Catholic Assurance of Salvation

Have you been saved?

Do you know if you are going to heaven?

I’m sure many people reading this have seen or heard of this before.

A funny thing is this “assurance” of salvation.

I have seen and experienced many times when a Catholic Christian is conversing with some other Christians about their faith that they decide to not answer the questions the Catholic is posing to him or her, but instead asks, “does the Catholic Church guarantee you are going to heaven?”

The answer any Catholic should be able to say without fear is yes.

This is an enigma of sorts because what one encounters are 2 very different theologies – of course I’ll argue that one is a little further from the truth than the other.

There is nothing wrong with your church not guaranteeing your salvation instantaneously – there is something seriously wrong if you are told you are going to heaven for sure after saying a little prayer.

How can we actually know that we are going to heaven?

Well, in a sense, the Bible does guarantee salvation to those who want it bad enough, but on certain conditions.

It is not as simple as only believing in and proclaiming Jesus as the Savior.

Matthew 7:21 says:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”

From this we can gather that not only are we to call on the Lord, but we must also do what the Lord wants (doing his will).

For Jesus came to fulfill the Law and not to abolish it (Cf. Mt. 5:17-18). His healing people on the Sabbath brought up great debates about what the Mosaic Law meant. Jesus fulfills the Law with love.

Jesus says in Mark 2:27:
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

The purpose of the Law was not to observe it just because it was prescribed, but the Law was designed to make access to God easier.

Jesus changed the focus of the Jewish-Christians from how they approach God to how God approaches them.

Jesus healed people on the Sabbath because he loves his people, good and bad (Cf. Mt. 5:44-48). We are given a commission to be perfect just as God is perfect meaning we are to love all.

We are to help others gain access to God, through his Son, Jesus.

So, in order to have a good relationship with God, we must also have a good relationship with the rest of humanity, else we are not doing the will of God.

Simply attempting to have a right relationship with God and neglecting our duty to the poor, sick and other people that need help is essentially a sin. It is the sin of formalism.

Through formalism we are killing ourselves (Cf. Mk. 7:15).

A simple act of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is not enough to assure anyone of going to heaven. There is much more to it and that is by doing the will of God.

It is essential to being a Christian to love those you hate and to help those that need your help. It is not enough to “win souls” or prophesy or send Bibles to China.

As the Bible says in Matthew 7:22-23:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in our name?

Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’”

Faith alone is not enough. For faith without works is dead (Cf. James 2:24, 26) and Jesus said that he will know people by their fruits (Cf. Mt. 7:20) and not just their tongues.

It is true that those who call upon the Lord will be saved (Cf. Romans 10:13), but the Scripture also says that we must also do the will of God; we are to love our fellow humans as God does by what we do, by our actions, by our deeds, by our works.

If we do all this, with the help of God’s grace, then we will be saved!

Comments

  1. David says

    Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV

    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

  2. United We Stand... says

    Jesus left His self appointed magisterium for the very reason that if everyone is free to decide what is right or wrong, true or not true; there would be no definitive guidelines. That is why He left His Holy Spirit to guide us through the ongoing magisterium, His Holy Catholic church.

  3. Linda Chan says

    The bible says, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me.”

    What do you say to these verses?

    Colossians 2:8-23

    8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers[a] of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.[b] 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
    11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.[c] 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

    13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed[d] the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

    16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,[e] saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

    20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

  4. scott Vine says

    We are saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our lord and savior. We can not work our way into heaven, remember john 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever BELIEVETH in him shall not parish but have ever lasting life. But I think believeth also means to Love and have obedience as well, which is automatic when we truly believe. It is not something you can develop on you own or create. When we truly accept Christ in our hearts, our hearts change and we see things differently. Our conscience itself is changed, convictions we did not have before we have now, It is a wonderful and blessed transformation from God. But we are saved by “Grace” Not by “Works”. Doing things for God and obeying him is just another pleasure and honor in believing in him.

  5. APA says

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. [Romans 13:8-10].

    from above scriptures it clearly says,
    1. Love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13, verse 10)
    2. One who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13, verse 8)

  6. Carlos Angelito D. Morales says

    We are save by grace. It is written, it’s not my might nor by my power but by the Spirit says the Lord-Zechariah 4:6. Also the thief in the Cross remember? The Lord said on this day you shall be with me in partadise.

    • Norma Smith says

      Remember, saved by grace alone is in existence for 500 years only, the other 1500 years of teaching are missing. Grace alone is a human teaching, whereas Grace and Works is the divine Teaching.
      The Holy Spirit does not change His mind. He inspired the early Fathers, in the IV century, to compile the books for the Bible we, all, enjoy today, for He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.
      May the Peace of Jesus Christ be always with you!

  7. Kathryn says

    I must respectfully disagree with your statement: “The purpose of the Law was not to observe it just because it was prescribed, but the Law was designed to make access to God easier.”
    The law does not make access to God easier:
    The Bible says: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20.
    What then is the purpose of the law? It is to show us that we need a Saviour:
    Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24-25
    Faith without works is dead. Yes. But our works are proof that our faith is real. Our works do not add to Christ’s finished work.

