On the Catholic Answers Forums, someone started a thread asking what other forum members think of when someone says, "I am saved". What comes to mind?
Someone soon replied:
I would think the same thing if a Catholic said it:Interesting take on the issue. God knows my heart far better than I can. Numerous Scripture passages mention what I would call the "ongoing nature of salvation," or sanctification, meaning that, after proclaiming faith in Christ and putting our trust in Him, we must follow Him.
How do you know?
Even St. Paul had doubt to his salvation. If you say that you are saved, then it would mean that you either did what God wanted you to do and now He owes it to you. Or you are so sure of your own sanctity that you could enter heaven right now. Neither one of those positions strike me [as] logical.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11b, NIV).
Jesus doesn't say, "You've prayed a certain prayer, you're good to go! Seeya in Heaven!"
Paul says that our reasonable, logical response to God's grace is to live holy lives. James writes that we're not saved by a faith alone, but by works.
We've been grafted into the vine. Some of those originally in the vine have been pruned away. If God was willing to prune out the original branches due to fruitless results, won't He also prune the ingrafted branches that have become fruitless?
Seems plain that the issue is far more complex than "I prayed the sinner's prayer, signed a card, and I'm saved now!"
Shouldn't we be clear about that?