"No matter what you do or don't do, you can never lose heaven, if you believe in Christ as your Savior...."

These are words I heard on Charles Stanley’s show this morning, as I was driving in to work. I really like his program typically, but sadly, I think he misses the ‘full’ mark as to advice to give to believers. (and non-believers) Every now and then–he will say something that as a Catholic, I just have to disagree with.

He said today (I’m paraphrasing) that ‘no matter what you do or don’t do, as long as you believe that Christ died for your sins, you will go to heaven.’ Huh? So, if a person murders someone, and is not repentant, but believes in Christ–he/she can ‘expect’ heaven? Why I ask that is he added that "sure you will not be in the right relationship with Christ, but you will not lose your salvation, if you believe in Christ.’

Now, unless I’m missing something–I just found that to be dangerous. So, basically, ‘once saved, always saved.’ I don’t believe that works or anything that ‘we do’ will earn us salvation–as it’s not earn-able. Jesus died on the cross for our sin debt, but isn’t something required of us, when we accept to follow Him? **Am I missing something, or do Protestants not feel that there are sins that can cause us to lose salvation? Are Catholics the only ones who believe in mortal sin?:confused: **
Speaking of which, he actually commented last week that ‘Jesus died for your past, present and future sins–nothing you do or don’t do can cause you to lose heaven.’ Vague statements like that seem dangerous to me–do they to you?

I’d like to start a friendly discussion on this, if possible.:slight_smile: I am very concerned however, that Charles Stanley and other preachers like him are leading people down mistaken paths.

Am I missing something, or do Protestants not feel that there are sins that can cause us to lose salvation? Are Catholics the only ones who believe in mortal sin?:confused:

Not all protestants believe in OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved). Many Do. They call it Perseverance of the Saints… It is the idea that since God chose who will be saved and who will not through no choice of ours, that we cannot make God be wrong by being bad enough because God cannot be wrong. The do believe people who think they are saved may be wrong about it… thus why you will hear some say “Well that unrepentant murderer/rapist was never saved to begin with!” I believe they aren’t using it as a license for people to sin, but instead a litmus test to show who is and who isn’t saved.

Those of us who lean more to Arminianism do believe there is mortal sin. But our definition of what is mortal sin will not be the same as the Catholic one.

Satan believes in Jesus, Satan knows God the creator. Look what happened to him, and what will come to pass at the final judgment.

That logic is very consoling to one who will not submit to the authority of Jesus Christ. This type of freewill preaching fills the pews. But once in this community will find that they have to submit to their Pastors teachings and ways of believing, and when they get tired of the tugging of obedience to the Pastor, leaves for another church that tickles the ear, or where they can be fed the feel good gospel.

Motivating one to believe in Jesus by a wide road, causes one to follow blindly by faith by the blind, that can lead to destruction.

Yes–those are great points. In listening to this preacher in the past…I have recalled him stating that we must live repentant, and we must confess our sins to God. But, then, in another sermon I have heard (either through radio or tv)…this we are saved just by our faith. Our faith saves us. True, that God’s mercy, and Jesus’ sacrifice is the only reason we will have an opportunity to go to heaven. But, Jesus also talked about a ‘narrow gate’ to heaven, and how He will say…‘I did not know you…’ (to those who were unrepentant, etc)

I am not one to chime into the threads talking about salvation, etc…because it’s entirely in God’s hands who He chooses to bring to heaven. However–accepting Jesus in our words and heart, isn’t enough–we need to accept Him in our actions. In acting out ‘good works’ for lack of a better phrase, we show Jesus our love. My husband can tell me he loves me all he wants, but if he sleeps with other women–hmmm…what might I think about ‘his love’ for me? LOL :cool: Same difference applies.

There is nothing that we can do to earn salvation–that is true. Jesus’ blood shed is what paves the way for us to heaven. But, not only in my words, but in my actions, must I be willing to love Him.

The example of Satan believing in God is not a very good one, since fallen angels are not offered God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus’ Redeeming Blood.

Charles Stanley is doing a poor job of explaining what those who believe OSAS really believe.

