People think that just because Jesus died and rose again, that we are 100% free from sin and God is no longer counting our sins. that we will automatically go to Heaven just because we accept Jesus, which I think is stupid. How as a Catholic do I respond to these Universalist ideas.
The bible says I have been saved , I’m in the process of being saved , my hope is in Jesus Christ that I will be saved , but as St Paul says with fear and trembling I am working out my salvation.
If their view were correct, why is there even a need for a particular judgement when we die and a general judgement @ the end of time?
But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Ephesians 5:3-6 (RSV)
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Ephesians 5:3-6 (KJV)
But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Ephesians 5:3-6 (NASB)
Those are the “empty words” St. Paul is referring to, which we know “with certainty.”
When we are made a “child” of God (see above) by Christ through baptism, we are then held to a higher standard of behavior, not a lower one, because we have **knowledge **of how we are to behave, given to us through the Gospel, the other writings in the Bible (like the one above), and the teachings of the Church, and we are given the **grace **to do so, by the Holy Spirit, who indwells and guides us, whose grace is “sufficient for us.” These empty words say, in fact, that we are held to no standard whatsoever, which is lawlessness. After having been made a “child of God,” we are then to be “obedient” children, such that these immoralities should “not even be named among us.” That’s what the Bible says, if one cares to believe it and take it seriously.
Quite true, if their view were correct, there would be no need for a particular judgement for the “saved, Bible-believin’” (non-Catholic, of course), Christian. So when the Bible says that, “it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment,” the “judgement” for such a person would simply be a “Hi, Bob, welcome to heaven!” statement by Jesus, which is no judgement at all.
But their view is incorrect. So do not be deceived by empty words.
So when we become children of God through Baptism and through charity (but not through charity alone), are all of our sins not forgiven? Of course they are. And when we go on to commit sin and then repent of them are these sins not forgiven? Of course they are. But God’s forgiveness requires repentance. Christ’s self-sacrifice for sin, His mercy, must be appropriated to us all our lives. We appropriate, or apply, his mercy to ourselves simply by asking for it. If we sincerely ask for it, He most assuredly will give it. If it is a mortal sin, we ask for His mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If we despair of God’s forgiveness or despise his mercy, and do not ask for forgiveness, our sins remain. These attitudes develop when we open the door to sin by loving it more than God and His commandments and start re-living the life of sin that we had once turned away from. Our hearts become hardened and we no longer ask God for mercy. This is the state of “slavery to sin.” Often, many venial sins make us open to commit mortal sin, which severs the life of God within us. If this person persisted in this throughout his or her life and even at the moment of death, in spite of God’s trying to break through his hardness of heart when He sees fit, then the just judgement of God will be upon him. Who, more than such a person, is more worthy of hell? Certainly not a pagan or unbeliever:
How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?
Hebrew 10:29 (RSV)
Apart from the other good posts, here are a couple Scripture passages that you can point out to advocates of this mangled “logic”:
Matthew 6:14-15:  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Jesus uses the future tense of believing Christians, and ties their forgiveness of others during their life with God’s forgiveness of themselves. This would be redundant if all their sins, past, present, and future, were forgiven when they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.
James 5:19-20:  My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back,
 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
James encourages believing Christians to help their straying brothers and sisters by informing them that doing so will have some effect on God’s view of sins they have commited. This would also be redundant if all their sins, past, present, and future, were forgiven when they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.
That would mean that 100% of the people from that time to this is saved, which is obviously not the case.
exactly. Jesus even said it at the last supper as he blessed the wine “This is the chalice of my blood, which will be shed for you and for many…” Not “all” but “many” because the bible indicates that not all will be saved.
Well they are correct! Jesus did die for our sins. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins as Catholics (read your creed again). But that death and that forgiveness in baptism is from original sin. They are correct but not complete and accurate.
How do protestants openly prove they doubt their own conviction: Just about all faith groups I’ve ever met, including Catholics, accept that when a person has faith and in this case, accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, there are outward signs of inward belief. Thus protestants and Catholics build churches, attend classes to minister, form congregations, have ministers, and doctrine, etc. Further, we see evangelical effort, a conviction to learn more about the bible and christ, personal and group worship, charity, missionary, and efforts to keep oneself from temptation of the flesh in various degrees.
So YES Christ died for our original sin and gave us Heaven, offering us his word and giving us his body. Yes we are saved. Yes, we would if we truly believed, do as catholics and protestants do—attend church, look to improve ourselves, and try to help others in many ways. Even if you attend a very “born again” oriented non-denominational congregation, like a Pentecostal community, you’ll see individuals being born again sometimes in each service. The same person comes to meeting each week and accepts christ each week. This is a contradiction in action, but proof of a true inner knowledge placed by the Holy Spirit that each person should want actively accept christ, and seek his word and serve him and his or her fellow brothers and sisters.
Have them open their bible (trust me, they’re going to love it when a catholic out-bible quotes them) and show them the following:
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
4For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5Have moreover tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6And are fallen away: to be renewed again to penance, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making him a mockery.
