Q. I have been having this argument with my friend about how Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity. He thinks it is but I disagree because they don’t believe in Jesus as their savior. Am I on track with my thinking?
A. Official Catholic doctrine states that Jesus died for the sins of Catholics, but to maintain their salvation they also have to perform certain works required by the Catholic Church. These works, called sacraments, are not Biblically mandated but come from Catholic tradition.
Like it is with everyone else who claims to be a Christian, no one can tell if a Catholic is truly saved or not. If in their heart they entrust their salvation totally to the completed work of the Lord, then they’re saved. But if they believe they must also keep the sacraments to finish the work of salvation, then they’re not. Only the Lord can look into their heart and make that determination. This is why He cautioned us to judge nothing until the appointed time (Matt. 7:1-2, Luke 7:37, 1 Cor. 4:5).