Throwback Thursday: Dear Catholic friend, How good is “good enough”?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 27, 2016 and has been revised.


Dear Catholic friend, I have a question about one of your church’s teachings that I’m very curious about. But I need to flesh this out a bit before I get to my question.

First of all, we recognize that Roman Catholicism teaches that baptism is absolutely essential for salvation.

“Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament” (CCC 1257).

The church then says after a person is baptized a Catholic, they must regularly participate in the church’s sacraments in order to receive grace so that they can successfully obey the Ten Commandments and church rules so they are able to merit Heaven.

“Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life” (CCC 2010).

In previous centuries, Rome insisted that only baptized Catholics could merit Heaven, but then widened its restrictions as a result of Vatican II and recognized as valid the baptisms of approved Protestant “ecclesial communities” (Rome will not call them churches) as well.

At this point some people might say, “Wait! Doesn’t the Catholic church also now teach that everyone on Earth can merit Heaven?” Yes, it does. We know that also as a result of Vatican II, Rome teaches that people of all non-Catholic religions and even atheists can merit Heaven if they “follow the light they’ve been given,” even though they have never been baptized. If someone has never heard or understood the Catholic gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit (aka “cooperation with grace”) through no fault of their own, Rome says God will judge them according to how well they obeyed the estimable portions of their religion or conscience.

I think we can at least agree everyone is a sinner and follows their religion or conscience only imperfectly. So here’s my question about this philosophy: At what point will a non-Catholic or atheist be able to merit Heaven? Do they have to follow the precepts of their religion or the dictates of their conscience at least 50% of the time? No, that seems too low. Is it 75% of the time? 90%? What is the cutoff? At what point exactly will God say, “Good enough”?

Okay, it’s a rhetorical question. I don’t expect an answer because there is none. Yes, we are all sinners and because we are sinners none of us can possibly merit Heaven. I break God’s commandments in thought, word, deed, or by omission every single day. But God loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the debt for our sins. Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross and by His resurrection and offers eternal life and fellowship with God as a free gift to all who repent and accept Him as Savior by faith alone. Once you have accepted Christ as Savior, then you can follow Him as Lord, albeit imperfectly.

When are you going to accept Him? A church that teaches people can merit salvation by being “good” is a false church. God’s Word says no one is good. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area that preaches and teaches God’s Word without compromise.

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:21-24

Am I good enough to go to heaven?

11 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Dear Catholic friend, How good is “good enough”?

  1. You touched on a good point: Works righteousness religion including Catholicism has the problem of knowing how much is enough to be saved; but the BIble makes it clear we cannot save ourselves. Romanism is another religion that denies the Gospel. Hope God uses this original post and the repost for people to read the Gospel here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, brother!
      Yup, attempting to merit salvation is a hopeless cause. We know that pseudo-Christians like Catholic apologist Broussard use New Testament proof-texts to “validate” works-righteousness salvation. The Holy Spirit reveals the genuine Gospel within that the unsaved cannot comprehend…”ever hearing, but never understanding.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My Thursday going well: Taught the girls a paragraph from Exodus 25 with the table of Showbread and homeschool with math and now working on overseas teaching prep and about to walk reading for that end

    Liked by 1 person

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