Monday, May 24, 2010

Roman Catholics: Living in fear of eternity

Because the Roman Catholic Church rejects the eternal assurance that Christ himself promises those who believe in him (John 10:27-30), practicing Roman Catholics believe that can rarely if ever be certain where they will go when they die.

That’s because they essentially believe that their own actions here on earth determine where they go after death. In other words they are not taught the true gospel that Christ himself died to secure their everlasting life with him.

Therefore, they spend much of their spare time in life concerned with the possibility they might die with a mortal (serious or grave sin deserving of hell) sin on their soul. So they pray prayers such as the following

“Prayer for a Happy Death”
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. O my God, I am sure to die, yet I know not when, how, or where I may die. This alone I am certain of, that, if I were to die in mortal sin, I should perish eternally (go to hell forever). Most blessed Virgin Mary, holy Mother of God, pray for me a sinner, now and at the hour of my death. Amen.

Think of it. Living with that occasional nagging thought that there’s always a chance that you could mess up and go to hell. A lot of people have learned to live with that because there are many churches who teach that a Christian can lose their salvation –Roman Catholic, Lutheran, some Anglicans, Methodists, Church of Christ, Free Will Baptists and on and on.

But that’s not what the Bible—God’s word—teaches. Instead, it reveals the promises of Jesus himself, who tells us that those who believe in him have everlasting life (John 5:23) ….and will not be snatched from his hands (John 10:27-30).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is your church in simple doctrinal error or damning heresy?

Pentecost is certainly good as any day to ask yourself about the church you attend. Do you belong to a church that is in doctrinal error? Does its doctrine amount to damning heresy? Heresy so bad that it goes against the gospel?

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed (condemned to hell). As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

Doctrinal error – the misinterpretation or misapplication of any biblical teaching by a particular church that however does not affect its preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Example: Sprinkling for baptism is a doctrinal error found among some churches, but that error is considered not so imporant  as long as the church continues to preach the true gospel of Christ alone saving –winning heaven—for those he has chosen for everlasting life.

Damning heresy – is any doctrine or practice that is contrary to salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. In other words, any doctrine or practice that promotes a gospel different from the biblical gospel, which tells us that Christ won heaven for those who believe in him and his work on the cross.

Example: The doctrine that Christ died for all people in the world is an example of a damning heresy because it is contrary to the clear biblical gospel which tells us Christ died for his elect—only those who believe in him before their death.

Just hours away from his death on the cross, Jesus plainly told us in the Gospel of John that he would not even pray for the world—so why do some believe he died for it?

(John 17:9) I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou has given me; for they are thine.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Distilling the truth--on Holy Communion

The Heidelburg Catechism differentiates between the Mass and the Lord's Supper.

80. What difference is there between the Lord's Supper and the Pope's Mass?

The Lord's Supper testifies to us that we have full forgiveness of all our sins by the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which He Himself once accomplished on the cross;[1] and that by the Holy Ghost we are ingrafted into Christ,[2] who, with His true body, is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father,[3] and there to be worshipped. [4] But the Mass teaches that the living and the dead do not have forgiveness of sins through the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is still daily offered for them by the priests, and that Christ is bodily under the form of bread and wine, and is therefore to be worshipped in them. And thus the Mass at bottom is nothing else than a denial of the one sacrifice and suffering of Jesus Christ,[5] and an accursed idolatry.

[1]Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 25-28; 10:10, 12, 14; Jn. 19:30. [2]I Cor. 6:17. [3]Heb. 1:3; 8:1. [4]Jn. 4:21-24; 20:17; Lk. 24:52; Acts 7:55; Col. 3:1; Phil. 3:20-21; I Thess. 1:9-10. [5]See Hebrews chapters 9 and 10; *Mt. 4:10.

81. Who are to come to the table of the Lord?

Those who are displeased with themselves for their sins, yet trust that these are forgiven them, and that their remaining infirmity is covered by the suffering and death of Christ; who also desire more and more to strengthen their faith and to amend their life. But the impenitent and hypocrites eat and drink judgment to themselves.[1]

[1]I Cor. 10:19-22; 11:28-29; *Ps. 51:3; *Jn. 7:37-38; Ps. 103:1-4; *Mt. 5:6.

82. Are they, then, also to be admitted to this Supper who show themselves by their confession and life to be unbelieving and ungodly?

No, for thereby the covenant of God is profaned and His wrath provoked against the whole congregation;[1] therefore, the Christian Church is bound, according to the order of Christ and His Apostles, to exclude such persons by the Office of the Keys until they amend their lives.

[1]I Cor. 11:20, 34a; Isa. 1:11-15; 66:3; Jer. 7:21-23; Ps. 50:16-17; *Mt. 7:6; *I Cor. 11:30-32; *Tit. 3:10-11; *II Thess. 3:6.

Needed adjustments -- according to bible-based bro. Jim...

The Heidelburg is right when it comes to point 4--this is how the Roman Church changes the gospel. It sacrifices the gospel that CHrist died to win the salvation of those who believe in him to make the Mass necessary for the forgiveness of the latest sins committed on earth as well as a way to reduce the time of the "holy" souls in Purgatory.

Nevertheless, we would adjust the reformation viewpoint on 3 to reflect the true reception of Christ's body and blood (perhaps worded like below) for us BibleCatholics.

[3] and also by his glorified body is fully able to be received by us on earth through the elements of bread and wine as promised by Christ himself. --bro. Jim