Salvation / Mortal Sin - A question from a Protestant Family Member


#1

Below is a response I received from a Protestant Family Member. The discussion beginning on “Faith Alone”. I would like to know your thoughts on an effective way to rebut his contentions.

Well I listened to the1st hour and 1/2 and stopped when the catholic gentlemen stated " I’m saved when I keep the commandment’s" This is works righteous , which you have stated over and over you don’t believe . If the scripture is God’s word whether 66 books or 73 they clearly teach that Christ is the author and finisher of our faith, Faith generated by God and reveled by the Holy Spirit. I will continue to believe in Christ alone and Scripture alone if that scripture being only one Gospel and one Epistle and faith alone . It’s not the amount but what is interpreted as truth.

As was pointed out the Church has been anything but infallible and likewise the Pope going back to Peter who failed to be infallible in Acts when he showed partially to the Jews and separated himself. So Im going to use an illustration below to show why I can not accept the Catholic view.

The Catholics believe you are regenerated at/by Baptism , then when I sin I fall out of the regenerated state until go to confession / penitence. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Here’s the illustration. I go to confession and have absolution and walk out in the street and there in front of me walks a beautiful, well built ,scantily dress married woman , I say in my mind that I sure would like to spend 20 minutes in bed with her. At that moment a car veers off the street and run me over and kills me .

The way I would see it is you as a Catholic would be guilt before God and destine to eternal damnation.

My view of scripture is by faith in the finished work of Christ I still inherit eternal life because it is not based on my doing everything right every moment but being sealed with Christ. 2d Cor. 1: 20-22 , Eph 1:13-14. This covers Mortal sin and not the sins of omission that I fail at every day and just as unholy to a Holy God as the above, for God says to be ye holy as I AM holy.

I have peace with God in the statement " just shall live be faith".

Food for thought!.


#2

I really don’t have time to go into a lot of this, but I do have a couple of thoughts.

(1) I would ask this person, “Do you believe that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ gave individuals the right to sin as seriously and as often as they like, so long as they believe in His name while they commit such sins?”

Have them reflect on what it would mean if Christ’s atoning work was done simply to permit us to sin, to give us a license to sin, but to nonetheless utterly avoid justice, without the slightest hint of accountability, so long as we claim belief. Have them meditate on what the notion of “attaining the Kingdom of Heaven” despite “works of unrighteousness” would mean, especially in light of St. Paul (cf. Gal. 5:13ff; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Perhaps they’ll respond, “a true Christian, a true believer, would not sin in truly serious ways; and if they do sin, they were never really born-again to begin with.”

I would have them reflect on Hebrews 6:4-6; and perhaps this article will help you a bit: catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/the-impossible-impossibility

(2) Just as a heads up, Jimmy Akin has a book coming out in a few weeks that’s a major overhaul of one of his previous titles. The book deals exclusively with the topic of salvation :amazon.com/Drama-Salvation-Rescues-Delivers-Eternal/dp/1941663125/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426519752&sr=1-1

Here’s a video that may be of help: catholic.com/video/what-role-do-good-works-play-in-our-salvation

Here are others: catholic.com/search/content/Salvation?filters=type%3Avideo


#3

It isn’t because YOU decide that God saved you that God will save you…how did anyone ever come up with it being otherwise? We’re told not to judge and I hope that applies to judging yourself righteous and beyond the power of sin to impact your salvation.


#4

Thats a tuff question for various reasons. It deals with a personal level of sin. The matter is grave, but the personal struggle with the desire is complicated.

Jesus definitely told us what is in our hearts can condemn us. He uses the very difficult example of lusting after our neighbors wife. What Jesus doesnt specify is the context of that sin. The example of the man walking away from confession is but a moment of temptation. I am not excusing any lust, but I think there is a difference with a moment of lust that can occur which doesnt necessarily destroy the relationship with God (or is truly mortal). There is the confrontation with the Holy Spirit which occurs and convicts which should be considered. I, for one, cannot always refrain from wanting to spend 20 min with a beautiful woman, but the Holy Spirit wrestles with me in these times and I have to be remorsefull and remember He is my goodness and who makes me able to honor my wife, and repent when I have failed her.

Its like asking if Peter would have gone to hell before he was able to repent for denying Jesus 3 times. I dont believe so. The aspect which keeps us in condemnation over it is not being remorsefull, not just unable to fullfill the act of contrition through the Sacrament (not sure if I could find a good Catholic resource to support this:confused:)


#5

I agree with rcwitness above. The fact is that even though the man may have been commiting a mortal sin at that time, did he have sufficient reflection? Did he think “I know this is wrong, but I’m going to do it anyway?” Was he struggling against it the entire time? Only God can judge what is in the man’s heart. What we can say is that he was commiting a “grave act” which puts his soul in peril. But we cannot say that he is condemned because of it. We don’t know all the facts. The Catholic church does not condemn anyone, only God can judge. The church can say this action is indeed a grave offense to God and you need to ask for his forgiveness.

