The Big Theological Question for Protestants: Are we Jesus’ “friends”, “enemies”, or “others”?
Jesus seems very clear about who gets into Heaven. John 15:14, “You are My friends if you obey My commands.” What are those who refuse to “obey My commands”?
Those who disobey are not His “friends”. If they were, He would have said, “You are all My friends.” Since He did not say that, those who are not His friends may be “enemies”. He does not mention some middle ground between “sheep and goats” or “wheat and weeds”. May we safely assume there is not some vague, middle ground between “friends” and “enemies”.
He clearly did not say, “You are My friends if you obey some of My commands.”There is an implied “all” in the passage. “You are My friends if you obey all My commands.”
Catholics ask, “What did Jesus specifically tell us to do most often. We realize He repeated His bizarre “winnowing command” a total of fourteen times:
“If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.” The only way we may obey is by doing what is necessary to receive His Actual Body and Blood from a Catholic priest.
If we willfully and knowingly choose to not do all that is necessary to obey Jesus’ clear call to Catholic Communion, may we be among His “friends”?
Does He more precisely define His obedient “friends” as those who “have life in you” and others as “dead”? Do those who knowingly proclaim, “I’d rather be dead than be Catholic.” sign their soul’s death warrant?
The safe bet is to do what is necessary to receive forgiveness from those He ordained with that power: “Those whose sins you forgive on earth are forgiven in Heaven.” and then obey: “If you do not eat My Body and drink My Blood you do not have life in you.”
No wonder the first Protestants, who left Him in John 6:66, after He said that twelve times, agreed, “This is hard.” as they walked away.