    • says

      The Law was the old covenant God made with his people and Jesus is the new covenant which supersedes the old. “Make access to God easier” is my simplified language to refer to this covenantal relationship. It is only through this covenantal relationship that we can become people of God.

      Even by your logic, that works are proof that faith is real, if we have no good works then our faith is not real and therefore a person is not truly justified. Ergo, a person is justified not by faith alone, but by faith and works.

  8. John Smith says

    I would have to slightly disagree. Faith without works is dead, but why? In order to answer this question, you must understand what “faith” is. It is obviously different from what the demons have, they have intellectual faith, not saving faith. You can have intellectual faith that the sky is blue, and that is not given to you, you observe and then take away a conclusion. The difference is that saving faith is given by God because the human mind is wretched and totally depraved. We see in Romans 3:23 that all men are sinfull, and in John 6:65 and in John 1:12 that God gives the right to be saved because we cannot earn that right. So where does works come in?

    We know that faith without work is dead, so what are the works? The works is the fruit we produce because Chist saved us. He is the vine and our works is the fruit He allows because He is within us and His “life juice” or “sap” is flowing through us. That is the principle here in James. Just as a vine that has no grapes is dead, so a faith without works is dead.

    The big misconception on our part is to assume that our works are must come from us. But just the very opposite is true. It is Christ who produces the fruit a.k.a works in our life because He is the vine and therefore the source of life and fruit for the branches. The works will be there if you are truly saved.

    • Norma Smith says

      “The big misconception on our part is to assume that our works are must come from us.”
      Well, if the Lord commanded us to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, to tend the sick, etc. who is the doer? What about when one kills, steals, or commits adultery? Is Christ doing the works, too?
      Or, do you mean God gives us the desire to do these works, therefore we can say it is Christ who performs the works?
      Our Blessed Lord said, “I am the branch, you are vine…” Which means, He is the Head and we are the members of His Body; therefore, the Head cannot subsist without a member of the Body, nor a member of the Body can subsist without the Head. Here, we can say, if we abide in Him and He in us, we are uniting our will to His perfect Will, then we can produce good fruits.

  9. Megan says

    It’s rather funny that you included that last bit of Scripture.

    Matthew 7:22-23:
    “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in our name?

    Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’”

    These people recognize Jesus is Lord. They performed good works in his name.
    And yet…. Jesus says “I never knew you.”

    This makes everything you have said void. This disproves that on faith and works you get to Heaven, since clearly, these people in the verses aren’t going to heaven.

    So what does this mean?

    The answer lies in what Jesus said. “I never knew you.”

    Jesus doesn’t want people to just do good works and call him Lord. He wants us to love him and each-other with our whole hearts. He wants a relationship with us, not a list of our good works.

    Salvation is reached by accepting Jesus as your savior. And, like you said above, it is much more than saying a little prayer. Accepting Jesus means to desire and have a relationship with him. It is a transformation. We are saved by faith alone. The good works come out of our relationship with Christ, as he guides us.

    • says

      Hi Megan. Actually, Matthew 7:22-23 doesn’t make everything I have said “void.” It only underscores the point that both faith and works are essential for salvation. It proves that works without faith are dead. The people in that passage were healing in Jesus’s name but living evil lives otherwise. Of course they wouldn’t be saved. Nowhere have I promoted that works alone bring salvation.

      However, the Scriptures clearly say that faith without works is dead. Faith alone, as you claim, is actually insufficient. Good works, through faith, are necessary. What good is it to believe in Jesus but not do anything about it?

      I think we are actually closer in agreement than you might think.

          • David says

            Exodus 20:4-5 KJV

            Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

  10. says

    It is not an intellectual faith that saves you. i.e..I believe Jesus died for my sins and paid the full price so I could go to heaven. It is a saving faith belief…I believe God gave his only son Jesus to die for my sins and he paid the price in full. He knew me before the foundation of the world and he chose me. He first loved me. I love him for what he has done for me. I put him first in my life. My spirit has been transformed into a new creature. The Holy Spirit who is now working in me will help me transform my soul (which in the past seeks the flesh) into a new being more and more like Jesus.

    • Norma Smith says

      Excellent understanding of Holy Scripture!
      He first loved us and we in return must love Him by loving our neighbor as ourselves; He commands us to do it, even when it is difficult to do it, we must love the sinner, hate the sin. Of course, we cannot accomplish this without blending our will to His Holly Will -as you say, this manner, we are another Christ.

  11. says

    I don’t wish to offend. But asking Christ into your life is more than saying a few words. God looks at the heart and He knows if you are sincere. I am sure their are some in every religion that just go thru the rituals and think they are saved. But it only pertains to those who are sincere. I felt like I was on the breaking point and could not endure this life if I wasn’t assured of salvation. When My daughter died and I wasn’t assured she was in heaven–I knew I would have lost my mind

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