Do Catholics honor Mary more than Jesus?

Do Catholics honor Mary more than Jesus?


My Catholic friends, don't be to hard on your non-Catholic friends because they believe this anti-Catholic literature and may even appear angry. I would suggest that Catholics respond to their non-Catholic friends in kindness. It is enough just to tell them the truth and let God be in charge of converting us. After all, "God is love" (1 Jn. 4:7-9) and we should love in imitation of God.

It is true, the more anti-Catholic literature I read and researched over time, the more Catholic I became. I began to study the history of the Catholic Church and the Bible through the eyes of the of those who opposed the Church. I read books and articles, and listened to people speak against the Catholic Church. Researching this information, I contrasted it with the Bible, history, and Church teaching. In the process, I found myself becoming even more Catholic.

I saw these same three things happening over and over again. There were people who were misrepresenting Church history, taking the Bible out of context, and misrepresenting Catholic teaching. These were the three major areas that were not being represented correctly, hundreds if not thousands of times.

• Taking the Bible out of context: I also discovered that these people were frequently quoting the Bible out of context and in so doing were coming up with distorted understandings of Scripture. What came out of these improper understandings of the Bible were thousands of contradictory interpretations of Scripture causing a type of theological anarchy among the thousands of Protestant traditions.

• Misrepresenting Catholic teaching: The people writing this literature would often times misrepresent Church teaching and then, on the basis of their own misrepresentations, claim that the Catholic Church is wrong. This fascinated me because they were often times not disagreeing with Church teaching at all, but with their own misrepresentations of Church teaching.

• Misrepresentation of Catholic history: The first thing I noticed had to do with history and their criticism of certain Church Councils. After all, they could criticize Catholic councils because they existed in history. I could not criticize their councils simply because they did not exist in history going back to Christ and the Apostles.

This, in a nutshell, is why through studying the writings of the adversaries of the Church, I actually became more Catholic. The question that I had as I did my research is this. Why is it necessary to misrepresent history, teachings of the Church, and the Bible in order to convince people that the Catholic Church is wrong? Below in detail I talk about these three main areas where the Catholic Church is misrepresented.
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Taking the Bible out of context: Everyone is coming from some place. Our faith is handed on to us by others who have gone before us. This is what we call tradition. For example, Pentecostals have a Pentecostal tradition, Baptists have a Baptist tradition, Catholics have a Catholic tradition and Lutherans have a Lutheran tradition. We all read from the same Bible and yet we believe different things about this same Bible. Why, because we are coming from different traditions.

There is an understanding among Catholics and non-Catholics alike that the Bible properly understood in context does not contradict. To understand the Bible, we must take it in context. It is necessary to notice clarifying words, what comes before and after a Bible verse and what similar Bible passages say in other parts of the Bible. Usually, non-Catholics will accept the Bible as their only source of revelation. At the same time Catholics accept both the Bible and the teaching Tradition of the Church.

For them it is an open and shut case. Jesus spoke against human tradition. The Catholic Church speaks in favor of Tradition and so to them the Church is in clear violation of the Bible and Catholics should leave that non-Biblical Catholic Church and join a so-called Bible believing church. This sounds pretty persuasive until you notice three dots that indicate part of the context has been left out, verses 9 through 12. These verses show us that Jesus was not speaking against all tradition, but corrupt tradition. Please notice Mark 7:7-13 with the verses in bold that were left out.

Jesus said, "The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human–regulations. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions, but you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do. In this way you make God's word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down" (MK. 7:7, 8, 13, J.B.V.).

Once we see that part of the context was left out, we realize that Jesus was not speaking against all tradition! He was speaking against corrupt tradition, that is in violation of the fourth commandment. Honor your father and your Mother (Mk 7:10, Ex 20:12). In other words, if the money that they would have had to take care of their parents is (given to God), specifically the temple, then they no longer have to take care of their parents in their old age which is in violation of the 4th commandment.