It is possible for a person to be truly sorry and for their sins to be forgiven without receiving the sacrament of confession and be forgiven by God. However, since God established confession for our benefit, we need to use it as he instructed as a means to not only receive forgiveness, but also to restore grace and make us right with God and with his body, the Church. Since sin also affects other members of the body of Christ, the penitent is asking for forgiveness from God and the church. The priest speaks on behalf of both.


#6

I also should add that I have faith in Jesus Christ. When he says that a person must be born again of water and spirit in order to enter heaven, I believe what he says and that baptism actually does something beyond a declaration of faith.

When he tells the apostles whose sins you forgive they are forgiven them, I believe what Jesus says and that the authority to forgive sins in Jesus name has been granted to men.

My faith in all of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church is dependent upon my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If I don’t believe Jesus meant these things, then there is no reason to do any of them. And if there is no reason to do any of them, then why does Jesus command us to do them?


#7

First, I believe you should give your relation some (credit) points, “I’m saved when I keep the commandment” can be interpreted in anyway and doesn’t fully give us a picture of what Catholic theology says.
We do not become saved by obeying the commandment, it isn’t the cause of our “salvation” nor do we become “saved” WHEN we obey the commandment, the speaker may have been taken out of context or simply made a mistake. The catholic church teaches that we are saved by Gods’ rich mercy who applies the merits of Christ on us as “a justifying grace” at baptism, with faith among other thing as a neccesary pre-condition also given as a gift all to the glory of God.

The problem though is in his theology which believe faith alone is sufficent for salvation, such a faith is disjointed from the Christian reality, If I will believe in God unto salvation then I must love and hope in him, as the apostle paul points out severally, the Faith that saves comes with an interesting baggage called the “obedience of faith”. If you believe him you should obey him. A faith alone salvation is not Christian for faith that saves must come with love, hope and the desire to obey God.

As was pointed out the Church has been anything but infallible and likewise the Pope going back to Peter who failed to be infallible in Acts when he showed partially to the Jews and separated himself. So Im going to use an illustration below to show why I can not accept the Catholic view.

I think you should correct him on this, infallibility is on doctrine! Peter was infalliable in Acts as he taught truth, we also see this in act 15, and all his succesors and the church as a whole has also possesed this gift that ensure they do not teach error. What Act shows is that peter is not impecable, and by extention neither are his succesors or the individual members of the church on earth, we all have faults but God has protected in church from declearing falsehood. I would go as far as request he shows be passage that demonstate peters’ fallibility. Peter was never recorded to teach error.

The Catholics believe you are regenerated at/by Baptism , then when I sin I fall out of the regenerated state until go to confession / penitence. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Here’s the illustration. I go to confession and have absolution and walk out in the street and there in front of me walks a beautiful, well built ,scantily dress married woman , I say in my mind that I sure would like to spend 20 minutes in bed with her. At that moment a car veers off the street and run me over and kills me .

The way I would see it is you as a Catholic would be guilt before God and destine to eternal damnation.

My view of scripture is by faith in the finished work of Christ I still inherit eternal life because it is not based on my doing everything right every moment but being sealed with Christ. 2d Cor. 1: 20-22 , Eph 1:13-14. This covers Mortal sin and not the sins of omission that I fail at every day and just as unholy to a Holy God as the above, for God says to be ye holy as I AM holy.

I have peace with God in the statement " just shall live be faith".

Food for thought!.

Actually we have no meter to prove that the person above goes to hell, we know he commited a gave act but we do not know if he willingly and consciously gave in to such thought even after his conscience assured him they were sinful. Nor do we know if he felt remorseful for his bad thought or simply felt entitled to them.

Every mortal sin involves a rejection of God for a creature and thus every mortal sin is deserving of hell.

On the other hand, your friend’s theology causes a fundamental problem when belief in God carries no responsibility and the rejection of God gets rewarded with everlasting life. Nowhere does scriptures say such, Christians were always warned against mortal sin with the threat of losing eternal life, somehow this teaching has found a way to call Gods’ bluff or doubt his warnings.


