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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How to tick off the inlaws at Christmas

www.keepingthehome.com: "You cannot get into heaven via good deeds or rituals. The only way into heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. There is no need to worry about whether or not you’ve been a good enough person; you can know that you are going to heaven when you die, by knowing whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. This is the Good News, - the Gospel (which means Good News) of Jesus Christ."


Keeping in mind that "hubby" was a Catholic and presumably some of his family still is, I'll bet this went over well! When I send out Christmas greetings, I don't usually intend to tick people off!

20 comments:

unknown anon said...

Is easy believism really the Good News?

I've ready the Bible many times, and that sure isn't the message I get.

Tracy said...

My response to Candy... "As the Bible says, I am already saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8), but I’m also being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13)."

kozimom said...

I've been checking here alot as I've been learning alot about Catholics here. I'm Protestant, and I have been wondering about Catholic beliefs regarding salvation. When I read Candy's post, I actually didn't think there was too much wrong with it. Then I read the comments here, and reread what she wrote. So, to explain a little, when I see Christ as Lord, to me that means letting Him change you as you yield to Him daily - we call that sanctification and it is an ongoing process. It's not easy believism. It can be incredibly painful! So it may sound easy - or actually it may sound simple but it is really quite involved. First, you're saved positionally. Then you are saved as you are sanctified - that is, allowing Christ to change you into His image and yielding to His will on an ongoing basis. And last, you have the blessed hope of a future with Christ in heaven - so a future salvation. Is this what Catholics believe as well? Are we on the same page? Hoping so!

Perplexity said...

To be totally honest, if I received something like that from a relative, or even friend or acquaintance, I'd mark it "Return to Sender" and send it on its merry way. There is no reason whatsoever for someone, especially a relative, to make the assumptions that come with that letter.

Even my over-zealous uncle and his family who are Independent Fundamental Baptists would never presume to send such a thing to any of their family. He learned long ago to treat every member of his family with the same respect, in person and beliefs, that he wants for himself and not to force, or try to force, his beliefs on anyone.

If only everyone who claims to be Christian could come to the same conclusion.

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

Good Works in Sanctifying Grace are Necessary for Salvation
Neh. 13:14, Psalm 11:7,28:4, Isa. 3:10, 59:18, Jer. 25:14, 50:29, Ezek. 9:10, 11:21, 36:19, Hos. 4:9, 9:15, 12:2, Sir. 16:12,14 - The 2,000 year-old Catholic position on salvation is that we are saved by Jesus Christ and Him alone (cf. Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:5). But by the grace of Christ, we achieve the salvation God desires for us through perseverance in both faith and works. Many Protestants, on the other hand, believe that one just has to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior to be saved, and good works are not necessary (they just flow from those already saved). But these verses, and many others, teach us that our performance of good works is necessary for our salvation. Scripture also does not teach that good works distinguish those who are eternally saved from those who are not saved.

Sir. 35:19; Luke 23:41; John 3:19-21, Rom. 8:13, 2 Tim 4:14, Titus 3:8,14, Rev. 22:12 - these verses also teach us that we all will be judged by God according to our deeds. There is no distinction between the "saved" and the "unsaved."

1 Cor. 3:15 - if works are unnecessary for salvation as many Protestants believe, then why is a man saved (not just rewarded) through fire by a judgment of his works?

Matt. 7:1-3 - we are not judged just by faith, but actually how we judge others, and we get what we have given. Hence, we are judged according to how we responded to God's grace during our lives.

Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13 - Jesus taught that we must endure to the very end to be saved. If this is true, then how can Protestants believe in the erroneous teaching of "Once saved, always saved?" If salvation occurred at a specific point in time when we accepted Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, there would be no need to endure to the end. We would already be saved.

Matt. 16:27 – Jesus says He will repay every man for what he has done (works).

Matt. 25:31-46 - Jesus' teaching on the separation of the sheep from the goats is based on the works that were done during their lives, not just on their acceptance of Christ as Savior. In fact, this teaching even demonstrates that those who are ultimately saved do not necessarily have to know Christ. Also, we don’t accept Christ; He accepts us. God first makes the decision to accept us before we could ever accept Him.

Matt. 25:40,45 - Jesus says "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to Me." We are judged and our eternal destiny is determined in accordance with our works.

Mark 10:21 - Jesus says sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. This means that our salvation depends upon our works.

