Knowing you will make it to Heaven


#1

I am a freshman in college and a non-denominational Protestant group of guys live in the dorm below me. They tell me about how they know they will make it to Heaven based off of the verse 1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

I know they are wrong with this belief and that it’s horribly out of context, but does anyone have a list of verses that contradict the notion that one can “know” they are going to Heaven? I tell them that essentially they are judging themselves, but they disagree. I have told them about the errors of Sola Scriptura, which they strictly follow. They are strong opposers of the Church and its teaching, so all I am looking for are Bible verses.

Thank you in advance.


#2

Hebrews 3:12-13

2 Peter 3:17

There are many more though


#3

Philippians 2:12 (Work out your salvation with fear and trembling)
Matthew 7:13-14 (Choose the narrow gate)


#4

You may find www.scripturecatholic.com/justification.html and scripturecatholic.com/salvation.html useful (particularly the second section of the second link). That site also has scripture references for other issues as well. I tend to disagree with some of his conclusions (especially in the science area), but it is a useful resource in any case.


#5

Where Is That In the Bible: Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? by Patrick Madrid
youtube.com/watch?v=ebzAnYhYnBw


#6

Matt 7 24, Everyone who listens to these words of mine AND ACTS ON THEM will be like a wise man who built his house on rock …

The point here is we need to act on what the bible says. While we all think we do, merely not breaking any criminal law is not enough.

You can ask them why they think they are believers and then show them how they are not what Jesus tells us a believer is.

Jesus himself says in Mark 16; 16 These signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages, they will pick up serpents (with their hands) and if they drink any deadly thing it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.

In John, Jesus says again. The one who believes in me will do what I have done and greater…

Are they doing these things? The holy spirit makes it possible.
We don’t hear about these kind of things much but they are happening all over the place. Many people get to a point where they’ve decided that they believe but don’t concentrate much on acting like they do. Which makes me wonder do they REALLY believe?


#7

Romans 11:22 (kjv)

behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness:** otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.**

Paul is taking to the saved here.


#8

You could remind your friends that according to Revelation 20:11-15, we will all be judged on our works, saved or not. So there is more to salvation than professing belief in Jesus. We have to do good through charity and acts of devotion and avoid sin, also.


#9

I am fairly certain I will make it to the judgement seat of Christ.


#10

We have been redeemed and can make it to Heaven - but we must work out our salvation, as St Paul says, "in fear and trembling". A person has free will and can choose to stray from the road to Heaven and if they do so permanently, won't make it to Heaven; "He who perseveres to the end will be saved." Calvin said that this final perseverance was automatically granted to those who had Faith.

Some Protestants believe in "Once saved, always saved" while some Protestants don't. Sadly, it's one more important question on which they have rejected the Catholic Faith and are thus stymied by disagreement.


#11

Already much wonderful advice, but let me caution you about getting into a “battle of the verses.” It is often not very productive.

What you and your fellows have touched on is just the tip of a very large and intricate subject.
I would suggest that you begin by affirming their confidence…but then immediately begin a conversation about just what it actually means to "Believe in the name of Jesus…"
In this verse, John says…“I write these things…” Well what things did he write? What insight do the previous 4 chapters provide into exactly what it means to believe on the name of Jesus. So that we may have this confidence.

This approach, along with the various Scriptural sources others have provided, should stimulate some good conversation - hopefully without anyone getting defensive.

Just a thought.

Peace
James


#12

[quote="Aussieman88, post:6, topic:323421"]

You can ask them why they think they are believers and then show them how they are not what Jesus tells us a believer is.

Jesus himself says in Mark 16; 16 These signs will accompany those who believe; ** in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages, they will pick up serpents (with their hands) and if they drink any deadly thing it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
**

[/quote]

Have you done these things? They are wrong in believing in once saved always saved. But unless they are JW or Morman the Catechism is clear they are our brothers and sister in christ and Christians. I don't believe it is right to question their status as believers. We were'nt given enough info. to go there.


