Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

14 02 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent leading up to Easter Sunday in Roman Catholic tradition. Catholics get a cross made of ash put on their forehead as an outward sign that they are fasting for Lent. I wanted to address some major concerns about this practice in light of what the Scriptures teach.

Ash Wednesday is a violation of the spirit and letter of Matthew 6:16-18

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Jesus is very clear that we are not to appear to fast in front of other people. Ash Wednesday violates this directly. I don’t believe that Jesus is just addressing the heart because He does tell us not to physically look like we are fasting. Catholic.com tries to cover for this by saying that Jesus didn’t really care if we look like we are fasting He was just concerned with the heart. They even argue from complete silence that the ones He is addressing were not truly fasting:

“First of all, Jesus’ primary concern is hypocrisy. What he is condemning are acts undertaken to show off one’s personal piety. If the intention in doing an otherwise good act of mortification is to draw public attention to oneself, then, Jesus says, the attention received from the public is the only reward that person will receive, rather than the heavenly reward for which we are searching.

It is also noteworthy that Jesus says these hypocrites are “neglect[ing] their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting.” Perhaps those Jesus was condemning were not actually fasting but creating a surface impression so as to win the praise of others for their presumed piety. God, who sees the heart, knows whether or not they were really fasting. Hypocrisy, after all, is creating an appearance that is at odds with reality. (Article by Michelle Arnold, 2017)

To argue they were not really fasting is to argue from silence. To argue that the only important point is humility which is the spirit of His instructions is to ignore the plain meaning of the text. Yes humility is the reason we are commanded not to make our fasting public but the command to not make it public is still valid. It would be a gross misunderstanding of the Scripture to say that Jesus meant only don’t make it public if you’re not humble otherwise its okay.

This same article argued that the practice is Biblical because of a text in Maccabees 3:47. First of all that text is not even accepted as Scripture by the Jews. It was never a part of the Hebrew canon and was even rejected by Jerome and others because of that fact. Secondly, these were Jews performing a historical mourning ritual. There is no command for or example of Gentiles doing this.

Also of note, they rent their clothes and wore sackcloth. Why only a partial obedience by Rome? The truth is that Rome is notorious for finding Biblical passages that have even the vaguest reference to one of the non-biblical doctrines to support it. Even though they argue against Sola Scriptura they know the importance of it. Another point is that these ashes were sprinkled on their heads not smeared on the forehead.

Another point in reference to the above article is that they say it’s not to be done as an outward form of false humility. Many, if not most, American Catholics rarely attend church or practice their religion, yet they accept Ash Wednesday in large numbers. What you have is millions of people with no sincere desire to follow the church wearing a false symbol on their heads simply to look righteous.

This is also part of the system of penance set up by the church. Penance is the idea that we need to help pay for our sins. We need to make satisfaction for our sins. This is a spit in the face of the work of Christ. He made a perfect offering for sins.

But this man, 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. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:12-18)

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the propitiation or satisfactory payment for sins.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

If He is the satisfaction for our sins (and a perfect satisfaction I might add) how can we do anything to satisfy God’s wrath on our sin? The answer is we cannot. The article does end well and I want all Catholics to heed what it says.

“Believe in the gospel!”

The Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins. We cannot make atonement for our sins because we are dead in sins. A perfect atonement is needed and that perfect atonement is given by Jesus Christ. We are not saved by contributing good works to the work of Christ but by trusting entirely in what Christ did on the cross.

On the cross Jesus paid in full the debt of your sin by taking on Himself the guilt of your sin. He now offers you His perfect righteousness as a free gift. You can be right with God because in salvation we are united to His Son. All you must do is to put your faith and trust in Christ and what He did on the cross. Call on the Lord to save you. You can be perfectly purified right now for all sin by putting your faith in Christ. Turn to Him today He is a perfect and loving Savior.

