- If somebody walked up to you on the street and asked you for everything they need to do to go to heaven, what do you tell them?
[After my response, he posted a follow-up question]
- How would you explain a saving relationship?
[After that exchange, a different poster objected to my response. Here is his objection and my response to him]
- Wait...no sacraments involved in order to get to heaven? Cmon bro lets not be so ambiguous.
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[Some remarks after looking back at this exchange]
I felt pretty good about my response to that question until I found a response by Jimmy Akin to the same question:
- Q: What would you tell someone who asks, 'How can I be saved'?
A: "Repent, believe, and be baptized."
That's all you need for the basic question. You can go into more detail on what each of the terms means (just as you can with the different Protestant models of what one needs to do to be saved), but the concept itself is simplicity itself. Even the most rustic can learn it.
And unlike the different Protestant models, it takes into account all the elements Jesus, Peter, and Paul lay out on the three occasions when someone asks this question (Matthew 19:16-19, Acts 2:37-39, 16:30-31). Repentance covers Jesus' stress on not breaking the commandments and is explicitly named in Peter's response, which also names baptism, which together with repentance is assumed in Paul's stress on faith, for he assumes anyone who genuinely puts his faith in God will repent (Romans 2:4-10) and be baptized (Acts 16:33-34).
If someone asked you how to go to heaven, what would you say? Leave a comment and let me know.