Luke 12:43-48 - these verses teach us that we must act according to the Lord's will. We are judged based upon what we know and then do, not just upon what we know.

Luke 14:14 – Jesus says we are repaid for the works we have done at the resurrection of the just. Our works lead to salvation.

Luke 23:41 - some Protestants argue that Jesus gave salvation to the good thief even though the thief did not do any good works. However, the good thief did in fact do a good work, which was rebuking the bad thief when he and others were reviling Jesus. This was a "work" which justified the good thief before Jesus and gained His favor. Moreover, we don't know if the good thief asked God for forgiveness, did works of penance and charity and was reconciled to God before he was crucified.

Rom. 2:6-10, 13 - God will judge every man according to his works. Our salvation depends on how we cooperate with God's grace.

2 Cor. 5:10 - at the judgment Seat of Christ, we are judged according to what we have done in the body, not how much faith we had.

2 Cor. 9:6 – Paul says that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully, in connection with God’s judgment.

2 Cor. 11:15 - our end will correspond to our deeds. Our works are necessary to both our justification and salvation.

Gal. 6:7-9 – whatever a man sows, he will reap. Paul warns the Galatians not to grow weary in doing good works, for in due season they will reap (the rewards of eternal life).

Eph. 6:8 – whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same again from the Lord.

Col. 3:24-25 - we will receive due payment according to what we have done. Even so, Catholics recognize that such payment is a free unmerited gift from God borne from His boundless mercy.

1 Tim. 6:18-19 – the rich are to be rich in good deeds so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed, that is, eternal life.

2 Tim. 4:14 – Alexander the coppersmith did Paul great harm, and Paul says the Lord will requite him for his deeds.

Heb. 6:10 - God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for His sake. God rewards our works on earth and in heaven.

Heb. 12:14 – without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Holiness requires works of self-denial and charity, and does not come about simply by a profession of faith.

1 Peter 1:17 - God judges us impartially according to our deeds. We participate in applying the grace Jesus won for us at Calvary in our daily lives.

Rev. 2:5 - Jesus tells the Ephesians they have fallen from love they used to have, and orders them to do good works. He is not satisfied with their faith alone. They need to do more than accept Him as personal Lord and Savior.

Rev. 2:10 – Jesus tells the church in Smyrna to be faithful unto death, and He will give them the crown of life. This is the faith of obedience to His commandments.

Rev. 2:19 - Jesus judges the works of the Thyatirans, and despises their tolerance of Jezebel, calling them to repentance.

Rev. 2:23 - Jesus tells us He will give to each of us as our works deserve. He crowns His own gifts by rewarding our good works.

Rev. 2:26 - Jesus says he who conquers and keeps my works until the end will be rewarded in heaven. Jesus thus instructs us to keep his works to the very end. This is not necessary if we are "once saved, always saved."

Rev. 3:2-5,8,15 – Jesus is judging our works from heaven, and these works bear upon our eternal salvation. If we conquer sin through faith and works, He will not blot our names out of the book of life. This means that works bear upon our salvation. Our “works” do not just deal with level of reward we will receive, but whether we will in fact be saved.

Rev. 3:15 – Jesus says, “I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot. Because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Jesus is condemning indifferentism, which is often based on our works.

Rev. 14:13 - we are judged by the Lord by our works – “for their deeds follow them!” Our faith during our life is completed and judged by our works.

Rev. 20:12 – “the dead are judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.”

Rev. 22:12 – Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay everyone for what he has done.”

Sirach 16:12,14 – we are judged according to our deeds, and will receive in accordance with our deeds.

Tracy said...

We are not Guaranteed Salvation; We Hope For Salvation
Heb. 7:27, 9:12,26;10:10; 1 Pet 3:18 - Jesus died once and redeemed us all, but we participate in the application of His redemption by the way in which we live.

Heb. 9:12 - Christ's sacrifice secured our redemption, but redemption is not the same thing as salvation. We participate in and hope for salvation. Our hope in salvation is a guarantee if we are faithful to Christ to the end. But if we lose hope and fail to persevere, we can lose our salvation. Thus, by our own choosing (not by God's doing), salvation is not a certainty. While many Protestant churches believe in the theology of "once saved, always saved," such a novel theory is not found in Scripture and has never been taught by the Church.

