©Fundamental Evangelistic Association
The Truth About Roman Catholicism
The Roman Catholic Church is by far the largest and wealthiest of all the
so-called Christian denominations. It has always falsely claimed to be the
only true Church—the Church which was founded by Jesus Christ during His
earthly ministry. In recent generations, the Roman Catholic Church has embellished
its image and attracted and held members by claiming to be the one Church
that has never changed. However, all such claims are false. In fact, the
Roman Catholic Church has done an about-face, actually boasting of the many
changes it has instituted to meet the changing needs of Catholics and non-Catholics
alike in this modern age
Is the Roman Catholic Church the one true Church? Are its past and present
teachings and practices Scriptural? Of course not! How has the Roman Catholic
Church changed through the centuries? How much has it changed in our lifetime?
Have these changes been foundational or superficial? Where is the Roman Catholic
Church headed today and in the future.
The purpose of this article is to turn the spotlight of truth upon Roman Catholicism,
examining both its past history and present teachings. Our sincere desire
is to be of help to Catholics, many of whom are well aware that, in recent
years, their church has instituted many changes that have left them confused,
uncertain, and deeply troubled. For the first time in their lives, many Catholics
are raising serious questions about their Church, its leaders, its teachings
and its practices. They now realize that their church is not united but divided
over issues such as birth control, abortion, divorce, celibacy for priests,
women clergy, gay clergy, Papal infallibility, prayer, worship, music, purgatory,
confession, Marioltry and even the meaning of the Mass. The moral degeneracy
and financial scandals that have rocked the Charismatic movement have also
been exposed in the Roman Catholic Church, from the Vatican to the local
parish. Confusion reigns supreme and Catholics who take their religion seriously
don't know which way to turn.
A source of further confusion for many is the fact that for centuries Roman
Catholics were taught that all those outside their membership were heretics
to be shunned, persecuted or even killed. It was not until the middle of
this century that the Roman Catholic Church modified and softened its stand
by calling non-Catholics, "separated brethren." More recently,
even that negative connotation has been eliminated. Today, Catholics are
taught to consider "all Christians" to be "brothers and sisters
However, these changing outward attitudes on the part of Roman Catholics toward
non-Catholics and their increasing usage of evangelical terminology has unfortunately
resulted in many evangelicals mistakenly believing that the basic false doctrines
and heresies of Romanism have changed, something that simply is not true.
Thus, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike should take a fresh look—a
Biblical, historical and current look—at this world's largest, supposedly
Christian denomination. If it is the one true Church, as it claims to be,
then every believer in Christ should become a part of it. But if it is a
false church, as it actually is, then all who truly believe the Bible and
trust Jesus Christ as Saviour should separate from it, warn about it, and
urge others to do likewise.
Through our extensive radio and literature ministries, it has been a great
blessing to hear from many former Roman Catholics who have been delivered
from the bondage of the false doctrines of Romanism. They experienced the
new birth by faith in Jesus Christ alone and are now attempting to reach
their Catholic loved ones and friends with the Word of God and the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. At the same time, it has been a real heartache to realize
that so many non-Catholics who profess to know Christ as Saviour have been
deceived by the new attitudes and evangelical vocabulary of Catholicism.
The Roman Catholic Church is now being accepted by many evangelicals as a
sister church with only minor differences rather than a false church which
preaches "another gospel"—a false gospel.
The Truth About the Roman Catholic Church is that it always has been
and continues to be a false church. Those Biblical doctrines it professes
to believe and teach are vitiated by Roman Catholic dogma based upon tradition
that contradicts the Bible, God's infallible Word. Error is never more deceptive
than when it is presented with a veneer of truth. The leaders of the Catholic
Church have always fit the description of the false teachers who God warned
in advance would come on the scene in the last days, deceiving many by their "feigned" (pretended
or hypocritical) words—their "great swelling words of vanity," as
described in 2 Peter 2:1-3,18,19.
Before examining and refuting some of the well known false teachings of the
Roman Catholic Church, it is essential to understand that two basic false
teachings of Roman Catholicism (even apart from its many other errors), clearly
classify it as a false cult rather than a true church. These two basic errors
First, Roman Catholicism, although teaching that the Bible is the Word of
God, adds the spurious apocryphal books to the Scriptures, and also elevates
church tradition and the edicts of popes and councils (the words of men),
to the same or an even greater level of authority than the Word of God. This
amounts to adding to the Word of God, thereby placing Roman Catholicism under
God's curse. Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18,19.