Advertisements




Problems With Purgatory: Part 3

5 07 2016

 

 

What about the argument of antiquity? We often hear the church fathers quoted or as one ignorant man told me, “I read books hidden in caves and it proves people in the early centuries believed these things.”

Does Scripture or human tradition set the standard for belief? I’m sure Jews who wanted to worship a golden calf could point to the antiquity of it and say, “Well when they left Egypt one of the first things our fathers did was make a calf and worship it so it must be right after all they did it way back then.”

Corruption was already setting in during the time of the apostles. John pointed to the slide in Ephesus.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 2:4)

We saw John also warn about a man who as clergy/laity distinctions were being introduced was known to take control over a church.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receive us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” (3 John 1:9-10)

We see John continue his warnings to the church in the first century.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)

We see Paul make a warning that not only would false teachers arise but that they would arise from the very people he was talking to.

“For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

Paul said that some of those who he taught would err from the faith and draw away disciples after themselves. The true test of truth is not whether or not the Jews did it, or how long it has been taught, or who trained the person who taught it. The only valid test for the truth of doctrine is does the unchanging, infallible, and inspired Word of God teach it? If not then it cannot, should not, and must not be considered truth.

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

If anything is taught it needs to be in line with what the apostles taught through the inspiration of the Spirit. Paul said:

“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.” (Galatians 1:8)

Paul was not accidentally inspired, he was aware of the inspiration upon him when he penned the Scriptures. This verse proves that. He said that the gospel he preached under inspiration was so sure that even if he were to come back and correct or add to anything he said then he would be accursed.

If the church fathers believed baptism, penance, almsgiving and the mass add to our salvation and make us righteous before God then they are adding to the Gospel Paul preached which was by grace through faith. They are not only wrong but accursed. Paul goes on to say:

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11-12)

Paul said in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel was the power of God unto salvation but then said in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent him not to baptize but to preach the Gospel. Paul is thus signifying that baptism has nothing to do with salvation. He said in the verse above that his revelation was from Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ says this about salvation it matters not to me the great mountain of church fathers, priests, councils, or men who teach otherwise they are all accursed.

Likewise the Scripture reveals through Jesus Christ that the redeemed live forever in Heaven and the damned are punished eternally in hell. It matters not to me how many so called fathers, or church councils declare a third place it does not make it valid or true. All that matters, all truth, and all authority are contained in the Scriptures.

Purgatory is a hill in the southern hemisphere and souls who obtain a second chance end up on Mt. Purgatory where they face two levels. The seven deadly sins are depicted in seven levels all with fitting punishments. This is the depiction in the 14th Century work The Divine Comedy by Dante. Many over the years have held this image as being partially if not entirely accurate.

In a papal audience from August 4th, 1999 Pope John Paul II called purgatory a “condition of existence” lending to the idea that it is less an actual place. In a general audience talk from January 12, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI spoke concerning St. Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510). He said the purification of souls in Purgatory was pictured as a location in space in her day but that she did not agree and saw it as a purifying inner fire, the kind like she experienced in her sorrow for sins committed, when they are compared with the infinite love of God.

He basically likened it to a process that could happen in life more than a place where one goes after death. The church continues to take prayers and offerings for departed loved ones. This shows an amazing disconnect.

The Second Edition of the Catholic Catechism says, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” The Pope himself seems to be in some conflict here as he sees it more as a process not a place where one goes after death. In this catechism it states that people can be friends of God and assured of eternal salvation but may still need purification. This is a foreign thought to Scripture.

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3)

The Bible says that Christ purged our sins Himself. The catechism says that we are imperfectly purified. The Bible says that He washed us from our sins in His own blood and yet the Romanist dare claim we are imperfectly purified.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

The above verse does not say that He washes us a little but then sends us to purgatory to purge us the rest of the way. It does not say He washes us only of former sins but sins committed after salvation must be atoned for by the fires of limbo. It gives us no hint of anything but a complete and perfect cleansing by Christ for us of all sins to God be the glory.