In this passage it is ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that the jews who became Christians, even so far as it is said they tasted the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, were able to fall away (back to the old covenant… there goes once saved always saved) and that it is IMPOSSIBLE that they would ever be regenerated to God, ergo God apparently DOES keep track of at least certain kinds of sin… and NEVER forgives certain sins…
From Scott Hahn’s…catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0091.html
On the one hand, as an Evangelical Protestant, I had firm convictions about the finished work of Jesus Christ; that He accomplished our redemption on the cross. Those convictions I still hold fast to. Every Christian, every Catholic must. The work of our redemption is accomplished. It is finished. But the application of that redemptive work of Christ by the Holy Spirit is another matter, one that I did not really come to grips with because it involves suffering which nobody wants to come to grips with — either suffering in this life or suffering afterwards to expiate or to repay or to provide restitution for the effects of sin.
But that distinction is going to be crucial from the beginning of our time today until the end — that Christ has accomplished our redemption. It’s over and done with. He has finished it. But then He sends the Holy Spirit to apply it, and the application of redemption is just as essential. We don’t have a binary deity, the Father and the Son We have a trinitery deity, a family — a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “I come to baptize with fire and spirit.” And so, when the Spirit comes at Pentecost, tongues of fire appear, and whenever the Holy Spirit appears, there is Holy Fire. When we are taken up into the Spirit, there we are consumed with a passionate, burning love, the furnace of Christ’s heart, the reality of the Holy Spirit, the fiery love of God.
That is not because Christ’s work is not enough. It’s rather the application of the work of Jesus Christ.
Non-Catholics frequently fall in the trap of saying, Christ obeyed, so we don’t need to. Paul said Christ obeyed to enable us to do what previously was humanly impossible. Finally now, heart obedient to a motive of faith, hope and love is made possible by Christ’s obedience, not made unnecessary. It’s made acceptable in Christ and it’s made delightful to the Father because it’s presented in union with Christ. He goes on, “who walked not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.” Well what does that mean? It goes on to say, verse 9, “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the spirit if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Well how do you know whether or not the spirit of God dwells in you? Verse 10, “But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through the Spirit which dwells in you.”
Now what does this mean, that Christ has not paid for our sin? Of course not. It doesn’t mean that. Christ has paid once and for all for our sin. His death is the ultimate satisfaction and price for our redemption, but His life and His death must be lived out in us. That’s why we need to pick up our cross, and we need to imitate Christ. Did you catch that? We don’t suffer because Christ’s sufferings weren’t enough. We suffer because Christ’s life must be reproduced in us. It is finished. It is accomplished, but now it must be applied. The work of the third person of the Holy Spirit is New Testament history, is personal history.
They confuse the difference between something being available and something being applied to one’s self, specifically.
Tax refund is available… but it only applied to your taxes if you file them and fill out the form to get the refund.
His sacrifice is offered to ALL, but not applied to everyone. Secondly, it is available for the forgiveness of sins… but only if we confess and have it applied to our sins - seek forgiveness with a contrite and honest heart.
Then let me ask you this:
If your sins are forgiven, then how is it they become unforgiven? Jesus bore the sins of the world, (not most of it, or part of it, all of it) where is it in God’s view that there is a sin that is unforgiven?
Sins we have committed in the past and repented of are forgiven - forever forgiven - as if they were never committed. But what about the sins that we commit tomorrow, or at any point in the future? When we are baptized, all our sins are forgiven. This means all the sins we have committed up to that point, not the sins that we will undoubtedly commit in the future. They are not forgiven until we receive forgiveness for them, through repentance. Through faith and Christ’s sacrifice, we now have access to God’s forgiveness and the possibility of receiving forgiveness for all future sins, if only we are truly sorrowful for them, repent of them, and return to him with a humble and contrite heart.
What do you think are the “empty words” Paul is referring to in Ephesians 5?
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9
Can I repeat that? Here it is again: “IF** we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins.”**
He who says “I know him” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 2: 4-6
In what way did he walk? Sinlessly. We always sin (though we ought not to) but see 1 John 1:8-9 above.
Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! Thou hast commanded thy precepts to be kept diligently. O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping thy statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all thy commandments. I will praise thee with an upright heart, when I learn thy righteous ordinances. I will observe thy statutes; O forsake me not utterly!
Are the “empty words” not these?:
No, the wrath of God DOES NOT come upon the sons of disobedience, because the sins of those who have been made sons (and daughters) of God have already been forgiven, past, present, and future!
Believe what you want. I’ll stick with the “Biblical message” of the “God-breathed Scriptures.”
Please explain who will stand at the “general judgement” and the “particular judgement.”
Sins do not, and cannot, become unforgiven. Rather, sins must be repented of before they can be forgiven.
In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus tells his audience,
 “Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread;
 And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
 And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.”
Those who would say this prayer would be, of course, already believers in Christ. But, if their sins have previously been forgiven en masse, why should they now be asking for pardon over and over again for those same sins?
thanks for the reply
Though to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand is true, as in one must repent in order to enter the kingdom of heaven through Jesus Christ, since He is the only Way.
But what is the penalty for sin? Isn’t it death? And since the law points out what is sin, can you of yourself repent enough to fulfill the law as Jesus did? That you will not suffer the penalty of death for sin.