Second, Roman Catholicism, although teaching that faith in Jesus Christ is
necessary for salvation, actually denies the truth of the Gospel by adding
sacraments, good works, and purgatory as additional requirements for forgiveness
of sin and for eternal life. This amounts to the preaching of a false Gospel
which places the Roman Catholic Church under God's curse. Gal. 1:6-10.
Thus, by Scriptural standards, the Roman Catholic Church is a false church
that can only expect God's judgment, not a true church that can claim God's
blessing. No amount of outward change should be permitted to obscure this
As for the claims of the Roman Catholic Church that its history can be traced
back to Jesus Christ, Peter, or any of the other apostles, such claims lack
both historical and Scriptural support. The true Church of Jesus Christ was
not founded upon Peter, but upon Peter's confession of Christ's deity as
recorded in Matthew 16:16: "...Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the living God." Peter was not the first pope, nor is there
any Scriptural justification whatever for such an office. Peter's own inspired
testimony as to his position and ministry is given in 1 Peter 5:1-4. He then
identifies himself in 2 Peter 1:1 as "a servant and an apostle of Jesus
confirms the fact that there were no popes in the early church nor even in
the Roman Catholic Church during the first centuries of its existence.
Furthermore, the long-held claim that the Roman Catholic Church was the only
unchangeable church is not supported by church history—not even Roman Catholic
history. How sad to realize that this false claim influenced so many to join
or to stay in this false church, which actually is the product of centuries
of changes. Most of these changes resulted from the Roman Catholic Church's
yielding to heathen customs and practices that were subsequently incorporated
into Roman Catholic teachings and worship. The following is a partial list
of heathen, unscriptural practices that became a part of Roman Catholic dogma
over a period of seventeen centuries. Some of the dates given are approximate.
In many cases, these heresies were even debated for years before being given
the status of required beliefs:
1. Prayers for the dead ....300 A.D.
2. Making the sign of the cross ....300 A.D.
3. Veneration of angels & dead saints ....375 A.D.
4. Use of images in worship ....375 A.D.
5. The Mass as a daily celebration ....394 A.D.
6. Beginning of the exaltation of Mary; the term, "Mother of God" applied
at Council of Ephesus ....431 A.D.
7. Extreme Unction (Last Rites) ....526 A.D.
8. Doctrine of Purgatory-Gregory I ....593 A.D.
9. Prayers to Mary & dead saints ....600 A.D.
10. Worship of cross, images & relics ....786 A.D.
11. Canonization of dead saints ....995 A.D.
12. Celibacy of priesthood ....1079 A.D.
13. The Rosary ....1090 A.D.
14. Indulgences ....1190 A.D.
15. Transubstantiation-Innocent III ....1215 A.D.
16. Auricular Confession of sins to a priest ....1215 A.D.
17. Adoration of the wafer (Host) ....1220 A.D.
18. Cup forbidden to the people at communion ....1414 A.D.
19. Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma ....1439 A.D.
20. The doctrine of the Seven Sacraments confirmed ....1439 A.D.
21. Tradition declared of equal authority with Bible by Council of Trent
22. Apocryphal books added to Bible ....1546 A.D.
23. Immaculate Conception of Mary ....1854 A.D.
24. Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals, proclaimed
by the Vatican Council ....1870 A.D.
25. Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after
her death) ....1950 A.D.
26. Mary proclaimed Mother of the Roman Catholic Church ....1965 A.D.
Although some of the preceding Roman Catholic heresies are now being questioned
by many individuals inside and outside the church, none have been officially
repudiated and all continue to be practiced by millions of Catholics around
the world. The urgent need today is for Roman Catholics, as well as all who
claim to be Christians, to examine their own beliefs and the teachings of
their churches by the only sure standard—the Bible. Whatever contradicts,
adds to or subtracts from the sixty-six books of the Old and the New Testaments,
is error no matter how many may cling to it.
Roman Catholics who read the Bible will soon discover that many Catholic teachings
and practices are specifically forbidden by Jesus Christ Himself. Note carefully
the following warnings given by the Lord Jesus Christ to the religious leaders
of His day concerning vain worship, vain tradition and vain repetitions.
