The Requirement for Salvation

I am a practicing Catholic who follows my faith to the best of my ability. I am, however, the only one in my family, including spouse, children, sister and brother-in-law (no siblings, parents deceased), nieces and nephews, all of whom were born and raised Catholic, who still practices the faith. This make it especially difficult to carry on. I sometimes try to persuade some of them to consider coming back to the Church, but the arguments against doing so are overwhelming. It sometimes challenges my own faith to hear such resistance and negativity. One of the issues that keeps coming up and that has begun to eat away at me is the following:

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently said that everyone, even the atheist, has a chance at heaven. What matters is how you treat people and how you live your life. If this is true than why would non Catholics who are not required to attend worship weekly, not abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent, not abstain from birth control and so on be allowed to enter the gates of heaven when Catholics who would do these things without forgiveness would be denied? Why would the rules be different depending on what faith you happened to be born into? Shouldn’t the requirements for salvation be the same for everyone?

Being a loyal and practicing Catholic does give us the best chance for attaining/obtaining salvation… “narrow the path that leads to salvation”
Just like how eating healthy or not smoking will give us the best chance to prevent cancer and other diseases…
But just remember this from Scripture…

Luke 23:40-43
"40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

the person may make an appeal to Jesus a second before he dies…“the rain falls on the good and bad alike”

Luke 23:40-43
"40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

the person may make an appeal to Jesus a second before he dies…“the rain falls on the good and bad alike”

Our God is a good God! Lead by example and know that any suffering you may endure can be offered up up God.

Hi, Truthskr!!

I can understand how you feel about the requirements for salvation!!

It is definitely something I concern myself with on a daily basis. The one requirement to be saved is this: To believe in the one HE has sent. This means Jesus. Jesus died and was raised for our sins and if we put our faith in him, walk in his ways and allow his Holy Spirit to lead us, we will attain salvation. We are not saved by faith alone, but by a combination of faith and works. Works are a natural byproduct of faith.

Keep us in the loop Truthskr!! I will be keeping you in my prayers!!

Love you!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

How we live our lives-how we love-is only the greater as we come together to celebrate Mass, discipline ourselves by sacrificing some of our covetousness to gain self-mastery, abstain from birth control to allow God to be the determiner of life, etc.

Actually, according to Catholic doctrine, we are not saved by EITHER. We are saved by the Grace of Christian Baptism, and by NOTHING else.

Christian Baptism requires faith (it is, after all, the Sacrament of Faith), but not individual faith. Most Catholics are Baptized as infants, so the faith of Baptism ordinarily comes from our parents, our godparents, and the Catholic community at large. If you have attended a Catholic Baptism of infants/children, you will have been expected to affirm the Apostles Creed on behalf of those being Baptized.

At this point, the Catholic is at a considerable advantage, because he has easy recourse to Sacramental Confession. Faith or works or beliefs or practices won’t restore the fallen Baptismal saving Grace - only Confession can do that.

Any person (protestant of Catholic) who has received valid Christian Baptism is assured salvation, until and unless he falls into mortal sin. There is no “quota” of works or beliefs or faith or any other thing that is required of him.

Your answer sound more like Faith alone.

Before we were born God already has works that He wants us to do. It is not our works that we must do, it is the works of God that we must do, His will not ours.

(Eph 2:8 ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

(Eph 2:9 ESV) not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

(Eph 2:10 ESV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

What happens if we do not do the will of God, His works that He has planned for us to do, before we were born?

(Mat 7:19 ESV) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

(Mat 7:20 ESV) Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

(Mat 7:21 ESV) "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the** one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
**

I would like to comment, and I don’t mean any disrespect, but when people say that they ‘follow their faith’, it makes me wonder if they really know the definition of ‘faith’. To me, when people make the above comment, they really mean that they ‘follow their religion’. A set of rules and regulations laid out in front of them to follow. But ‘faith’ is totally different. It’s defined in Hebrews 11:1 ’ Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.’

I would suggest that people read the entire 11th chapter of Hebrews to get a better understanding of ‘faith’. Again, I mean no disrespect at all. :slight_smile: God bless.

I understand what you mean by the difference between following one’s faith and following the rules of one’s religion. Yes, I meant following the rules. And it is the rules that are the problem. Put simply, why should a Catholic risk losing salvation because of missing Mass on Sunday when no other religion has the same requirement?

I would venture to say that the lack of “requirements” in other “religions” is definitely appealing to people. After all, how nice it must be to think that one can sin, say “oops, I’m sorry”, and that is it. We are a society that prefers to embrace the idea of going to Heaven with little effort as almost something that we deserve simply because we live.

I am confused by how these people can condemn our values, beliefs and, yes, rules when, clearly the bible sets forth expectations that our faith is based on AND the Ten Commandments are rules.

it is interesting how non-Catholics, for instance, can criticize our belief in Purgatory and yet can’t quite see the comparison when they want someone to “pay for his crimes” after stealing, killing, etc. Thankfully our Lord is merciful but he, too, expects reparation.

I will not lose salvation by not attending church but I will have to make penance for nor honoring God’s desire to take the time to be with Him.

Take care!

I agree with what you say, however I do personally find it more difficult to choose to attend Mass out of love when the threat of mortal sin and its grave consequences always hangs over my head, especially when it’s difficult to attend Mass such as when traveling, etc. I believe that love is something that is chosen, not forced. I think God would be more appreciative if I went out of my way to spend time with Him when it was not convenient because I chose to do so of my own free will rather than because I feared eternal damnation. Maybe this kind of thinking was overstressed when I was growing up in the Catholic faith, but it’s the mindset I have and most people I know find this kind of thinking very unappealing. You never hear non Catholics talking about mortal sin and losing their soul, but it’s something I think about with almost every important decision I make concerning the rules of the Church. I mean no disrespect with my comments, but these are feelings that really challenge my faith and I need help to reconcile this in my mind.

Every student has the possibility of passing an exam, even those who do not study. Why should those who don’t study bother with studying, then?

Because ‘possibility’ doesn’t speak to ‘likelihood’ or even ‘probability’. And, of course, those who study have opportunities to pass that those who don’t study don’t have.

Why would the rules be different depending on what faith you happened to be born into? Shouldn’t the requirements for salvation be the same for everyone?

No; that would be horribly unfair. It would mean that chance of salvation depends, primarily, on the situation into which you’re born. Born into a Catholic family? Good on you! Born into a human-sacrificing Mayan culture? Ohhhh… too bad. No – that’s not how God works: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48)

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