#8

I found a scripture verse concerning,"Once Saved,Always saved"Hebrews 6: 4-6.IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ONCE BEEN ENLIGHTENED, WHO HAVE TASTED THE HEAVENLY GIFT, WHO HAVE SHARED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHO HAVE TASTED THE GOODNESS OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE POWERS OF THE COMING OF AGE, IF THEY FALL AWAY, TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO REPENTANCE, BECAUSE TO THEIR LOSS THEY ARE CRUCIFYING THE SON OF GOD ALL OVER AGAIN AND SUBJECTING HIM TO PUBIC DISGRACE.

I know this isn’t answering the exact question but it comes up w Protestants. I have to do more research which is where I have to leave the site.

May God bring us to unity of mind and heart. That scripture verse is from a Protestant Bible for Women’s devotional=NIV.Too complicated to get out of electric recliner and get Catholic Bible.

in Christ’s love
tweedlealice


#9

Now, guys are visual. This is meant as a joke. A BAD JOKE, but a joke. In scripture if your eyes bring you into sin, pluck them out. GROAN. I had a 21yo schizo pt who had been in college who denucleated his eyes w spoons. His Mom was Schizo, also. We kept sending him back home. So sad. I’m 67 now and we were around the same age when I was in nursing school. Say a prayer for Peter or his soul. Some lives are so complicated. :frowning:


#10

I found this:I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsman according to the flesh.”—Romans 9:1-3

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [Israel] is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”—Romans 10:1,2 Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except through Him. BUT when Jesus was crucified He went to hades and raised all those who were faithful Jews that were from before His coming. MERCY.

We are well acquainted with Paul’s heart for believers—the church of Jesus Christ. But in these passages we see his tender burden for the unsaved, especially for Jews who continued with devotion to the law rather than trusting the finished work of Christ. No matter how much concern we have for an unsaved friend or child, it is doubtful that you or I have ever had a burden that was so heavy that we’d be willing go to hell in the place of that person! Imagine Paul’s heart.

We should note that these words were written by the same man who also taught the doctrine of election, that is, that salvation is ultimately in the hands of God, not the hands of men. In the very same chapter where Paul wrote that we were clay in the hands of the potter, and that God “has mercy on whomever he wills, and hardens whomever he wills” (9:18), he also spoke about his great burden for his Jewish brothers according to the flesh (see 9:1-3 above). The bottom line: the sovereign election of God does not nullify the fact that we should be contending for the souls of unbelievers.

THE PART THAT GOT ME WAS "GOD HAS MERCY ON WHOMEVER HE WILLS AND HARDENS WHOMEVER HE WILLS: ROMANS 9:18

We are sinners saved by grace. The Holy Spirit enlightens us to the existence of Jesus as the Messiah the Son of God. We accept Him as Lord and Savior or delay the process. If death occurs while our hearts are still hardened or unsure,what happens to their souls. Jesus told St. Faustina even one w the most hardened hearts, if the Divine Chaplet is said they will not go to hell. He will pour His mercy out on that soul. He will not go to hell. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT TO A PROTESTANT??? It is not in the Bible.

in Christ’s love
tweedlealice :slight_smile:


#11

Jesus said in John 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments ". Does love equates to “work” for a Protestant? Or is it something that one do voluntarily/happily because one love another?

If you love what you do, you don’t have to work a single day. If I love God, it is never work. I will do all I can to please Him, because I don’t one to hurt Him, because you delight in making the person you love happy.

Now if one say I did all you ask in order to gain entry to heaven, that is not love, that is work. Because the motive is not Love. That is why the greatest virtue is love, not faith nor hope.


#12

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#13

catholic.com/video/are-we-saved-by-faith-alone


#14

When it comes to the belief in “faith alone”, I would politely inform him that the only time the term “faith alone” appears in the New Testament is to refute it (“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone” - James 2:24). I would also gently ask him where his beliefs can be found in the early church, because the early church was heavily centered on the established church structure and the Bible was not yet compiled into a book that was mass produced. They spoke of the Eucharist as the flesh and blood of Jesus:

“They * abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that THE EUCHARIST IS THE FLESH OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. (Letter to Smyrnians 7:1)”

  • Saint Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 AD

Try to guide him to the early church fathers, because it is clear that they have the Catholic perspective. I hope this is helpful!*


#15

In Jesus’ own words, from St. Matthew

32gand all the nations**will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35hFor I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’37Then the righteouswill answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’40i*And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’41jThen he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42kFor I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’44**Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

Would you reply to Jesus, I have faith, but can’t feed the hungry because that’s a work?

If I remeber correctly, and posters can correct me if I am wrong, every time Jesus talks about one’s salvation, He always links it to works.


#16

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