I believe that the vast majority of people who speak against any and all tradition do not realize that they are taking Mark 7 out of context, at least until you bring it to their attention. A person coming from a Pentecostal tradition challenged me with this question. “Why do Catholics follow tradition when in Mark 7, Jesus very clearly speaks against tradition?” I agreed with her that Jesus spoke against tradition and then I asked her a question. “Do you know the specific man-made tradition that Jesus was speaking against and which commandment it violated?” She said “no.” Because she could not answer the question, I realized that she didn’t know the context. I explained to her that Jesus was not speaking against all tradition, but corrupt tradition which is in violation of the 4th commandment. She had nothing further to say.

On social media, I reference from time to time some of the various Christian faith traditions. One man was upset with me for applying the word tradition to his particular church. He responded in sarcasm by saying, “you, a Catholic talking to us about tradition, you ought to talk!” I explained to him that we both have a tradition. It’s just that Catholics have a tradition and admit it and you have a tradition and don’t admit it. He had no response. If he had challenged me and said that his church had no tradition, I would have quoted back to him his own words that are not in the Bible, but coming from his particular tradition.

The Catholic Church draws from both the Bible and tradition and honestly admits it and non-Catholic churches also draw from both the Bible and their tradition, and sometimes don’t admit it.

When people speak against any and all tradition, they are in fact taught this by their church tradition. They quote, in Mark 7:7-13 and then use this to speak against all tradition, when in fact Jesus was speaking against corrupt tradition. They are at the same time seemingly unaware that the Apostle Paul spoke for a living Apostolic tradition in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 that is not corrupt. The irony in all of this is that their arguments against all tradition don’t come from the Bible, but their tradition.
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Misrepresenting Catholic teaching: The number one misrepresentation of Catholic teaching has to do with Jesus’ mother Mary. Some non-Catholic church traditions teach that the Catholic Church deified Mary.

While at my place of employment, I noticed one coworker who regularly seemed to be uneasy around me, but I didn’t know why. One day he just started yelling at me, “Why do you Catholics put Mary on such a high pedestal?” And so, I am yelling back at him, “Oh, do you mean where the Catholic Church makes Mary equal to God or even Greater than God?” And he said “Yes!” And so, I answered him, “never in the two-thousand-year history of the Church has the Church ever made Mary equal to God or greater than God!” He looked at me for a few seconds and walked away without saying anything. He, to his credit, later apologized for speaking in what he called "an area that he didn’t know that much about."

However, the question remains, why did he walk away without responding? The answer is simple. It says nowhere in the Bible that Mary is a God. She is the Mother of Jesus, who is both God and man. Everyone agrees with this. And so, if the Church deified Mary, it had to happen at some later date. At which Church council was Mary made into a God? In order for him to answer that question, he would have had to name a Church document or council where Mary was deified. The problem is that no such Church document or council exists. The deification of Mary is not Catholic teaching, but non-Catholic misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, not to be confused with actual Catholic teaching.

I was in a discussion on social media with a Baptist. He was wondering why Catholics make Mary into a god. I explained to him that Mary as a god is not Catholic teaching but non-Catholic teaching that is misrepresenting Catholic teaching. I asked him what his sources were. Interestingly enough, he claimed that that he knew of seven different Catholics who believed that Mary is a god. As the expression goes, I almost fell off my chair. I had never heard such a thing in my life. I told him that I found it interesting that he, who had never been Catholic, claimed to know of seven different Catholics who believed that Mary was a god and I, who have always been Catholic, have never heard of even one Catholic who thought that Mary was a god.

I further went on to say that if he had been honest, he would have said that he knew of seven ex-Catholics, who got their information from anti-Catholic sources, who believed that Mary is a god. He had no further response; I had caught him in a lie. In order to prove Mary is a god, Evangelicals and others have to go to non-Catholic sources that are misrepresenting Catholic teachings. They then disagree not with Catholic teaching, but with their own misrepresentations of Catholic teaching.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 971 makes it very clear that we honor Mary; however, adoration belongs to God alone. “All generations will call me Blessed.” The Church rightly honors “the blessed virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the Title of ‘Mother of God’, to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs… This very special devotion… differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.”