Rom. 5:2 - we rejoice in the "hope" (not the presumptuous certainty) of sharing the glory of God. If salvation is absolutely assured after accepting Jesus as Savior, why would Paul hope?

Rom. 5:5 - this "hope" does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our hope is assured if we persevere to the end.

Rom. 8:24 - this "hope" of salvation that Paul writes about is unnecessary if salvation is guaranteed. If salvation is assured, then why hope?

Rom. 10:1 - Paul prays that the Jews "may be saved." Why pray if it's guaranteed? Further, why pray unless you can mediate?

Rom. 12:12 - rejoice in your "hope" (not your certainty), be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.

2 Cor. 3:12 - since we have a "hope" (not a certainty), we are very bold. We can be bold when we are in God’s grace and our persevering in obedient faith.

Gal. 5:5 - for through the Spirit by faith we wait for the "hope" (not the certainty) of righteousness.

Eph. 1:18 - that you may know what is the "hope" to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance.

Eph. 4:4 - there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one "hope" (not the one certainty) that belongs to your call.

Eph. 6:10-17 – Paul instructs the Ephesians to take the whole armor of God, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation, in order “to stand,” lest they fall. Paul does not give any assurance that the spiritual battle is already won.

Phil. 3:11 - Paul shares Christ's sufferings so that "if possible" he may attain resurrection. Paul does not view his own resurrection as a certainty.

Phil. 1:20 - as it is my eager expectation and "hope" (not certainty) that I shall not be at all ashamed before Christ.

Col. 1:5 - Paul refers to the "hope" (not guarantee) that Christ laid up for us in heaven.

Col. 1:23 - provided that you continue in the faith, not shifting from the "hope" of the gospel which you heard.

Col. 1:27 - to them God chose to make known His mystery, which is Christ in you, the "hope" (not the certainty) of His glory.

1 Thess. 1:3 - remembering before our God your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of "hope" in Jesus Christ.

1 Thess. 2:19 - for what is our "hope" or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

1 Thess. 5:8 - we must put on the helmet of "hope" (not of certainty) of salvation.

2 Thess. 2:16 - the Lord Jesus and God our Father who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good "hope" through grace.

1 Tim. 1:1 - Paul describes Christ Jesus as our "hope" (not our guarantee). We can reject Him and He will allow this.

1 Tim. 4:10 - Paul says we toil and strive because we have our "hope" (not our assurance) on the living God. This is not because God is unfaithful, but because we can be unfaithful. We toil and strive for our salvation.

1 Tim. 5:5 - she who is a real widow, and is left all alone, has set her "hope" (not her assurance) on God. Our hope is a guarantee only if we persevere to the end.

1 Tim. 5:15 – Paul writes that some have already strayed after satan, as God Himself tells us in 1 Tim. 4:1. They were on the right path, and then strayed off of it.

2 Tim. 2:10 - Paul endures for the elect so that they "may also obtain salvation." This verse teaches us that even the "elect,” from the standpoint of human knowledge, have no guarantee of salvation.

Titus 1:2 - Paul says that he is in the "hope" (not the certainty) of eternal life. Paul knows that his hope is a guarantee if he perseveres, but his ability to choose sin over God makes his attainment of eternal life less than an absolute certainty until it is actually achieved.

Titus 2:13 - awaiting our blessed "hope," the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:7 - Paul says we have been given the Spirit so we might become heirs in the "hope" (not the certainty) of eternal life.

Heb. 3:6 - we are Christ's house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our "hope" (not our certainty).

Heb. 6:11 - we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of "hope" (not certainty) until the end.

Heb. 6:18 - we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the "hope" (not the certainty) that is set before us.

Heb. 6:19 - we have a "hope" that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone before us.

Heb. 7:19 - on the other hand, a better "hope" (not certainty) is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

Heb. 10:23 - let us hold fast the confession of our "hope" without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Heb. 11:1 - now faith is the assurance of things "hoped" for (not guaranteed), the conviction of things not seen (heaven).

Heb. 12:1 – let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

Heb. 12:15 – see to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble, and by it many become defiled.

James 1:12 - we must endure trial and withstand the test in order to receive the crown of life. It is not guaranteed.

1 Peter 1:3 - by His mercy we have been born anew to a living "hope" through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:13 - set your "hope" (not assurance) fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:21 - through Him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead so that your faith and "hope" are in God.

