As a catholic, I never once had full assurance that I would go to heaven after I died. My faith was based on being a member of the catholic church, keeping the sacraments, going to confession, receiving communion and doing good works. All these things were based on what I was personally responsible for doing. No where in my faith was I looking to Jesus to be the sole provider of my salvation. It was not by His work on the cross but my ability to perform all those things I spoke of.
~Deuteronomy 28:66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
This verse pretty much sums up how I felt about my faith as a catholic. My life was hanging in doubt. I did not have full assurance of salvation. And I most certainly did fear day and night because I knew that I did not possess a relationship with God.
But the Word of God says that those who accept Christ’s complete work for salvation on the cross (and His work only) can have full assurance of their salvation.
~Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
It is the work of righteousness that brings peace. This cannot refer to our works of righteousness because Isaiah says:
~Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
There is only One whose works are considered righteous and those are the works of God. Christ became sin for us so that His Father would look upon us and see His (Christ’s) righteousness not ours.
~2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Therefore, our salvation is based on Christ’s righteousness, not our own. If one would go to purgatory, what does that do with the righteousness of Jesus Christ? Is it not enough? Ah, but the Word says that Jesus’ righteousness is the ONLY thing that will allow us into heaven because that is all the Father sees!
Even in Paul’s time, people tried to include their own works in their redemption. However, Paul admonished and said:
~Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
If we are to depend upon our own doings or the doings of others, then we will never have full assurance of our salvation. Who is to say that a loved one can pray you out of purgatory? Who is to say that enough masses are going to be said on your behalf to shorten your time in purgatory? Do you really want to find out only once you die? Wouldn’t you want this settled before you die? All this is left to hands of others. Is that a secure place for your salvation and the assurance it brings? Not at all!
~Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
~Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
~Hebrews 10:22a Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
Faith does not bring us a partial assurance or a hope so assurance – but it brings us full assurance because it is not up to us or anything that we do. It is all up to the finished work of Jesus Christ! Can you not see that? Man’s arms will fail us, my friend.
And lastly, the ever popular verses:
~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
~Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There is nothing that can be done on our part that will add to or even complete what Christ has done for us. It’s like taking a gift from a dear friend and saying, “Oh thank you, now let me add a little to that gift and change it a bit and then I will be happy!” Christ’s work was complete. There is nothing to add to the perfect redemption and work of the cross. The work you do after salvation brings glory to God. But the works you do prior to salvation are no better in God’s eyes than Cain’s work – and we all know that God rejected Cain’s sacrifice.
My friend, there is no assurance in the catholic church and the salvation it claims to have. There is no name under heaven whereby we can be saved except for that of Jesus Christ. If salvation could only be obtained through the catholic church, then this would have been stated in the Bible in the Book that recorded the beginnings of the church.
(Act 4:10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
(Act 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
How can you fall for doctrine and theory without question? God would not hide a topic as important as the salvation of mankind. He has made it available to the masses through the Bible. Not through the catholic church!
I pray you can understand these verses because they are packed with the power of God, not of man!
~Hebrews 12:22-29 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (22) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (23) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (24) See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (25) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. (26) And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (27) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (28 ) For our God is a consuming fire. (29)