Confused: I can't be sure I'm going to heaven?


#1

:confused: I am really confused about Catholics. I purchased the Catechism to better understand the Catholic Church. To be honest, I was blown away. So much of your beliefs are not found in the bible. Please do not take this as an attack!
There are many, but lets say assurance of salvation. I have been told by Catholic websites that I can’t be sure that I’m going to heaven.
I have to say that’s false teaching. I did read some of the explanation on this website, I don’t get it? Christ paid the price in full. But according to Catholic teaching, I have to do, do , do, to stay in good graces with God.(my definition) It all seems like performance. Christ did what we couldn’t, but your teaching wants to add to that.
I honestly believe time is short. Christ is coming for His Church. It’s time to repent of religion and false teaching and turn to Christ and His Holy Word. Nothing but His Word is exceptable, He has made that very clear. Who is willing?

Thank you for your time.

Joe


#2

Hi Joe,

You were blown away because you encountered a form of Christianity that is very different from what you have experienced. Actually, it is the Christianity of the early Church. I can assure you those early Christians were not Bible Christians. Certainly, they had the Old Testament, but there was no bible! The Church came first. It produced the New Testament—not the other way around.

There is no doubt that Jesus did what we cannot do. He redeemed us and paid the price for our sins. But He will not do for us what we CAN do. Something IS expected of us. I can give you a list of Scripture passages where He makes this emphatically clear. Here are a few: “It is not those who say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mt 7:21) “Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be the one who loves me;” St. Paul writes “He will repay each one as his works deserve.” (Rm 2:7)

I just mention these passages so that you can see that the Catholic Church is not at war with Scripture. What it teaches is always in harmony with Scripture even when some particular teaching is not explicitly stated there.

Certainly the Catholic understanding of salvation can be found throughout Scripture. Scripture speaks of our salvation not only in terms of the past ( Eph 2:8), but in the present (Phil 2:12) and in the future (1 Cor 5:5). So you see that Catholics do not see salvation as a one time deal as you have been taught. But this teaching IS all there in your bible. You might want to read more about this in Jimmy Akin’s book, “The Salvation Controversy.” It’s available through catholic.com or by phone: 888 291 8000.

I would encourage you to do some reading on the early Church Fathers. Here is a link:

**Fathers of the Church
**
Joe, let’s pray for each other and let the chips fall where they may. Do write again.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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