Q. In your response to a Catholic who asked: “Who will go in the Rapture”, you wrote:
“The only qualification is our belief that Jesus died for our sins, and that when we asked for His forgiveness, He granted us salvation unto Eternal Life.” I agree with your response at a high level, but my fear is that Catholics will filter this response through their understanding of Catholic practice, think they are A-OK, and miss the key message.
As a former Catholic, I found that I was not born-again of the spirit even though I met the requirement as you stated it. I was only born-again when I believed that my salvation was ONLY based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and that I needed to activate and personalize the offer of salvation with Jesus myself, basically exchanging my sinfulness for His righteousness, face to face.
It may sound like a fine point to some, but since Catholic doctrine adds a variety of things to the salvation formula (ex. membership in the Catholic church, infant baptism, etc….as well as teaching additional personal payment for sin over and above that of Christ’s sacrifice, ex. penance, purgatory, etc.), one could meet your definition, and not actually believe in the SUFFICIENCY of Christ’s sacrifice for their salvation. Even the focus of the Mass, the Eucharist, is an ongoing sacrifice for sin, so the concept of Christ’s work as partial payment or as an act to open the way for forgiveness of sins, is a fairly common interpretation for Catholics.
In addition, most Catholics confess to a priest, not to Christ, so the personal relationship is a foreign concept from a doctrinal perspective. I don’t think confessing and asking for forgiveness of Jesus through a mediator such as a priest, will yield the same result. However, that is what most Catholics would assume was meant by “asking for forgiveness”.
I have such a concern for Catholics to hear the biblical gospel. You have such an awesome platform to speak the Truth of the Gospel, so just wanted to make sure all understand, with clarity, any differences in their religious doctrine, so that they can remove any barrier to receiving the Spirit of Christ and be born again as a child of God.
Many of the Christians I meet assume that Catholics are born-again because they use similar words, and profess a similar creed. But the difference is in the details. I continue to pray that we don’t give anyone false hope, but the clear Truth, so they may know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
A. You’ve said it as well as I could so I’m posting it just as you wrote it.