It is one thing for people to honestly disagree on an issue. It is quite something else when someone deliberately misrepresents another church and then disagrees, not with the teachings of this church, but with their own misrepresentations of this church’s teachings.
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Misrepresentation of Catholic history: On social media there are many adversarial groups speaking against the Catholic Church. One Evangelical posed this historical question. “I would ask our Romanist visitors to name, please, a single bishop at the Council of Nicaea who believed as the Pope believes on each of these topics: Marian dogmas, Papal Authority (infallibility), Purgatory, transubstantiation?”
His question is worthy of an answer. As far as the topics that he mentioned, they were not dealt with at the Council of Nicaea. They were dealing with the nature of God, the Arian heresy, the day we celebrate Easter and other related topics.

I also asked him a question using some of his own language. “I would ask our Evangelical visitors to please give us the name of even one Baptist minister at the council of Nicaea"? He had no answer because the attendees at the Council of Nicaea were not Evangelical ministers, but Catholic Bishops. What he didn’t seem to realize is that in asking this question, he was unwittingly testifying to the fact that the Church of history is the Catholic Church. He evidently didn’t like it that I pointed this out and his response was to kick me out of his group discussion. He could criticize my Church for its historical Church councils, because the Catholic Church existed at that time and is the Church of history. However, I can’t criticize his Protestant councils since they did not exist prior to the 16th century many centuries later.
Many years ago, I was present when a Protestant minister was speaking about the history of Christianity beginning with Adam and Eve. He then brought up the New Testament, the story of Jesus in the Gospels and then went on to speak of Fr. Martin Luther and some of the other Protestant reformers to the present. I remember looking around at the audience and thinking to myself, am I the only one who sees what this minister has done?

He made no reference to Christianity from the death of the last Apostle till the time of the Protestant reformers. It is not unusual for Protestants to shy away from history because Christian history is in fact Catholic. This is also one of the major reasons why very educated thoughtful non-Catholics, including Protestant ministers become Catholic.

I am not the only one who has noticed this. An Evangelical noticed this same thing when she took a history class at her Bible College. Here is what she had to say “There was something in that history that bothered me to no end. Between the Book of Acts and the Reformation, it appeared there was not very much to report. I wondered what the Holy Spirit had been doing during those 1,500 years. No one seemed bothered by this giant gap. I found it hard to believe that the work of God had gone largely undone until the Azusa Street revival in California, the cradle of Pentecostalism, in the early 20th Century” (Kristyn Lorraine Hall, August 29th CHNewsletter). This is one of the reasons why Kristyn Hall eventually became Catholic.

Why did they ignore the 1,500 years before Luther Calvin and Zwingli? They could not talk about the Protestant history because it hadn’t happened yet. All they would have been able to talk about was Catholic history.

The first Protestant Reformers who rebelled against the Church were all Catholic. Fr. Martin Luther and Fr. Ulrich Zwingli were Catholic priests. John Calvin was not a priest, but went to a Catholic School. If Protestants want a history that goes back to the time of Christ, they will have to go back to the Protestant Reformers and then through the Catholic Church all the way to Jesus and the Apostles.
I have listened to a number of comments on the history of the Bible by Protestant pastors, who moved away from their non-Catholic church(s) to the Catholic Church. In the process, they discovered that the Bible is Catholic. As one Protestant pastor put it. "Where did the Bible come from? Do we think it just dropped down from the sky?" Marcus Grodi convert, talks about this. He had led Catholics out of the Catholic Church, to his Church using the Bible. His expression was "show it to me in the Bible!" On the other hand, he remembers when he first realized that the Bible is a Catholic book.

