Has anyone ever told you that as long as you profess Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are “saved” and definitely going to Heaven?
It is true that the first step to our salvation is accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior through the sacrament of baptism, but our road to salvation does not end there.
In his book Why We’re Catholic: Our Reasons For Faith, Hope, and Love, Trent Horn—an apologist for Catholic Answers and convert to the Faith—explains that salvation doesn’t take place in a single moment. Getting to Heaven is a process that we must cooperate with every day. Trent explains salvation with this analogy:
Imagine you are caught in a storm at sea with some friends and your boat is sinking. You hear a broadcast on your radio, telling you that if you want to be saved you must put on life jackets, report to your position, and wait for help to arrive. You then put on the life jackets and dive into the water…A few days later a rescue boat finds you, pulls you onto the deck, and you breathe a sigh of relief. “Saved!” But when exactly were you saved? Was it when you set foot on the rescue boat? Or was it when you made the initial radio call? The Bible teaches that salvation is a process that begins in the past through faith, continues throughout our lives in the present, and ends with our future eternal glory in heaven.
Jesus Himself said that “he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13). Salvation requires perseverance in faith. We need to receive God’s grace and repent of our sins continually in order to lead holier lives and prepare our hearts for Heaven. So when someone asks, “Are you saved?” you can respond, “I have been saved, I am being saved, and I hope to be saved.” That’s the true answer!
To discover more answers to difficult questions for Catholics, check out Trent Horn’s Why We’re Catholic, sold here.