Calvinists indeed believe they can only make educated guesses about others; if someone you thought was saved falls away, the conclusion is they were never actually saved. But Calvinism teaches that "infallible assurance of faith" is available to believers about themselves.
The Grounds of Assurance
The Westminster Confession of Faith says in chapter 18:
It is problematic to spiritualize verses too quickly. Recall that the Proverbs were written by Jewish people living in the Jewish homeland of Israel under the Mosaic Covenant--not the New Covenant spoken of by Ezekiel and identified by Jesus at the Last Supper.
This proverb is speaking about upright and wicked people living in the land of Israel at that ...
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and
no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who
has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to
snatch them out of the Father's hand. - John 10:27-29 ESV
I will not leave you or forsake you. ...
No, the doctrine of assurance is contrary to Catholic teaching. In fact, it was specifically rejected by the Council of Trent:
If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema. (Sixth session, Canon ...
There are two primary ways that sola fide theologians deal with this issue, and there is ongoing debate between them over it (cf. Lordship salvation controversy). I'll first address the historical view (sometimes called "Lordship salvation") and the more recent view, called "free grace theology."
The name commonly applied to this view ...
It's clear from your question that you are assuming "the prize" to be salvation, and that you believe that this verse speaks of our works earning our salvation, or at least our bad works possibly leading to the loss of our salvation.
However, to most reformed theologians, this is not the case. A deeper study of the original Greek, as well as application of ...
It depends what you mean by "once saved, always saved" (OSAS).
That is usually a catch phrase of the Free Grace brand of evangelicals (Zane Hodges, Charles Stanley, et al.). That sort of doctrine is refuted better with regard to a James 2-type argument that true faith necessarily results in good works.
The other brand of evangelicals that OSAS might ...
Jehovah's Witnesses believe in salvation by means of faith in Jesus Christ, and that we demonstrate that faith by being obedient to Jesus' commands.
I don't think I could describe it any better than the article on jw.org: What Is Salvation?
The article summarizes the cited scriptures, but to fully understand what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, you really ...
While it is impossible to account for all OSAS interpretations of of the passage, the most obvious answer is that the unwise virgins were not saved. Remember that certain (purported) proponents of OSAS allow that someone can be (self) deceived about their status as one of the elect.
Consider what Calvin wrote:
Experience shows that the reprobate are ...
“Salvation” and “saved” are used in the scriptures in multiple contexts with several different meanings.
In one context, all of God's children will receive Salvation from Physical Death. Whether they are LDS, of some other Christ-professing faith, or any other faith - including atheists. Every person born to earth has kept their first estate, will be ...
In 1 Corinthians 4, St. Paul writes:
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to ...
And that's consistent with the rest of New Testament teaching.
Jesus himself taught that some would abandon their faith:
Matthew 24:10-13 (NRSV)
Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many ...
To add to Thomas' answer, you can also refer to the parable of the sower, Mark 4:3-20, especially verses 16 and 17. Here, Jesus talks about people that are also described there in Hebrews 4:2, who were excited when they first heard the message but who did not (to continue the sower's metaphor) allow it to take root. They weren't transformed by the message, ...
Answer in brief
Do Catholics also have Assurance of Salvation?
No, Catholics have no certainty of their personal salvation, but they do have 1) an assurance that God intends to save humanity through his church, and 2) a hope that they may be among the saved.
At what point in their life can they say that they are saved and will go to Heaven?
When they ...
There are several perceived difficulties with this passage.
Equating entering the kingdom with salvation.
Equating saying "Lord, Lord" with salvation.
Equating casting out devils as proof of salvation.
Let's address each one.
Paul wrote to the church saying that the immoral shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21. So it is possible that ...
Between God's speaking and our hearing, many steps intervene:
The prophet hears from God, either face-to-face (Moses), or through dreams, or visions
The prophet speaks
The scribe records
Other scribes copy
A translator reads and renders the Word in a new language in which the words and idioms do not correspond exactly to their original intent
That language ...
While Paul Chernoch's excellent answer addresses the general case, in the specific example you cite there is no significant difference in the message. You write " should not or shall not ... which would indicate that it could happen but not guaranteed." But the conditional is only one possible meaning of "should".
Although should can be used to imply the ...
Just because a person is a long time church member does not mean they belong to Christ Jesus or that they have put their faith and trust in Him. There are many people who say they are Christians but who have never experienced the new birth. Forgetting about Calvin for one moment, born-again Christians look to Christ Jesus and believe in this promise in ...
Father John O'Brien wrote in The Faith of Millions
... those who are convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church, but who for some selfish reason fail to profess their faith in her. It is only these ... who remain out of the Church, in bad faith, until death, that the Church teaches that the words of Christ apply: "He that believeth not, shall be ...
Matthew 25:1-13 is not about the Christian belief in once-saved always saved. The Lord says to the foolish virgins upon their return for admittance ‘I know you not’. The verb (to know) is in the perfect tense, which means the action (not knowing) was completed in the past and still is. The fools were never known, never saved in the first place to somehow ...
Reformed theologians approach this verse in two ways:
Paul is striving for a prize other than salvation
Paul is proving, through his actions, that he is truly saved
Striving for a prize
John Gill and Charles Spurgeon are among those who argue that Paul here does not have his own salvation in mind. Instead, they see him to be striving for a prize above ...
The Protestant overview of salvation as described in Acts 16:29-34 is that this particular incident does not promote belief in universal “household salvation” simply because the head of the house has come to saving faith in Christ Jesus.
In Acts 16 the Philippian jailer asks Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas answer, “...
Five-pointer Calvinists know that they are saved.1 John 5:13 says we may know that we have eternal life because of the assurance that we have in the written word.
1 John 5:13(ESV)
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son
of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Furthermore, Calvinists believe that it is faith ...
The Bible speaks of the scriptures being twisted. This is Peter speaking about Paul's letters. Many of which are in the Bible.
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 2 ...
A few verses come to mind:
Some are “objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction” (Rom 9:22)
God “hardens whom he wants” (Rom 9:18)
No one comes to Christ “unless the Father … draws them” (John 6:44)
This contrasts with
God “wants all people to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4)
God gave his son, so that “whoever believes” will not perish (John ...
Why does 1 John say Christians are unable to sin?
1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth
hath not seen him, neither known him.
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed
remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
One of the problems in translating something between ...
This is a summary of a lecture from my college lecturer Mark Baddeley. Sentences in quotes (but not block quotes) are from his lecture notes.
The relationship of faith and repentance
There are several views of the relationship of faith and repentance. By considering their implications we will see which coalesces with our understanding of the gospel best.
Faith works together with repentance
You cannot separate repentance from salvation-faith. Put simply, faith that leads to salvation works with repentance.
The Bible clearly teaches that repentance is necessary for salvation and it works by faith (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Mark 6:12; Luke 5:32; 13:3; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 11:18; 17:30).
Repentance involves a ...
It would seem that "total depravity" along with predestination is what defines Calvinism but I submit that all five points of Calvinism go hand in hand. Reformed theology emphasizes the doctrine of grace, best known by the acronym TULIP ,although this really doesn't correspond to the best possible names of the five doctrines.
Since "total depravity" is ...
Once I realise I am totally depraved then there is obviously going to be one place I am going to quit looking towards to try and get saved.... inwards. I am going to quit trying to do something meritorious to get my salvation. I am going to look away from myself to a much desired Saviour, and call out to Him to forgive me. And when he answers I will have ...