All of these are particularly applicable to Roman Catholicism today.
Vain Worship – In Matthew 15:8-9, Jesus said, "This people draweth
nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but
their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for
doctrines the commandments of men." All worship is indeed vain when
it is based upon the commandments of men rather than the Word of God.
Vain Tradition – In Matthew 15:6b, Jesus said, "Thus have ye
made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Valid
tradition is based upon Scripture and confirms it. Vain tradition is
based upon man's teachings and violates it. In Roman Catholicism, tradition
is consistently elevated above the Scripture. This results in vain worship
(no matter how sincere) and makes the commandment of God of no effect—a
very serious matter.
Vain Repetitions – In Matthew 6:7, Jesus said, "But when ye pray,
use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they
shall be heard for their much speaking." A basic part of Roman
Catholic worship is the frequent repetition of The Rosary. Its origin
is clearly tied to heathen religions such as Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.
Roman Catholics should listen to the words of Christ rather than use
the vain repetitions of the Catholic Church.
During the past fifty years, at least three important trends in the Roman
Catholic Church are clearly observable. These are: (1) A greater emphasis
upon the place of Mary, (2) A major emphasis upon ecumenical activities with
a view to seeking the full visible unity of all religions, (3) The acceptance
of the so-called Charismatic renewal within the Church with new emphasis
upon the claimed "ministry of the Holy Spirit." There is every
reason to believe that all of these major trends will continue and will even
increase. They are all very deceptive, very dangerous, and unscriptural.
The place bestowed to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church is not Scriptural
nor is it new. It cannot be denied that during the last one hundred years,
veneration of Mary has dramatically increased. Note in the historical chart
given earlier in this article that the exaltation of Mary and the term "Mother
of God," became official Catholic dogma in 431 A.D. with prayers to
her proclaimed in 600 A.D. Note also that the
"Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary" was not proclaimed until
1854 A.D.; her "Assumption" not until 1950 A.D.; and her title "Mother
of the Church"
not until 1965 A.D.
Some Roman Catholic observers believe it may not be much longer until Mary
is officially proclaimed "Co-redemptrix with Christ." In fact,
the premier issue of the Roman Catholic publication Catholic Heritage displayed
a front page with the title: "Mary, Mother of the Church." In a
Question and Answer column the question is asked, "At the foot of the
cross, Mary shared in the mystery of the passion. True or False. Answer:
True. Mary united her sorrows to those of her Son. The sorrowful and immaculate
heart of Mary bled with her Son for all of mankind. For this reason, we invoke
her under the title of Co-redemptrix."
During the past forty years, each pope has done his part to increase Mary's
influence in the Roman Catholic Church based completely on tradition rather
than upon the Bible. In the August 28, 1975, issue of the official Vatican
newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Paul VI, speaking of the ceremony
celebrated the day before in honor of the Madonna at the Feast of the Assumption
of Mary, said, "Her venerate image, known as 'Salus Populi Romani',
was carried in procession from St. Mary Major's as part of the Holy Year
ceremonies, so that the overflow crowd of pilgrims, coming from all parts
of the world, could see it and thus increase their devotion to her. In this
way we should all be reminded of the meaning and practice of the cult of
Mary, inseparable from the unique and central cult of Christ ... Let us pray
to her with humble, trusting and childlike faith."
The present pope, John Paul II [died April 2, 2005], has dedicated himself
completely to Mary. During his visit to Vancouver, B.C. in 1985, the special
souvenir edition of B.C. Catholic carried a full page color photo
of the pope under the caption of, Totus Tuas which, in Latin, means "all
following explanation was then given, "When Karol Wojtyla [John Paul
II] was consecrated bishop of Cracow by Pius XII in 1958 he took, 'Totus
Tuus' (all yours) as his motto, thus presenting himself to Mary. In his first
Urbi et Orbi message immediately after being elected pope he said, 'At this
difficult hour, full of fear, we must turn our thoughts with filial devotion
to the Virgin Mary who always lives in the midst of Christ and exists as
his mother. We must repeat the words, Totus Tuus which 20 years
ago were inscribed into our heart and soul.'"