1 Peter 2:2 - like newborn babes, long for spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation. How can you grow up to something you already possess?

1 Peter 3:15 - always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the "hope" that is in you.

1 John 3:3 - and everyone who thus "hopes" in Him purifies himself as He is pure. These verses teach us that we must cooperate with God’s grace and persevere to the end to be saved. We can and do have a moral certitude of salvation if we persevere in faith, hope and love.

Tracy said...

Eph. 1:5 - Paul teaches that God “predestined” us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ. "Predestination" means that God knows what we will do before we do it (it does not mean that God determines what we do; otherwise, we would have no freewill). Predestination is taken from the Greek word "prooridzo" which means to know or declare in advance by God’s foreknowledge. See, for example, 1 Peter 1:2 where Peter writes about the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” The terms “predestination” and “the elect” always refer to God’s knowledge (not human knowledge) because God is outside of time (and humans cannot predict the future). There are two types of "predestination," to grace and to glory. In this verse, Paul is teaching about predestination to grace, which means becoming a Christian.

1 Pet. 1:1-2 – Paul teaches about being destined by God for obedience to Christ. This is another example of predestination to grace. But there is also predestination to glory.

Rom. 8:29-30 – Paul also writes that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now Paul is writing about predestination to glory, which means not only becoming a faithful Christian during our lives, but persevering to the end by conforming our will to Christ's will.

1 Cor. 15:49 – Paul writes that we are conformed in His image at the resurrection, when we shall bear the image of the man of heaven. These are the people who were predestined to glory.

Rev. 3:5 – Jesus warns that He can blot out the names that are in the book of life. This refers to those currently, not ultimately, justified (those who are predestined to grace, but not to glory).

Eph. 1:5; 1 Peter 1:2; Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 15:49 - therefore, predestination is either to grace (which we could lose) or to glory (which we cannot lose). As alluded to above, some non-Catholics confuse the definition of "predestination" (which means God knows what we will do before we do it) and "predetermination" (the erroneous belief that God determines what we will do). But God does not author evil. We choose evil by our own freewill.

Ezek. 18:23-24, 32 - God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Our death is our freewill, failing to respond to His grace. God does not predetermine certain people to hell. God also does not predetermine certain "elect" people to heaven. We all, as God's children, have been given the grace we need to be saved, but we can decide to reject God's grace.

2 Peter 3:9 – God is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God wills all to be saved, but our salvation depends on our willingness to repent and receive God’s grace.

Matt. 18:14 - Jesus says it is not the will of the Father that any of the children should perish. But He did not make us robots and respects the freewill He has given us. If we did not have this freewill, we would not be able to love, and if we would not be able to love, we would not have been created in God's image and likeness.

Acts 10:35, 45 - these texts show that non-Christians can also be saved if they fear God, even though they haven't formally accepted Jesus as Savior at an altar call. They just do not have the fullness of the means of salvation.

1 Tim. 2:4 - God desires all men to be saved. But our freewill may choose to reject God's grace. In order for our gift of freewill not to be a sham, God must also give us the freedom to reject Him.

2 Pet. 3:9 - the Lord doesn't wish that any should perish, but come to full repentance.

James 1:13-14 - God tempts no one. Each person is tempted by his own desire. God gives us freewill to cooperate with Him or reject Him.

1 Cor. 10:13 - God permits temptation, but does not author temptation. God also provides us sufficient grace to overcome any temptation.

John 3:16-17 - God so loved the world He sent His Son, that the world might be saved (not that only the "elect" might be saved).

John 4:42 - Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (not just the Savior of the elect). Some will perish by their own choosing.

Rom. 5:6,18 - Christ died for the ungodly (all of us), and His righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men (not just the elect).

2 Cor. 5:14-15 - Christ has died for all (not just the elect), that those who live might live for Him.

1 Tim. 2:6 - Jesus Christ gave Himself as a ransom for all (not just for the elect). But only those predestined to glory will be saved.

1 Tim. 4:10 - our hope is on the living God who is the Savior of all men (not just the elect).

Titus 2:11 - for the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men (not just the elect).

1 John 2:2 - Christ is the expiation for the sins of the whole world (not just the elect). But not all are predestined to glory because of their own choosing.

