Myy Protestant friends tell me they are saved becuase they have accepted Jesus Christ as their perosnal and therfore they are saved,
Lets assume for a minute this is correct. What happens to all of those who were never exposed to Jesus. The stock answer is that Jesus makes himself known to everyone. But was there a grace period?(no pun intended). Say Jesus dies on the cross on a Friday afternoon at 3PM and at the same time an old man in the Jungles of africa dies. does he go to hell? And if not was there a certain time limit bfore God starting enforcing this rule?
The Catholic response to this a person can live such a life that exemplifies what Christ stands for ecvn if he doesnt know his name or even know he existed he is saved. So what is the Evangelical Chrisitans solution to this problem?
The errancy of sola fide (faith alone) is that our state of grace is not static. We sin and merely having faith in God is not sufficient, as Scripture shows us, to being in a state of grace with God’s will.
Scripture tells us that the gate to heaven is narrow, and it is only through applying ourselves to maintaining our state of grace that we can ensure that we don’t join those legions of “good intent” that litter the wayside.
Another example why faith alone is not sufficient: Peter denounced Christ three times; yet he was still handed the keys. And yes, superficially one could say that Peter’s faith overcame the denunciation, but examining the deeper “why” of that will help sola scripturaists find the right path.
I don’t know exactly what you mean by Evangelical but I will give what I believe altough it may not prove helpful.
I don’t know what will happen to those who have never heard of Jesus. I believe, as the Bible tells us, that God wants all to be saved. I know we should carry the Gospel to all we can but I also know that God is good and just and whatever He does will be right. I trust him completely and don’t need to know why or how He will deal with them. God does not owe us an explanation and if He hasn’t told us something we shouldn’t speculate but simply trust Him.
All you have to do is refer them to Matthew 25,34-46.
That makes it clear we are saved or damned by our works.
I think the real reason why Protestants downplay the importance of works is so that the believer may think that if he helps the poor,the weak,the sick that he is doing it out of his own morality rather than humble obedience to God’s commandment. So that leaves room for pride of accomplishment,self-satisfaction,giving credit to one’s self. It leaves room for deciding whether one should help the poor,the weak,the sick at all. It leaves room for excusing one’s self of divine commandment.
"So you also,when you have done all that you were ordered to do,say,‘We are worthless slaves,we have done only what we ought to have done!’ " Luke 17,10.
So there is no answer, Yet if we take the interperation of Scripture that preavils among Evangelical Christians all these people are condemend to eternal hellfire-including the poor guy who died 5 minutes after the death of Jesus.
I am not trying to be sarcasitc here - this has always, to me , been the fatal flaw of Sola Fidelis.
Originally Posted by Exodus15forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cad/viewpost.gif Non-Catholic - Saved when I found Jesus Catholic - Saved when Jesus finds me
An oddly errant view of Catholicism. Like a TV 30 second sound bite; sounds good but it is bereft of any substantive meaning.
Salvation belongs to the Lord alone. WE cannot save ourselves. Only by the gift of the Lord’s grace and mercy we are saved.
Despite your wording, I assume you don’t mean we are saved by works without faith. Protestants certainly don’t think that they can do anything without God’s grace. We say we are saved through faith alone, not faith that is alone. We are not saved by works we are saved for works. If works play a part in our salvation, how many works do we need? As the Scripture you quoted says, we already owe God all the good works we could possibly do. How then can we merit anything? We can’t.
Yes there are many passages that say that works are important. For example,
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
Protestants are not stupid, we do not ignore these references. But we also don’t ignore the myriad of passages that say we are faith by faith or believing in Jesus. They must be reconciled. We also do not ignore James.
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
How are the various passages harmonized? We recognize that justification is a forensic matter. When we are justified we are declared just by God because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Justify means to show or declare righteous. When understood this way the various passages can be reconciled. When Paul speaks about justification.in letters like Romans and Galatians he is talking about us being justified by God. We are declared innocent by God by grace through faith. When James is talking about justification he is talking about how we can be shown righteous in the eyes of our fellows. In that cases it is not enough to simply say we believe. We must say we believe and demonstrate it by our works. That is what James is talking about in the preceeding verses.
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
In the same way as our works are evidence of faith to others, they will be evidence at the final judgement. God will not only be just, he will be seen to be just. People will see our works and recognize God is right in his judgement.
If you are charged with a crime and you are innocent, the judge can declare you not guilty. But as the saying goes, justice does not only need to be done, it must be seen to be done. That is the purpose of the evidence. The evidence does not make us guilty or not guilty, but it shows that the judge is right in acquitting or convicting us. In the same way, our works will be the evidence by which God will show justice is being done, not because we are not guilty, but because He declares us to be because of Jesus’ sacrifice. We are judged according to our works as evidence not by our works as making us innocent.
As the Lord says, you can tell a tree by its fruit. The fruit does not make the tree good, but shows it is good. That is in effect what James says; you say you believe but how can we tell without the fruit?
And that declaration of righteousness can be lost if we lose faith. God will no longer declare us righteous because we are no longer claiming the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice if we do not maintain faith. It is like we have a sign on us that flashes not guilty as long as we are connected to God by faith as to battery. If we break the connection, the light goes out.
This prayer by Mother Teresa is a beautiful example of faith and works
The fruit of SILENCE is prayer the fruit of PRAYER is faith the fruit of FAITH is love the fruit of LOVE is service the fruit of SERVICE is peace
and not only help each other in physical terms or strength but help others spiritually such as helping Protestants become better Protestants, helping Catholics become better Catholics, helping Muslims become better Muslims, etc, for we are all brought together in prayer to God
Actually, neither Catholics nor Protestants believe that we are saved by works.
Yet, this passage is very compelling, and I’ve always wondered why it is so widely ignored. Perhaps it is because it does give such importance to works.
The passage, actually beginning at v31, is after all, a description of the Last Judgment, narrated by Christ himself.
And in the narrative, it seems clear that those who are either sent to heaven to inherit the kingdom or who are banished to hell, are judged precisely on their good works or lack thereof! He doesn’t ask anyone whether they believe; rather he judges based on what they have done.
(Actually, I think that Faith and works are two sides of the same thing. It’s like asking whether light consists of particles or waves. The answer is both, but for a long time we tried to make it one or the other.)
But if I were anticipating facing the last judgment, as all of us must, I would certainly ponder this passage long and hard.