“How does a person become a Christian?” Evangelicals and Catholics disagree on the answer.


How does a person become a Christian? That is an extremely important question. I believe that it’s actually the most important question a person could ever ask. Evangelical Christians answer there is only one way to become a Christian and that is to repent of sin and accept Jesus Christ as Savior by faith. After accepting Jesus as Savior, a person will then follow the Lord in obedience albeit imperfectly. In contrast, Catholics say one becomes a Christian by being baptized and then by receiving their church’s sacraments which impart grace so the person can obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules over the course of a lifetime in order to merit Heaven. A Catholic can never be sure if they have done enough to merit their salvation and must anxiously await the decision on their eternal status after they die. Despite much ecumenical talk today, the two answers on how to become a Christian are diametrically opposed. One answer is based on faith in Jesus Christ alone. The other, despite talk of “faith” and “grace,” is based ultimately on works. Only one way can be correct. They both cannot be right.

In the 19-minute video above, evangelicals R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and James Kennedy discuss how evangelicals and Catholics fundamentally disagree on how a person becomes a Christian. It could be the most important 19 minutes of your life.

2 thoughts on ““How does a person become a Christian?” Evangelicals and Catholics disagree on the answer.

    1. Thanks, Jim. Yes, this panel was in response to ECT’s first statement in 1994. Unfortunately, besides Sproul and MacArthur, there aren’t many other “nationally known” preachers who still point out the differences between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity. John Piper is another.

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