What must a person do to avoid the lake of fire?

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I have often had a hard time understanding exactly what the Catholic Church's stand on being "born again" is as Jesus spoke of in the book of John. Could someone please explain to me if the Catholic church believes these scriptures:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For ye are saved by grace, through faith; and this not of yourselves; it is Godís gift: 9 not on the principle of works, that no one might boast.

Are these verses taught in the Catholic church? It just seems so simple to me. All a person has to do is to ask Jesus to come into their life to be saved. Isn't that was these scriptures are saying?

-- Joe (namodi@hotmail.com), March 11, 2002

Answers

Simply put Jesus was talking to Nicodemus that he needs to be Baptized in the name of GOD. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It is clearly spoken in Verses 5-8. The verse you chosed cannot stand alone. It is clear that one needs to be baptized in the name of GOD to be able to enter heaven. The verses are telling us that we need to be born from above through baptizm, a rebirth through our GOD. Not just Born Again. He who has no sin will enter heaven and our original stain from Adam and Eve and our sin from our past must be cleansed from our souls before we are able to enter heaven. To Catholics Baptizm is our first Sacrament, a gift from GOD that cannot be taken away forever. It is our sign that we are to be children of GOD through the faith we obtian through the Holy Spirit and our sign when we enter heaven.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 11, 2002.

Yet the Ephesian account is also not a stand alone item, for if you do not put the Graces that God gives you to work what have you - NOTHING at all. I cannot tell you how important that works are for if you take from GOD and do not return him your LOVE and share it then your faith in him is meaningless. The Parable of the Talents is a good example of what I am speaking of. If you do not put the Gifts of GOD's Graces that you recieve then you have accomplished nothing in return for the Graces recieved. To pick only a verse or 2 is not letting the whole word of GOD to work within you . It takes ALL of the verses in the manner of perocopes to fully understand GOD's word for us to be alive in the Holy Spirit.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 11, 2002.

Yes, baptism is definitely necessary too. Jesus even speaks of it in the same context. However shouldn't we be baptized in the name of Jesus? Whenever I read the new testament, I see how the apostles always baptized in the name of Jesus. If we simply say "I now baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" and then immerse the person, then we are never really saying the name of the Father the Son and Holy Spirit. That name is Jesus and I have been told that this is why we should baptize in the name of Jesus which IS the name of the F,S and HS. Isn't this true?

-- Joe (namodi@hotmail.com), March 11, 2002.

To baptize in the Name of Jesus only is to deny the rest of the Holy Trinity. For a Baptismal to be recognied it has to be in the full GODHEAD. FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT. Remember in Matthew GOD is three persons and one GOD both are the same inseparable, Fully one GOD in Three persons. One cannot function without the other. God the Father, creator of all things seen and unseen, God the SON, the creator of our Faith, Church, Judge of good and evil, God the HOLY SPIRIT, the one who guides us through our faith, dwells within us, the CHURCH.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 11, 2002.

^

-- ^ (^@^.^), March 12, 2002.


Matthew 28: 18-19: Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. Not, "baptise them in the name of the Father, in my name, and in the name of the Holy Spirit". (And no, 'Jesus' is not the name of the Trinity.)

Pax et bonum,

-- Oliver Schrinner (piraya@hispavista.com), March 12, 2002.

Joe, Fred is correct that we should baptize in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus told this to the disciples in Mathew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the Holy Spirit". As for born again, you experience rebirth when you believe in Christ, nothing more. When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus He said in verse 14, ďAs moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be liftedup; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal lifeĒ. Jesus is refering to Numbers 21:4-9, the only thing the Israelites had to do is to look up at the serpent to be healed, it was that simple. Jesus is comparing LOOKING at the serpent for healing to BELIEVING in Him and receiving eternal life. It is so simple that people seems to want to add things to it. In Acts 10:44 Peter shared the gospel with gentiles and the Holy Spirit Fell upon them and they started speaking in tongues and the Jews were amazed. After the Holy Spirit fell upon them Peter told the Jews, "Surely no one can refuese the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did". So they received the Holy Spirit before baptizm. Baptizm of the Spirit and Baptizm of the water are totally different and water baptizms do not save. I do believe that an obedient Christian should be baptized after they are saved since Jesus told us to baptize!! Hope this helps Joe.

Kevin L.

-- Kevin (k4laps@attbi.com), March 12, 2002.


