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Am I Saved?

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  • Am I Saved?

    Hello my dear friends in Christ. I am glad to be here on this forum. I desire nothing more than to be a follower and servant of Christ and to enjoy everlasting life with Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit in Heaven. My mom was raised Catholic, my dad was raised Methodist. We very seldom went to church when I was growing up. As long as I could remember, I believed in God and I knew that God loved me which was great to know by all means but I didn't know much else about Christianity. When I was 18 years old, I began attending a Catholic Church and still to this day do and for a while I was convinced that it was the "true faith" founded by Jesus Christ but lately I've encountered some Protestant friends of mine in a theological debate. I've been dealing with a lot of Protestant friends of mine telling me that by attending Catholic and holding fast to Catholic doctrine will send me to hell despite that I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior who died on the Cross for me. They told me that the Catholic Church was not founded by Jesus Christ but by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century when he supposedly mingled the pagan beliefs of Rome with Christianity to make it "more tolerable" for potential converts and the true "bible believing" Christians were kept underground for over 1200 years until Martin Luther and John Calvin began the Protestant Reformation and brought the "true church" out of the darkness. I was told by them that since my church clings to all sorts of "extra biblical beliefs" that it was not a Christian church and my membership in it nullified my salvation because I (as they say) don't trust in Jesus for my salvation but rather in Mary, the Pope, the saints, the sacraments, the priesthood, the rosary, etc for my salvation instead. That is not what I personally believe at all. Growing up I used to hate Christians and Christianity but when I was 15, I became a Christian by faith. I acknowledged that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I asked for forgiveness. And I began attending Catholic masses at age 18 and I am 21 right now. Below is a summary of what I believe

    -I believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
    -I believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man
    -I believe that He was born through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit
    -I believe that salvation comes through grace alone which was purchased by the crucifixion, death, burial and physical resurrection of Christ
    -I believe that only God is to worshiped as divine
    -I believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the Right Hand of the Father
    -I believe in His second coming

    According to what I have studied in the Scriptures and from what people have told me, if I believe these things I am a Christian and I am saved. And yet those very same people who told me that also tell me I am not saved because I belong to the Catholic Church. I had a nice friendly discussion with them defending my position but at the end they told me I need to come out of her and accept Jesus as Savior lest I go to hell.

    If you want to know more about what I believe as a Christian and as a Catholic, please feel free to ask me and I'll clarify. But from a Protestant stand-point, am I saved because of my belief in the essentials of Christianity and in believing Jesus Christ paved the way for my salvation and I asked Him for forgiveness and only through Him am I saved? Or am I going to hell because I belong to a system that teachings "extra-biblical" things and I acknowledge them? And what are acceptable denominations to be a belong to if I were to be a "true Christian?"

  • #2
    Originally posted by HeLives33 View Post
    Growing up I used to hate Christians and Christianity but when I was 15, I became a Christian by faith. I acknowledged that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I asked for forgiveness.
    The answer to your question depends on just what you did when you asked for forgiveness. Were you really repentant for your sins or did you ask for forgiveness because you were afraid of the consequences of your unbelief? The best way to determine which is the case is to look at the effect it had on your life. If your salvation was real it produced permanent changes in the way you live and in your understanding of the Bible. A good way to find out would be to study 1 John since it was written to help people who weren't sure whether they have eternal life.
    I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
    (1 John 5:13 ESV)

    According to what I have studied in the Scriptures and from what people have told me, if I believe these things I am a Christian and I am saved
    If you are saved you will believe all these things but it is possible to believe them without being saved. There was a time when I believed them and was an active member of a church but I wasn't saved because my faith consisted of an intellectual belief that these things were true. I know Jesus had died for sins but I didn't understand that he had died for my sins and in order to have eternal life I needed to acknowledge my personal need.

    I will pray that God will help you to see what your real relationship with him is and that you will become a Christian if you are not one already.
    Clyde Herrin's Blog
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    • #3
      You would not go to hell because you are a Catholic, but will be held accountable for worshipping in a doctrinally false church which perverts the Gospel. Your personal relationship with Jesus is what gets you saved. "No man can come unto the Father except by me." You are saved if you believe Jesus died for your sins and that you make Him Lord of your life, denominations notwithstanding. God is not a respecter of persons. He judges the heart of the individual and seeks out people whom He has chosen from the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8). If you truly chose to follow Jesus, HeLives33, it is because He first chose you from the foundation of the world. "All that the Father hath given me shall come to me and he who comes to me I will in no wise cast out." You are being drawn by the Father to either come to Jesus or to grow in Him, as this is between you and the Lord. Remember, Satan believes in God too, but rebels against Him. Sin is rebellion against God, the wages of which are death. If you believe Jesus is the only true God and saved you from ALL your sins and you persevere to the end, you are saved.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by HeLives33 View Post
        I was told by them that since my church clings to all sorts of "extra biblical beliefs" that it was not a Christian church and my membership in it nullified my salvation because I (as they say) don't trust in Jesus for my salvation but rather in Mary, the Pope, the saints, the sacraments, the priesthood, the rosary, etc for my salvation instead.
        I pretty much think Matt Slick of CARM nailed it when he wrote:

