of Christ. However, I also heard “from the grapevines” that Protestants who know Catholic doctrine and disagree with it will not be saved. I could not find a reference to verify the latter, so I am really confused…

Please note that I am NOT here to debate Catholic doctrine, or anything like that. I just want to know what the Catholic Church teaches. Do you, as a Catholic, believe that I’m going to hell if I am wrong and you are right?

Peace

I believe the traditional Catholic answer is, “No, you are not saved as Salvation is not a one time event based on conversion. However, your dying and becoming saved is in God’s hands and no one can judge except God.”

First off… I’d like to know why you are asking us Catholics if you are going to heaven or hell…lol. Just a little odd.

But anyways friend,

Going to heaven or hell is not a matter of who got it right. To go to heaven…meaning to actually fully enter and participate in God’s own eternal and divine life is NOTHING we humans…catholic, protestant or otherwise can attain for ourselves. It takes direct intervention by God. That’s what salvation…heaven… is a free gift of to be given by God and God alone. No ritual, no prayer, no good works attains this on their own…it’s God.

God meets everyone where they are. If, by no fault of your own you have not come to the fullness of revelation and heavenly aide found in the Catholic Church…God can work with ANYONE of good will and conscience who does what they can in their state of life and to whatever degree of ignorance they have to find God…God can and does work with them.

HOWEVER, the church teaches that there is “No salvation outside of the catholic church”… you may have heard this statement and it still rings true today. What the church is getting to by saying this is that The church is the body of Christ in the world holding the fullness of revelation, the authority given by Christ and is his witness and normal means of accessing God…since it is His body, all salvation flows through her and no one is saved outside of the graces offered through her.

So if you are a protestant who is attempting as best you can to come to God and through no fault of your own have not entered the catholic church…the church states that you “may be saved”…but that you will be saved ONLY through the mystical graces given in and through the church (which holds the sacrifice as Christ at the Mass open and to the world).

We know from scripture that God “wills not the sinner to die” ! God is on our side and wants EVERYONE! The catholic church teaches that it is mortal sin that causes the “death of the sinner” . Mortal sin is the willfull turning away from God and His light, goodness, and truth. So that’s really your answer… if you are guilty of mortal sin and are persistent in it… you need to seriously reconsider your spiritual position. To sin mortally the church says: it must be of serious matter, it must be done with full consent of the will, and you must know what you’re doing is wrong.

Here’s a little blurb from the catechism of the catholic church (which holds the general teachings of the church) about hell":

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;618 for this,** a willful turning away **from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy (that’s Mass…our church service) and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:619

During the Eucharistic liturgy where we catholics enter into the very moment of Christ’s offering of Himself on the Cross the church prays for the world:

Father, accept this offering

from your whole family.

Grant us your peace in this life,

save us from final damnation,

and count us among those you have chosen.620

So we’re praying for you friend no matter where you find yourself spiritually! God bless and trust in Gods Mercy which will pursue you to the ends of the earth… He wants your salvation more than you do! That’s what the Catholic Church says:thumbsup:

Are you a Baptized Protestant (?), which I think you are. If you have a valid Baptism which washes away all your sins, theoretically if you do not sin after that, you are in sanctifying grace. And after that God is the ultimate judge. Generally speaking, if you have unconfessed mortal sin, you are not saved.

There is not a person in the world, much less this forum, who can tell you if your are saved. For one thing, you won’t know until you die. Being confident in our salvation is one thing. To believe one is assured of their salvation is the sin of presumption.

If your question is “can non-Catholics be saved?”, the answer is certainly, yes. Even non-Christians can be saved. The normal means of salvation is found in the Catholic Church. But God is not restricted by anything. Only he can save us and only He is the Judge. He will save whom He pleases.

Neither is one saved because they can claim they are Catholic. Each one of us must live out our faith authentically, according to what we have received. The Catholic Church, for many reasons, helps us do that and provides that intimate encounter with Christ, through the sacraments, by which we are filled his saving grace.