Kevin

"As for born again, you experience rebirth when you believe in Christ, nothing more."

When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus he was not only speaking of himself he was speaking of the Father too. He clearly was speaking about being born again through baptism through the spirit, GOD himself, the Trinity, He knew then of his Divinity and that he and the Father were the same and the Holy Spirit was to be revealed to all later after his death.

Yes Baptism also does serve as a message to the Father of LIES that we are in fact GOD'S children. Also Jesus was telling Nicodemus that he also has the word which his father gave him to guide him in faith.

Interesting thing to notice is that Christ literally reveals himself to Nicodemus in the whole Perocope and in his instructions to Nicdemus he reveals what Baptism is to mean and its role in our lives. A cleansing of the body and soul by water and the spirit (GOD). A rebirth, spiritually, the removal of original sin and a mark for life.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 12, 2002.


Dear Kevin:
Baptizm of the Spirit and Baptizm of the water are totally different and water baptizms do not save. I do believe that an obedient Christian should be baptized after they are saved since Jesus told us to baptize!! Hope this helps Joe. (Your words.)

The Catholic Church teaches that the Sacraments are true causes of grace. Christ is the invisible Head of the Church, He teaches us through her lips and He sanctifies us through the Sacraments He has committed to her. Just as on earth virtue came forth from His sacred Humanity, now GRACE comes to us by His own hands, in the Holy Sacraments. No other source for our grace exists, except Jesus. He acts through the Sacraments, and Baptism is the first source in His Church.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is termed baptism by analogy, or comparison. It's a call on the Holy Spirit by way of true and perfect contrition for sin, as well as a perfect act of Charity, LOVE.

It can save us; but it doesn't have the sacramental character. Neither would the baptism of Desire, or Blood (martyrdom) imprint the sacramental character; only sanctifying grace. Without this, we could not become members of the visible Church.

Nor would the baptism of the Holy Spirit always remit the temporal punishment due to sin; so the obligation remains of receiving the Sacrament at the earliest opportunity. In baptism by water, a soul would go immediately to heaven after death, if no other sin were committed. Even if it were an infant. The baptism by Blood would also remit all punishment, so a soul who died for Christ would enter heaven immediately. This is clearly taught in the gospels.

Jesus commanded that all be baptised with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the same as commanding ALL be members of His visible Church on earth, The Holy Catholic Church. Every valid baptism by water imprints the Sacramental character on the recipient. Therefore, all become Catholics, ipso facto. Our separated brethren are Catholics, but the Church does not exercise her right to command their obedience, the jurisdiction she actually has. This is from motives of prudence and charity. She could excommunicate them, in fact; but won't-- because they are her children. Just as a man by ingratitude or disobedience can never cease to be the child of his parents, protestants remain the Church's own; though they are apart from her. Even an excommunication would only bar the disloyal Catholic from her sacred rites; but she could not cancel his baptism. Neither will she refuse to restore him on due repentance and submission; to all that he's lost.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), March 12, 2002.


Oliver you said,

And no, 'Jesus' is not the name of the Trinity

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing at this. You, sir, have been here too long! :-D

Frank

-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 12, 2002.



Jmj

Hello, Gene.
On several occasions, during the past year, you have hinted that you believe something with which I could not agree. Since there were only hints then, I didn't think it proper to pursue it. But today, at last, you have stated it very explicitly, so I thought I should discuss it with you.

You wrote:
"Every valid baptism by water imprints the Sacramental character on the recipient. Therefore, all become Catholics, ipso facto. Our separated brethren are Catholics, but the Church does not exercise her right to command their obedience, the jurisdiction she actually has. This is from motives of prudence and charity.

I agree with you that every person, upon being validly baptized, becomes a Catholic, but then we begin to differ. In order for me to believe, as you do, that "our separated brethren are [still] Catholics," it would be necessary for you to produce a Church document teaching this to be true -- e.g., a passage in the new Catechism, some conciliar document, a Vatican/papal teaching text, etc.. Gene, I don't believe that you can produce such a document. Rather, I would say that "our separated brethren are [no longer] Catholics," and that is why we refer to them as "separated." Why are they "no longer Catholics?" Stay tuned.

You continued:
"She [the Catholic Church] could excommunicate them, in fact; but won't -- because they are her children. Just as a man by ingratitude or disobedience can never cease to be the child of his parents, protestants remain the Church's own; though they are apart from her."