#13

[quote="enickman, post:1, topic:323421"]
I am a freshman in college and a non-denominational Protestant group of guys live in the dorm below me. They tell me about how they know they will make it to Heaven based off of the verse 1 John 5:13, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."

I know they are wrong with this belief and that it's horribly out of context, but does anyone have a list of verses that contradict the notion that one can "know" they are going to Heaven? I tell them that essentially they are judging themselves, but they disagree. I have told them about the errors of Sola Scriptura, which they strictly follow. They are strong opposers of the Church and its teaching, so all I am looking for are Bible verses.

Thank you in advance.

[/quote]

"Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
1st Tim 3:1

"He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil." 1st TIM 3:6


#14

[quote="Aussieman88, post:6, topic:323421"]

Jesus himself says in Mark 16; 16 These signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages, they will pick up serpents (with their hands) and if they drink any deadly thing it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.

In John, Jesus says again. The one who believes in me will do what I have done and greater.......

Are they doing these things? The holy spirit makes it possible.
We don't hear about these kind of things much but they are happening all over the place. Many people get to a point where they've decided that they believe but don't concentrate much on acting like they do. Which makes me wonder do they REALLY believe?

[/quote]

This is disconcerting. Does this mean only people who are so close to Him in their faith that they perform miracles are going to achieve salvation? Or is Christ using hyperbole here? I know faith and works are like the two sides of a scissors and both are needed. But to what extent is the works needed? Or is that the fear and trembling and hope of salvation that is spoken so frequently of? That we can never know?

Honestly, I love Him with all my heart and want to follow His commandments and do good for His kingdom, but that sounds like a terrifyingly high level of good that I feel unable to achieve. :(


#15

[quote="katholikos12, post:14, topic:323421"]
This is disconcerting. Does this mean only people who are so close to Him in their faith that they perform miracles are going to achieve salvation? Or is Christ using hyperbole here? I know faith and works are like the two sides of a scissors and both are needed. But to what extent is the works needed? Or is that the fear and trembling and hope of salvation that is spoken so frequently of? That we can never know?

Honestly, I love Him with all my heart and want to follow His commandments and do good for His kingdom, but that sounds like a terrifyingly high level of good that I feel unable to achieve. :(

[/quote]

Yes - it is frightening....It can be difficult to say whether we are speaking of hyperbole here or not.

Jesus has set the bar very high indeed. In Mt 5:48 we are told that we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (in Love).

In another passage, right after the encounter with the Rich young man...Jesus says it's easier for a Camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter the kingdom.

The Apostles then ask...Then how can anyone be saved...to which Jesus responds, for man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.

To me - the thing we need to do is not get too focused on specific signs or actions but on attitude - on the faith that is grounded in Love...Love expressed in and through Christ. We are called to conform ourselves to Christ so that our very being is Christlike. Whatever "signs" might proceed from that will be up to God.

Just some thoughts

Peace
James


#16

If they really believed they were going to heaven and were guaranteed it, I'd challenge them on it.

"What are you doing here? Why haven't you killed yourself that way you can be with Jesus now. Since you haven't, you really don't believe what you are saying."

Of course, I don't want them to kill themselves.

They WILL make excuses of some kind, I'd ask them "what is more important than being with Jesus in heaven? NOTHING!"

Regardless, they'll make more excuses about why they won't kill themselves.

Then I'll say "So you know you cannot do this, that this would gravely offend God, and you refuse to do it, and you keep yourself from being with God in heaven at the same time. This is not a contradiction. There is a reason for this, and you don't know what it is. I hope you'll learn the truth."

Deep down inside, they KNOW they must be purified here on earth. They KNOW they must stay here on earth and not kill themselves, but they don't know why.

And maybe THAT will trigger them to figure out why, and come toward the truth.