        Christianity is properly defined by certain doctrines that are revealed in the Bible. It is not defined by simply saying that as long as you believe in Jesus that you're a Christian. Mormons believe in Jesus, but their Jesus is a brother of the devil in the pre-existence. The Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses is Michael the Archangel. So, just saying that you believe in Jesus doesn't make you a Christian. This is why the Bible tells us who Jesus really is--God in flesh, creator of the universe. Likewise, there are essential doctrines, and if any of those essential doctrines are violated, then a church would only appear to be Christian but not really be Christian. What are those doctrines? The Bible tells us. Let's take a look.
        1. There is only one God, and you are to serve no other gods (Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 43:10, 44:6, 8).
        2. Jesus is both God and man (John 1:1, 14, 8:24, Col. 2:9, 1 John 4:1-4).
        3. Jesus rose from the dead physically (John 2:19-21, 1 Cor. 15:14).
        4. Salvation is by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1, Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 3:1-2, 5:1-4).
        5. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Gal. 1:8-9).
        6. God is a Trinity (Matt. 28:19, 1 Cor. 12:4-6, 2 Cor. 13:14).
        7. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:25).


        So, someone who is a true Christian will believe these things and not violate them. Roman Catholicism violates two of them (#1 and #4). First of all, by its practice of promoting Mary (and the Saints) to the level of God-like capabilities, they break the commandment to have no other gods before the true and living God. In Roman Catholicism, they say that Mary is the mediatrix (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 969), Mary made atonement for the sins of man (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, page 213), and Mary is the subject of preaching and worship (Vatican Council II, p. 420), etc.

        Also, Catholicism violates the Biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone. Paul the apostle, for example, tells us in Romans 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness." But Roman Catholicism denies that and says, " . . . so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments," (CCC, par 2068). Also, consider this:

        "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema," (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9).

        So, even though Roman Catholicism claims to be Christian and that it is the one true church, it violates the essentials of the Christian faith. It goes beyond what is written in God's Word (1 Cor. 4:6). It denies the sole and true sovereignty of the living God by promoting prayer to and the worship of Mary. Also, it denies justification by faith alone in Christ alone. It is not a Christian church.
        God bless,
        William
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        • #5
          Saved by faith,kept from damning yer'self & messin' it all up by grace & how ashamed would U/B if ya' got 2 Heaven w/out any good deeds. (can't we all get along ? I promise U/all the army of darkness is not devided 1 iota. The army of light is in more fragments than Humpty-dumbazz. I think the buzz-words here are "play nice,kids,"signed "GOD'
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          • #6
            Originally posted by HeLives33 View Post
            -I believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
            -I believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man
            -I believe that He was born through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit
            -I believe that salvation comes through grace alone which was purchased by the crucifixion, death, burial and physical resurrection of Christ
            -I believe that only God is to worshiped as divine
            -I believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the Right Hand of the Father
            -I believe in His second coming
            The Roman Catholic Church has many correct doctrines, but also many incorrect doctrines. How is faith in Jesus for salvation reflected in paying to Mary? Although Mary is a real saint, unlike, say Moloch (the golden calf in the desert), I don't see a difference in praying to her vs. praying to Moloch. It breaks the very first Commandment. You say Mary isn't a god, but how is she any less a god to Catholics than Moloch was to the Israelites in the desert? The Roman Catholic Church assigns god-like attributes to Mary and encourages the literal worship of Mary and of her image, therefor it's not a Church of God.

            The Israelites in the desert were rejected by God. God left them to die in the desert (keeping them out of the Promised Land, symbolizing keeping them out of Heaven) and said they weren't his children (Deuteronomy 32:5). Would it do any good for the Israelites to protest against God, "We're the true church!"? No. If you have faith in Mary, then you don't have faith in Christ. God doesn't share his people with other gods.

