I trust that you will hear my heart and not be offended in any way by what I have to say. This is a love letter. I know that you are a devout Catholic believer. It is my understanding of the Catholic belief of salvation (from my reading of church doctrine on the official Catholic website) that prompts this letter. I also know that there are many “kinds” of Catholic churches, just as there are many “kinds” of Protestant churches. I believe there are those in both types of faith that are saved as well as unsaved. So please don’t think I am making any assumptions about you personally. I just don’t want anything to happen to you without knowing that I had been faithful to share the gospel with you—a part of my extended family. I believe that is what God expects of each of us that call ourselves Christian. I would so much rather be talking to you face to face; but since distance prevents that, here goes….
Some of the saddest verses in the Bible are found in Matthew.
Matthew 7:22–23 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
In other words, these are people that have done many good works in the name of the LORD/Jesus/God that will be made to realize that they were depending on their works for their salvation. When I read the official Catholic doctrine, I found that there is a requirement that you do certain works or you cannot be saved. Scripture is clear in telling us that works can’t save us, it is only by faith that we are saved.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “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.”
The works that we do to honor God in gratitude for our salvation give evidence to our salvation. But if we are depending on those works for any part of our salvation, we are believing a false gospel. The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for our sins is completely sufficient to save us. If we try to add anything to that, we are basically saying that His sacrifice wasn’t sufficient; it wasn’t good enough to save us.
1 Corinthians 15:1–4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures….”
John 3:14–16 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 6:28–29 “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
...I am probably preaching to the choir. And if that be the case, I know you will hear my heart. I just don’t want to assume and have to stand before the LORD and have to admit that there were those with whom I should have shared the good news of the gospel and didn’t.