Questions about when people get "saved"


a non-CC response from the lips of our Savior Himself. Jesus said, “whosoever believes in the Son, has eternal life.” John 3:15. In the moment you come to believe that Jesus is the Christ=Messiah=God in Flesh= … in that moment you enter eternal life. Your body will die one day, but the YOU already belong to Him by the Spirit of God who has sealed you forever. Take comfort in His words.


Sorry but knowing Jesus isn’t enough you must love and serve Him as well by taking up your cross and following Him.


If you are trying to love and serve Christ in order to be eternally saved, you have moved passed the free Gift of eternal life, over to the call of discipleship. No worries even misinformed protestants get tangled up with what they find in scripture so that the simple call to eternal life is lost or eclipsed by the weight of Christian duty.


God bless you CajunJoy and God bless every readers of the CAF.

For us as God’s children/elect our Salvation/Eternal Life is God’s UNDESERVED gift, received at the moment of our Initial Justification, and it is IRREVOCABLE, we can NEVER lose it.
To love and serve Christ as well by taking up our cross and following Him, they are the fruits of our salvation, not the cause of our Salvation.

Someone may know (IT IS POSSIBLE) he has God’s gift of salvation or someone doesn’t know it is a DIFFERENT ISSUE.

Protestants who say … Catholics believe we must do good works in order to become justified — a position which was explicitly condemned at Trent, which taught “nothing that precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification” (Decree on Justification 8).
Catholic theology teaches we do not do good works in order to be justified, but that we are justified in order to do good works, as Paul says: “[W]e are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ).
Justification is the cause, not the consequence, of good works.
However, these Protestants are still confused about the fact that Catholics do not teach we are made only partially righteous in justification.
The Church teaches that we are made totally righteous — we receive 100% pure righteousness — in justification.
Thus Trent declares:
“[I]n those who are born again God hates nothing, because there is no condemnation to those who are truly buried together with Christ by baptism unto death . . . but, putting off the old man and putting on the new one who is created according to God, are made innocent, immaculate, pure, guiltless and beloved of God, heirs indeed of God, joint heirs with Christ; so that there is nothing whatever to hinder their entrance into heaven” (Decree on Original Sin 5).

You don’t have to do a diddly-do-da thing after being justified by God in baptism in order to go to heaven.

There is no magic level of works one needs to achieve in order to go to heaven.

One is saved the moment one is initially justified. End quote.




C. Justification takes place by grace alone (JD 15 and 16), by faith alone, the person is justified „apart from works“ (Rom 3:28, cf. JD 25).
D. Certainly, "whatever in the justified precedes or follows the free gift of faith is neither the basis of justification nor merits it (JD 25).
3. The doctrine of justification is measure or touchstone for the Christian faith. No teaching may contradict this criterion. In this sense, the doctrine of justification is an "indispensable criterion which constantly serves to orient all the teaching and practice of our churches to Christ“ (JD l8).

God bless you CajunJoy and God bless every readers of the CAF.



I love St. Theresa of Avila, but she died very young.


That’s Therese of Lissieux you are thinking of. :slightly_smiling_face:


Correct, you are.


I think you are forgetting, tgG, the NT is entirely Catholic. There is nothing written there that is not Catholic! When Jesus talks about believing in Him, he is talking about a faith that works, a faith that follows His commandments, a faith that hopes, working out salvation through this vale of tears and eventually uniting with our imperishable heavenly inheritance. There are some that say the prayer to be 'saved" who then are like plants that wither when the sun gets hot. This kind of faith is not a saving faith. But I do agree with you, Baptism does seal us forever, and we can take comfort in His precious promises as we work out our salvation.

I know it seems this way to you, because you have been steeped in anti-Catholic rhetoric. You might have a better understanding of the Catholic position if you read the JDDJ.

We cannot earn the free gift of salvation. It is by grace, through faith, not of human works (or works of the Law). Loving and serving Christ, obeying His commandments, is, as you say discipleship. We enter into eternal life at baptism, but just like entering into a river, we can also get out of the River of Life and walk away from it into a desert, where our faith can dry up and blow away.


This is funny. … except that the only thing lacking in your statement is the fact that the word catholic is nowhere to be found in the N.T. It is kind of like the word trinity. I’m sure why you feel the need to belabor this point so often. I too am Catholic. Everyone who is in Christ are all part of the same universal body, Christ being the head.


You sound like some of my protestant friends on the puritan side who like to toy around with the word faith. There is no such thing as a faith that doesn’t work. You either have faith, or you have doubt. These are the only two biblical terms to choose from. Now, if you use to have faith but lost it, then, the epistle of James echoes your dilemma. Your faith is now dead, meaning you are in doubt.=unbelief.

Jesus words were very simple: “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” whoever places their faith in the Son, has eternal life. The transaction takes place in the very moment not in some future date when you are standing in eternity. This generous offer only expounds the rich love and grace of our savior.