Hopefully, I’m not doing a poor job of explaining it:blush: But, I’ve listened to him over the years on different topics, and occasionally he goes down this road–so think I got it right. From what I understand through some of his sermons is that he thinks that if we are saved (reborn)–even at the age of 5–nothing we can do can ‘undo’ that. I think that is how he describes it as well–that once you are reborn in Christ, nothing that you do or don’t do–will separate you from that. The concept sounds well and good–but if we commit mortal sins, and refuse to change our ways–how could we think we are going to heaven? But, in some ways, that would appear that we are saying that ‘our actions’ lead us to heaven?

:confused:

This is why I ordered several Catholic cd’s ranging from the rosary to other talks…it’s a shame we can’t get Relevant Radio in very clear anymore–not more than 5 or 10 minutes on my drive…it stinks.:frowning: I’m not much of a music listener in the morning…I like Christian radio if the message is not anti Catholic and/or if the message is something that the RCC wouldn’t disagree with.

I heard an interesting interpretation of our faith on Cathecism on Campus (EWTN) last week–the priest who hosts the show said that the best way to describe the faith is that we are the total of faith–the fullness of Christ subsists in the RCC. This doesn’t mean that other faiths (Christian) are entirely false–there might be good parts, but the RCC is the fullness of faith. That’s the thing with listening to Christian radio, etc…they make valid points, and points that Catholics agree with – but the totality of their faiths are not complete. That is a good way of comparing these religions.

Although, I hear many non Catholic preachers say ‘we are the church.’

There are several porn actors that say that they are Christians even while working in porn because the were “saved” when they were 10 years old. Just read the Myspaces. Very funny.
OSAS. The monsters it creates.

One thing I have noticed is that if someone commits a sin such as adultery, some believers in OSAS will claim that the person who commited the sin was never really saved. When I ask for the list of sins that indicates that you are not saved, they usually are quite silent. I have yet to get a list.

You have to some degree misunderstood what ‘eternal security’ or ‘perseverance of the saints’ implies. Among other things, a person who willfully and continually sins after having made a profession of faith in Christ is likely to have made a false profession. They may have thought themselves sincere but their lifestyle suggests that they were never truly regenerate of God.

The truly-saved person may fall into occasional sin–even occasional egregious sin. They may have constant ‘besetting’ sins which they never fully overcome in this lifetime. If however they are truly regenerate of God, then all of their sins, past, present, and future, are covered over by the atoning blood of Christ. One will, however, expect that in such a case one would see a general trend in such a person’s life towards growth in Christian discipleship. It might be a slow and halting growth, but growth would occur.

Remember: in Protestant Reformational theology, grace is primarily something that God does for a sinner, not something He gives. In Protestant theology, only God is holy. Humans do not ‘become’ holy by becoming regenerate: they merely have their sins ‘covered over’. However, if they are truly regenerate they will begin to change their lives–the evidence of a changed life is evidence (not absolute proof but evidence) of having been made regenerate by the power of God.

There is no ‘list’. For Protestants all sin is mortal to the unregenerate person. ‘Holy’ living is merely an ‘evidence’ of regeneration–only God knows who the regenerate truly are. But one who would profess to be saved must expect to act in obedience to what they know to be God’s will for them, or their profession is merely presumption.

I am a Lutheran and believe that we are saved by grace through faith. I also believe that we can in no way merit salvation through our own works. However, I believe that if we are truly saved by grace through faith, good works and an attempt to live a godly life should follow. If they don’t, one must question if faith is truly there. I am not questioning anyone’s faith, I’ll defer to God to do that. But to believe that faith is a ticket to act anyway you wish is cheap grace, and cheap grace is clearly as dangerous as believing you can merit your way to heaven.

Jon

Oh wow, that’s sad. I suppose we can be anything in our minds.:frowning:

I would say that Catholics believe this is as well…we also do not believe that ‘works’ can lead anyone to salvation. Only God’s grace can–but you are right–is there really faith present in someone’s heart if they choose to not follow the Lord? Good points.

That’s interesting–I have seen that come up a lot lately, in other threads as well…so, is the supposition that if we sin after proclaiming we have been saved, that we were never really saved? Proclaiming to be saved…doesn’t mean we’ll never fall in this life. There’s a list of these such sins??

