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  • Gary Heppner

Catholic Eternal Security or Loss of Salvation


[CB] meant “Catholic Bible, Fireside School, and church Edition”

My goal is to compare the Catholic doctrine to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

The loss of salvation doctrine has been debated for hundreds of years. And is fully supported in Catholicism, the Assembly of God, Mennonite, and a number of other protestant churches. I have been surprised at the number who have decided on their own that they are lost when taking inventory of their past and present sin. Many others rely on their good works and hoping that will get them to heaven. So, what is the truth?

Catholics believe: If you really were saved, and then you “lean away of the faith,” by way of mortal sins, then you walked away from God, and lose salvation. Mortal sins are sins you and I freely choose to commit that destroy our relationship with God. Venial are sins that damage or wound the relationship but do not destroy the relationship.

Galatians 1;6-8 [CB] page 277 New Testament “ I’m amazed that you so quickly forsake the one who called you [by the grace of Christ] for a different gospel. Not that there is another. But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preach to you, let that one be accursed.” The following is very clear,

“Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you not ending with the flesh?” [Flesh refers to being circumcised, following the law and works which is now not needed. [ CB] Galatians 3:3 Page 280

The gospel says, What does “Falling from Grace” mean?

Rome says, “falling from grace,” means you and I have lost our salvation because of mortal sin. To be restored, confession to a priest is required. We must be purged in Purgatory to be purified before going to heaven. [Purgatory in a separate topic.] So, let’s look at the Bible verse where this “falling from Grace” appears.

  • Galatians 5:4 [CB] page 283 New Testament “You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be” Judaizers” you have fallen from graceWho were the “Judaizers” and what were they preaching? Salvation was obtained through works combined with faith, circumcision, and observing special days and dietary guidelines I.e., the law and not the gospel was being promoted. This is not what the gospel says about salvation. [Salvation is a separate topic.]

  • They [Judaizers] were proclaiming a gospel different from the apostle Paul. This is confusing everyone.

  • Paul expresses his broken heart in Galatians 1:6-7[CB] page277 New Testament quoted above.

This is confusing, as it lets a priest decide which are venial and which are mortal sins. Missing Mass is a sin. [Francis Cardinal George says,] “As a Catholic, you are required to receive the Eucharist every week. but if I continue not to go to Mass then at some point it could be mortal.” At what point of missed Masses have I crossed the line? Every Catholic friend of mine says this creates fear, not knowing what to expect. One friend said, “what if I have committed an unknown moral sin and then was killed in an auto accident? I guess I should go to mass and confession every day to keep the slate clean.”

” 2 Timothy 1:7 [CB page 320 New Testament for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, [Greek translates, Timidity] but rather of power and love and self-control. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear…” I think there is something missing. How could a person not be fearful, no knowing if he/she is going to make it to heaven?

To add more confusion, because I’m not a member of the church, then I’m guilty of mortal sin and do not have salvation outside of the church. I’m not saved, according to Rome.

Protestants who preach and teach the gospel say sin is sin. Anything that is counter to the perfect will of God is sin. Because we are not perfect Jesus had to die to pay the death penalty for us. Once you and I sincerely accept His forgiveness, all sin past, present and future is forgiven, and we are put in a right relationship with God.

Some that oppose this, will say,” that gives the person a “license to sin.” As a born-again believer if I continue to sin, God promises to discipline you and I, [Hebrew 12;6-7; [CB] page 344 New testament “ For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines, he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as “discipline” God treats you as sons. For what son is there whom the father does not discipline…” Rev 3;19 [CB] page 383 New Testament “Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise, Be earnest, therefore and repent.” Duet 8;5 [CB] page 196 Old Testament “..So you must know in your heart that even as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord, your God, disciplines you …” but the relationship doesn’t change. The Prodigal Son is a good example. [CB] Luke 15;11-32 page 327-327 New Testament] Even though the son sinned he was still in the family, [ Rome considers his sin would be mortal.] God promises to never leave us. [Hebrews 12;5-6; [CB] page 344 Net Testament “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him: This is evidence of God’s love for us.

Isaiah 41;10-13; [CB] page 883 Old Testament “Do not fear, for I’m with you Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God”.

Also, take a moment to go to Romans 8:37-39 CB page 227 New Testament Take comfort in these verses.

When you have placed your faith [not just citing rituals or sacraments] in Jesus Christ with your heart and repented of your sins, you have been bought with a price CB 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 page 244 New Testament Or, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own.” For you have been purchased at a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” No one owns his/her own body. Your body either belongs to God or is a slave to sin. Romans 6:6 [CB] page 224 New Testament “ We know that our old self was crucified with him so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.”

How can I lose my salvation? When I accepted Christ, I’m no longer my own. Ownership has been transferred. Rome says, “I can walk away from God, but God doesn’t leave. Therefore, how can I walk away when I have no ownership? Here’s something else to consider. The Holy Spirit doesn’t reside if the person can leave. So, then Signed, sealed, and delivered. In every case, the term “sealed” carries the idea of closing something from outside interferences. Nothing is allowed past the “seal”.

Let read what the Bible says 11 Corinthians 1:21-22 [CB] page 261 New Testament “ But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God: with you in Christ. V 22, he has also put his seal upon us and given the spirit in our hearts as the first installment

Matt 28;20] “Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I’m with you always even to the end of the age Ephesians 4:30 [CB] page 290 New Testament “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Definition of redemption refers to that day when our salvation is complete body and spirit. Romans 8:30 [CB] page 226 New Testament “We ourselves who have the first fruits of the spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”

Dr. Charles Stanley says it best, “What is the significance of a seal that can be continually removed and reapplied? What does it really seal?

One more observation:

The “Fruit of the spirit” will start to appear as we mature in Jesus Christ, which is further evidence that the Holy Spirit is indwelling you and me, “Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. [CB Galatians 5:22 Page 283 New Testament] How can we enjoy joy and peace if we are never sure of our eternal destination? You and I can not work at expressing these. They are gifts of the spirit to those that have been born again.

Have questions? Email Gary:

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