The doctrine of purgatory is a statement that what Christ did for us is imperfect or incomplete and that more must be done to purify us and make us ready for Heaven. This is not only a blatantly false doctrine but utter blasphemy and disregard for the work of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church has declared those whom Christ says He redeemed as imperfectly purified.

We are cleaned in Christ’s blood and declared righteous before Him. Abraham was declared righteous by faith. Scripture says that likewise all who come by faith are declared righteous.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Silver and gold would be faulty. Any corruptible things would leave a further need of cleansing but we have not been redeemed with such things. We have been redeemed with the precious, perfect Lamb of God to whom be glory forever Amen. Let me just throw a few more Scriptures in to settle the point.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)

Let’s look briefly at the few inspired texts that are used to justify this doctrine.

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32)

The argument that they try to grasp is that when it says that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world or the world to come that it implies some things can be forgiven in the world to come.

There are several faults with this argument. First of all in the first part of the verse it says that those who speak against Christ will be forgiven. It makes no mention of being forgiven in this life and in the world to come. What is being shown here is the severity of the offense of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It is not telling us some sins will be forgiven and some won’t. We see no evidence at all that forgiveness is attainable after death. We are told that after death comes our judgment.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:21)

Consider the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. After death we see them in Paradise and Hell exclusively and their destinations were decided during their lifetime. We do not see any forgiveness being offered after death.

The second problem is that forgiveness is predicated on simply confessing and asking in this life. Logic would follow the same would apply to the life to come. The payment is then applied not by asking but by others doing stuff to obtain it.

Purgatory is not just “another place” people go after death. It represents an entire change to the program of God’s forgiveness. Just finding a verse to show there may be another destination after death is not enough. The Bible never indicates a change to God’s plan of salvation.

It thirdly must be realized that if you look further into the text we see judgment being talked about not the possibility of forgiveness.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Those who blaspheme Christ can be forgiven and those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are not forgiven but are to face condemnation. This is the clear meaning of the text.

The next Scripture that is used and all I can guess is that this one is used out of utter ignorance or desperation and that is 1 Peter 3:19.

“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”

I won’t insult your intelligence by staying here too long so let’s go to the next verse and see where this prison is.

“Which sometime were disobedient” are you ready? Wait for it now, “when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah.” (Vs. 20a)

This is speaking of hell not purgatory these were not imperfectly purified friends of God. What were these people? Wicked, sinners, condemned eternally.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:5-6)

The next passage is from the writings of the apostle Paul.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

They use this passage because it speaks of fire and it’s clearly not talking about hell so they figure this is a good place to fit their doctrine. They say that “being saved yet so as by fire” means they go to purgatory and fire burns away their sin and yet they are saved. The problem is that the thing being tried by fire here is not a person, neither is it sin. It is the works of the believer.

Our works are judged some being worthless, others with some worth and others shining as gold. The fire tries those works and only those of great worth make it through to be rewarded. Some will have their empty works burn up in God’s fires. They will be saved themselves but have little or nothing to show for the gift God has given them.

Another interesting point is the context of the passage in 2 Maccabees. The people he was making sacrifices for had been killed by God for idolatry. This according to Rome is a mortal sin which would send them straight to hell. Even in the context it was written it can’t refer to purgatory.

False religion not Scripture puts a relationship between the living and the dead. The only clear glimpse of the dead we are given is in Revelation 6:9-10:

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Here we see no evidence of prayers to them or them having knowledge of happenings on earth. We see no evidence in the Bible of praying to the dead. When we examine it in light of the Old Testament it is strictly forbidden.

What we see when we examine prayers for the dead is a long history of paganism. We see again and again Rome mixing paganism with Christianity. We see a pollution of idols being added to the clear Gospel given by the apostles. We see another Gospel being preached under the authority of a church that has usurped God’s throne, name, and power over His flock.