"I remember that strange empty feeling when I first realized that the only reason that I have the Bible was the Catholic Church."
Jesus said that His Church is ONE. This being the case then the obvious question is this, of the tens of thousands of non-Catholic denominations, non-denominations, and fellowships, which ONE is it. This is actually very important to the best of non-Catholic Christians; they want to be in a church that teaches the true Gospel. This is where the term "church hopping" comes from as they search for this true Church which promotes the full Gospel. There are wonderful non-Catholics out there who believe as Jesus taught, that the truth will set you free. They do not want to be in a church that is teaching the Gospel incorrectly, as the Apostle Paul puts it, a "different Gospel" (2 Cor. 11:3-5). Once this is settled, they may have to do this multiple times because of job changes and relocation.

One of the ways that non-Catholics try to get around dealing with this ONE Church is to declare it “invisible.” They don’t want to admit that the Catholic Church is that visible Church formed by Christ and the Apostles. And by calling it "invisible" instead of ONE, they are trying not to deal with the huge fragmentation of thousands of contradictory theologies that continue to this day in Protestant Christianity.
Not too long ago, I remember joking to a Baptist friend of mine that every time I visit a Protestant Church, I find that it is in fact visible, with visible attendees, visible pastor, visible Bibles etc. I said to her "if the Church that Jesus founded is supposed to be ‘invisible’ then this church can't be it because it is very visible." She later became Catholic and yes, the Catholic Church is very visible.

The great Anglican historian, John Henry Newman in his research of the history of the Church came to this conclusion. “To be deep in History is to cease to be Protestant.” Newman did cease to be Protestant and became Catholic. One of the major reasons why Protestant ministers today become Catholic is because they ultimately discover that Christian history is ultimately Catholic and Orthodox.
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There are hundreds of examples where the Church is not represented accurately. I have given a few examples in these three main areas. As a Catholic these misrepresentations did not lead me away from my Church. They actually drew me nearer. I reasoned that if falsehoods against the Catholic Church are the primary ways that you prove it wrong, then it must be that one true Church established by Jesus Christ. There are many wonderful non-Catholics, who like us are seekers of the truth and when they begin to see that they were given a less than correct understanding of the Church they sometimes begin to fall in love with the very Church they were taught to hate.

I warn Catholics not to take it personally when non-Catholics are somewhat caustic. They have been taught many things about our Catholic Church that are not true. In fact, many (but not all) are taught that Catholics are not Christians. They are Pagans at best, or Satanists at worst. Put yourself in their shoes. If you had been brought up in their tradition(s) and were taught these things wouldn’t you be doing the same things they are doing. And so, it is for us to simply tell people the truth not pushing it on anyone. Jesus said “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:1-33). If there is any converting to take place let Jesus do that! After all, it is His truth that sets us free.

 

 

 

 

Straight to Jesus-Mary Set The Example

Straight to Jesus-Mary Set The Example

The Protestants were right all along; We go straight to Jesus, AND MARY SET THE EXAMPLE!

There are people with the best of intention who believe that Mary’s intercession is idolatry and a type of paganism under the guise of Christianity. Their reasoning is that if we ask Mary’s intercession, we are at odds with Jesus because He said in John 14:6, “no one comes to the Father except through Me [Jesus].” To them it means that we should… only ask Jesus to intercede to Father, and Mary is considered to be an adversary to the process rather than a help.
This understanding is in conflict with Jesus teaching on prayer. Jesus said; “This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. (Mt 6:9-14). Notice that Jesus is telling his followers to pray directly to the Father. Jesus is not saying you can only intercede to the father through Me.

Jesus didn’t say, no one INTERCEDES to the father except through Me. Jesus said, “no one COMES to the Father except through Me” [Jesus] (Jn 14:6). Please note that intercessory prayer by Mary or anyone is not in the context. Jesus, in John 14 tells us that He is going to prepare a place for us and he will come back and take us with Him, verse 3. No one comes to the father except by Me, verse 6. Jesus is coming back and He will not leave us orphans, verse18. .

How does Jesus leave and prepare a place for us? Jesus dies on the cross He raises from the dead and ascends into Heaven! By His cross we are redeemed. No one can COME to the Father except through Jesus because He redeemed us on the cross. Without this redemption there is no salvation and so when Jesus is referring to “coming to the Father,” He is not saying who can or cannot intercede. He is talking about salvation; “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name [Jesus] under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12).”

