Are you 100% sure you will go to Heaven?


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I was left with a small tract with these words on them the other day: Are you 100% sure you will go to Heaven? Upon investigating further, I found it to be from a local Baptist Church. The tract contained information which was very familiar to me, a former Baptist boy myself. As well as being an invitation to their church, the booklet’s main concern was my salvation. According to the words on the inside cover, I could have complete assurance that when I die, no matter what happens, I would go to heaven. 

If you have read my conversion story (found on the coming home network’s site), you know that the issue of salvation is one that plagued me for some time. My particular branch of the Southern Baptist faith clung to the belief known as “once saved always saved.” In short, once a person has a “born again” experience, and “accepts Christ as savior,” they are saved for all eternity. No possibility of damnation, no sin on my part can render my justification null. Sounds great, right? Well, it would have been great if I hadn’t been so skilled at the art of sinning (as we all are). My own personal experience and struggle forced me to take a look at this long held belief. 

It sounds oxymoronic, but finding out the truth about salvation, namely that I cannot be 100% sure that I will go to Heaven when I die, was freeing. Catholics believe that baptism washes away original sin, but that afterward you and I are still free to choose evil over good. That is to say, I can still choose to reject God’s grace in favor of something contrary to it. That being the case, Catholics are encouraged to take those times of weakness and failure to the sacrament of reconciliation (confession). It was through discovering this system, one which recognized my proclivity to sin, that I eventually found the relief that my burning conscience longed for. 

So, am I 100% sure I’ll reach Heaven when I die? Yes and no. I am sure that God will keep his promises if I am obedient and keep mine. In other words, I have to decide each day to love and follow him. As I heard it said once, God is the perfect genrleman; He will not force you into a relationship with him if that’s not what you want. In the end, the Lord will give us what we want the most. May we begin cultivating our love for Him now so as to be with Him for eternity! 

Peace be with you! 

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2 thoughts on “Are you 100% sure you will go to Heaven?

  1. I had the opposite experience. I was always taught that you could lose your salvation, and always felt like I could never be good enough. The message of the gospel is that Jesus died in my place. He took the punishment for my sin upon Himself, and according to the Bible (Romans 10:9-10) “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation.”
    What you are saying is that works–or being “good enough” will save you. I respectfully disagree. The Bible is very clear that salvation is only attained by God’s grace through faith, not because of anything we have done. “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous my faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) When we are saved, we desire to please Him and do good works, but those works do not save us. (See the book of Romans!)
    Confession is always a part of the Christian life–we are humans who will still sin, even after being saved. But Jesus is our High Priest, and the Bible says we can go directly into His presence to ask for forgiveness:
    “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens–Jesus the Son of God–let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
    The promise that we can KNOW we have eternal life is what gives us true freedom–we can live in confidence knowing the Source of Hope as we trust His Word.
    I know that you are a true seeker, and your heart is obviously sensitive to the things of God. I encourage you to read His Word for yourself–you will find that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)
    Please know my heart. I read your post and felt compelled to share my story. HIS story. Don’t take offense–please just be challenged to search further–in God’s Word.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Vickie. Please know that I do not take offense and that I am happy to see you engaging with my post. Would you be so kind as to “follow” my blog? I’ll be sure to do the same for you. Also, if you have any friends who would be interested in the blog, I would appreciate a recommend.

      As to your points, I am well aware of the Biblical texts that people such as yourself point to to support “once saved always saved.” I used to hold the very opinion that you do! I had Ephesians 2:8-9 memorized as a baptist youth and understood it the way you do. The problem isn’t that I don’t know the scripture, it’s that I interpret it differently now. Let me be clear, the Catholic Church does NOT teach works righteousness. So, I agree with what the Bible teaches that ALL is grace and that I cannot work my way to Heaven. I’m sorry if you got a different impression from my post. We believe God cleanses us through baptism from sin which is a FREE gift. I can’t do anything to earn said gift. After receiving the gift, however, I must continually accept God’s grace. The Lord won’t force me to stay in his flock if I end up deciding to reject him. Consider Colossians 1:21-23

      “And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deedsl
      he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister” (NAB).

      St. Paul was speaking to Christians in this passage. Notice the requirement to persevere in the faith; not to falter or reject it. Also, St. Peter says this in his epistle…

      “For if they, having escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of [our] Lord and savior Jesus Christ, again become entangled and overcome by them, their last condition is worse than their first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment handed down* to them. What is expressed in the true proverb has happened to them,s “The dog returns to its own vomit,” and “A bathed sow returns to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22, NAB).

      So, you see, scripture is actually clear that one can lose their salvation. Jesus paid it all! I agree! But he also invited us to pick up our cross and follow him. He won’t force us to pick up our crosses.

      All of this ultimately comes down to authority, Vickie. Obviously, you are a God fearing woman who loves the Lord and is trying to be obedient to his word. I commend you for that. That said, where does the Bible say that each individual Christian had the authority to pronounce what the Bible is trying to tell us? It doesn’t. In fact, individual interpretations are repudiated (see 2 Peter 1:20). Obviously you and I have differing opinions and we both pointed to scripture. Some church must have the authority, given to it by Christ, to speak authoritatively on scripture. We can’t all be right. Historically speaking, the Catholic Church is the only church which can trace its roots to the 1st century. It was the Catholic Church that canonized the Bible and gave it to us in its current form. It only makes sense that the first church, with the authority from God to assemble the scriptures, should have the authority to interpret them. Otherwise, who is right on the issue of salvation? You, me, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Church of Christ, etc.? We can argue scripture all day long, but we really have to look to see who has the authority to have the final say.

      Thanks again for engaging with me. I will pray for you and I hope you’ll pray for me! God bless!

      P. S. The following is an article which I referenced for my response. You may find it helpful. Also, Catholic.com is a wonderful resource for folks wanting to learn more about the Catholic faith.

      http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/are-you-saved-if-only

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