The way of salvation, and assurance thereof

Say a person comes to believe in their heart that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, that He died for our sins, rose again, and that He is coming back to judge the living and the dead, to reward the righteous and punish the wicked. Upon believing this, God fills them with The Holy Spirit. By the grace of God, and by walking according to The Holy Spirit, they become more holy everyday for the rest of their life. They die in this state. They die believing in the gospel in their heart and with The Holy Spirit living inside them.

Can a Roman Catholic affirm that this person, regardless of any denominational affiliation or sacramental participation, will absolutely go to Heaven, with complete and total assurance and a 100% guarantee of their salvation?

No. Only God knows whose names are written in the Book of Life. And He judges by the heart, which is transparent to Him alone. IMO, however, and FWIW, that person would gain eternal life so long as the scenario you presented held true.

You cannot say that a person who dies loving Jesus in their heart and with The Holy Spirit inside them will absolutely, 100% go to Heaven?

Is this the official Roman Catholic teaching?

This is a pretty general statement. As long as you have not committed a mortal sin that has not been forgiven, then you will be reunited with God in Heaven. However, you may go to Purgatory first.

We don’t know who all of the saints are in heaven. The Church has canonized some people as Saints, but has never confirmed that people have been sent to hell. We don’t know if the person was repentant in their last breath or if God took some mercy on them. God can do whatever he wants.

As Catholics we should be trying to get to heaven every day. Jesus died for our sins and is the reason we have a chance to be in God’s presence forever. He wants us to join him in heaven.

Based on the parameters of your point, the person seems very good and holy. HOWEVER, without miracles via their intercession (which is how we get saints), we simply can’t know where they ended up. We can always *hope *their soul is with Jesus, and in this case, the hope would be very strong, but we can’t know.

As far as the OFFICIAL Roman Catholic teaching, I think it’s the same as I have written above, but I could be wrong. I know for certain it’s along those lines, however. Any apologists out there?

Here’s some articles that should help you.

*]Assurance of Salvation?
*]What makes a Christian a Catholic?
*]Born Again - The Bible Way
*]“Are You Saved?” If Only!
also my own blog post…How Is A Catholic Saved?

Are you God? Is your preacher? If not then they can no more know the final end of any other soul than any of us Catholics.

It is not any humans place to judge the salvation of any other and there is no scripture that teaches such a thing (just as there is no such scripture where the Bible claims to be the ultimate authority for all that Christians believe and practice).

Is this the official Roman Catholic teaching?


We can’t know?

If we can’t know, then why would the Apostle John write:

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13


I think you may find this article helpful.

Why did you think that article would be helpful?

Do you think I believe that unrepentant sinners can be saved?

I am talking about a repentant, Jesus loving, Holy Spirit filled Christian who obeys God.

So the official Roman Catholic teaching is that even those who die in love with Jesus and filled with The Holy Spirit cannot be assured of salvation?

Didn’t God give us a pledge guaranteeing the salvation of all who die with The Holy Spirit living inside of them?

“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” Ephesians 1:13-14

Then I guess in theory, yes. However there are ways God commands us to behave to show that we are “repentant, Jesus loving, Holy Spirit filled Christians who obey God.” The article goes into detail about what that means to behave in a way that shows God of our obedience. That being said, at the end of the day God judges whether or not we have done that. So can I just make a judgement about a person based on your general description? No because there are actions that go along with being a “repentant, Jesus loving, Holy Spirit filled Christian who obey God” that God will judge.

Yes. If we know with absolutely certainty that someone has died with the Holy Spirit living inside them, then we can affirm that that person will go to heaven, with complete and total assurance and a 100% guarantee of their salvation. If they are perfectly holy when they die, they will go directly to heaven; if they are not perfectly holy when they die, they will first need to be made perfectly holy in purgatory before going on to heaven, since “nothing unclean shall enter” heaven. (Rev 21:27)

The problem with the question you posed is that “our knowledge is imperfect.” (1 Cor 13:9) We can have a subjective conviction that the Holy Spirit is probably living inside us or in another person but we cannot know with absolute certainty that he is living there unless it is specially revealed to us by God, except in the case of a baptized child. If we believe in Jesus, have been baptized (Mark 16:16), and strive to keep his commandments, we are not to be overly anxious about our salvation (1 John 5:13) but St Paul also cautioned us against the other extreme, presumption, “Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor 10:12) And, “I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.” (1 Cor 4:3b-4) And, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) Also, remember the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9:14, which concluded with the words, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (14) When the Holy Spirit is living in someone, Catholic say they are in a state of grace or in the grace of God. St Joan of Arc, when asked if she was in the grace of God, replied, " If I am not, may God place me there; if I am, may God so keep me.”