Some people are using John 14:6 as a prohibition against Mary and the saints interceding in prayer; however, they are using it out of context, probably not realizing John 14:6 has to do with redemption and not intercession.

We ask Mary and the Saints to pray with us on our behalf. Yes, we go straight to Jesus and when Mary intercedes on our behalf, she goes straight to Jesus along with us. In the Bible when the wedding party was out of wine, Mary interceded to Jesus on their behalf. Jesus initially resisted “my hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:3-5); however, Jesus out of His great love honored His mother Mary, by doing it anyway. I want Mary on my side when I pray to Jesus, and that is why in every Hail Mary prayer we say to her “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” We ask Mary to intercede with us and she goes straight to Jesus, just as she did at Cana.

Can We Ever Lose Our Salvation

Can We Ever Lose Our Salvation

Salvation

A person called in to a local Christian talk radio program in the Milwaukee area and was concerned that he might not be saved. They were trying to assure him that the moment he gave his heart to the Lord, he could never lose his salvation. The caller didn’t sound very convinced.

I often times run into people who believe in the “once saved always saved” concept. They firmly believe that once they have confessed their sins and asked Jesus into their heart they are saved and can never lose their salvation. They can kill, steal, rape and destroy, but ultimately their salvation is guaranteed because they believe they can never lose their salvation.

In fairness to my Evangelical friends it should be pointed out that this is only one point of view among Evangelicals. Some Evangelicals believe “once saved always saved” while others vehemently reject the notion. The concept of “once saved always saved” while never losing your salvation is not in the Bible. It comes from human reasoning. In fact, the Bible speaks against this particular concept.

Did the Apostle Paul believe that we can never lose our salvation? If Paul had absolute assurance that he can never lose his salvation then why did he work out his salvation with fear and trembling? “So then, my beloved, be 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 (Phil. 2:12).

Did Paul believe “once saved always saved” or was it possible to be cut off? In the book of Romans, there is the possibility that you can lose your salvation; you too can be cut off, if you don’t remain in Gods kindness. “For if God did not spare the natural spare you either. See, then, the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you remain in his kindness; you too will be cut off” (Rom. 11:21-22).

Did Jesus require us to endure to the end to be saved or did He believe in “once saved always saved?” If you can never lose your salvation then why did Jesus require endurance and perseverance to the end to be saved? “You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Mk. 13:13). Was Jesus mistaken? Is it truly necessary to persevere to the end to be saved, or should we believe those people who claim, that we can never lose our salvation?

I can believe someone, who says there is no possibility of losing their salvation or I can believe Paul, who speaks about the possibility of being cut off (Rom. 11:21-22). I can believe people, who say, once saved always saved, a concept and wording not in the Bible, or I can believe Jesus, who says, “The one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Mk 13:13).

By claiming the man-made tradition “once saved always saved” they have nullified the word of God “for the sake of your tradition” (Mt. 15:6). They make the claim that we can no longer lose our salvation; therefore, they no longer have to persevere to the end as Jesus commanded. How is that for making “void the word of God” (Mt. 15:6)?

This does beg the question, why do some Evangelicals today believe in the “once saved always saved” concept when in fact this is at odds with the Bible? Where does this concept come from? It actually comes from the Fr. Martin Luther and John Calvin. Both were Catholic; however, this is one of the areas where they departed from the Bible and Church teaching. I personally believe that they were trying to come up with a nicer, kinder easier form of Christianity. They seemed not to be aware of the fact that the “once saved always saved” concept is at odds with both the Apostle Paul and Jesus.

Some non-Catholics are quick to point the finger and make the claim that Catholics don’t always know their Bible very well. And in this, they are correct because here we have two Catholics John Calvin and Fr. Martin Luther who were not knowledgeable about their Bible as it relates to salvation. Had they been aware that their Bible requires that you have to persevere to the end in order to be saved, they would not have had to break with the Catholic Church on this point. When they broke with the Catholic Church, they were also breaking with the parts of their Bible, that did not fit with their own understanding. Instead of listening to the Church (Mt 18:17), they were leaning on their own understanding.

