A Catholic's Conversation (KJV)
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A Catholic’s Conversation about Christ and Heaven
(An actual conversation)
Not too long ago, some religious people were at the door. They were nicely dressed, friendly, and talkative. They began talking about Jesus Christ.
Their Question: Do you believe you will go to heaven when you die?
My Reply: I think so. I’m good. But I don’t think anyone can know for certain.
Their Reply: Bible verses: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I John 5:11-13). You can know for certain that you have eternal life through faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ!
Their Question: Are you a sinner? The Ten Commandments reveal sin. Have you lied? Disobeyed parents? Have you stolen anything? Have you committed adultery? Jesus said if you lust in your heart you are committing adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:28). Have you murdered? Jesus said if you have hate, you have murder in your heart. (Matthew 5:21,22). Have you coveted or been greedy?
My Reply: Yes, I am a sinner. No one is perfect.
Their Reply: A Bible verse: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Their Question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead to save you?
My Reply: Of course I do! I have believed that all of my life!
Their Reply: Why are you not certain that you will go immediately to heaven when you die?
My Reply: Because only God knows whether I have been good enough. No one can know for certain until they get there.
Their Question: Do you believe that being a good person has something to do with obtaining eternal life in heaven?
My Reply: Of course, God wants us to show that we are worthy of Jesus and Heaven.
Their Reply: If salvation were dependent upon being good enough, then Jesus would not have needed to die on the cross. He could have just taught all to do their best at being good, and that would be acceptable. But He died on the cross for our sins!
My Reply: That is where faith comes in. I go to church, believe in God, and try to show my faith in God.
Their Reply: You have the cart before the horse. Jesus said, “Repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). In order to believe on Jesus for salvation, you have to first repent of your own works to save yourself.
My Reply: Are you saying God does not want Christians to live good?
Their Reply: Bible verses: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works…” (Ephesians 2:8-10). The reason you do not have certainty that you are going to Heaven when you die is because you are partly trusting Jesus and partly trusting your good and religious works. That means you are boasting in your works to partly save yourself. No one boasts in God’s presence. All glory goes to Him. To repent means to turn from sin and the trusting of anything other than Jesus Christ, and trust Christ only and completely for salvation. Then and only then will you have the certainty that you have believed savingly on Jesus Christ and have certainty from Him of eternal life! Once you are in Christ—by faith in Christ only—Christ from within you will produce good works through you.
Their Question: Will you repent of trusting your religious and good works and put your trust completely and only in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to save you?
My Question: Are you telling me that my baptism, confirmation, communion, and good works don’t count for anything with God?
Their Reply: Baptism, communion, and good works have their rightful place after salvation by faith alone. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4,5). Good and religious works to earn salvation are only increasing your proud sin debts in God’s sight. Your works cannot have any part of saving you. Only Jesus saves. You must repent and trust Jesus alone!
My Reply: I don’t think that I am ready to convert from being a Catholic.
Their Reply: True Christians are those who have come to trust Christ only for their salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
My Reply: All that you say makes sense. There are things about being a Catholic that I don’t believe such as Priest celibacy, confession to the Priest, and Purgatory.
Their Reply: Those things are not from God
according to the Bible. Pastors are to be married. “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (I Timothy 3:2). Sins are to be confessed to God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all…”
(I Timothy 2:5). There is no purgatory, only eternal life in heaven for the saved. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Their Question: Will you repent and trust Christ alone to save you from your sin? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Everyone who is saved must come the same way, just like the thief on the cross who confessed his sin and called out to Jesus to remember him. Jesus said, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
My Reply: Yes, I will!
Our Question to you, dear reader: Is the truth of God’s word speaking to your heart? Will you, too, right now repent and put your faith in Christ alone to save you? Will you pray something like this, “Dear Jesus, I believe that you died for my sins. You are the only Savior. I confess that I am a sinner and that I have been trying to earn salvation by being religious and good. I now repent of these things and give myself to you. Please come into my life and save me and live in me and conform me after your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Our Reply: To grow in Christ and fulfill, “The just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11), it is essential that you attend—not a only a Bible-based church—but a Bible-believing church.