The pastor you had on speaking about the resurrection of Jesus and life after death was terrific. The difference between Catholics and Baptists,as well as most other non Catholic denominations(he was a Baptist pastor)is re the issue of faith and works. Of course, we also disagree on the forgiveness of sins in confession.(The Sacrament of Confession is scriptural as are sacraments)
Every Catholic should have,read and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church so we can respond in these discussions.We are ALL called to Evangelize too. Catholic news commentators,anchors and pundits included. (That’s a hint Bill).
The book of James talks about works(which you mentioned),
24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
Yet,many non Catholics take it to mean we believe you can work your way to heaven.Not so,
The Catholic Church has never taught we “earn” our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can’t earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17).
It should be obvious though that what we do matters(our works,which are the good ” works of Christ in us”) if we read Jesus discourse on the Last Judgement:
31f “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32g and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35h For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41*j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Or from the Book of Revelation:
Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them.f 12I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.* The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls.g 13The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades* gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Obviously what we do matters;but we can’t leave out grace Bill. That is,believe we can do these works on our own.If we do then we fall into the heresy of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism.
Recommended; All Things Catholic,Grace and Salvation http://saintjoe.net/DSH52-MP3
The Council of Trent on works,grace,faith and salvation http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/08/did-council-of-trent-teach-that-man-is.html (very clear)
If you ever want proof for the existence of God and life after death i can’t recommend anyone better than Fr Robert Spitzer.
He even debated Stephen Hawking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Spitzer_%28priest%29
Fr Spitzer is phenomenal! CHECK THIS OUT-> http://www.magiscenter.com/