1 John 4:14 - again, Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (not just the Savior of the elect).

Sir. 15:11-20 - salvation, a free gift, is ours to accept or reject. God's sovereignty includes our freewill. Our fate is predestined, but not predetermined

Tracy said...

Jesus' Teaching on Losing Salvation
Matt. 7:18 - Jesus says that sound trees bear good fruit. But there is no guarantee that a sound tree will stay sound. It could go rotten.

Matt. 7:21 - all those who say "Lord, Lord" on the last day will not be saved. They are judged by their evil deeds.

Matt. 12:30-32 - Jesus says that he who is not with Him is against Him, therefore (the Greek for "therefore" is "dia toutos" which means "through this") blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This means that failing to persevere in Jesus' grace to the end is the unforgivable sin against the Spirit. We must persevere in faith to the end of our lives.

Matt. 22:14 - Jesus says many are called but few are chosen. This man, who was destined to grace, was at God's banquet, but was cast out.

Luke 8:13 - Jesus teaches that some people receive the word with joy, but they have no root, believe for a while, and then fall away in temptation. They had the faith but they lost it.

Luke 12:42-46 - we can start out as a faithful and wise steward, then fall away and be assigned to a place with the unfaithful.

Luke 15:11-32 – in the parable of the prodigal son, we learn that we can be genuine sons of the Father, then leave home and die, then return and be described as "alive again."

John 6:70-71 - Jesus chose or elected twelve, yet one of them, Judas, fell. Not all those predestined to grace persevere to the end.

John 15:1-10 - we can be in Jesus (a branch on the vine), and then if we don't bear fruit, are cut off, wither up and die. Paul makes this absolutely clear in Rom. 11:20-23.

John 17:12 - we can be given to Jesus by the Father (predestined to grace) and yet not stay with Jesus, like Judas.

John 6:37 - those who continue to come to Jesus He won't cast out. But it's a continuous, ongoing action. We can leave Jesus and He will allow this because He respects our freewill.

John 6:39 - Jesus will not lose those the Father gives Him, but we can fall away, like Judas. God allows us not to persevere.

John 6:40 - everyone who sees the Son and believes means the person "continues" to believe. By continuing to believe, the person will persevere and will be raised up. Belief also includes obedience, which is more than an intellectual belief in God.

John 6:44 - Jesus says no one can come to me unless the Father "draws" him. This "drawing" is an ongoing process.

John 10:27-28 - when Jesus says, "no one shall snatch them out of my hands," He does not mean we can't leave His hands. We can choose to walk away from Him.

Rev. 2:4-5 – Jesus tells the Ephesians that they abandoned the love they had at first and have fallen. Jesus warns them to repent and do the works they did at first, otherwise He will remove their lampstand (their awaited place in heaven).

Rev. 3:4 - in Sardis, Jesus explained that some people received the white garment and soiled it with sin.

Rev. 3:5 - Jesus says whoever conquers will not be blotted out of the book of life (see Exodus 32:33). This means that we can be blotted out of the book of life. We can have salvation, and then lose salvation by our choice.

Rev. 3:11 - Jesus says to hold fast to what we have, so that no one may seize our crown. Jesus teaches us that we can have the crown of salvation and lose it.

Rev. 13:10; 14:12 - we are called from heaven for the endurance and faith of the saints, keeping the commandments and faith.

Rev. 21:7 - we must conquer in order to share in our heritage and become a true son of Jesus.

Rev. 22:19 - we can have a share in the tree of life in God's holy city and yet have that share taken away from us.

Tracy said...

Other Apostolic Teaching on Losing Salvation by our Own Choice
Acts 7:51 - you stiff-necked people, you always resist the Holy Spirit. We, by our own freewill, can resist God and His grace, and turn away from Him.

Rom. 11:20-23 – in expounding on Jesus’ teaching in John 15, Paul teaches that the Jews (the natural branches) were broken off by lack of faith (v.20), but says that the Romans stand fast through faith (v. 21). So the Romans are justified. However, Paul then says that the Romans can also be cut off if they don’t persevere in faith and kindness (v. 22-23). Hence, those justified before God can fall away from the faith and lose their salvation (be “cut off”). Paul also says that those who are cut off can be grafted back in if they do not persist in their unbelief, for God has the power to graft them in again (v.23). These verses are devastating to the “once saved, always saved” position.