I don’t think any Catholic believes in being saved as a static thing. As Paul will tell you, you have to finish the race. However, we believe that all people can be saved, even a few of my protestant friends with the likely exception of my mother-in-law. All jokes aside, I don’t think Jesus rejects any of his sheep. I rely heavily on His Mercy myself in spite of my outstanding understanding of the Exegesis and the Dogmas of His church blah blah blah as I stand
at the front of the Temple. I believe if we can get up there on our death and tell them that we know Jesus and he will vouch for us, they will let us in. Does an understanding of the Doctrines endear you to Him. I doubt it. What about the simple people who just love and obey Him? He wants our love and our charity. If we forgive he will forgive seven times to the tenth power. If we give to the needy, he will give to us. If we are lucky enough to be persecuted in His name… Well you know your Bible, you get the rest. (just a word of advice… You may not believe the Marian doctrines and that is your right, just do not ever attack her; her Son doesn’t appreciate it.) May Jesus take you to His Heart just as you are.

awesome posts by everyone on this subject.

I already posted a big post here but id like to add one more thing.

Satan knows the truth… he knows exactly what’s up. If salvation had anything to do with knowing…than the devil would be saved. But he’s condemned… he willfully turned away from God.

Just a thought

And Christ makes the judgement day very easy to understand:
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“When I was hungry, thirsty, in prision etc etc”…“YOU DID IT TO ME”…and these will go off to eternal joy, and the others to an eternal punishment.

None of this however should persuade us not to attempt to come to know Christ more intimately. If you really love someone…you want to know more about them and how to come closer to them.

icamhif,

It is possible for a Protestant to be in a state of grace; however, that grace can be lost. The reason that knowledge can change things, is that we are responsible to act on the truth we know. Believing error in good faith is one thing, but at some point the individual has sufficient knowledge to renounce his error.

There’s no easy formula to calculate whether a given individual has reached that point. And unfortunately, making the change can be very difficult, especially when there are gigantic movements whose existence legitimizes the error.

We do not judge you for believing error, and we believe that God is merciful; but at the same time, we want you to have the fullness of the truth and means of salvation.

Let us know if you have any questions we can help with.

AO

So your question has been answered very well, so can I add some responses to your post so you can consider entering the Catholic Church!

James 2:24You see that a man is justified by works **and not by faith alone.
**

John 20:21-23. So Jesus said to them [the disciples]again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 **If you forgive the sins of any, their sins [c]have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
**

James 5: 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective [o]prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
I may not believe that baptism is required for salvation, but I have been baptized (by immersion) in a Protestant Church in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I may not believe in Transubstantiation, but I partake in communion in a Protestant Church.

John 6:52-53 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

“Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead.”

Ignatius of Antioch (successor to Polycarp) “Letter to the Smyrnaeans”, paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

I may not be a member of the Catholic Church and I may strongly hold to Sola Scriptura, but I am an active member of a non-denominational Church, doing what I can to edify the Body of Christ.

John 20:30 Therefore many other [g]signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

2 Thess 2:15, “so then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

On Protestant denominations or lack thereof that preach something different than the first 1500+ years of Christianity.

Galatians 1:6-10

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Christ is my Redeemer, my All-in-All, and I believe I am saved because Christ died for my sins. In Him, alone, I trust for my salvation.

If you are saved already why bother being a disciple? Can’t you just do anything?

Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

WELCOME TO THE BOARDS AND START YOUR ROAD HOME TO ROME!

Are you in heaven? Then you are saved. If you are not in heaven, then you are not yet saved.

Put your life in The Hands Of God, do not sin, do His will, and no matter what happen, God love you, He want you to be saved, and if you do His will…well, God loves you.

No one is saved as a Protestant or as a Catholic or as Orthodox. We are saved as children of a loving God.

Icamhif, you have for your “Religion” listed as “My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.

Why do you think Jesus is your Lord and Savior? Incidentally, I agree with you that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, but I might not agree with WHY you think so.

