Looking for scripture


I was having a discussion with a Protestant friend on vacation this weekend and the discussion of salvation came up. I am looking for several passages:

  1. There is a passage where a man ask Jesus how to make it to heaven and Jesus tells him to follow the Ten Commandments, Etc.

  2. Someone asks Paul (I think?) about persons who have never heard of Jesus or his teachings and if they are automatically doomed to no salvation.

I am of course paraphrasing here and any help would be appreciated.



#1: Matthew 19:16-24

16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, " ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’" 20 The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”



Thanks. Anyone know where I can find the second one?


Actually, St. Peter was the first to cite this teaching:

Acts 10:34-35: And Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”

St. Paul deals with this as he tells the Jews that they have no reason to boast of their heritage, for all who please God will be saved in Christ:

[1] Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
[2] We know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who do such things.
[3] Do you suppose, O man, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God?
[4] Or do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
[5] But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
[6] For he will render to every man according to his works:
[7] to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
[8] but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.
[9] There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
[10] but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
[11] For God shows no partiality.
[12] All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
[13] For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
[14] When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
[15] They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them
[16] on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

And the CCC states:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338


While I would never wish to dissuade you from seeking assistance from the good people here (and accidentally inviting the likes of myself), I would suggest that you could find certain other sites useful, particularly Biblegateway, Studylight, and Blue Letter Bible, all of which have search engines to help you to find the passages which you seek, can present them in multiple versions, and can give you some help in seeing the Hebrew and Greek source texts for the translations.


Word of Caution.

This protestant will also cite:

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

This seems to contradict the verses given in the above posts. It will have to be pointed out that Jesus was talking about his sacrifice on the Cross. That is the proper context when you look at the New Testament as a whole. Nobody was able to access God and Heaven until Christ was Crucified.


As well as many other such verses. For the Evangelical Protestant (meaning non-liturgical and non-historically-based Christians), the Church stands in opposition to the Bible, not as the only true interpreter of it for doctrine and dogma. Any verses the OP uses will be viewed through this concept, which is why the mere quoting of verses, back and forth, so often does little good and only sets the Evangelical more firmly in his mind set. Unless and until he can understand the true historical and authoritative context of the Bible, he will not be willing to accept the Church’s interpretation. So, he has to be told that the Church came first and gave the Bible to us, not the other way around (a simplistic way of putting it, admittedly, but then the Evangelical sees this issue in an even more simplistic and unthinking way–he just accepts what he’s been told because he has had a “personal experience” of Christ and so thinks he doesn’t need the Church or history).


A little understanding of history goes a long way. Try walking through a clearly accepted dogma like the Trinity. This was still being challenged through the 800-900’s. At one point the majority of the Church denied this with the Arian heresy. How did we get over this? The Church through the Pope and loyal bishops would…not…roll…over. No matter how it was phrased and no matter how much easier if would have been for them they held to the teachings of the Apostles. The safety of this message was, is and will be protected by the Holy Spirit.


With respect, it was not actually “[t]he Church through the Pope and loyal bishops” who defeated Arianism. It was the ecumenical Church, in which the Bishop of Rome was one of many leaders.

The 381 Council of Constantinople, which produced the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed which sounded the death-knell of Arianism, was attended by 150 bishops, not one of whom was from the Latin end of the church. All of the leaders of the Council, and indeed of the debate in the preceding decades, were Easterners. This was following a pattern of the time: almost all of the attendees of the 325 Council of Nicaea were Easterners.

The decision of the council was then presented to Damasus I, and the rest of the Latin clergy, in the synodical letter of the synod of Constantinople held in 382. Notable features of this letter include the reiteration of the independence of the Eastern church in appointing bishops, and a call for cooperation and agreement over doctrine: “you should not now reign in isolation from us, given the complete agreement of the emperors in matters of religion. Rather, according to the word of the apostle, we should reign along with you’.” Thus, the Pope’s role in the affair was subsidiary.


Could you explain this further? I am a convert and may not be up on this particular part of history. I have read some historical books (although clearly from a Catholic perspective) that indicated that there was a Papal representative at the council. Are you saying that this is untrue? I am only remembering this so if I’m incorrect I am glad to understand this more fully. Also, it’s my understanding that the Papal office should be understood as authoritative in two ways:

  1. The bishop of Rome is the Monarchal head of the Latin Rite. As such he is not the monarchal head of any of the Eastern Rites. Any misunderstanding of this by the bishop of Rome would possibly lead to conflicts. Both sides need to “purify their memory” to use JPII’s phrase and approach the problem as one of co-equals. This is an issue of discipline not doctrine and is not protected by the charism of infallibility.

  2. The bishop of Rome has a special charism (which he shares with a ecumenical council) in the presenting of doctrine, both faith and morals. This cannot be abrogated, although it may have been pushed too hard or lacked pastoral sensitively in issues over the ‘filioque’ clause.

So coming back to the Nic/Const. councils, when they presented the answer to the Arian crisis Pope he accepted it. When they said they would reign together (as co-equals) this was also correct (as far as I understand it). But since this was an issue of government of their respective churches it would not be protected by the charism of infallibility. Do I have this right?

According to JPII the greatest scandal in the church today is the continuing separation of East and West. We should be One. Sharing One Faith. In desiring this we share in the high priestly prayer of Jesus. I deeply want this to be so and I join with my Eastern friend in prayer that we may see this in our lifetime.

As an aside, hasn’t the ‘filioque’ issue been settled? If so what still separates us? If not, what’s the issue with the Spirit proceeding from the Son?


There are at least two doctrines/dogmas that separate us.

Purgatory and the Last Marian Doctrine.

This is evident at the OrthodoxForum.com.

Although what the actuall EOC hierachy believes and teaches is another matter all together.


There might be some confusion as to the council in question. At least three representatives from the Western end of the church (two presbyters from Rome, and the Bishop of Cordova) attended the Council of Nicaea in 325; none attended the Council of Constantinople in 381. The former was meant to put an end to Arianism, but Arianism resurfaced, and was even ratified by the (later repudiated) Council of Alexandria in 362. This necessitated the Constantinopolitan council.

So coming back to the Nic/Const. councils, when they presented the answer to the Arian crisis Pope, he accepted it. When they said they would reign together (as co-equals), this was also correct (as far as I understand it). But since this was an issue of government of their respective churches it would not be protected by the charism of infallibility. Do I have this right?

As I understand it, the charism of infallibility depends upon the Pope teaching in accordance with the established pattern of faith. I.e., were a Pope to somehow proclaim that he was speaking ex cathedra when he said Jesus was entirely human and not at all divine, his statement would not be taken as being ex cathedra or as being infallible, because it would be in contradiction of established doctrine.

In respect to this matter of the councils, the charism of infallibility would also, I imagine, rest upon teaching in accordance with the rest of the church. Thus, I suppose that the decisions of the Council became properly ecumenical and a basis of infallibility only when the Pope and Western church agreed with them.

As an aside, hasn’t the ‘filioque’ issue been settled? If so what still separates us? If not, what’s the issue with the Spirit proceeding from the Son?

You would need to ask one of our Orthodox brethren those ones. I suspect, however, that it may still rest on ideas regarding universal authority.

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