Questions about when people get "saved"


MT, please do not spin. I have never said at any point, that I left the Catholic Church because “there wasn’t anything else the Church was able to teach” me. These are your words and ideas not mine. Have you noticed when I dialog with you I try not to bloviate what you say. And if I do, I quickly apologize.
I left the Catholic Church mostly because when I compared it to another Church, where my co-workers invited me, it was like night and day in terms of their love expressed to me. My old home Church was always very cold. At least this was my experience back then. It wasn’t about belief at that point, but at all. My first, quote “protestant church” never pitted an “us against them” mentality like I see on this site. They just simply loved me in a dark hour of my life and that was very attractive.


Well if that is the case then repentance is a word equal to that of “belief” They should be interchangeable words in scripture. Are they?


No, that is not what I am saying. The story is fictional, as far as we know. Jesus made it up. But since we are examining it with a "what if… " kind of approach. I say, let’s get a spiritual answer and not just a literal one. What happens if the son never returns to the father, he physically dies out in the wilderness. or… maybe he survives and is able to exist away from his father… or. maybe he gets an incurable disease but is able to cripple along for another twenty years… Who knows… What difference does it make if we are only talking about it from a literal and physical stand point?

Does the son represent a higher truth? Is there any significance to the fact that the father saw him at a distance and came running? What importance is there to the second son’s jealously? …

If it is only a cute story but does not carry a transcending truth, then so what!


What pearly gates are you referring to?.. the ones mentioned in Revelation 21? I think once a saved man who was kicking and screaming sees heaven, his bias, his misunderstanding, his false beliefs, will all melt away at the presence of the Lord. He will humbly bow in total submission. He will realize how stupid and crazy he was to doubt the goodness of God.

Whether he loves God or not so much, he gets to heaven in the same way as anyone else, through new birth. It is the Holy Spirit in Him who has sealed him unto the day of his physical redemption. Eph. 1:7, 14; Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23.


My request to get a spiritual understanding is not unreasonable. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it is not valid. And I am not making a contrast between spiritual and literal. I am making a contrast between spiritual and natural.

Have you not read Paul’s teaching on this: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.” 1st. Cor. 2:14,15.


I apologize. I must have misunderstood when you said…

I mistook you stating you and your sister “outgrew” all that the Catholic Church taught you as meaning there was nothing else She could teach you because you understood all of Her teachings and needed to go somewhere else to learn more.

Sorry for my confusion.


This makes absolutely no sense. They might have to be equal in your narrow theology but in Catholic theology we use the words “both/and”.

God desires all to be saved and offers His mercy to the whole world. Sure we need to believe, but that is not enough, we also have to repent and ask God to have mercy on us, a lowly sinner, that’s the repentance. It’s not a one and done deal.

Would you tell your wife, on your wedding day, sorry in advance for ever bad thing I might do to you over the next 60 years of marriage. So now we are good and I won’t ever have to apologize again?

Of course you wouldn’t. So why do you believe it’s Ok to do it to God?


Okay I can now see how you would draw this conclusion, but what my statements don’t say is that these conclusions came years after I had already left. I left simply because I felt God was leading me somewhere else. I was very attracted to an environment where God’s love was expressed. I was a blank piece of paper at that time. I had almost no theological perspective when I left.


Agree it is a parable.

Which is what I thought I was doing, but you go and say I am talking literal. That’s why I don’t understand what you mean by spiritual.

Totally agree. If the son never repents and returns to his fathers house then he dies in the wilderness. This is literal. Now to me the spiritual teaching from Jesus would be if we are born again (receive our inheritance) and then walk away from the Father we won’t be disowned but we will be walking away from our Father’s House ( Heaven). If we repent and return to the Father He will welcome us back into His House with open arms. But if we do not repent we will die in the wilderness (hell).

Yes spiritually he is a born again Christian (a son of the Father)

Yes our Father in heaven is always on the lookout for a repentant sinner. There will be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner…Luke 15:7.
He came running when He saw the renpentant son, but it is also important to notice that this did not occur until after the son was on a His way back.

The second son was also born again but did not see the gifts that he already had. It also seems from his words that just believing he was “born again” was not enough. It can be seen that he did many good works but these good works were not done out of love for the Father but out of obedience. Maybe that’s why his works never merited a calf from the Father?

Just my thoughts.

I’m willing to hear what you believe is the spiritual teaching of the prodigal son, maybe it will help me understand what you mean by spiritual?

God Bless


You’ve never heard anyone say the pearly gates of heaven, it’s just an analogy. You honestly didn’t know what I was alluding to?

How does he see it though? Unless he is dragged into heaven first?

Does everyone get to take a look before they decide if they want to go to heaven or not?

So to Love God isn’t necessary? Not so sure if Jesus would agree with this one? :thinking:

Phesians 1:7. Yes great verse. I like how St. Paul goes on to explain…

13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit, 14 which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

He also tells this to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 1:22.

A first installment is considered a down payment. St. Paul is telling us the Holy Spirit doesn’t “seal the deal” for redemption it’s just a down payment for our belief. That’s why I keep saying belief is not enough, it only gets you a down payment according to St. Paul.