The other thing is, you also list yourself as a “Protestant” (“Catholics: Am I, as a Protestant, saved?”): What are you “Protesting”?

The third and last question I have is WHY do you think Catholics can judge your soul or why do you think WE think that we can presume to judge souls?

These things will help give you an answer tailored to your needs.

You already get a lot of very good answers, but I want to go a little deeper, hoping it helps you to understand the Catholic Church.

There is a big difference betweeen knowing and NOT knowing. For example, I am 100% certain that people from all races, colors and religions are in Heaven, as anybody can live a sanctified life, even without having ever heard about Jesus.

But here, what you state is a bit different. You KNOW the Church teachings, and you decide to pick and choose what you believe in, and what you do NOT believe in. Many protestants know nothing, or close to nothing, about the Church teachings. You do, and I do believe that put you in the incomfortable position where you should ask yourself WHY you picked and choosed what you did.

Your quest, and your answers, might have a lot to do with the “state of sanctifying Grâce”

In case you did not already know this book, you might find it a good read: http://www.ignatius.com/Products/RSH-P/rome-sweet-home.aspx, as I believe your question may have a lot to do with their journey.

This is what we believe:

O my God, relying on Your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Your grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

God has made promises to us and we know He will keep His word :slight_smile: So, what’s the problem? We may not do our part :frowning:

Protestants, or at least some of them, think that if they do X, then their immediate entry into Heaven when they die is assured. But it is written in the Bible that nothing unclean can enter the gates of Heaven (Rev 21:27).

How can we find out the truth? What is written in the Bible? The pillar and foundation of truth is the Church (1 Tim 3:15).

First of all, Welcome…

Second - thank you for this post. You have put the matter in a wonderfully charitable and direct way. I really like your approach.

Third, You have already received so many wonderful replies that I hesitate to respond…but if I repeat what others say, perhaps it will simply reinforce those comments.

To be completely honest - without knowing your heart, we cannot say.
As others have already pointed out, we do not hold salvation as an “event” but as a journey. As to whether you are currently in a state of sanctifying grace…I would say that, based on your comments below that perhaps you are…but there are concerns…serious concerns…

I may disagree with some doctrines of the Catholic Church (such as the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary), but I believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth, the Atonement, and Christ’s death and resurrection.

When one says that they “disagree” with some doctrine of the Church my first thought is why do they "disagree?
Disagree means reject. It indicates, or should indicate, that some study of the matter has been made and based on that study a determination made. If such a study has not been made, or if the study is perfunctory or the sources used are not from the ones promoting the doctrine (in this case Catholic) then why have an opinion at all?

This speaks to something that is a recurring theme in many of these things. That thing is ignorance, and the importance of the freedome of conscience. THIS SECTION of the Catechism speaks some to this idea.

I may strongly hold to Sola Fide, but my faith is not the only part of my Christian life. I really try to live my life in obedience to God, and whenever I sin (however big or small) I confess my sins to God and strive to repent (1 John 1:9).

I may not believe that baptism is required for salvation, but I have been baptized (by immersion) in a Protestant Church in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I may not believe in Transubstantiation, but I partake in communion in a Protestant Church.

I may not be a member of the Catholic Church and I may strongly hold to Sola Scriptura, but I am an active member of a non-denominational Church, doing what I can to edify the Body of Christ.

Christ is my Redeemer, my All-in-All, and I believe I am saved because Christ died for my sins. In Him, alone, I trust for my salvation.

So, based on what I said above, am I in a state of sanctifying grace? Or am I doomed to hell unless I repent of what I believe and/or convert to the Catholic Church?

Note: I know that Vatican II Degree on Ecumenism says that Protestants are considered brethren in imperfect communion with the Body of Christ. However, I also heard “from the grapevines” that Protestants who know Catholic doctrine and disagree with it will not be saved. I could not find a reference to verify the latter, so I am really confused…

Please note that I am NOT here to debate Catholic doctrine, or anything like that. I just want to know what the Catholic Church teaches. Do you, as a Catholic, believe that I’m going to hell if I am wrong and you are right?

