Get ready for battle! ;-)
In keeping with guidelines posted by the Religion Moderator, we are posting this thread (and future ones) a series on the Early Church Fathers, as a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus. Protestants are welcome to post comments but restraint from attacks, would be appreciated. This thread is posted to inform, support and defend the historic orgins of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Oops ... I forgot to post Catholic/Orthodox Caucus in the thread title. If there are no objections, I will then leave this as an open caucus.
Strangely the Orthodox Church could ay the exact same thing..
"The Church is the body of Christ, His bride, the world to come, and the temple of God. The members of His body are all the saints. However, not all of the saints who will please God have yet appeared, nor yet is the whole body of Christ thus complete, nor the world to come yet filled. I say this about God's Church. There are, though, many unbelievers in the world today who will believe in Christ; many sinners and debauched who will repent and change their lives; many undecided who will be persuaded. There are many, a great many, up to the sound of the last trumpet, who will prove well-pleasing to God and who have not yet been born. All those who are foreknown by God must be born, come into being, before the world beyond our world, the world of the Church, of the first-born, of the heavenly Jerusalem, is filled up. Then shall the end come and the fullness of the body of Christ be complete." +Symeon the New Theologian, On the Mystical Life
Neh. 13:14, Psalm 11:7,28:4, Isa. 3:10, 59:18, Jer. 25:14, 50:29, Ezek. 9:10, 11:21, 36:19, Hos. 4:9, 9:15, 12:2, Sir. 16:12,14 - The 2,000 year-old Catholic position on salvation is that we are saved by Jesus Christ and Him alone (cf. Acts 15:11; Eph. 2:5). But by the grace of Christ, we achieve the salvation God desires for us through perseverance in both faith and works. Many Protestants, on the other hand, believe that one just has to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior to be saved, and good works are not necessary (they just flow from those already saved). But these verses, and many others, teach us that our performance of good works is necessary for our salvation. Scripture also does not teach that good works distinguish those who are eternally saved from those who are not saved.
Sir. 35:19; Luke 23:41; John 3:19-21, Rom. 8:13, 2 Tim 4:14, Titus 3:8,14, Rev. 22:12 - these verses also teach us that we all will be judged by God according to our deeds. There is no distinction between the "saved" and the "unsaved."
1 Cor. 3:15 - if works are unnecessary for salvation as many Protestants believe, then why is a man saved (not just rewarded) through fire by a judgment of his works?
Matt. 7:1-3 - we are not judged just by faith, but actually how we judge others, and we get what we have given. Hence, we are judged according to how we responded to God's grace during our lives.
Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13 - Jesus taught that we must endure to the very end to be saved. If this is true, then how can Protestants believe in the erroneous teaching of "Once saved, always saved?" If salvation occurred at a specific point in time when we accepted Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, there would be no need to endure to the end. We would already be saved.
Matt. 16:27 Jesus says He will repay every man for what he has done (works).
Matt. 25:31-46 - Jesus' teaching on the separation of the sheep from the goats is based on the works that were done during their lives, not just on their acceptance of Christ as Savior. In fact, this teaching even demonstrates that those who are ultimately saved do not necessarily have to know Christ. Also, we dont accept Christ; He accepts us. God first makes the decision to accept us before we could ever accept Him.
Matt. 25:40,45 - Jesus says "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to Me." We are judged and our eternal destiny is determined in accordance with our works.
Mark 10:21 - Jesus says sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. This means that our salvation depends upon our works.
Luke 12:43-48 - these verses teach us that we must act according to the Lord's will. We are judged based upon what we know and then do, not just upon what we know.
Luke 14:14 Jesus says we are repaid for the works we have done at the resurrection of the just. Our works lead to salvation.
Luke 23:41 - some Protestants argue that Jesus gave salvation to the good thief even though the thief did not do any good works. However, the good thief did in fact do a good work, which was rebuking the bad thief when he and others were reviling Jesus. This was a "work" which justified the good thief before Jesus and gained His favor. Moreover, we don't know if the good thief asked God for forgiveness, did works of penance and charity and was reconciled to God before he was crucified.
Rom. 2:6-10, 13 - God will judge every man according to his works. Our salvation depends on how we cooperate with God's grace.
2 Cor. 5:10 - at the judgment Seat of Christ, we are judged according to what we have done in the body, not how much faith we had.
2 Cor. 9:6 Paul says that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully, in connection with Gods judgment.
2 Cor. 11:15 - our end will correspond to our deeds. Our works are necessary to both our justification and salvation.
Gal. 6:7-9 whatever a man sows, he will reap. Paul warns the Galatians not to grow weary in doing good works, for in due season they will reap (the rewards of eternal life).
Eph. 6:8 whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same again from the Lord.
Col. 3:24-25 - we will receive due payment according to what we have done. Even so, Catholics recognize that such payment is a free unmerited gift from God borne from His boundless mercy.
1 Tim. 6:18-19 the rich are to be rich in good deeds so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed, that is, eternal life.
2 Tim. 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did Paul great harm, and Paul says the Lord will requite him for his deeds.
Heb. 6:10 - God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for His sake. God rewards our works on earth and in heaven.
Heb. 12:14 without holiness, no one will see the Lord. Holiness requires works of self-denial and charity, and does not come about simply by a profession of faith.
1 Peter 1:17 - God judges us impartially according to our deeds. We participate in applying the grace Jesus won for us at Calvary in our daily lives.
Rev. 2:5 - Jesus tells the Ephesians they have fallen from love they used to have, and orders them to do good works. He is not satisfied with their faith alone. They need to do more than accept Him as personal Lord and Savior.
Rev. 2:10 Jesus tells the church in Smyrna to be faithful unto death, and He will give them the crown of life. This is the faith of obedience to His commandments.
Rev. 2:19 - Jesus judges the works of the Thyatirans, and despises their tolerance of Jezebel, calling them to repentance.
Rev. 2:23 - Jesus tells us He will give to each of us as our works deserve. He crowns His own gifts by rewarding our good works.
Rev. 2:26 - Jesus says he who conquers and keeps my works until the end will be rewarded in heaven. Jesus thus instructs us to keep his works to the very end. This is not necessary if we are "once saved, always saved."
Rev. 3:2-5,8,15 Jesus is judging our works from heaven, and these works bear upon our eternal salvation. If we conquer sin through faith and works, He will not blot our names out of the book of life. This means that works bear upon our salvation. Our works do not just deal with level of reward we will receive, but whether we will in fact be saved.
Rev. 3:15 Jesus says, I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot. Because you are lukewarm, I will spew you out of my mouth. Jesus is condemning indifferentism, which is often based on our works.
Rev. 14:13 - we are judged by the Lord by our works for their deeds follow them! Our faith during our life is completed and judged by our works.
Rev. 20:12 the dead are judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
Rev. 22:12 Jesus says, Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay everyone for what he has done.
Sirach 16:12,14 we are judged according to our deeds, and will receive in accordance with our deeds.
Boniface wasn't included?
Who are those really in danger? I submit its probably those who persist on arrogantly speaking for God. Salvation, whether it exists or not, is God's alone.
Christ Himself recognized seven separate Churches in Revelation. He goes on to admonish and/or praise aspects of each.
Those aspects are not identical.
So, those seven were all valid at that time.
Note that seven is a number larger than one.
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For the most part, every Christian agrees that outside the Church there is slim chance of salvation. What we don't agree on is exactly what the term "Church" means.
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."
"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.