Eternal life...quick help!


#1

Peace be with you!

I am in a debate via e-mail right now with a Protestant who runs a ministry to “save” Catholics. You may have heard of him. His name is Mike Gendron and he is a former Catholic. He teaches (or at least, has taught in the past) theology courses at a university (which comes as a surprise to me because every single argument he’s posed has been so easy to refute).

Anyway, right now we’re on the topic of eternal life. He says that Catholics view eternal life as “conditional” because we can lose it by mortal sin. I have finally gotten him to explain the “why” behind this (he doesn’t like to do that; he simply makes claims with nothing to back them up). He says that eternal life starts on earth when we accept Christ, not in heaven. Does anyone know where he’s getting this from? I have always thought of “eternal” life as life after death, but he claims that it begins when we are “born again”.
Where in Scripture is he getting this from?

P.S. If anyone wants to see our exchange, I have the e-mails saved.

In Christ,
Rand


#2

He is both right and wrong. See John 3:11-21 for where Jesus explains that those who believe or don’t believe are already judged accordingly. What we must understand, however, is that belief is not merely a matter of mental assent, elsewise the demons themselves are Heaven-bound. Rather, belief is both an act of the intellect and an act of the will. One must conform himself to Christ’s teachings, must obey his commands, in order to keep eternal life.

The whole language of “losing salvation” is phony. The Catholic Church doesn’t teach that any can lose their salvation. Instead, the Church (and Scripture) teach that, by our choices for or against God, we choose whether to keep our salvation or to throw it away.

– Mark L. Chance.


#3

Peace be with you!

Thank you for the reply. That helps!

In Christ,
Rand


#4

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I am in a debate via e-mail right now with a Protestant who runs a ministry to “save” Catholics. You may have heard of him. His name is Mike Gendron and he is a former Catholic.
[/quote]

He is probably also the only Christian who doesn’t like the “Passion” —because it was too Catholic :smiley:
biblebb.com/files/passion7.htm


#5

[quote=Genesis315]He is probably also the only Christian who doesn’t like the “Passion” —because it was too Catholic :smiley:
biblebb.com/files/passion7.htm
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

Yeah, I’ve read that before…uncreative and predictable. I might get around to trying to make him back up some of those claims (especially about the Stations granting indulgences) if there’s time.

In Christ,
Rand


#6

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Anyway, right now we’re on the topic of eternal life. He says that Catholics view eternal life as “conditional” because we can lose it by mortal sin. I have finally gotten him to explain the “why” behind this (he doesn’t like to do that; he simply makes claims with nothing to back them up). He says that eternal life starts on earth when we accept Christ, not in heaven. Does anyone know where he’s getting this from? I have always thought of “eternal” life as life after death, but he claims that it begins when we are “born again”.
Where in Scripture is he getting this from?
[/quote]

Randy,

It is clear that the Scriptures speak of believers presently having eternal life (1 John 5:13). This is referring to us being “in Christ” Who is eternal Life (1 John 1:1-3). However, by sinning one call fall out of being “in Christ” and therefore forfeit the promise.

Take for example, Jesus’ own parable about Christians (this is certainly speaking of ‘born again’ believers since only believers are said to be “in Christ”). Christ said He is the vine and we are the branches. If we continue to abide “in Him,” He will continue in us. If we don’t, we dry up and are pruned by the Father to be burnt by fire (John 15:1-6).

Through grace, we are always given opportunity to return to the vine. If we return to Him, He will return to us. God is able to graft back in those branches that broke off (Romans 11:23). However, if they persist in their condition, they will not be grafted in.

Recall also that baptized Christians are children of God (Romans 8:14; Galatians 3:26; Revelation 21:7). And only children of the Father are called “heirs” to the kingdom (Galatians 4:4-7). Children of the devil have no claim to “inherit” anything of God because He is not their Father. Yet Paul clearly states that those who are children of God and commit mortal sins shall not “inherit” the kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:21; Hebrews 12:16, 17).