I disagree in a couple of respects. The Church could not "excommunicate them," because the Church can only excommunicate Catholics, which our separated brethren are no longer. The reason they are not Catholics is that, from the moment they denied certain doctrines that the Church says must be held with "divine and Catholic faith," they excommunicated themselves. That is the key thing here. They are no longer Catholics, because (with or without their formal knowledge) they left the Church into which they had been baptized. To remain "Catholic," one must believe all those dogmas that the Church has firmly declared to be true (including transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception, sacramental forgiveness of sins, etc., etc.). One cannot pick and choose and yet remain "Catholic."

Leaving Catholicism can happen immediately (as in the case of adult baptism) or after several years (in the case of infant baptism).

A Catholic who chooses to publicly and obstinately deny a truth of the faith is a "formal heretic" and can be excommunicated, making him "no longer a Catholic." A person who, through no fault of his own, has grown up in a Christian community of separated brethren, denying articles of our faith, is technically called a "material heretic," having excommunicated himself (as I mentioned earlier), making him "no longer a Catholic." [In a spirit of ecumenical peace and understanding, though, no one bothers to refer to Protestants as "material heretics" any more, because it is of no profit to anyone. On the contrary, "heretic" is a word with such very strong negative connotations and is subject to misunderstanding.]

God bless you.
John

-- (jfgecik@hotmail.com), March 13, 2002.


John,
The points on which you thought we differed are well taken. I understand them completely. These good points are not stated in my brief posting above, but you could infer them, since nobody said a protestant faith gives the validly baptised member a part in our Church's sacred rites. I stated this, I think.

For instance, it should be inferred by my post, though their baptism is a valid Catholic baptism (because the have retained the true way of conferring it), they cannot received the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I clearly said they are APART from her, though still remaining her children. There is no such th9ng as a protestant baptism!

You are right to add the canonical qualifications of Catholicism and full membership in the visible Church. However, baptism would suffice to save the soul of a non-Catholic who lives a life of charity and follows his conscience. The Mystical Body of Christ is inclusive through our EQUAL baptismal character. Carried out logically then, that soul will have received salvation through the Catholic Church.

The background then, is what we've discussed previously as the meaning of ''Outside the Catholic Church is no salvation''.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), March 13, 2002.


I believe that the scriptures are the inspired words of God. So, I have trouble reconciling these verses using your interpretations:

Matt 28:19 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NIV)

Acts 2:38 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

Acts 10:48 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (NIV)

Col 3:17 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (NIV)

So, I guess that the Catholic church is more intelligent than the early apostles(who you call the first popes and bishops). The apostles clearly understood that they should baptize in the name of Jesus. Or did Peter(the first pope) and the others misunderstand Jesus?

-- Joe (namodi@hotmail.com), March 13, 2002.


Joe

You sir are the one who is confused. It is not speaking of the literal baptism by water. It is the baptism by FAITH that Paul was speaking of. When we are Baptised we proclaim the fact that Jesus is Lord. That is what Paul was speaking of. FAITH in CHRIST. The actual Baptism by water is still in the Trinity. All of the verses are speaking of faith in Christ. Grace is indeed a gift freely given to us from GOD. But you must realize that it cannot do us any good until we put it to work. That is what good works is. Making our Gifts freely given to us by GOD to work. Looka t the three men and the Talents, it is what I mean.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 13, 2002.


Joe:
Once again you miss the boat. The Catholic Church is not ''more intelligent'' than the apostles. The Church teaches ONLY what she has been given by the apostles. In verses that say baptise in the name of Jesus, the only thing meant is that the apostle is :

distinguishing Jesus' baptism command --Water, the names of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Matt, 28 :19) --from the baptism of John the Baptist (Mark, 1 :9)--You seem to forget the Jews were only familiar with ONE baptist, John, at the River Jordan. The apostles knew this, and made the new baptism known as JESUS' command.

This has never meant, I baptise you in the name of Jesus! You haven't been reading the scriptures very long, have you, JOE ?

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), March 13, 2002.



Gene

Thanks for the clarification.. I was having a time with that one. I can feel what is right, but to explain it, is sometimes a bit tricky.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 13, 2002.


Fred,
Sometimes it's best not to try to give answers at all, unless the answer is known from a Catholic source. We aren't in the non-Catholic Sola Scriptura mode here. JOE is!

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), March 13, 2002.

