Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hard Questions to Ask Good Catholics

One of the most effective ways to communicate the Gospel of grace is to ask questions. This method was used often by the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples as they engaged the lost. Asking questions also shows people that you care for them. Usually people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
The Lord Jesus had some hard questions for good Jews. He asked questions, not only to make His Gospel known, but also to expose the errors of religious leaders. Jesus challenged Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, about his knowledge of the Kingdom of God: "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?" (John 3:10).
He asked the stubborn-hearted Pharisees who were blinded by religious tradition: "If I speak the truth, why do you not believe me?" (John 8:46). Then He exposed how corrupt their religion had become with this hard question: "Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?" (Mat. 15:3). Possibly the most important question the Son of God ever asked was addressed to Peter: "Who do you say that I am?" (Mat. 16:15). The response to this question carries eternal consequences because Jesus warned: "if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins" (John 8:24). These questions must be answered correctly, not only by those lost in religion, but by everyone else. Following are some hard questions to ask good Catholics.

Where do you go to find the truth about life's most critical issues? There is only one source that will never mislead you, never deceive you or try to control you. It is Christ and His Word (John 14:6; 17:17). Jesus said: "If you abide in My shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). Free from what? Free from the bondage of religious deception. Knowledge of the truth is necessary to escape from the snare of the devil who holds people captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Satan uses deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ to blind people from the truth (2 Cor. 11:13-15). An example of this is how Rome falsely declares its Bishops to be successors of the "apostles of Christ." According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), "whoever listens to them is listening to Christ" (CCC, para. 862). The apostles had only two successors - Matthias who was chosen by the apostles and Paul who was chosen by Christ (Acts 9:1-19). Catholic bishops do not meet the qualifications for apostleship given in Acts 1:21-26. God warns us: "Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation" (Psalm 146:3). Why the warning? Because "savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30). In light of these warnings, a most critical question must be answered truthfully: Are you trusting Christ and His Word or man and his religious traditions?

Did you know there is only one way to be saved? God's Gospel is by grace through faith in one person (Eph. 2:8-9). The gift of eternal life is given freely to those who trust the eternal God incarnate - Jesus Christ - His virgin birth, His perfect life, His atoning death and His glorious resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The Lord Jesus is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever. Diametrically opposed to God's Gospel is the Catholic gospel which offers salvation through baptism. New born babes, who receive the sacrament of baptism, are said to be saved apart from personal faith in Jesus. The Catholic priest believes he is replacing the sovereign work of God by administering baptism. The sacrament "not only purifies all sins, but also makes the neophyte a new creature, an adopted son of God who has become a partaker of the divine nature, a member of Christ and co-heir with Him and a temple of the Holy Spirit" (CCC, 1257, 1265).

Did you know those who distort the Gospel are condemned? This includes apostles, priests, popes, pastors or angels (apparitions of Mary) from heaven. The apostle Paul warned: "there are some who...want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:7-8). Catholics need to be warned that their clergy is under divine condemnation for adding works and sacraments to God's Gospel (CCC, 1129).

Did you know that Jesus put an end to the ordained priesthood? God's Word reveals that the veil of the temple that separated the Holy of Holies from sinful man was torn open by God (Mat. 27:51). Man can now come directly to God through faith in the shed blood of the Savior (Rom. 3:23- 26). Priests are no longer needed to offer sacrifices for sin (Heb. 10:18). The only legitimate priesthood which remains on earth is the royal priesthood of all believers. They offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving for being called out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Son (1 Pet. 2:9).

Do you really believe Catholic priests have the power to call the Lord Jesus down from heaven every day? According to Roman Catholic priest John O'Brien in his book Faith of Millions, "The priest...reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man...Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.”
Over 200,000 times each day, priests throughout the world believe they re-present Jesus on their altars as an offering for sins of the living and the dead (CCC, 1371-1374). Again Catholics ignore God's Word which declares that Jesus "having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation not to bear sin" (Hebrews 9:28). The Bible also tells us how and when Jesus will appear. He will return the same way he left, immediately after the tribulation with power and great glory (Mat. 24:27-30; Acts 1:11). By the authority of God's Word we must conclude that the Eucharist is a false Christ that is deceiving millions.

Why do Catholic priests continue to offer Jesus as a sacrificial victim when He said "It is finished" (John 19:30)? God's Word says: Jesus appeared once and offered Himself once to bear sins. His offer- ing is not to be done again (Heb. 9:25-28). When Jesus "offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, [He] sat down at the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12). Disregarding the infallible Word of God, Catholicism teaches: "the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice. The vic- tim is one and the same. In this divine sacrifice, the same Christ who offered himself contained and offered in an unbloody manner" (1367).

Did you know Jesus has already obtained redemption for believers? Catholicism denies this by teaching: "The work of our redemption is carried on" every time the Eucharist is celebrated (CCC, 1405). God's Word declares: "He [Jesus] entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).

Why do you call Jesus the Savior when you must save yourself? Catholicism teaches the sinner must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance." (1459) “In this way they attained their own salvation and cooperated in saving their brothers” (1477). God's Word proclaims "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Why do you believe a place called Purgatory can purify your sins? God's Word says "when He [Jesus] had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3). "He gave Himself for us to... purify for Himself a people for His own possession" (Titus 2:14). "The blood of Jesus...cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). These verses destroy the myth of Purgatory. Yet the Vatican continues to deceive Catholics by teaching they “must undergo purification [in Purgatory] to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC, 1030).

Why do you pray to Mary?
Nowhere in the Bible do we see believers praying to anyone except God. Jesus taught us how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount. He instructed us to pray to the Father and not to use meaningless repetition (Mat. 6:7- 13). Yet Catholics are taught to pray the ro- sary which is made up of over 50 meaning- less and repetitious prayers to Mary.

Why aren't these Catholic traditions found in the 1st century Church?
Priests offering sacrifices for sins
Indulgences remitting sin's punishment
Church leaders forbidden to marry
Infallible Popes and Bishops

Did you know that whenever you believe a doctrine, you must also forsake that which opposes it? 
Scripture reveals that Jesus saves...
  • by faith in Him, not baptism 
  • by His grace, not our merit 
  • by His finished work, not our works 
  • by His righteousness, not ours 
  • by His one offering for sin, not the Mass 
  • by His blood, not purgatory 
  • by His obedience, not ours 
  • by His Gospel, not man’s perversion of it
Which Jesus will you trust?
The Jesus of the Bible promises eternal life, the complete forgiveness of sins, a permanent right standing with God and the power to live a victorious life. The Catholic Jesus is a Jesus that was never preached by the Apostles (2 Cor. 11:4). This counterfeit Christ provides only conditional life, partial forgive- ness of sins, an ongoing need for priests and mediators, uncertainty, fear and doubt. Those who reject the true Jesus, who is clearly and conclusively revealed in His Word, will be judged accordingly. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "The word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day" (John 12:48).


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