1 Cor. 9:24-27 – Paul says that all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize. Paul recognizes that if he doesn’t train himself properly in perseverance, he too can become “disqualified.” The word "disqualified" comes from the Greek word "adokimos" which literally means cut off from Christ, or reprobate. When “adokimos” is used in the Scriptures, it always refers to those who are to be condemned by God. It has nothing to do with going to heaven with less rewards. See, for example, Rom. 1:28; Titus 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:8; Heb. 6:8; 2 Cor. 13:5-7. This proves that Saint Paul thought he could lose his salvation. No one would reasonably argue that Paul wasn’t “saved” when he wrote the Scriptures. So if Saint Paul thought that he could lose his salvation, why do many Protestants think that they cannot lose theirs?

1 Cor. 9:24 – Paul says that only one wins the “prize” (brabeion). To further prove that the race Paul is writing about refers to our journey to heaven, “brabeion” always has a soteriological implication. See, for example, Phil. 3:14 where “prize” refers to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (which is heaven).

1 Cor. 9:25 – Paul writes about achieving the “imperishable” (aphthartos) wreath. Again, to further prove Paul is writing about salvation, “aphthartos” always refers to the eternal. See, for example, 1 Cor. 15:51 (the only other place in NT Scripture where “aphthartos” appears relative to humans) where Paul says the dead will be raised “imperishable.” This refers to the resurrection of our salvation. See also 1 Tim. 1:17 where the King of ages is called “immortal” (imperishable).

Rom. 13:11 – for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. If we already have salvation, then how can we only be nearer to it?

1 Cor. 4:4 - Paul says he is not aware of anything against himself, but he is still not acquitted. Paul is not presumptuous about his salvation. Only the Lord is our Judge.

1 Cor. 6:9-11 - we can be washed, sanctified, and justified, yet Paul still warns us that we can be deceived and become unrighteous.

1 Cor. 10:6-13 – the passage is about how the Israelites, once justified before God, fell away from God. Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (v.12). You can be standing in God's grace, and then fall away. But God will always provide enough grace to overcome the temptation (v.13).

1 Cor. 15:1-2 - we can be believers (predestined to grace) but believe in vain. Scripture refutes the novel Protestant theory "once saved, always saved."

2 Cor. 6:1 - we can receive the grace of God (predestined to grace) in vain. We can choose not to cooperate with His grace.

2 Cor. 11:2-3 – Paul writes, “I betrothed you to Christ, but I am afraid that your thoughts will be led astray from a devotion to Christ.” The Corinthians already had a sincere devotion to Christ, for Paul wrote to them earlier in the letter, “you stand firm in your faith.” (2 Cor. 1:24). They are already “saved.” But Paul warns them that they can fall away just like Eve fell away (and, remember, Eve was created without sin!) This is another verse that is devastating to the belief of “once saved, always saved.”

Gal. 1:8-9 – Paul says, “if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel to that which we preached to you…let him be accursed.” Paul says “if we,” which means he believed even the sacred writers (currently “saved”) could fall away from the true faith and teach a heretical gospel.

Gal. 4:9 – Paul asks those who know God how they can now turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves they once were. Paul acknowledges and warns of this possibility.

Gal. 5:1 – Paul writes that the Galatians are free in Christ, but warns them to stand fast, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. You cannot be severed from Christ if you were never connected to Christ. This warning applies to those who are connected to Christ in faith.

Gal. 5:4 - Paul teaches that we can be in Christ, then be severed from Him and fall away from God's grace. You cannot be severed from something unless you were previously connected to it.

Phil. 2:12 - we cannot assume salvation. We need to work it out to the end with fear and trembling. If "once saved, always saved" were true, why would the great apostle Paul have to work his salvation out in fear and trembling? What is there to fear if salvation is assured?

Phil. 3:11-14 – Paul writes that “if possible,” he may attain the resurrection, says he is not perfect, and presses on toward the prize of salvation. Paul has no presumption of salvation but works it out in fear and trembling.

Col. 1:21-23 - we have now been reconciled in His body to be presented holy and blameless, provided we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which we heard. Paul warns them that it is possible to turn away and lose hope in the gospel.

Col. 2:18-19 - a man puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind has lost the connection with Jesus. He had the connection and lost it.

1 Tim. 1:5-6 - some people have wandered away from a sincere faith, a pure heart and a good conscience. They had a sincere (not a fake) faith, and still fell away.