            Last edited by Cornelius; 11-28-2015, 01:05 PM.
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            • #7
              I agree with Cornelius, especially, the last line. If one can't understand how he is right, study what worship means, Biblically speaking.
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              • #8
                You definitely have all of the main tenets of the Christian faith in your listing, so whether you are Catholic or not, it sure looks to me like you have the beliefs of the Christian faith. I've always said that "everything else is just details", and I stand behind that philosophy today. You can believe all sorts of things and still be a child of the One true God, as long as you have the main faith components intact. Truthfully, you can be raised in just about any faith, and still be a Christian -- if you are born again. Details are funny things as they can get in the way sometimes, of what God is actually trying to do in our lives. We keep thinking we have to do this, or that, or something else, in order to go to Heaven someday... and the reality is just as simple as this... you go to Heaven if you believe. Your faith sets you free, not all the acts of mercy in the world. But are acts of goodness and mercy a bad thing? No, of course not. Jesus did good works, even on the Sabbath. (Yikes!) He did no evil, so if we follow Him, clearly it is not "evil" to do good works. Just realize that works alone don't get us into Heaven.
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                • #9
                  Jesus,His Disciples,their students (many of whom couldn't read or write) had no Bibles,concordances or insightful commentaries by TV preachers, who,'4 only $29.95' will sell U a ticket 2 Heaven. Yet this collection of illiterates managed 2 change the world. Go figure !
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                  • #10
                    As Christians, we are told to study in order to show ourselves approved, but I don't think that this means that only one Christian denomination is going to have everything right, and that everyone else is going to hell. Most of the issues that separate the thousands of Christian denominations are differences over matters that are not salvational. For example, as a Grace Brethren, I believe that baptism should be done after a person believes and has asked Christ into their heart, and that we should be fully immersed three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, by no means do I suspect that someone who has only been dunked once, or was baptized by a pouring of water over the head, or even by sprinkling is going to be told, "Sorry, you got it wrong so you're going to hell."

                    No, I think that we should study the Scriptures, and do our best to do the things that God would have us do in the way that He would have us do them, and that we should believe that which we are told to believe through the Word of God. But there are as many different interpretations of these things as there are denominations, and much more because even within a denomination, sincere people are not in full agreement on everything.

                    I expect to see people from many denominations in heaven, and I wouldn't rule out the Catholics. I strongly suspect that we will be judged according to our understanding, but that we should do our best to see to it that we are correct in our understanding on salvational issues. I won't be the one making these decisions though, so I don't know just how many allowances are going to be made for ignorance on our part.

                    Will a sincere Buddhist find the narrow gate? No, because sincerity is not enough. Salvation is through Christ alone. How about the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons? Thank God, I don't have to make these decisions because some of these people are well meaning, sincere, and dedicated.

                    Within the parameters set by God, I do believe that we will be held responsible according to our understanding, but not if we're willfully ignorant.
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                    • #11
                      What always angers me is how people think that a denomination will get them to heaven. Being part of any denomination isn't one of the things required of Christians. God's word is simple. Love God with all your heart [and you'll because of that obey all His commandments]. And love your neighbors yourself [if you love everyone you'll do nothing that will hurt them]. And of course you need to believe that Jesus [the only begotten [not made] Son of God] paid your debt on the cross. That's what it takes to be saved. Creeds, denominations and history — all those amount to nothing. As Jesus said, there's a time it won't matter if you are a Jew or Samaritan. A Catholic or a Protestant. For a time . . . has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.
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                      • #12
                        Salvation is this, repenting of your sins, that is, turning from sin and trying not to sin, and accepting Jesus' sacrifice on the cross as an atonement for your sins.

                        There is a difference between sinning and wilfully sinning. Even as Christians we are still sinners, but when we find ourselves sinning we are to turn from it and ask God/Jesus for forgiveness.

                        Nothing you can do can earn your way to heaven. Plenty of what you do can keep you out.

                        I once saw a documentary about Mexican cartels. In one scene an assassin getting ready to murder someone pulls out a Catholic assassin's prayer. No, that prayer is not going to do a thing. We are told by Paul that after we have come to an understanding of salvation there is no forgiveness for willful sin. Repenting means trying not to do it in the first place, not willfully sinning then asking God for forgiveness. We are told there is no forgiveness without repentance.

                        Catholics seem to put their faith in priests, not God. A zillion hail Mary's isn't going to do anything. A priest saying your sins are forgiven isn't going to do anything. Turning to God/Jesus and asking to be forgiven is what cleanses our sins there is one intermediary between God and man and that is Jesus.

                        If your faith is in Jesus and you have repented of your sins, and continue to repent, then you are saved.

                        A sin is anything that hurts God or man.
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                        • #13
                          The Catholic Church teaches, imposes, and encourages doctrines and practices that are not compatible with the Christian faith and with what the bible tells us. The bible tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, yet the Catholic Church preaches that we can pray to Mary who will mediate for us and make the prayers more effective.The Pope even kisses and worships the statue of Mary in public. The Catholic church calls her Holy, Mother of God, and Queen of Heaven. Local churches even have groups that honor Mary and are organized under her name. The rosary pretty much sums up the Catholic faith in Mary: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death". There is simply no denying the importance that the Catholic Church places on Mary. Yet, the bible only honors her as the chosen vessel for the Savior and shows how God used her to inform Jesus of the shortage of wine at the wedding in Cana.