I can’t get the multi quotes working correctly, but I’m going to try and respond to a couple of these.

The Satan analogy is an excellent one, it’s used in the Bible itself. I can’t remember if Paul or James uses it, but I agree. The demons believe, big deal.

I know a few people who were very strong Christians that fell away. Saying that their conversion wasn’t real - that’s just not true. For a variety of reasons, over periods of several years, their faith weakened, and they left.

It is entirely possible to reject a gift given freely, sad though it may be. IMO, the Catholic church gets it right!

Good discussion all. We are lucky enough to have 24hrs Catholic radio where I live. I am not real familiar with Charles Stanley. But I do work with one individual that has the belief she is going straight to heaven as long as she believes in Jesus. I hope she’s right, but as a Catholic, that would be very presumptuous for me to believe. And again, would there be no moral standards you would have to follow if you believed that? Anyway, that came to mind and I really don’t know how to approach folks with those beliefs. (I am too much of a weenie I guess to challenge others)

hi whatever Girl. your understanding is correct that if one aceepts Jesus as thier personal savior then lasp into a sin ful life that they are still saved is exactly what Mr. Stanely preaches, and i do agree that he does some times gets things right. i used to listen to him and others but for me i feel it is dangerous to get too close to poison and not get affected by it.

I still don’t see you guys understanding OSAS yet. In that line of thinking, you cannot get unsaved cause you cant get yourself saved either.
It Goes like this:

  1. God decided to make a world with people on it.
  2. God planned it all out from start to end and every person as well.
  3. God decided who would be saved to live with him in Heaven, He did not choose based on belief in Him or anything else. It was totally arbitrary, a true randomness.
  4. God made the earth and th people He planned.
  5. God made is so that the people He chose would believe in Him and gave them some rules to follow and a Bible with some info about Him. God made sure that The people he chose would believe in Him and follow the rules except when it suited Him in order to teach His chosen ones certain lessons. These people use the Bible to learn more of this supreme being and His Plan. They also look to it to see what the saved will look like (How do you know if you are one???) Well if you are saved then you believe, and you have the fruit of the spirit and you help others and do what Jesus Said and you don’t break the commandments too much. But doing those things on PURPOSE won’t make an iota of difference in if you are saved or not. They only convince you and others that you are one of the saved. And if you are it simply can’t be lost.
  6. Those who weren’t chosen from before He made the earth have no hope… Even if they try to believe in Him they are going to fail in the end. Some of these will claim to be saved even though they are not because they WANT to be. Who’d want to be in this group?? Some believers in this line of thinking deny this part, but appear to have no explanation of how God could predestine the other group to heaven and not make this group cruelly and hopelessly destined for hell. “double-predestination” it’s called No matter how I put this to them they still say “God wishes for all to be saved but the non saved will still be non saved arbitrarily!” Um :shrug:. If you have a bag of tokens and you take out a few of them before burning the bag, instead of taking out ALL of them you have destined the ones in the bag to die. “Ohhh” say the thinkers of this line of reasoning, “Everyone of us have broken the rules, we ALL DESERVE to die in that fire, the saved are jsut proof that God is merciful and let some out of the punishment! It’s not cruel when they deserved it anyhow! The Saved deserve it too! That is why the Saved are so grateful!”
  7. Gods plan for the world will continue on till He is done and then the World will end.

When you follow this logic you can see that following or not following rules (like do not murder) would not really matter The murder would be a way to teach the saved lessons, and complete His ultimate plan. Nothing can stop this God from doing whatever He wants when He wants. The Saved will eventually truly believe before they die… this is because He decided it would be so before they were ever born. They have no choices. (BTW one Calvinist in a thread here told me that this is not entirely true, that they have choices in things that do not matter at all to God’s plan… things like pizza toppings.)

Make no mistake, all protestants do not think that way. it an extreme form of Calvinism. Lots of even the Calvinists never looked at it like that in order. But if you read the 5 points of Calvinism it is in there. When I visit a Southern Baptist Church I hear it preached. When I see stuff like Charles Stanly was saying I see it there too.

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