1 Tim. 1:19-20 - Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to the faith, and not shipwreck it like Alexander and Hymenaeus. They had it, and then they lost it.

1 Tim. 4:1 - the Spirit "expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." God Himself is telling us that some people who had the faith will lose the faith.

1 Tim. 5:8 - if we do not provide for our relatives, we have disowned the faith (we had the faith, and we lost it).

1 Tim. 5:15 – Paul says that some have already turned away and gone after Satan. There is never any distinction between falling away from a true faith versus a false faith.

1 Tim. 6:10 - for the love of riches we may wander from the faith (we had the faith, and we can lose the faith).

Heb. 2:1 - we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. We have it, but we can drift away from it.

Heb. 3:12 – the author warns the Hebrews to take care, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. We can be with God, and choose to fall away from Him.

Heb. 3:13-14 – the author warns the Hebrews that they need to exhort one another every day, so that none of them may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Paul teaches that we share in Christ, but only if we hold our first confidence firm to the end.

Heb. 4:1 - while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. There would be nothing to fear if salvation were assured.

Heb. 4:6,11 - we can receive the good news (predestined to grace) and then disobey it and fall away. The author thus exhorts us to strive to enter that rest, that no one falls by the same sort of disobedience.

Heb. 6:4-6 - those who have been enlightened and partakers of the Holy Spirit (predestined to grace) can fall away, commit apostasy and crucify the Son of God.

Heb. 10:23-29 - we can sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth (predestined to grace) and then face a fury of fire.

Heb. 10:26 - if we continue to sin after knowing truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin - our salvation is jeopardized.

Heb. 10:35 - we can have confidence in salvation (predestined to grace), and then throw it away. We can have it, and lose it.

Heb. 10:36: - we have the need of endurance, so that we may do the will of God and receive what is promised. There is no need for endurance to get what is promised if salvation is assured.

Heb. 10:38-39 – the author says that the righteous live by faith, but can shrink back. He then exhorts the people not to shrink back and be destroyed, but to keep their souls.

James 5:19-20 - we can be in the truth, and then wander from the truth which means death, unless we are brought back.

1 Peter 1:14 – Peter warns that, as obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. Thus, you can first be ignorant, then receive the truth and become obedient, and later revert back to the passions of your former ignorance.

2 Peter 2:1 - we can be bought by Christ, and then become false teachers of destructive heresies and destroy ourselves.

2 Peter 1:10 – we must be zealous to confirm our call and election; for if we do this we will never fall. But Peter is saying that it is possible to fall, without zeal and perseverance.

2 Peter 2:15 – forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing. They had the right way, and then chose to forsake it.

2 Peter 2:20-22 - we can escape the defilements of the world through Jesus (predestined to grace) and then become entangled again therein.

2 Peter 3:16-17 - we can be the beloved of God and then lose our stability and carried away with the error of lawless men.

1 John 1:7 - if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us. But we need continual cleansing, and can walk out of the light.

1 John 1:9 - if we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive them and cleanse us. But we need continual cleansing. Growing in holiness is a lifelong process.

1 John 2:19 - "they left, but didn't not belong to us" refers to those who were Christians who did not persevere and were thus not predestined to glory.

1 John 2:28 - we must abide in Him so we have confidence and don't shrink in shame. If we fail to abide, we are lost.

2 John 8 - look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for. You can lose the grace you currently have.

Jude 6 - even some of the angels, who beheld the face of God, fell. How much more could we fall?

Gen. 3:6 - Adam and Eve, who were already living the divine life of supernatural grace, fell away from God. Is falling more possible for us?

Ezek. 3:20; 18:24; 33:12,13,18 – the Lord clearly teaches us in these verses that a righteous man can turn away from his righteousness and commit iniquity. He was righteous (there is nothing about having phony righteousness), but he fell away and chose unrighteousness. When he does, his prior good deeds shall be forgotten, and he shall die.

Tracy said...

Elena, if I got too long winded, please feel free to delete any and all of my posts on this subject, I tend to get on a roll... lol!

kozimom said...

