Can a christian lose his salvation? : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

The catholic church teaches that we can lose our salvation right? I've seen scripture quoted by catholics proving this or at least sounding very convincing. But what about verses like Romans 8:35-39?

That seems to suggest if we really are saved nothing can seperate us from God right?

If not, doesn't losing salvation show that our sins are forgiving, but now we sinned and again are unsaved. If Christ died for an individual and when he reaches salvation how could he ever fall away because his sins have already been paid for including his disbelief.

I'm sure i'm wrong PAUL(hehe) but please explain!

-- Jason Baccaro (Enchanted, November 11, 2003


Response to Can a christain lose his salvation?

No, the Catholic Church does not teach that we can "lose" our salvation, because the Catholic Church doesn't teach that we have our salvation yet, and you can't lose what you don't have. The notion that someone can be absolutely assured of their salvation while still alive on this earth is a Protestant tradition. The Church of Jesus Christ has always believed that this lifetime is an opportunity for us to accept salvation, and to "work out our salvation in fear and trembling", as scripture tells us we must do. (Phil 2:12) Scripture also tells us that salvation takes place at the END of the journey. (Matt 10:22, Matt 24:13; 1 Cor 9:24; Phil 3:13-14).

But, while a Christian cannot "lose" a salvation which he does not yet possess, he most certainly can "forfeit" salvation - which means never receive it. Paul was certainly well aware of that possibility. (1 Cor 9:27).

The passage you quoted, Romans 8:35-39, is not talking about people who are "saved", since there is no such thing. And, it does not say that a Christian cannot become separated from God. What it says is that if a Christian WANTS to remain close to God, there is no outside force that can drag him away against his will. However, that doesn't mean that a Christian cannot voluntarily turn his back on God and walk away. We know that can happen because we have all seen it happen. And someone who does so forfeits salvation regardless of how faithful he was previously, for it is only those who endure to the end who WILL be saved.

-- Paul M. (, November 12, 2003.

Response to Can a christain lose his salvation?

Paul is quite right. I would like to add that Christ's death and resurrection opened the gates of Heaven that we're previously closed due the fall (Adam and Eve). God loves us and doesn't force us to love him back, love is a choice. Adam & Eve chose to go against God and hence the world changed and heaven was closed.

In much the same way Man had to choose to redeem himself, make up for what Adam & Eve did. Again Man had to choose in love. The reality is that man is not capable of redeeming himself, hence, God came in the form of a man to do this for us, as part of mankind.

Christ has redeemed us and made it possible to enter heaven. He paid for our sins. The important point is that it's stil up to us, we still have to choose just as Adam & Eve did. Do we love God and do we want to be with him?

Our salvation is based on choice - God will not take away our freedom to choose, he will not force us to love him. It is very easy to say we must just say we believe and we will be saved. No way! Every day is a conversion, every day is a choice, every day what we do and say counts towards or against our salvation.

-- Franc (, November 12, 2003.

So Paul, (forgive me if I explain this wrong) is it like a person who goes to purgatory because they don't yet have salvation but after purgatory they now have salvation and can enter heaven? And saints of history like Mother Mary, St. Francis, Mother Teresa, since they mostly (except Mary who fully) walked with God to the end of their lives then as they died they were in a state of salvation so they go right to heaven?

And if we die with unrepented vinel sins we go to purgatory? And unrepented mortal sins we go to hell, or what if we SINCERELY ask forgiveness for ALL our sins before we die while lived a wicked life. Does that person acheive or complete salvation? Please explain.

-- Jason Baccaro (Enchanted, November 12, 2003.

After death, each person is judged by God, as either saved or lost. Those are the only two options. The lost go directly to Hell. A person who goes to Purgatory has already been judged as saved. Purgatory does not bring about salvation. Nothing that happens after we die affects the question of whether we are saved or lost. That's what earthly life is for. Only people who die in a state meriting eternal salvation go to Purgatory. Such people have not rejected God or lived lives of evil which would merit Hell. Therefore, by definition, they are saved, which is the only eternal alternative to Hell. But the fact that they were not deserving of Hell doesn't necessarily mean they are fully prepared to appear before the throne of God in the company of the saints. Purgatory allows for the final purification of the saved who are not fully cleansed of all vestiges of sin.