We see in purgatory a mechanism to obtain offerings and to control their followers all in the hope of possibly helping their loved ones get into Heaven although such hope is never realized officially. We see a Church that claims Christ imperfectly finished redemption and claim that they can complete what He lacked not just in His sacrifice but in the purification of the faithful. We see a system that gives the hope of eternal bliss but they themselves are the servants of corruption. They neither go into the kingdom themselves nor do they allow their followers to enter.





Problems with Purgatory: Part 2

13 05 2016

In the text given for Purgatory the sin they died committing was idolatry. According to Rome this is a sin for which there is no forgiveness after death. This invalidates this text as purgatory.

Often tradition is cited as the justification of a doctrine by Rome. Surely if the early believers or Jews held to it then it must be true. This is a grievous error that needs to be addressed. We will start as Scripture says with the Jews first.

The entire Old Testament is made up of stories of the mistakes and errors of the Jewish people. They were constantly caught up in idol worship, being carried captive, being returned, only to be carried away again. They had battle after battle many times having nations turned against them by God because of their waywardness. The prophets such as Hosea, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah preached a message of condemnation warning that the people had forsaken the LORD.

The Jews often strayed from the Scriptures and formed their own man made doctrines. They practiced these doctrines for years so when a new generation rose up they were taught that these “traditions” were just as valid as Scripture much like the modern day Romanist. Jesus had to rebuke them sharply for this.

“…Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, 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 they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15: 6b-9)

Jesus even confronted their traditions in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, and 43-44. Each time He started His rebuke by saying, “Ye have heard it said by them of old,” and finished the correction with, “But I say unto you.” He was not correcting Scripture, He was correcting their human tradition, sometimes centuries old that deviated from or contradicted Scripture.

The greatest support for such a doctrine comes not from the accepted canon of Scripture but from the contested Apocrypha. I will likely cover that topic elsewhere but needless to say the Apocrypha was not accepted by the Old Testament Jews as Scripture, and the texts contained in the Apocrypha often contradict accepted Scriptures.

The early church fathers were never in agreement on which apocryphal books were to be included. When Trent needed them to support their doctrines (otherwise unsupported) the Council of Trent confirmed them as inspired. They were not considered as part of the canon prior to Trent at least not by the church officially.

The main apocryphal text use to support purgatory is 2 Maccabees 12:42-46.

And they begged him that this sin might be completely blotted out. Then, Judas, that great man, urged the people to keep away from sin, because they had seen for themselves what had happened to those men who had sinned. He also took up a collection from all his men, totaling about four pounds of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. Judas did this noble thing because he believed in the resurrection of the dead. If he had not believed that the dead would be raised, it would have been foolish and useless to pray for them. In his firm and devout conviction that all of God’s faithful people would receive a wonderful reward, Judas made provision for a sin offering to set free from their sin those who had died.”

This is the great proof text of the purgatory doctrine. In the passage all we see is Judas making an offering, and prayers for the dead. In the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church published in 2005, when asked question 211 on how we can help those in purgatory the answer is different. “Because of the communion of saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.”

So the text said he made offering and said prayers for those already dead but there is no mention of indulgences or works of penance to aid the dead. These were added by the church. Even if this were inspired and a proof of purgatory they stray from the text and add to it their own doctrines.

The text emphasizes prayers and almsgiving yet in the catechism answer it says “especially the Eucharistic sacrifice.” The mass is not mentioned and yet they say it is especially beneficial. I was debating a man who was Rome-ward and he tried to say the mass is not the sacrificing of Christ but here we clearly see it is.

Another point in the text that I noticed was that Judas did these things it says to set them free. He seems at least from the passage to have that hope and yet no such hope exists in modern day Romanism. The faithful are told to say mass, light candles, do good deeds, and pay offerings in order to free their loved ones from purgatory and yet the Church has no power to declare when this task is completed.

They just keep doing those things until they die. After their death someone else does the same for them until they die and so on and so on. There is no point where the priest says, “enough is done, keep your money your loved one is now in Heaven.”