Thanks again guanophore, … I read parts of the link, my goodness I do not have that kind of time, it was lengthy. I’m sure you are aware of the fact that the Lutheran Church today departed from Luther’s understanding of Justification after his death. His successor took the Lutheran body back towards a more Catholic view. So, from what I read there, there was nothing that shocked me.

I want to comment on your analogy. Yes we as a born from above believer, sealed with the Spirit of God, and one who is adopted into a new family, can walk away from all God has done in us, and maybe through us. But our loss of faith=doubt does not reverse the birth. The prodigal son never stopped being the son of his father. Why not? because they shared the same biological DNA nothing in all the world including the son, could change his birth.

In the same way, we too have been born into a family with a spiritual DNA. It was the will of our parents who caused the conception and the birth. We passively got to enjoy the experience of being born.

But if we reject where we came from, spiritually, our rejection does not cause Christ to disown us. Why not? because His ownership of us was not based on any performance or on-going performance from us to reflect a willingness to walk with him, just like the prodigal who was unwilling to walk with his father. God’s acceptance of us was of a divine choice based on mercy alone. This is why we don’t reimburse one who gives us a gift for good reason. We cannot afford it.


How much should I know Him, and how much should I love Him, and how much should I serve Him so that it becomes enough? … by the way… enough for what?


I can agree with this.

Agreed. When we are born again the Holy Spirit places a mark on our soul that can not be reversed.

Totally agree. Once a son always a son. DNA doesn’t lie.

No objections.

Agreed, If we walk away from God and reject Christ He still loves us and will not disown us.

Yes we are saved by God’s free gift of Grace

I gotta say tgG it sure seems like you agree with the Catholic position in regards to the prodigal son.

However, I think you are misunderstanding the question we are asking.

What we are asking is what if the prodigal son’s money never ran out? What if he stayed in the far off country and continued to squander his limitless inheritance on loose living until the day he died?

We agree that he is the fathers son and nothing he does can change this. It’s also plain to see from the text that his money running out and his suffering is what led him to repentance. The story also tells us that he himself had to rise and return to the father, the father did not go to the far of country to bring him home.

So basically we aren’t claiming the prodigal son lost his “born again” status. Nothing to argue about there, we are in total agreement.

What we are asking is, if the money never runs out and the true son of the father never repents and he never returns back to the father’s house how does the son get to the banquet feast?


God Bless


On the contrary, we find the first use of the adjective catholic used to describe the church founded by Christ in Acts. 9:41.

I find it necessary because you quote the Scriptures and say “a non-Catholic view” as if there were something in the NT that is not CAtholic!

Yes, but some Christians, especially Reformed Christians will take great offense to being told they are really Catholic.

I agree! It is the QUALITY of faith which I am describing, as James does, is a faith described by work.

I suppose a Reformed Christian still goes to heaven in this state?

Definitely. Once we have reached the end of this life, the chances to make this choice no longer exist.

That being the case, perhaps you would be willing to stop asserting that Catholics think we are saved by works?

We are in agreement on this point. Except perhaps that Catholics believe he could have remained feeding the pigs and never reunited with his father, dying in his self chosen exile.

I agree. It is we who disown him.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” matt 10;32

Perhaps you will say that a person who does this was never really a believer in the first place?

We are His. He made us, He redeemed us. He loves us enough to allow us to walk away.


Wow, you impress me with what you know about this. I cannot think of any other on this site who would agree with all you have said, but maybe I just don’t realize what everyone else believes about it.

What we are talking about here is an un-repentant son. One who does not return. I, firstly would argue that the point of the prodigal story wasn’t to answer this question specifically but I think the N.T. does answer it.

Before I move on to that, let me say that the prodigal son’s DNA running through his veins in a far land, without repentance will die the son of his father in a far land without repentance.

But let’s talk spiritual here not literal. We know that certain passages dealing with eternal life add the call to repent in the context, while other passages with the same call to eternal life do NOT add the condition to repent as part of the salvation process of receiving eternal life. Can we agree on that?

For instance, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up in response to his "brothers, (who said) what must we do?.. “Repent! peter said to them, and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ …” Acts 2:38

Keep in mind that these brothers were Jews who thought they already understood the ways of God right up until Christ came along.

(The prefix “re” - pent… is telling. re = means to return back. pent is where we get the word penthouse or the highest dwelling place. John the Baptist included the call to repent, or return, to God’s way of doing things repetitively in his ministry to the Jews.

Secondly the call to repentance is also found by those who already have eternal life, such as Jesus call to the seven Churches to repent.

For instance, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and said,


continued for MT1926

“Repent, Peter said to them, and be baptized each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” Acts 2:38

But in contrast, the (gentile) jailer found in Acts 16 asked the very same question: “… what must I do to be saved?” The answer was similar but different. “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 16:31. Paul failed to include that ever so important call of repentance. Why? Was it necessary for ultimate eternal salvation.

We can only ask the Evangelistic gospel writer John to answer that. Do a word search on his gospel and you will not be able to find the word repent anywhere in his writings. But more specifically the repetitive narratives where Jesus is explaining how one is eternally saved, He never includes repentance. This is shocking. I think it was Luther who realized this point before the reformation.

