Why do we hold to conditional salvation?


Fr Serpa,
I have a number of questions perhaps the most curcial of which involves assurance of salvation. St. John’s gospel quotes the Lord saying: “Amen, Amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the One who sent Me has everlasting life and will not come into condemnation but has passed from death to life.” Jn 5:24. The concept that we are transformed at the point of our choice to obey Christ is supported by St. Paul in I Cor 5:17 “if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all has become new.” and further in Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ never the less I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me. St. John also wrote in his first epistle 5:13 “I write to you these things so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.” I could go on listing verses from the new testament, but I think my point is made. I know and am aware of St. Jame’s words about a faith that does not produce works is dead ( James 2:26) There is no defense of a person who claims to believe and does nothing about it, like a guy on the railroad tracks that doesn’t move when he is told the train is coming, when he gets hit, it is because he didn’t truely believe the train was coming and therefore his own fault.
So why do we hold to a conditional salvation when the Gospel speaks of one without condition?
Thank you, I very much appreciate your time and willingness to share you knowledge with me and others.
aka: shamgar
After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who slew six hundred phlistines with an oxgoad, he too save Israel. Jud 3:31


Dear Dave,

We believe that there are conditions regarding our salvation because Scripture gives them to us. We have to take all of what Scripture says. You, yourself mentioned St. James. Here are some more: “”Not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord’ will inherit eternal life…” Mt. 7:21. “…those who persevere to the end will be saved.” Mt. 24:13. “Those thinking they are secure, may fall…” 1 Cor 10:11-12. “…work out your salvation in fear and trembling…” Phil 2:12.

The redemption Christ won for us is unconditional. But our acceptance of it is dependent on how faithful we are to the end—as Scripture shows.

I suggest you read “The Salvation Controvery” by Jimmy Akin. We sell it here: shopcatholic.com or 888 291 8000.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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