Pope John Paul II has visited many of the major Shrines to Mary. He attributed
his escape from death at the hands of a would-be assassin and the overthrow
of communism in Eastern Europe to the intervention of Mary. Millions of Catholics
are making pilgrimages to the various Marian shrines, seeking and often claiming
miracles of healing and answers to their prayers to Mary. New apparitions
of Mary and special messages from her are being claimed in various parts
of the world. Yet, there is absolutely no Scriptural foundation for any of
these beliefs or practices. Mary was indeed a virgin in fulfillment of the
Old Testament prophecy that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14).
She was a godly woman, but not sinless. As with all true believers in Christ,
when Mary died, her soul and spirit went to heaven, but her body awaits the
resurrection. She did not bodily ascend to heaven as did Jesus Christ. Nothing
in Scripture indicates that prayers were ever offered to Mary nor that she
was worshipped by anyone. Most of Roman Catholic teaching concerning Mary
is based entirely on human tradition and contradicts God's Word.
The present ecumenical emphasis and activities of the Roman Catholic Church
are also of recent origin. When Vatican Council I was held in 1869-1870,
the Orthodox Churches refused to participate even though they were invited
by the pope. His public appeal to
"Protestants and all non-Catholics" to "return to the only
true fold" also received resentful refusals. However, in the intervening
years, it became increasingly obvious to the Roman Catholic hierarchy that
their church needed some serious updating, particularly with regard to relationships
with other churches. In 1960, Pope John XXIII established the Secretariat
for Promoting Christian Unity; and in 1962 he convoked Vatican Council II
which he called "An ecumenical council for the universal church."
Less than a year later, Pope John XXIII died. His successor, Pope Paul VI,
attended four sessions of Vatican II before becoming pope and did everything
possible to continue and expand the ecumenical emphasis. He said the Roman
Catholic Church could best demonstrate the validity of its teaching, not
by condemnation or severity, but with the
"medicine of mercy." He emphasized "working for the full visible
unity in truth among all Christians" and that this unity should extend
also to non-Christians. This new approach of Vatican II was successful in
gaining the cooperation of the major Orthodox Church bodies as well as 38
delegated observers from almost all the major Protestant denominations. Of
course, Pope John Paul II has apparently expanded the ecumenical emphasis
in the Roman Catholic Church to unprecedented heights. While this has received
high praise from religious leaders and denominations, the kind of unity sought
by the Roman Catholic Church is contrary to the Bible. All unity purchased
at the expense of doctrinal purity is satanic and deceptive. 2 Cor. 6:14-18,
Eph. 5:11, 2 Tim. 3:1-17; 4:1-8. All who join hands in ecumenical fellowship
with those who preach a false Gospel are under God's curse. Gal. 1:6-10.
The Roman Catholic Church was infiltrated by the false teachings and unscriptural
practices of the Charismatic Movement in the early 1960's. Its influence
within Roman Catholicism is growing rapidly. As always, the devil has a very
clever way of compounding error while giving the results a more respectable
appearance. Space limitations prevent a more comprehensive consideration
of its past and present approaches but we have prepared other articles providing
important details to all who might be interested in knowing why the Charismatic
Movement and its teachings are so deceptive and dangerous. Once this movement
became entrenched in the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic leaders were
quick to see that it would be to their advantage to encourage these teachings
rather than to oppose them. They discovered that they could use the Charismatic
doctrines and practices to help build the Roman Catholic Church by considering
such practices a logical and needed
"renewal movement within the church." This "renewal" would
come because those who had supposedly experienced the baptism of the Holy
Spirit felt a greater love and respect than ever for the Roman Catholic Church,
including the Mass, the other sacraments, the veneration of Mary and all
the other false teachings of Roman Catholicism. Many people are attracted
to the displays of healings, miracles, and other supposed demonstrations
of Holy Spirit presence and power, not realizing that if this were a true
ministry of the Holy Spirit it would lead them to a recognition and repudiation
of the false teachings of Roman Catholicism. The Charismatic Movement, both
within and outside of the Roman Catholic Church is not a movement of the
Holy Spirit, but of a false spirit. John 16:7-14; 2 Cor. 11:13-15.
