A protestant friend of mine said…“All we have to do is accept Him as Lord, asking Him to forgive us, and to come into our heart to be our Lord and Saviour…after that, we live for Him.”

What is correct and what is wrong about this statement, referring to the catholic faith?

And basically, what does a person need to do to get to heaven?


The problem isn’t what the phrase says; instread, it’s what it doesn’t say.

You might start a discussion with your friend, and ask them to show you in scripture where it says what she has proposed. You might also ask her about baptism. Be prepared to provide plenty of scripture on baptism to back up the Catholic position.

Once you’ve discussed baptism there are many other areas to explore. You can talk about John 6, the Last Supper, and the Eucharist in terms of salvation. Make sure you study up on this before you present it. Do a search on the forum to learn all of the arguments or send me a PM with your email address and I’ll send you a file or two with good materials on this topic.

As far as baptism and salvation is concerned here are some scriptures to use with your friend:

ACTS 22:16
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

JOHN 3:5
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

MARK 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

ROMANS 6: 3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ;
and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

TITUS 3:4-8
but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,

Heb 10:22
let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 PETER 3:21
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

OT-- Baptism prefigured
Ezk 36:25-28
I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Ask him for Biblical evidence of this belief. Anything non-specific doesn’t count, after all he’ll say he’s a Bible only Christian and we are not. :shrug:

Then show him how the Bible actually says we are saved.
[FONT=georgia]How Is A Catholic Saved?
[/FONT]Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?


Buy *The Salvation Controversy *by Jimmy Akin - available from Catholic Answers. Read it and then give it to your friend. This book contains the best explanation I have read.


It completely ignores free will, i.e. that once we are converted, we no longer have a choice of following Christ or not. In other words, once saved, always saved.

This notion falls apart by any example of anyone who has fallen away from the faith. The explanation, of course, is that they really never had faith to begin with, which is sophomoric, at best.


Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. It’s been very helpful. :slight_smile:


I think the Catholic church teaches that BASICALLY one only need to be sincere with his beliefs, and be a nice person. So a protestant, a muslim, and a buddhist can still go to heaven.

But of course the RCC teaches that becoming a catholic gives you a VIP ticket to heaven.


Like Protestants, Catholics believe we’re all sinners. Both Protestants and Catholics also believe we can’t enter the kingdom of God without grace and that this grace was won by Jesus’ death on the cross. Protestants such as the one you mentioned generally believe that His grace covers our sins so that, as long as we put our faith in Jesus, God simply doesn’t impute guilt to us while Catholics believe that the purpose of grace is to truly make us just- so that, if we choose to cooperate, grace gives us the ability to overcome sin and do those things which God has planned for us in order to “work out our salvation” and be made perfect because nothing imperfect can enter heaven. Catholics believe that this perfecting is a conversion process, taking place over time, which may include purgatory if need be, a place of final cleansing and perfecting.

To sum it up, the Catholic Church teaches that what we do counts-that we are to be perfected in love for God and neighbor before entering heaven-and that we have a role to play in that perfecting. Many Protestants believe there’s nothing we can do but trust in the work of Jesus-which means we can enter heaven and face God as the filthiest of sinners as long as we have faith-because He chooses to overlook our sin.

1Cor:6 tells us not to be deceived; no sinners will enter heaven. I believe Gods’ love is unconditional but that He allows us the freedom to reject even that kind of love. But if we do accept His offer and love Him in return, nothing will prevent Him from seeing to it that we reach our common goal.


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