                          Of late, local Catholic churches have been organizing 'born again' movements that mimic the Christian experience of accepting Jesus Christ as savior. Can you actually be 'born again' and be saved within the Catholic fold amidst its doctrines and practices? I may be wrong, but I personally believe that no, the experience would have been different, because I would have accepted Jesus in a different light and on entirely different terms.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HeLives33 View Post
                            Hello my dear friends in Christ. I am glad to be here on this forum. I desire nothing more than to be a follower and servant of Christ and to enjoy everlasting life with Him and the Father and the Holy Spirit in Heaven. My mom was raised Catholic, my dad was raised Methodist. We very seldom went to church when I was growing up. As long as I could remember, I believed in God and I knew that God loved me which was great to know by all means but I didn't know much else about Christianity. When I was 18 years old, I began attending a Catholic Church and still to this day do and for a while I was convinced that it was the "true faith" founded by Jesus Christ but lately I've encountered some Protestant friends of mine in a theological debate. I've been dealing with a lot of Protestant friends of mine telling me that by attending Catholic and holding fast to Catholic doctrine will send me to hell despite that I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior who died on the Cross for me. They told me that the Catholic Church was not founded by Jesus Christ but by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century when he supposedly mingled the pagan beliefs of Rome with Christianity to make it "more tolerable" for potential converts and the true "bible believing" Christians were kept underground for over 1200 years until Martin Luther and John Calvin began the Protestant Reformation and brought the "true church" out of the darkness. I was told by them that since my church clings to all sorts of "extra biblical beliefs" that it was not a Christian church and my membership in it nullified my salvation because I (as they say) don't trust in Jesus for my salvation but rather in Mary, the Pope, the saints, the sacraments, the priesthood, the rosary, etc for my salvation instead. That is not what I personally believe at all. Growing up I used to hate Christians and Christianity but when I was 15, I became a Christian by faith. I acknowledged that Jesus Christ died for my sins and I asked for forgiveness. And I began attending Catholic masses at age 18 and I am 21 right now. Below is a summary of what I believe

                            -I believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
                            -I believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man
                            -I believe that He was born through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit
                            -I believe that salvation comes through grace alone which was purchased by the crucifixion, death, burial and physical resurrection of Christ
                            -I believe that only God is to worshiped as divine
                            -I believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the Right Hand of the Father
                            -I believe in His second coming

                            According to what I have studied in the Scriptures and from what people have told me, if I believe these things I am a Christian and I am saved. And yet those very same people who told me that also tell me I am not saved because I belong to the Catholic Church. I had a nice friendly discussion with them defending my position but at the end they told me I need to come out of her and accept Jesus as Savior lest I go to hell.

                            If you want to know more about what I believe as a Christian and as a Catholic, please feel free to ask me and I'll clarify. But from a Protestant stand-point, am I saved because of my belief in the essentials of Christianity and in believing Jesus Christ paved the way for my salvation and I asked Him for forgiveness and only through Him am I saved? Or am I going to hell because I belong to a system that teachings "extra-biblical" things and I acknowledge them? And what are acceptable denominations to be a belong to if I were to be a "true Christian?"
                            Jesus saves us all on his own, and he tells us whom he saves. Jesus says he saves those who believe and obey him, those who do what is right.

                            The Catholic denomination teaches things against what God says, but every denomination that I could find does the same thing, they teach some falseness.

                            Being saved is not about joining a denomination; it is about searching for Jesus' teachings in the Bible, teachings he tells us all to do. It is about doing what he says, and calling on him to help you with the things you need help with doing. It is about never ever giving up looking for him. It is about wanting Him before anything and anybody. It is about wanting God's Truth and not some denomination's truth. It is about searching for His Truth and waiting for Him no matter how long as it takes.

                            We search for God by getting Jesus' teachings, and we find God by obeying Jesus' teachings, and calling on him for help.






                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Smithee View Post
                              What always angers me is how people think that a denomination will get them to heaven. Being part of any denomination isn't one of the things required of Christians. God's word is simple. Love God with all your heart [and you'll because of that obey all His commandments]. And love your neighbors yourself [if you love everyone you'll do nothing that will hurt them]. And of course you need to believe that Jesus [the only begotten [not made] Son of God] paid your debt on the cross. That's what it takes to be saved. Creeds, denominations and history — all those amount to nothing. As Jesus said, there's a time it won't matter if you are a Jew or Samaritan. A Catholic or a Protestant. For a time . . . has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.
                              What you said is excellent, but then you threw in a creed from a denomination, from history.

                              The Bible says that Jesus is the first born over all creation. So we can no longer say Jesus was not created. That is about his body, of course, and not about his Spirit.


                              Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

                              Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

                              Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
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