Wow! Thanks for your hard work this morning!
Well, I would agree. And everyone I know would agree.
I'm wondering if there's a difference between Protestants and Catholics and the use of certain words. When I read "works" I'm inclined to understand it as trying to be good in order to earn salvation as if it's something to be earned. But when I read "fruit", then I understand it to be the Holy Spirit working in one's heart, and then that one begins choosing to do good. But this does involve that one making choices and working, you know?Really the same thing as what you wrote, just with a different word. Somehow that word "works" sets off alarm bells in many Protestants. Actually what you wrote, really reminds me of Reform theology - which is different than Fundamental Baptist apparently.

I hope you don't mind, but I have another question. My son(17)has been having discussions with some kids he knows that are Catholics. They have been discussing whether nonChristians could get to heaven. These kids said that atheists could go to heaven if they have been good and have love. He knows that in the end God is the judge, not us, but it's an interesting discussion. And I think that these kids must be a bit confused because what they have said does not line up with all that has been posted here? It's funny, but my son has quoted some of the very Scripture that you wrote!

Rachel said...

Kozimom! You hit the nail on the head. Difference in word terminology of works and fruits. Works does sound like physical work and fruits tends to relay sprouting or bringing forth naturally. It's all in how you look at it. It's still a choice you have to make - willingly :) I will have to remember that as an example. Thanks!

Faithful Catholic said...

Tracy,

Wow! Great posts! You ARE on a roll!

Kozimom and Rachel,

I agree with you both. I believe it is a matter of the terminology we use. Sometimes when I'm discussing the faith/works issue related to salvation, I get the distinct impression that some non-Catholics view Catholics as "brown nosers" like we are trying to kiss up to God based on what we do. But, it's not just what we do (works) but, why we do it. Like corporal works of mercy. Jesus taught us how to act toward our brothers. Acting in those ways requires works. Works bear fruit. Fruit is the product of our faith and our faith is a gift from God. I could spend from now until doomsday trying to impress God with all the things I "do" for others but, if my heart is not in it, not for the right reasons, what will it benefit me? Nothing. I choose to believe that this is more of a misunderstanding of terminology because most of the non-Catholic Christians I know act in ways that are similar to the way I act in this regard. Also, I noticed, Kozimom that you referred to the "hope of salvation" which is quite different from the many who use words like "assurance of salvation." Catholics don't believe that we have "assurance." We do have "hope." I won't know til I get there and I really, really HOPE I do get there.

unknown anon said...

It's also important to note that when Catholics use the word "hope" it does not mean the same thing as the common/secular word "hope."

Our hope is "joyful waiting and expectation or trust." The other kind is more akin to the idea of "wishing." The phrase "Our hope is in the Lord" takes on much different meanings when the definitions are substituted.

Tracy said...

Faithful and anon, very well said!!

kozimom said...

It seems like in essentials (i.e. salvation) there are alot more similarities between Protestants and Catholics than I was ever lead to believe. I'm thinking more than ever, that it really is a terminology thing......another example I've noticed is that Catholics refer to "volunteer work" done at church, and Protestants call this "ministry" or "service". Also, there are many different denominations within Protestantism. This probably causes alot of confusion regarding doctrine as well.

Tracy said...

Kozimom, I think that if we look, we will find that we do have many things in common and that is so exciting, it is all about learning about what someone really believes and I sure do appreciate you asking us instead of just assuming that something you heard is what we believe. I'm Catholic but a huge part of my extended family are protestants and I know they are good and wonderful Christians and we have a wonderful relationship, my sister in law is my biggest prayer warrior... when I need prayers.. I call her first.. we all believe in the same God and that is step one.. we may not agree upon all other areas but that is where respect for some one's faith comes in to play... I love being Catholic so I am a little prejudice but my husband is just now becoming Catholic after being a Lutheran for the almost 15 yrs of our marriage... if I can be married to a man who is not even my same faith and have no doubt that he is a wonderful Christian.. that says it all to me. I so appreciate you coming here with an open mind and being willing to hear us without passing judgement, I think that for me, that is all I want, you treat your fellow Christians as you would want to be treated... so thank you!

Blondie said...

Wow, Traci, those were some great posts, and wonderful Scripture references! Way to go!

Kozimom, it is so refreshing to see you, a Protestant, come here and ask some sincere questions and actually listen to the responses! As Traci said, I think that's all we Catholics really want, just to be listened to without being judged, and to be treated with respect. Thank you so much.

Sal said...

It's all about getting your terms straight sometimes. Great posts everyone.
Tracy, you were en fuego!