Frequently, Protestants call themselves “Bible” Christians. And they claim that they get their doctrines from the Bible “alone”.
Well, let’s put that to the test.
What is your answer to this question?
Are you saved?
The Protestant answer to this question is an unequivocal, “YES!” They claim they were saved when they professed faith in Christ. They profess to have an "absolute assurance of salvation."
The Catholic answer is different. Ask a Catholic, any Catholic, "Are you saved?" What is the answer that he will give?
He will answer, "I don't know. I hope so.” Why? Because we are taught that Christ judges the merit of our works and that we "hope" in our salvation. But that it is "presumption" to claim salvation for ourselves. Here's what the Catechism says about "hope":
1820 Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus' preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes. The beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven as the new Promised Land; they trace the path that leads through the trials that await the disciples of Jesus. But through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the "hope that does not disappoint." Hope is the "sure and steadfast anchor of the soul . . . that enters . . . where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf." Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: "Let us . . . put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation." It affords us joy even under trial: "Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation." Hope is expressed and nourished in prayer, especially in the Our Father, the summary of everything that hope leads us to desire.
So, which is the more Biblical answer? The Protestant or the Catholic? Here’s what the Apostle said according to the quintessential Protestant Bible.
1 Corinthians 4:3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
That sounds like the Catholic answer. St. Paul says that he doesn’t care about any human judgment. He doesn’t even judge himself. Because he knows that he will be judged by Our Lord. So, St. Paul doesn’t claim salvation for himself, as do the Protestants.
Here’s another one:
Philippians 3:10-14 King James Version (KJV)
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Again, the Apostle sounds Catholic. He says that he wants to know Christ, therefore he undergoes sufferings in order to be more like Christ. And then he says, “if” by any means I “might” attain the resurrection of the dead.
IF, MIGHT. Those aren’t words of absolute assurance. And if the Apostle Paul could not be absolutely assured from the moment of his first proclamation of faith, what makes Protestants think that they can be so assured?
I could go on and on. There are many verses in the Bible which disprove absolute assurance of salvation. But I’ll just give you one more.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Put on the hope of salvation. The "hope" of salvation is not the "absolute assurance" of salvation.
St. Paul sounds like a Catholic.
So, in your opinion, which is the more Biblical answer?