Adding to the religious confusion of our day is the inconsistent, compromising
position taken by the world's two outstanding evangelical leaders, Dr. Billy
Graham and Dr. Bill Bright. Both of these men now praise and work with ecumenical
apostates, charismatic deceivers and Roman Catholics. This represents a complete
reversal of their original, biblical positions. Both are widely respected
and have charming personalities, but their present willingness to work with
anybody who "calls Jesus, Lord" completely ignores the warning
Christ gave in Matthew 7:21-23. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." The pope and most
Roman Catholics call Jesus, "Lord," but since they reject the one
true gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, their
profession is false. Today they are deceiving many evangelicals, but not
God. Unless Roman Catholics trust Christ alone as Saviour before they die,
they will one day be identified by Christ as those who were workers of iniquity
even though they called Him "Lord."
When Billy Graham began his ministry 40 years ago, he recognized Roman Catholicism
as a false religion and warned against it. Then, as Graham's crowds and popularity
grew, warnings about Roman Catholicism ceased and those who made professions
of faith in his crusades were sent back into the Roman Catholic Church. Later,
Graham accepted Roman Catholics as counselors if they took his prescribed
training course. Still later, Roman Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals
were included in the Graham Crusade committees, and finally, Graham called
Pope John Paul II one of the world's great evangelists—a false identification
of a biblically defined evangelist if there ever was one!
True believers need to realize that the Mass is at the very heart of Roman
Catholic theology and worship, but its observance is based upon Roman Catholic
tradition, not upon the pure Word of God. We urge you to take the time to
study the Roman Catholic teachings concerning the meaning and importance
of the Mass, then, compare those teachings with the Scriptures and see the
contradictions involved. After such a study, those who are truly born again
and filled with the Holy Spirit—as Charismatic Catholics claim to be—will
reject the Mass as a contradiction of Bible salvation and separate from the
Roman Catholic Church in obedience to the Word of God, the Bible.
What does the Roman Catholic Church teach concerning the importance and meaning
of the Mass? Notice the following official statements.
The following quotations are taken from THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH,
1994 edition, which contains the written approval of Pope John Paul II and
makes an appeal to Mary concerning the future in these words: "At the
conclusion of this document presenting the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH,
I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother
of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical
work of the entire Church on every level, at this time when she is called
to a new effort of evangelization."
From page 334, Article 3: "The Eucharist is the source and summit of
the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries
and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented
toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual
good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch ... In brief, the Eucharist
is the sum and summary of our faith: 'Our way of thinking is attuned to the
Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.'"
From page 342, Article 4: "In the communion, preceded by the Lord's prayer
and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive 'the bread of heaven'
and the 'cup of salvation,' the body and blood of Christ who offered himself
'for the life of the world.'
"Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist ('eucharisted,'
according to an ancient expression), we call this food Eucharist, and no
one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has
received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in
keeping with what Christ taught."
From page 344, Article 5: "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice
of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. 'The victim is one and the same:
the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself
on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.' 'In this divine
sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself
once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered
in an unbloody manner."'
From page 345, Article 5: "The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered
for the faithful departed who 'have died in Christ but are not yet wholly
purified,' so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of
But what does the Bible say concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon
the Cross? Hebrews 10:10-14, "By the which will we are sanctified through
the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth
daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can
never take away sins: But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one
sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth
expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he
hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."
What a difference there is between what the Bible teaches and what Roman Catholicism
believes and teaches regarding the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross!
The supposed continual offering up of Christ by the priests negates His finished
work on the Cross. The Bible says, "For Christ also hath once suffered
for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put
to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18.
What about the future of the Catholic Church? It is a false church, not a
true one. It is a divided church, not a united one. Its present head, Pope
John Paul II, is not one of the world's great evangelists, he is one of the
world's greatest deceivers. He has done more to promote the false teachings
of Roman Catholicism than any other pope in history. His mild, humble, reverent
demeanor makes him especially valuable to Satan since he appears as "an
angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:13-15). His travels have taken him into almost
every region of the world. His ability to speak fluently in several languages
makes him an effective communicator. He is a master at the art of "double-talk,"
for he knows just the kind of language to use with certain groups—evangelical,
ecumenical, charismatic, traditional Romanists or liberal, avante-garde Catholics.