“There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16).

We have already seen that we must persevere to the end and we can be cut off and so what are some of the verses, that some claim, are evidence of the “once saved always saved” concept.

That you may know that you have eternal life. The verse in the Gospels that seems to be quoted most often for proof of “once saved always saved” is in 1 John 5. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life (1 Jn. 5:12-13). This is interpreted by some to mean that you cannot lose your salvation because once you have eternal life in you, you cannot make God die. Eternal life is the very life of God so how can it die. This type of thinking is misleading because no one is claiming that God dies; however, we can separate ourselves from God and lean on our own understanding.

Their point is that we can have eternal life and know it. The fact that they don’t list any contingencies doesn’t mean that there isn’t any. It just means they haven’t listed any. In fact, we have already quoted some of the contingencies coming from both Paul and Jesus.

They quote 1 John as their proof text for “once saved always saved” and then conveniently forget to mention the contingency given in 1 John 5. In doing so, they have left out part of the context. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 Jn. 5:2&3).

The contingency here is that we love God and obey his commandments. The reason that these verses are not listed in the “once saved always saved verses” is because if we don’t love God and obey his commandments then there is a possibility that we too can lose our salvation.

Never-the-less there are those who absolutely insist that keeping the commandments is not a requirement for salvation. And will even go so far as to say “nobody can keep the commandments!”

Is keeping the commandments truly a requirement for salvation? Some say yes, others say no, but what does the Bible say? Below is a conversation that I had on social media with an individual who insists that we do nothing in order to be saved because for him, Jesus did it all.

Timothy Barret: “What must *I* do to obtain and maintain my salvation (and please provide me the exhaustive list of everything that I must do, please, if possible).”

Lenny Alt: “Timothy, thank you for your very excellent question. I will answer your question if you will answer my question first. What must you or I do to inherit everlasting life with God in Heaven? I will make it easy for you. I won’t ask you for an exhaustive list. Personally, I don’t think you can answer this question correctly. On the other hand, if you can then you will have answered your own question.”

Timothy Barret: “The answer to your question is nothing, for Jesus did it all. We are saved by grace, not works (Eph. 2:8-9). And please do not assume I will get an answer to a question incorrect. It is arrogant and condescending.”

Lenny Alt: “Timothy, to your credit, you did give a verse of the Bible that has to do with salvation; faith versus works of the law, circumcision (Eph. 2:8-11). Notice that the Apostle Paul speaks for good works in verse 10 and against works of the law (circumcision) in verse 11. This is much clearer in Romans 3:28-29.

Yes, you are correct, Jesus did it all and He also answered my question, something you did not do. Here again is the question that you did not answer. What must you or I do to inherit everlasting life with God in Heaven? How did Jesus answer this question? He said,

“If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

The rich young man asked Jesus, “Teacher what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, ‘Why do you ask me about the good? There is only one who is good.’ If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:18). And then Jesus went on to list several of the commandments.

Jesus said to enter into life, keep the commandments, and then spoke against man-made traditions that usurp the commandments. He rebuked the usurping and undermining of scriptures through man-made tradition when He said, “The worship they offer me is worthless; the doctrines they teach are only human regulations. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions . . . In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down” (MK. 7:7, 8, 13, J.B.V.).

No one can keep the commandments. Are they liars? There are still others who make the statement, “no one can keep the Commandments!” However, Jesus doesn’t say that; the Apostles do not say that; the Bible does not say that anywhere. They are coming from a man-made tradition that is in violation of the Bible and the commandments.

I can listen to Jesus who says to keep the commandments or I can listen to man-made tradition which says “nobody can keep the commandments.”

Who will you listen to? The Apostle John says that people who claim to follow Jesus and don’t keep the commandments are liars. “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn. 2:3). You can’t know Jesus without following the commandments! Will you keep the commandments or will you be a liar, devoid of truth? Why would Jesus and the Bible ask us to keep the commandments if we couldn’t do it? The fact is this, we can keep the commandments and when and if we fail, He is faithful and just to forgive us.