Yes, it is kind of harsh and unusual and questionable. BUT sometimes cleansing a wound (heresy) needs unusual treatments.


#17

[quote="katholikos12, post:14, topic:323421"]
This is disconcerting. Does this mean only people who are so close to Him in their faith that they perform miracles are going to achieve salvation? Or is Christ using hyperbole here? I know faith and works are like the two sides of a scissors and both are needed. But to what extent is the works needed? Or is that the fear and trembling and hope of salvation that is spoken so frequently of? That we can never know?

Honestly, I love Him with all my heart and want to follow His commandments and do good for His kingdom, but that sounds like a terrifyingly high level of good that I feel unable to achieve. :(

[/quote]

Don't be too worried about this. I love how you've said you love Him with all your heart and want to follow His commandments and do good for His Kingdom. Personally I think it sounds like if you died today you will be fine. The point I hope you take from it is that there is a whole lot more you can strive for. Keep seeking and you WILL keep finding. It just keeps getting better and better. I've been doing this and it's changed my life. Its bringing blessings to everything I'm doing in my life in the natural world. God just wants to love us so much and he's already given us 'all things that pertain to life and godlikeness.' We just have to learn what it is that we've been given and then how to receive it. This involves being active in seeking and learning and exercising our faith. You can do it because it's actually pretty easy. Its so easy a child could do it. Just keep seeking and learning and put what you learn into practice in your life. God does the rest. He does all the hard bits. Its just so easy all it takes is for you to not give up.

Jesus is Lord.


#18

I just did a rough count of the word "if" in 1st John.

I think I counted the word "IF" used about 20 times.

1st John also talks in the context of mortal and venial or
as John says "non-mortal" sin.

1st John 5:16b-17 There is sin which is mortal; I do not
say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin,
but there is sin which is not mortal.

You can know too if you are not in a state of mortal sin.

But this doesn't translate into "presumption" that you will
REMAIN out of mortal sin.

Jesus says in the Gospel of John 15 to REMAIN IN ME.

If you do not REMAIN IN ME (notice you can possibly NOT REMAIN
in Jesus), you will be cast aside and burned.

Romans 8:1 says there is NO CONDEMNATION for those in Christ Jesus.

I affirm that. But if you don't REMAIN in Jesus, then there IS condemnation unless
one gets back IN-JESUS through graces such as repentance, Confession, etc.


#19

I feel sometimes many Catholics, in an effort to defend against Protestant errors of once saved always saved and so on, tend to over-compensate and tend to promote a works salvations that is not entirely correct either. We should have a level of assurance that God absolutely loves us and does everything He can to ensure that we get to Heaven, and He is not fickle nor waiting for us to screw things up so that He can have a reason to send us to Hell. We as Catholics should enjoy our Faith and not be walking around all paranoid with a feeling of guilt and being condemned all the time. We should have a sense of joy and thankfulness that we have a Savior that has made a way to salvation for us, and that we have the Church as the greatest road map to Heaven!

Our life in Christ should be like one of a marriage, that is, full of devotion, commitment, faithfulness, zeal, holiness, excitement, etc.


#20

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:19, topic:323421"]
I feel sometimes many Catholics, in an effort to defend against Protestant errors of once saved always saved and so on, tend to over-compensate and tend to promote a works salvations that is not entirely correct either. We should have a level of assurance that God absolutely loves us and does everything He can to ensure that we get to Heaven, and He is not fickle nor waiting for us to screw things up so that He can have a reason to send us to Hell. We as Catholics should enjoy our Faith and not be walking around all paranoid with a feeling of guilt and being condemned all the time. We should have a sense of joy and thankfulness that we have a Savior that has made a way to salvation for us, and that we have the Church as the greatest road map to Heaven!

Our life in Christ should be like one of a marriage, that is, full of devotion, commitment, faithfulness, zeal, holiness, excitement, etc.

[/quote]

Excellent Post.....

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Peace
James


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.