If ever there was a place in John’s gospel where repentance would be part of the saving equation, it would have been in John chapter 1. As everyone who has read Matthew, Mark and Luke knows, John the Baptist preached a “baptism of repentance” (Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3; Mt. 3:11)
At a critical moment in John’s dialogue with an influential delegation of Jews, we expect him to announce the purpose of his baptizing ministry in terms of repentance. But he doesn’t do this here. (take time to see the three other gospels on this)

Instead, he simply says, "I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is he who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to loose…

My point here is that it seems that John came to call the Jews to repentance before they could the Messiah, not that it was a condition, but an included responsibility. The gentiles on the other hand, were not strictly given is call in my view. This is why John excludes any call to repent in the fourth gospel.

But think about it, God is willing to accept the worst of sinners, by how they simply believe He is the Christ. This generous gift of eternal life should melt the hearts of any normal person. But sometimes people, usually those who do not understand God’s rich generosity, will throw it back in God’s face. Repentance is better, but repentance is not a condition for eternal life.

If they remain in that state will they enjoy the banquet feast? Of course not. They will only look in from the dark streets outside.

They will weep and gnash their teeth in anger. Why? not because they are angry with God, but because they will be angry with themselves. For the first time in their entire life, they now realize that they stand outside of the banquet of the faithful.

Those inside (those who have great faith) will enjoy the wonders of Christ and recline at his table. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown outside in the dark. Mt. 8. But outside the banquet table does not mean outside of God’s family. This elite distinction should be understood seeing that eternal life is not based on merit of any kind, We can enter the kingdom of God freely, but inheriting it will cost us everything.


This is a false dichotomy you have made before. “spiritual” is not the opposite of “literal” as you imply it is. Spiritual also does not mean “metaphorical”. If it did, then angels, who have no physical bodies, would not be real ("literal) and would be “metaphorical”. Setting up this false dichotomy detracts from the strength of your argument.

I do agree that there are a number of Jesus’ teachings that have many different lessons, some of them not the “main” lesson.

This is the Catholic understanding of the spiritual state of one who falls from grace. Hell is full of those with the indelible mark of adoption.

We can, of course , but Catholics do not extract the faith from “passages” of Scripture. We receive the faith as a whole cloth, then see the evidence of that whole in the Scriptures. Thus, we would consider that repentance is always and everywhere a condition of eternal life.

It seems you are projecting your Reformed Theology back through the centuries, defining what should and should not be a part of the Scriptures in order to represent a contradiction to your theology. This is not a proper use of the Scriptural record.

I like this! Catholics see the Kingdom as something we enter while on this earth, and into which we continue at death (or not). For us, there is no separation from the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal life, or being in that state of grace. I think we are in agreement, tho, that persons not walking in grace will not experience the Kingdom in this lifetime.


Really? For a guy who claims to have been a Catholic, but left because there wasn’t anything else the Church was able to teach you, I thought this would have been common knowledge for you?

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.”5

1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation.83 Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

Well this one is a known medical fact so no need to go to the Catechism on this one.

Agreed see CCC 1272 :point_up_2:

1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”136 There are no limits to the mercy of God,

I didn’t respond to this question because I thought it wasn’t significant. However, now that I read your other reply it seems you believe repentance equals reimbursement. this is where we differ. The Catholic Church teaches that repentance equals accepting the free gift of Mercy, not paying for it.

1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”136 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

Not so sure why you are so “impressed” by my answers and claim no other Catholic agrees with me. This is pretty much straight forward Catholic teaching right out of the Catechism

God Bless


Argue all you want, the question remains…

I refuse to accept this response…

First of all I have know idea what this means, your application of it’s use seems highly subjective. It seems like you use it to create division in Christs teachings, as a way to divide up the Bible into two categories, the ones you believe and the ones you need to explain away.

The only thing I understand about this statement is if Jesus is speaking literally and you don’t agree then you claim He is only speaking spiritually. And vice versa

This is the whole reason I responded to your post. You already showed me that you accepted a “spiritual” and “literal” viewpoint on the prodigal son. Now that I ask the above question you are saying this applies to your point but no longer applies to mine?

Yeah makes absolutely no sense to anyone who realizes that John’s gospel wasn’t written for over 50 years. Were all Christians running around like lost sheep, which led John to write his gospel and set the entire Christian world back on the correct path.

I think I see where you are going with this. You are claiming the banquet feast is just a reward in heaven. Fair enough. No objection.

So let me rephrase my question.

What we are asking is, if the money never runs out and the true son of the father never repents and he never returns back to the father’s house (which I would argue is heaven) how does the son get to the banquet feast (which I am willing to say is the reward)?

Sure you can argue that this story isn’t meant to teach us about this specific question, but still the question remains. It is clear from the stories in the Bible that God will not drag one of His children, kicking and screaming, through the pearly gates.

So how does a born again believer who decides after 40 years of loving God that He no longer loves God, get to heaven? Whether spiritual or literal DNA is DNA.

God Bless

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