God will begin His judgment with His household, the Church (1 Peter 4:17). In addition to holy Christians He will find those who were “bought” by the blood of Christ, yet have denied their Sovereign Lord and Master (2 Peter 2:1, 20-22). For those who have committed apostasy and were once sanctified by the Holy Spirit, there awaits judgment (Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31).

There is a real possibility for a Christian to fall from grace (Galatians 5:4). Because of this possibility, Jesus spoke of eternal life occurring “in the age to come” (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30) as opposed to “now in this time.”


#7

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

Yeah, I’ve read that before…uncreative and predictable. I might get around to trying to make him back up some of those claims (especially about the Stations granting indulgences) if there’s time.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

It is very likely that indulgences are attached to the stations. So what? He thinks that merely stating this somehow proves it is wrong.

Scott


#8

[quote=Scott Waddell]It is very likely that indulgences are attached to the stations. So what? He thinks that merely stating this somehow proves it is wrong.

Scott
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

I’ve never heard that before, though. Is there somewhere you know of that I could read about it? But I agree, he thinks that because he says it, it disproves it.

In Christ,
Rand


#9

According to my St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism, a plenary indulgence is available for doing the stations.

Scott


#10

Hello Rand,

Well if he wants to play the game “the bible says” we must be “born again”, which means begotten of God, ask him when the bible says Jesus was begotten of God or “born again”? During life or upon death and ressurrection?

Please visit Jesus Loves God

NAB PSA 2:4
He who is throned in heaven laughs; the LORD derides them; Then in anger he speaks to them; he terrifies them in his wrath: “I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain. I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: The LORD said to me, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod: you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.’” NAB ACT 13:32

“We ourselves announce to you the good news that what God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, in raising up Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm, You are my son; this day I have begotten you.” **NAB JOH 3:3 **

Jesus gave him this answer: “I solemnly assure you, no one can see the reign of God unless he is begotten from above.” “How can a man be born again once he is old?” retorted Nicodemus. “Can he return to his mother’s womb and be born over again?” Jesus replied: “I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit.NAB 1PE 3:18

He was put to death insofar as fleshly existence goes, but was given life in the realm of the spirit.NAB HEB 1:5 Messianic Enthronement.

To which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my son; today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be his father, and he shall be my son”? And again, when he leads his first-born into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” NAB REV 1:4 Greetings.

To the seven churches in the province of Asia: John wishes you grace and peace – from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before the throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead and ruler of the kings of earth.NAB PSA 89:27

“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’ And I will make him the first-born, highest of the kings of the earth.” NAB COL 1:15 Fullness and Reconciliation.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creatures. In him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities, or powers; all were created through him, and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; he who is the beginning, the** first-born of the dead**, so that primacy may be his in everything.


#11

Ever notice that when people talk about “eternal life” they don’t seem to notice that we have eternal life whether we want it or not? The problem isn’t whether we have eternal life, the issue is where we will spend it.


#12

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

I am in a debate via e-mail right now with a Protestant who runs a ministry to “save” Catholics. You may have heard of him. His name is Mike Gendron and he is a former Catholic. He teaches (or at least, has taught in the past) theology courses at a university (which comes as a surprise to me because every single argument he’s posed has been so easy to refute).

Anyway, right now we’re on the topic of eternal life. He says that Catholics view eternal life as “conditional” because we can lose it by mortal sin. I have finally gotten him to explain the “why” behind this (he doesn’t like to do that; he simply makes claims with nothing to back them up). He says that eternal life starts on earth when we accept Christ, not in heaven. Does anyone know where he’s getting this from? I have always thought of “eternal” life as life after death, but he claims that it begins when we are “born again”.
Where in Scripture is he getting this from?

P.S. If anyone wants to see our exchange, I have the e-mails saved.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

Rand,
I had a discourse with the wife, it is posted here:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=70486
After a while they lose interest and stop emailing is my experience. Just keep them on topic and refute it all point by point and insist they do the same.
In Christ,

Mary


#13

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