Jmj

Hi, Gene.
In your reply to me, you were very much mistaken.

You stated: "The points on which you thought we differed are well taken."
If you would take a closer look at what you originally stated and the way in which I replied, you would have no doubt at all that we REALLY differed. It was not merely that I "thought we differed." Later, I will give a couple of examples to demonstrate this.

You continued: "I understand them completely. These good points are not stated in my brief posting above, but you could infer them ..."

Perhaps a person could infer one or two of my minor points from your post. But my main reason for writing my message was to point out a couple of major things about which you were simply wrong. And what is factual on those two subjects could not possibly have been inferred from your original post. Unfortunately, the problem was compounded because, in your reply to me, you did not admit that you had been mistaken, so I have to try again now to persuade you to make the admission. This is necessary, for integrity's sake.

Here is what you originally stated (with my emphasis added):
(1) "Every valid baptism by water imprints the Sacramental character on the recipient. Therefore, all become Catholics, ipso facto. Our separated brethren are Catholics, but the Church does not exercise her right to command their obedience, the jurisdiction she actually has. This is from motives of prudence and charity."
(2) "She could excommunicate them, in fact; but won't-- because they are her children."

There are at least two errors in #1 and #2, and I would appreciate your admitting and correcting at least the more/most severe of them.

Please re-read what I said, Gene, in my previous message, about our separated brethren not being Catholics. Then please tell us that you were mistaken to write these words: "Our separated brethren are Catholics ..." -- a statement which is equivalent to saying, "Protestants are Catholics."
Or, if you are unwilling to admit that you erred, then (as I asked last time) please prove, by quoting from Catholic doctrine, that all of us Catholics need to start believing that "Protestants are Catholics."

If you do admit, as I sincerely hope, that actually "our separated brethren are not Catholics," it will follow logically that another statement you made was also not correct (as I also explained last time). I am referring to your comment that the Catholic Church "could excommunicate" our separated brethren, the Protestants. Again, please re-read what I stated, in my previous message, about the fact that our Church cannot ex"communi"cate Protestants, since excommunication is something done only by/to Catholics. Our separated brethren have already freely chosen not to be part of our "communi"on [and never knew that they were part of it at the time of their baptism].

(Besides the above, of lesser importance to me at this time is my disagreement with your comment that our Church has "jurisdiction" over Protestants. I also seriously doubt that it is proper to say that Protestants are part of the "Mystical Body of Christ," though I would rather not open that complex discussion on this thread.)

God bless you.
John

-- (jfgecik@hotmail.com), March 14, 2002.


John,
I'm not about to argue with you. If I was wrong, or if you needed to correct me, I stand corrected. Is that all you require? We have nothing to dispute; you have another frame of mind than mine.

I said there is only one baptism. That baptism is from the apostles. They were Catholics, and no other baptism is of Christ except theirs. A soul once baptised is imprinted with the sacramental character making him/her a child of God; (notwithstanding the awful possibility of losing its salvation through sin.)

You're a faithful Catholic with no bad intentions. I'm a faithful Catholic without any presumption to infallibilty. I hope in Our Lord that I haven't been an impediment to the faith of the apostles.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), March 14, 2002.


As I understand it, being a catechist for unbaptized adults, and also quite familiar with the RCIA...both candidates and catechumens, I have something to offer for thought.

If the Catholic Church did not recognize Protestant baptism as valid, then we would not regard a Protestant entering the Catholic Church as "completing" their initiation and full reception into the Church. So, I suggest this: all *valid* baptisms are the first step toward Catholicism...and to receive Catholic confirmation completes it. So our loved and separated family is still viewed as Catholic, at least in their baptism is concerned. That we reserve communion is because we believe that receiving this Sacrament tells everyone that you profess all that the Catholic faith believes. To take Holy Eucharist, while not fully accepting all we believe, would be negating the communion. Once fully received into the faith, any Christian, from any faith, has finished their full and complete entrance into the Church, as Christ initiated.

-- Melissa (holy_rhodes@earthlink.net), March 15, 2002.


Melissa

Only those protestants who have recieved their Baptism in the proper formula of the Holy Trinity and from churches who profess Jesus as God and Lord are recognized. The Mormon Baptism and several others are not recognized as valid. Therefore the new person coming into our Church will be baptized with the full trinitarian formula. THANKS be to GOD.

-- Fred Bishop (fcbishop@globaleyes.net), March 15, 2002.


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