He has the unique ability to speak to large audiences that represent widely
varying points of view religiously and politically. He knows how to give
each of these groups some tidbits of encouragement even though they may disagree
strenuously with his overall presentation. His recent statement concerning
the continuing controversy between "science" and
"religion" on the question of evolution vs. creation is but a further
example of his ability to leave ample room for both views to exist within
the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible clearly teaches creation, not evolution.
Thus, those who teach evolution should be avoided according to 1 Timothy
As Pope John Paul II has visited countries where raw heathenism prevails or
where professed Roman Catholics are devotees of Voodoo or other forms of
devil worship, he has somehow managed to speak words of mild rebuke while
leading his hearers to believe that they need not give up their "cultural
heritages" in order to retain their
"Catholic privileges." He has successfully managed to forge relationships,
not only with professed Christian bodies and individuals but also with leaders
of heathen religions. Tremendous power and prestige reside in the pope as
the virtual dictator of millions of Roman Catholics worldwide. This power,
coupled with the untold wealth of Vatican holdings and resources which he
controls, causes international leaders and heads of state to bow at his feet
as they seek religious, political or commercial favors and, of course, the
pope's "blessing." Fidel Castro of Cuba, a communist dictator,
tyrant and oppressor of several million of his own people, is the latest
to come to Rome to work a deal that will profit him economically and enable
the pope to visit Cuba, something John Paul II earnestly desires.
What does John Paul II plan for the immediate future? His plans are clearly
and concisely set forth in his latest book, "Celebrate 2000!: Reflections
on Jesus, The Holy Spirit and the Father" by Pope John Paul II. On pages
8-10 of the introduction by Paul Thigpen, we read, "Pope John Paul II
has announced that the Church will observe the year 2000 as a 'Great Jubilee':
a particular year of God's favor, a sign of His unfailing love, a season
to remember and rejoice that two millennia ago, Christ came to set us free
from the bonds of sin. Like all Jubilee years, it will be, he says, 'a year
of the remission of sins and of the punishments due them, a year of reconciliation
between disputing parties, a year of manifold conversions and of sacramental
and extra-sacramental penance' ... It's time to give our souls a bath, to
dress in our spiritual best, and to take in our hands the gift of our will,
wrapped in a fervent desire to see Christ's Kingdom come.
"To help us get ready for this grand party, Pope John Paul II has outlined
his strategy in his apostolic letter of November 10, 1994, 'As the Third
Millennium Draws Near.' He calls for preparations to take two phases. The
first phase, extending through 1996, is to make Christians aware of the
value and meaning of the Jubilee Year. The second phase- consisting of the
years 1997, 1998, and 1999 is intended to turn the Church's attention to
God Himself, to help us grow deeper in our knowledge of Him, our love for
Him, our joy in Him. Each of these years is to be devoted to reflection on
a particular Person within the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
Remember that all the teachings of Pope Paul II and the Roman Catholic Church
(like all religious leaders, churches and organizations) must be carefully
examined in light of God's Word, the Bible. Of course, some of the statements
of the pope and a few portions of the Roman Catholic Catechism contain scriptural
truths. This is why so many people are being deceived today. They do not
realize that counterfeit religions, like counterfeit money, must resemble
the genuine in order to deceive those who lack spiritual discernment or those
who have not had the opportunity or taken the time to carefully compare all
the major tenets of Roman Catholicism with the truth of God's Word. Only
when one compares men's words with Scripture will it become obvious that
Roman Catholicism is a carefully crafted counterfeit, not the pure, genuine,
Roman Catholicism makes salvation a long, complicated process with no assurance
of eternal life and forgiveness of all sin. Baptism, the Mass, Confession,
prayers to Mary and the Saints, good works, and purgatory are all added to
faith in Christ. By contrast, the Bible teaches salvation by faith in Jesus
Christ alone. Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 2:13. Bible salvation is God's free gift
to any sinner who believes with the heart that Christ died for his sins and
rose again for his justification. 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 10:9-13. Bible salvation
gives immediate assurance of eternal life. 1 John 5:10-13. Carefully read
and believe John 1:12; 3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24; 14:1-6; 20:30,31. No church
ever saved anyone, but Christ can and will save everyone who will come and
trust Him as their Saviour. Acts 4:12; John 6:37; 10:27-30. Membership or
faith in a church does not secure salvation for anyone, but trust Christ
and Him alone and you will be saved for all eternity!