Growing and Going Q & A: Are Catholics and Mormons saved because they claim Jesus?
Question: The Bible is clear that those who call on the name of Jesus are saved. I struggle with this because my Aunt is a practicing Catholic and a close friend of mine is Mormon. Does this mean they are saved?
Answer: It’s always important to go beyond the face value of someone’s claims. The spirit of this world would love to see followers of the true Jesus compromise the Word of God and/or stop sharing the true Light all together with those in darkness. One of the most effective ways of doing the latter is by convincing Christians that anyone who names the name of Jesus are already in the Light. Instead of choosing this deceptively wide road, may we ask a simple and unpopular question, “Which Jesus are you talking about?” Yes, in Acts Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, boldly declared that there is no other name other than Jesus under Heaven by which men must be saved (Acts 4:12), however we must be certain people have not bought into a lie, receiving and preaching a counterfeit.
The True Jesus: Jesus Christ is the only One who has brought salvation to mankind. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6. Only God is perfect/sinless, making Him the only One qualified to perfectly pay the full price for mankind’s sins. He sent His only begotten Son and Jesus willingly accepted, becoming a man. He never stopped being God and historically died on a Roman cross almost two thousand years ago. He took all the wrath of God upon Himself! Before dying He cried, “It is finished!” John 19:30. That is to say, “Paid in full!” He laid down His life, then just as He promised, He rose from the dead by the power of God, never to die again. John 2:19, John 10:17-18. He showed Himself alive for forty days and then physically and publicly rose up to Heaven. Two angels stood by the disciples, reminding them that He would return to the earth in like manner. This is the true, physical, historical, and biblical Jesus who died for the sins of the world. The enemy, however, just like a magician, would like to bring as much confusion, misdirection, and deception as possible.
Sadly, Satan’s strategy is more dangerous than a simple slight of hand! He knows that only the true Jesus will bring true forgiveness and freedom to the human soul. Since he desires to destroy mankind, the Devil’s game plan is simple- present as many counterfeit Jesus’ as possible, guaranteeing a tremendous amount of deception and death. Jesus said as much several times throughout His earthly ministry. (Matthew 24:4, 23-24)
False Christs: Just because someone claims to believe in Jesus Christ, doesn’t mean they actually believe in the true Jesus Christ. Many professing Christians and cults have claimed to believe in the “true” Jesus, however everyone’s claims MUST be carefully examined in the true light of God’s Word, the 66 books of the Bible. Any cult leader will diligently instruct his followers of the necessity to believe everything from its leaders and teachings without question or thought. They will never, NEVER invite their followers to thoughtfully and humbly read the Bible on their own, asking the Lord to reveal His truth to them. Any person who claims to believe in Jesus may think he is trusting in the true Jesus, however everyone must be lovingly asked to check their beliefs with the Word of God.
Our Duty: True believers should never blindly accept the claims of anyone, even a loved one who says he believes in Jesus. Too often we take the understanding we have and insert it into what others are saying. This is an easy mistake, but it can be deadly none the less. Just because we might believe in the true Jesus, it doesn’t mean others dropping His name have the correct understanding of Him. If we really love God and others, we are beholden to humbly question them further.
- “Did Jesus pay for all your sins or do you have to do something more?”
- “Do you believe Jesus is God and sinless man?”
- “Was Jesus a physical, historical person or was He simply a spiritual being.”
- “Did Jesus literally and physically raise from dead?”
- “Are there other books that teach about Jesus other than the Bible?” These are a few of the questions that could be helpful.
Note: May we be sure we can biblically answer these questions before asking them to others. If someone doesn’t want to be questioned or becomes offended, then that person is at best struggling with what he really believes. At worst, he is deceived.
One Final Point: God warns men not to add to or take away from His words. (Deuteronomy 4:2, Revelation 22:18). Too often people forget the “add to” part. “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:6. Yes, many Roman Catholics and Mormons “name the name of Jesus”, however it’s important that we ask them what else they believe. Both religions and their leaders have carefully and deceptively redefined Who Jesus is. Remember, a person can change the true meaning of something not only by taking parts away, but also by adding to it. Jesus Christ plus nothing equals the truth! Jesus plus anything equals lies! Let God be true and every man a liar. Romans 3:4.
Jesus is the Key! Be sure you have the right one. Jesus Christ is the only One who died for the sins of mankind. He’s the only One who can set men eternally free! Nothing is more important than understanding the truth that is found in Jesus Christ and Him alone! “The truth is in Jesus.” Ephesians 4:21b.
“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” 2 John 1:3
“To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:25
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