Some suggest that Purgatory means that the saving grace of Christ's death on the Cross was not sufficient. That is nonsense. Purgatory is the saving grace of the Cross in action, for those who insufficiently accepted and cooperated with that saving grace during their years on earth. It is only by the saving grace of Christ's death and Resurrection that Purgatory is available to us.

It is possible that exceptionally holy persons like those you mentioned might be accepted straight into heaven without any further purification necessary. But we never know what hidden sins even a holy person might be guilty of. Everyone sins. Mary of course was an exception. We know that she was assumed directly into heaven. Once the Church has canonized a person, we also know that that person is in heaven, yet even these holy people may have been in need of additional purification before entering. We don't know.

"And if we die with unrepented venial sins we go to purgatory?'

A: Yes. That is one type of spiritual imperfection that might result in Purgatory.

"And unrepented mortal sins we go to hell"

A: Yes.

"what if we SINCERELY ask forgiveness for ALL our sins before we die while lived a wicked life. Does that person acheive or complete salvation?"

A: One who sincerely comes to God and confesses his sins is saved, regardless of when in his life that conversion occurs. That's what the parable of the vineyard workers is about. The man who came late in the day received the same reward as the man who started in the morning and worked all day. However, the idea of sincerity is crucial here. Obviously in the case of someone who chose evil their whole life, with the idea in mind of making a deathbed confession and being saved at the end (assuming they didn't die suddenly, and actually got a chance to do it), there would be substantial doubt concerning the sincerity of such a confession and "conversion".

-- Paul M. (, November 12, 2003.

Thanks Paul. But at your deathbed I meant a SINCERE confession. Not with thoughts of only because you were about to be judged because you know you lived a wicked life, but you REALLY wanted God to forgive you because you REALLY RECONIZED you were a sinner in need of Christ. And if you could, you would live out your life if you didn't die in walking with God.

I guess what I was saying before was, salvation comes after your judged by God? Also, it is only because of Him that we can live Godly as he reaches out to us. Another words we don't get any praise for our salvation, it belongs FULLY to God. Free will is also a gift from God so we owe him that thanks too by choosing to walk with Him, right?

-- Jason Baccaro (Enchanted, November 13, 2003.

I always am intrigued by the explanations offered by our church and those of other beliefs of what happens to us when we leave this earth. They are such pat answers, so clean and antiseptic.

It is interesting to note that when St Thomas penned the "Summa" back in the 1200's, it became the standard, right next to the Bible in it's explanations of what we believe and yet, right before his death, he sought to burn it, because he had of vision of what "Heaven" was really like and what he had written fell so far short of what he saw.

I think the "live this life in fear and trembling" comes closest to the mark, because what comes next is, at the core, even in our church, a mystery; and yes, we will be held accountable for that which we are today. Always have your lamp lit and your bags packed.

"As far as the heavens are above the earth are my ways above your ways and my thoughts your thoughts"


-- Leon (, November 13, 2003.

I know i'm probaly asking too many questions (hehe) but exactly why is it you can't go to hell for VENIAL SINS? The bible says "the wages of sin is death" It doesn't specify of any kind of sin it just says "SIN"! Which is rebelion against God! So why can't a person be cast into hell for Veinal sins but mortal sins he can?

I know mortal sins are more wicked, but venial are still sins as well. Please show me scripture support on this as well so I can grow in my faith. Thanks whoever answers.

-- Jason Baccaro (Enchanted, November 13, 2003.

"If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not leading to death". (1 John 5:16-17)

Note: "Mortal" means "leading to death", as in a "mortal wound" or "mortal combat". With that in mind, let's plug this term into the above passage in the appropriate places ...

"If anyone sees his brother committing a sin which is not mortal, he shall ask and God will give life to those who commit sin that is not mortal. There is mortal sin; I do not say that he should make request for this. All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal".

Note also that sins which are not mortal are easily forgiven - just a brief prayer will take care of it - even a prayer of intercession. "Venial" means "easily forgiven".

-- Paul M. (, November 13, 2003.

WOW!! :) Awesome! Thanks Paul and praise the Lord!

-- Jason Baccaro (Enchanted, November 14, 2003.

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