You even quoted the verse, what do you think a first installment is? If you pay the first installment on your mortagage does the bank sign you over the deed before you made the other 239 payments?

Romans 3 saved by grace Amen :+1:t2:

Romans 8:23 I’m going to have to think about this one a little. It says…

23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

Those words are kind of throwing me a bit because why would born again believers be waiting for adoption. I’m not sure right now, let me ponder this one. :thinking:


I agree, and it is important for all of us to have a spiritual understanding. What is unreasonable, and unscriptural, and anti-christ is to set “spiritual” as equal to “metaphorical”.

This is part of the problem, tgG. “Natural” would seem to imply that which is temporal and physical. While I agree that there is a difference in understanding things from a spiritual vs a “natural” (carnal) mentality, the dichotomy you have created goes against the teaching of Christ.

Yes, but that which is “natural” (spiritually unregenerated) does not equate to metaphorical. There are many spiritual realities that are not perceived in the natural (realm of the senses), angels being one of the best examples. Angels are not ‘metaphorical", just because they dont’ have physical bodies.


I’ve looked at several different translations of Ephesians 1:14

14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. - NIV

14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. ESV

14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. NKJV

14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. RSVCE

14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. NASB

4 which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. RSV

Also 2 Corinthians 1:22

22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. NIV

22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. ESV

22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. NKJV

22 by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment. RSVCE

22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. NASB

22 he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. RSV

It is interesting to me that the only version that uses the term “first installment” is the RSV Catholic Edition. All the other version use words like guarantee or pledge. Even the NIV which calls it a deposit also says it guarantees what is to come.

Just something to think about.


Thanks for the reply.

I thought about it.

I guess all of those translations just go to show how the translators are not inspired and were not given the gift of infallibility.

The Greek word here is arrabOn.

From Strong’s Greek…

arrabón: an earnest (a part payment in advance for security)

If a fallible translator wants to interpret this word to mean guarantee more power to them. However, from the Greek it is easy to see that the definition @tgGodsway is trying to apply to this verse is not what St. Paul intended.

Nowhere in this verse can we come to the conclusion that once we are born again we can stop loving God and He has no choice but to give us entrance into heaven. The statement by itself sounds absurd, to say that Jesus didn’t mean it when He said it is even more absurd.

An arrabón (an earnest) is a partial payment on God’s part that He will do what He promises. No where does this verse tell us that we don’t have to cooperate with this earnest, by loving God and neighbor, before God will fulfill His promise. And in no way is an earnest (partial payment) a guarantee of full payment.

Just something to think about,

God Bless


So the hundreds, maybe thousands, of different translators (many whom have dedicated their life to translating the scriptures and many of whom have Phd’s in related fields) who worked on the various teams that translated the greek manuscripts into the various translations all got the translations wrong???


You guys are hilarious. If only you would allow scripture to interpret scripture you can save yourself a lot of pain.


You are the one who made the list of verses with different translations, and claim the Catholic addition is the only one that differs. Which could easily be argued you were trying to say it must be wrong.

I don’t see why someone having a Phd in their related fields automatically means they are right and can not err. Why do you think this? I don’t understand your argument here? Are you trying to say that the Catholic Church doesn’t use Phd’s in their translations? I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church has tons of Phds.

Not sure why this is the only thing you are responding to?

How about giving me some insight on your thoughts about my main point…

Your thoughts on the Greek?


God Bless


I’m in absolutely no pain. Opened up the Greek Interlinear Bible, looked up the verse saw it says arrabOn, translated earnest (a part payment in advance for security). Piece of cake. Didn’t even break a nail. :smiley:

Your turn…

Please use scripture to interpret the meaning of the Greek word arrabOn.

You might want to stretch first. :wink:

God bless


I’m just pointing out how the majority of “experts” have translated these versus.


And I’m just pointing out that most experts tend to give their “Expert Opinions”, which I’m sure we agree is not infallible.

What’s your thoughts on taking the Greek word arrabOn, using it’s actual defined meaning (earnest) in the context of the passage and making an interpretation?

God Bless


Yes, they are not infallible. Which is why I use multiple translations to try and build a consensus on the thought and meaning of particular passages.

From What little research I’ve done on the word arrabOn is that means a pledge or promise that is backed up by a deposit or payment.

728 /arrhabṓn (“down-payment pledge”) is the regular term in NT times for “earnest-money,” i.e. advance-payment that guarantees the rest will be given. 728 (arrhabṓn) then represents full security backed by the purchaser who supplies sufficient proof they will fulfill the entire pledge (promise).


728 arrhabṓn – properly, an installment; a deposit (“down-payment”) which guarantees the balance (the full purchase-price).

I’m not a greek scholar or someone who has the knowledge to translate languages. I do know that folks that do that kind of thing for a living use more than the definition of a word, they also use context and examine other documents of the time to help determine how the word would be understood to the reader.

Having said that, it looks like the word means more than a down payment or first payment. It is also a pledge, promise or guarantee to pay all future payments. So in that context it seems as if the Holy Spirit is both a down payment and a promise/pledge/guarantee of our inheritance.

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