Will we follow the liars who say that “nobody can keep the commandments?” Or will we follow Jesus who says that the one who “does not keep the commandments is a liar?”

For the full story on this please go to:http://catholicmilwaukee.com/salvation-do-i-simply-do-nothing-.html

So, if we are following the commandments, we have some indication that we have eternal life and if at some point, we turn our backs on God and choose not to follow the commandments then we no longer have the assurance of eternal life with God in Heaven. Those, who claim that you cannot lose your salvation, are quoting from their tradition, not from the words of the Apostles or Jesus.

One Evangelical friend told me that all you have to do for salvation is believe in the name of Jesus. I asked her this question, “do you mean that we do not have to actually believe what Jesus says; all we have to do is believe in the fact of Jesus existence? And she said, “Yes.” However, what she didn’t seem to realize is that Bible asks us to go beyond this and to not only believe, but to obey Him as well. “Whoever does not obey the son shall not see life” (Jn. 3:36).

If I were to use her criteria Satan, would have been saved because he believed in the fact of Jesus existence and yet He did not obey Jesus. Satan wanted Jesus to obey him instead. “You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble” (Jm. 2:19). Satan believed in Jesus enough to even tempt Him. I have since discovered that although intellectual ascent is an Evangelical tradition; in fairness to many Evangelicals, there are those who do believe that obedience to Jesus is necessary for salvation.

There are those who contrast an absolute assurance of salvation with no assurance of salvation. This is a false contrast because the Church does not teach no assurance of salvation. It teaches that we can have a reasonable assurance of salvation. It is just that it is possible to be self-deceived and that is why we do not claim an absolute assurance. And it is also possible that after believing “in the name of the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5:13) to turn away from him. “Severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness to you, provided you REMAIN in his kindness; you too will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22).

God’s kindness is not afforded to those who claim “once saved always saved.” It is given to those who remain in His kindness.

Good luck to those who when seeing Jesus say “Lord, Lord, I am once saved always saved.” If they didn’t do anything, because Jesus was supposed to do it all for them, He will say to them, “Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Mt. 7:21). How many people over the years have told me that they do absolutely nothing for their salvation? They ignore the words of Jesus which require obedience to the will of the Father as a requirement for entrance into Heaven. They neglect the many verses in the Bible that require effort on our part.

Those who preach the “once saved always saved” concept are people of good intention who were taught this in their tradition not knowing that this concept is at odds with their Bible. Our Bible very clearly shows that salvation is a conditional one that requires effort on our part to persevere to the end (Mk. 13:13) otherwise we will be cut off (Rm. 11:22). Those, who claim that we cannot ever lose our salvation, are at odds with the Apostle Paul, Jesus and their Bible.

Salvation CatholicMilwaukee.net-For God So Loved the World he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Are the time of miracles over?

Are the time of miracles over?

Are the time of miracles over? Some say yes; others no, BUT WHAT DID JESUS SAY?

NILO SAYS: Yes, you did not say that her incorrupt body is going to heaven. But the BIBLE never had any such miracles, promised any such miracles, and on the contrary, the INCORRUPTIBLE body is promised ONLY during the resurrection.

LENNY SAYS: Nilo, at the time of our resurrection we are given an incorruptible body as you say. Your premise that w…e can accept only miracles that are existent in the Bible is not Biblical. This is coming from your man-made tradition. You have violated your own belief in the Bible Alone “Sola Scriptura,” (one of the pillars of Protestantism), by believing something not in the Bible.

Furthermore your thesis is in violation of the Bible because Jesus did not limit us only to the works He worked. “I tell you most solemnly;whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12). Also note that Jesus has gone to the Father and His works are still happening.

Nilo, I can believe you who limit the works of God or I can believe Jesus who says; we “WILL PERFORM EVEN GREATER WORKS” (Jn 14:12)!

Jesus even used miracles to show that He is the one. “And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” Those who oppose miracles are at odds with Jesus and their bible.