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For those well meaning non-Catholics who think Catholics are not saved!
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First - not to worry. I am saved. And I do not have to leave my church to get saved. Jesus said so.
I believe it because I believe the Bible is the Word of God.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
See you don't have to belong to a particular church to get saved! And if you found a church where you can easily talk with God, you do not have to leave that church to get saved! Isn't that great news? We can belong to any church we'd like as long as we have faith in Jesus.
The problem you may be having with the Catholic church is more a lack of understanding because you have not studied Catholicism in a Catholic course like RCIA but rather are taking quotes out of context from your own church buddies. (kind of like the blind leading the blind!) Ever since the Protestants schismed from the Catholic church, neither side has been very friendly to each other. However, we Catholics have started the ecumenical movement. But some of the schismatic Christians continue to be bitter and angry (and misinformed) toward the Catholic church.
I'm going to do two things for you. First I'll give you a few really good websites where you can learn more about why many Protestant theologians convert to the Catholic church because of the Bible.
And second, I will give you some Bible verses about why what your church is teaching about salvation may be incorrect and what the Catholic church teaches is correct.
Here are the good websites and ex-Protestant theologians:
Marcus Grodi (former Presbyterian minister - now Catholic layman and apologist) http://www.chnetwork.org/
Scott Hahn (former Presbyterian minister - now Catholic layman and apologist) www.catholic.com (his tapes are really good)
Another great website is the EWTN website: http://www.ewtn.com
Here are the Bible verses I promised you:
We are saved BY GRACE alone not by faith alone (much as you'd like that to be true i.e. that you do not need good works!). Our good works SHOW the presence of the salvation grace:
"show me your faith without works and I will show you the faith which underlies my works" (James 2:18)
"faith without works is dead" (James 2:17)
>>>>So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
>>>>"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. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your 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.'
Easy salvation is based on two Bible passages taken out of context. (i.e. faith without works)
>>>>"there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good, (there is not) even one. " (Rom 3:11)
If you read Rom 3:10, you read these words:
10 "as it is written: "There is no one just, not one"
AS IT HAD BEEN WRITTEN. It is quoting the Old Testament (which was a common thing to do). In fact Rom 3:10-3:18 is what Biblical scholars call a "catena" - a hymn composed of the first lines of several psalms. The line above comes from psalm 14:
"Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt; not one does what is right. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the human race, To see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God. All have gone astray; all alike are perverse. Not one does what is right, not even one. " (Ps 14: 1-4)
So if we look at the psalm from which the phrase,
"All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good"
We can see that Paul was talking about atheists like Psalm 14 is and NOT about "all mankind"!
In fact, many Bibles will explain this in the small print in the footnotes and give the number of the psalms. i.e. this catena is talking about atheists and NOT "all mankind".
(exgesis on easy salvation)
>>>>All of us have become like unclean men, all our good deeds are like polluted rags; We have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind. (Isaiah was talking about those who turned away from God and not "all men" if you read this IN CONTEXT)
These verses are often quoted to prove "salvation by faith alone"
"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Rom. 4:5). <<<<
As my commentary points out:
>>>>  James 2:24 ("See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.") appears to conflict with Paul's statement above. However, James combats the error of extremists who used the doctrine of justification through faith as a screen for moral self- determination. Paul discusses the subject of holiness in greater detail than does James and beginning with Romans 6 shows how justification through faith introduces one to the gift of a new life in Christ through the power of the holy Spirit.<<<<
Additionally in reading the whole chapter, Paul seems to be addressing those who felt strictly following Jewish law was the way of salvation. He ends the chapter by telling them that salvation ONLY lies in Jesus and not in the Jewish law.
This passage is often quoted by both Catholics and Protestants and is very important reading for all of us!
>>>>"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Eph. 2:8). <<<<
BY GRACE....it is the gift of God. i.e. it's not our faith NOR works which save us, it's GRACE which is a gift of God. i.e. it is nothing we DO (either have faith or have works) which saves us - salvation is a gift which is offered to us by God and we simply answer "yes" or "no". BUT if our answer IS "yes", to prove we have REALLY said "yes" we show faith AND works - otherwise how would God know we REALLY MEANT our "yes"?
Finally according to the Bible yes you can LOSE your salvation:
>>>>For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the holy Spirit and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to bring them to repentance again, since they are recrucifying the Son of God for themselves and holding him up to contempt. Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected; it will soon be cursed and finally burned.
(Heb 6: 4-8)
You might want to study further because it also says in the Bible:
>>>>My people perish for want of knowledge!
You see, the Bible points toward the Catholic church and many of us former Protestants converted ONLY using the Bible (although Catholic literature is pretty good reading material!) :)
Hope this has been enlightening to you.
Protestant by birth - Catholic by the Grace of God!