Because in the context of 1 john 5 he isn’t speaking of life after death, he is talking about Christ, most especially in the eucharist:

1Jn 5: 11 And this is the testimony, that **God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. **
12 He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.
**13 **I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.
14 And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.

You’ll find John is consistent in this throughout his letters and his Gospel:

**Jn 6: 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. **

Eternal life according to John is Jesus Christ, that is the eternal life within you.

Peace and God Bless

Why should we debate about such things? The Lord knows what he is about. We can trust Him.

Blessings TDBlovedbyJC,

From your following sentence; “They die in this state” it is clear:

You have presented a scenario of those who die in **the state of


According to Catholic teaching, only those die in the state of grace who are among God’s


For their salvation they have complete and total assurance and a 100% guarantee.

Every ELECT of God sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of their inheritance. – Eph.1:13-14.

If someone doesn’t know:

The “Book of Life” completed before the foundation of the world.

From the completion, the “Book of Life” admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES.

Only the names of God’s ELECT, PREDESTINED TO HEAVEN
stands written in the “Book of Life.” – No other name.


THE CATHOLIC DOGMA. – The predestination of the elect

Consequently, the whole future membership of heaven, down to its minutest details, has

been IRREVOCABLY FIXED FROM ALL ETERNITY. Nor could it be otherwise. For if it

were possible that a predestined individual should after all be CAST INTO HELL or that

one not predestined should in the end REACH HEAVEN, then God would have been

MISTAKEN in his foreknowledge of future events; He would NO LONGER be omniscient.

God’s unerring foreknowledge and foreordaining is designated in the Bible by the beautiful

figure of the “Book of Life” (liber vitæ, to biblion tes zoes). This book of life is a list which

contains the names of ALL THE ELECT and admits NEITHER ADDITIONS NO ERASURES.

(2) The second quality of predestination, the DEFINITENESS of the number of the elect,

follows NATURALLY from the first. For if the eternal counsel of God regarding the

predestined is UNCHANGEABLE, then the number of the predestined must likewise be


CANCELLATIONS. Anything indefinite in the number would eo ipso imply a lack of

certitude in God’s knowledge and would DESTROY His omniscience.

Furthermore, the very nature of omniscience demands that not only the abstract number

of the elect, but also the individuals with their names and their entire career on earth,

should be present before the Divine mind from all eternity. End quote Emphasize added.

What is Catholic view on predestination?

This is an often confusing and difficult subject to address.

The bottom line is that the Catholic Church does teach that the ELECT ARE PREDESTINED,

while concomitantly, free will is respected so that God is not involved with coercion.

The best way to explain this is that God has foreknowledge of ALL those that would RESPOND to his gift of self.

While He wills all to be saved (cf. 1 Timothy 2:3), NOT ALL accept Him (also, John 1:11-12).

In addition to this foreknowledge, God also has provided **ALL THE GRACE NECESSARY **for those to be saved.

In this way, He has DETERMINED their salvation: by INSURING it.

So, in the end, God not only knows who will be saved, He “saw to it” that they were saved,

and respected the free will of those who were not. End quote. Emphasize added.

CCC 1994 “… It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a

greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass

away but the salvation and justification of the elect … will not pass away. …”

To see the whole picture we have to know the two following Canons as well.

Two Canons from the Sixth Session of the Council of Trent.

CANON XV.-If any one saith, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith

to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; let him be anathema.

CANON XVI.-If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty,

have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special

revelation; let him be anathema.



Thank you. But is that the official Roman Catholic teaching?

You don’t have absolute knowledge about whether The Holy Spirit is living inside you?

My own experience of conversion has been absolutely clear about The Holy Spirit. He has radically transformed my entire life and He speaks to me every second of every minute of every hour of everyday.

The Apostle Paul admonished believers:

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?” 2 Cor. 13:5

It seems pretty clear that we are able to determine whether or not The Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Christ, is actually living inside of us. And that Scripture calls us to do so.

I am not even sure how to respond to you. Obviously, this discussion has nothing to do with the Eucharist. I am not talking about that. And John, in 1 John 5, says absolutely nothing about the Eucharist either. What he does say is…

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God … (and) overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?.. The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself … And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Thank you. :slight_smile:

So you agree that everyone who dies with The Holy Spirit is absolutely 100% guaranteed to go to Heaven - no matter what, regardless of denomination affiliation or sacramental participation?

Believing in the Gospel - handing themselves over as it were in Faith - yes at the heart of things.

If they indeed have the Holy Spirit within them - that means they are in a state of grace - in a state of* life*. So if the person has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them - and leaves this life here below in that same state…well by definition they are *in life *and headed for heaven.

Again we are presuming that indeed they have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Going from your story.

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