Peace

In a sense no one is saved until the day they die and enter heaven where there is no sin. However if all of what you said is true then I think Jesus will let you into heaven. I have know many Protestant who have love Jesus much more than Catholics.

You have to remember that although the Catholic Church states that we are the one founded by JesusChrist and that when it teaches it will do it infallibly, we cannot go around saying well your saved, so are you, you not so much. God is the only one who does that.

You said that you don’t think baptism saves, but the bible says baptism saves, so you have to look at baptism closely again. I know that you been baptized already, all you gotta do is read and see why baptism idles save. Go to scripturecatholic.com and check out the baptism part, John salza gives you bible verses about the importance of baptism.

I think that this is a wonderful post - charitable and well expressed. Thanks for starting the thread.

Many good answers above and I suspect that you are already coming to understand that your query is not a simple yes or no answer.

While we cannot say whether you are currently in a state of sanctifying grace or not…I think that most of us would agree that you are doing OK - believing on Christ - seeking and growing and loving God and your fellow man.

That said I offer these comments.

  1. When you say things like you believe strongly in Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura - it doesn’t really define your beliefs all that well. These terms have acquired a rather broad usage and understanding over the years. IOW - they terms themselves don’t point to one specific definition.
    Further clarification would be needed to see if how you understand these terms is a serious impediment or not.

  2. Of greater concern - in what you write above - is the issue of the real presence. Scripture is quite clear both in John 6 and 1 Cor 11:27-29 that a proper discernment of and participation in the eating of the body and blood are essential to having (eternal) life in you. Getting this right then is of salvific importance.

  3. I have to say that looking to Scripture is a good thing…but in doing so it is important to recognize how firmly Scripture itself points to “Church” as authority. Nowhere in Scripture can one find support for the type of church model that most “non-denominational” churches use.

So - When one speaks of having faith in Christ and being obedient to Him - what does that “faith” mean and what does that obedience entail? of course this is somewhat outside of what you are asking here…but then again - maybe not.

If you say you have faith and believe strongly in Scripture, but fail to “listen to the Church” (Mt 18:17) and/or fail to properly discern the body and blood and/or dismiss the necessity of works (James 2)…Can you claim to have a saving faith?

all of that said…You have come to a very good place for discussion on these and many other matters. I hope to hear more from you.

Peace
James

Do I believe you can be saved? Anything is possible with God’s grace. We are not to judge.

However, Christ gave us **SEVEN **sacraments, and a lot of churches omit some. Do you realize how hard it is to get to heaven even WITH all the sacraments? The Bible tells us that even the “just” man will barely be saved!

A lot of Protestant try to make it to heaven without the Eucharist, confession, etc.

As to the** Eucharist**, Christ said to take a eat it, that it was his body and drink his blood, and Christ commands us, “Do this in memory of me”. Then, later on, in the Bible, it says NOT to receive the body and blood of Christ unworthily, He is assuming we are receiving the body and blood. If it were only “symbolic”, how could anyone drink a cup of “condemnation”, as we are told?

Further, Christ said that if we didn’t eat his body and drink his blood, we would have no life within us! Yet, Protestants try this, anyway!

Confession…In John 20:21-23, Jesus breathes on the disciples and says to receive the Holy Spirit, that what sins they forgive are forgiven. In 2 Corinthians, 5:18-19, Paul has the ministry of reconciliation, forgiveness of sins. In Matthew 3:6, John the Baptist’s converts confess their sins aloud. (Prior to all this, people confessed sins directly to God, but after this, they confessed to others).

Did you realize there are actually FIVE solas?!

  1. Faith alone
  2. Scripture alone
  3. Grace alone
  4. Christ alone
  5. Glory to God, alone

See: catholicbible101.com/thefivesolas.htm

So yes, can people of other faiths make it to heaven? Yes. However, without the benefits of ALL the sacraments, it is so difficult that it borders on impossibility.

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