Problems with Purgatory: Part 1

11 05 2016

I would like to address the doctrine of purgatory. Millions of souls over the centuries have perished because they gave offerings hoping to buy less time in purgatory. Ornate cathedrals and churches were built with the money given by poor, often uneducated and trusting souls.

Purgatory is where people go who die in what Rome calls a “state of grace.” This is a state in which people are purged completely from sin and made ready for Heaven. This concept has no Biblical basis but relies heavily upon tradition and ancient pagan roots.

The concept of purgatory is seen in ancient Buddhist practices of making prayers and sacrifices for the dead. The term purgatory does not appear on the scene until around 1160 but the concept is applied long before that. Purgatory has been defined by several councils including the Council of Trent in 1545, the Council of Florence in 1438, and the first and Second Council of Lyon in 1245 and 1274.

Prior to these declarations the doctrine was developed and underwent changes over time. This happens when we try to hold firmly to doctrines not clearly stated in the Word of God. When we build our doctrine upon the sinking sand of human tradition and philosophy we will have to make changes to avoid contradiction and ensure compliance. When a doctrine is founded upon the solid rock of the oracles of God then we can be sure they can stand the test of time.

Catholics accept the Scriptural life after death destinations of mankind. In Heaven the souls of the righteous spend eternal bliss in the presence of God, and on the opposite end of the spectrum those who go on in sin rejecting salvation spend eternity in the fires of hell (although some Romanists make the Biblical description of fire as only symbolic). The Romanists have inserted a third state to which all must go in order to be ready to go to Heaven. They call this place purgatory.

Rome teaches that some souls are not yet purified enough to enter Heaven and must be purified in purgatory in order to prepare for being granted admission into Heaven. Peter opposes this idea.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)

Peter is not saying that purification comes in some limbo state after death. He is saying our souls are purified by obeying the truth. This means that when we are saved our souls are purified not at some later time and place.

Romanism teaches that holiness is achieved in purgatory and that without purgatory we would still bear the stain of sin and not be holy enough to enter the presence of God. Scripture in several places disagrees with this idea.

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love…And (we) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 1:4, 2:20-21)

“I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.” (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

To follow this teaching to its conclusion would make it impossible to explain the plight of the thief on the cross. Here is a criminal who has lived his whole life in sin and degradation. While being executed he comes to believe that Jesus is who He claims to be.

In a repentant heart he asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. What was the response of Jesus to this man’s faith?

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

I must say if anyone needed purification or was not holy enough to enter Heaven it would be a criminal who just repented. Surely with no good works, no baptism, nothing to show for his faith he would need further cleansing and yet we have a statement from Jesus that by his faith he is counted worthy to be with Him in Paradise. No limbo, no waiting, just an immediate pardon for sin and access to God.

To better understand this view we must understand the Romanist view of sin. They categorize sin in two ways, mortal sins, and venial sins. Mortal sins would be grave violations of God’s law and venial sins are forgivable sins that don’t necessarily separate us from God.

I guess you could call them minor infractions. The Scriptures give us no evidence of God viewing sin this way. Some sins are greater than others in terms of the punishment for sin which is why those at the Great White Throne are judged according to their works when their fate is already determined (Revelation 20:11-15).

We also see examples of some sins being called abominations and others are not. We receive no hint as to whether that means non abominations are more or less forgivable. According to Scripture all sin brings spiritual death and separation from God.

Ezekiel 18:4b says the “soul that sinneth it shall die.” What is sin?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

Who has sinned?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

What is the penalty for sin?

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

How is sin forgiven?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

While Rome teaches mortal vs. venial sins the Scriptures tell us that sin is the breaking of God’s law. It goes on to tell us that all have sinned. The Bible also teaches that our sin can be forgiven by the grace of God through faith. Let me ask faith in what? Faith in the finished work of Christ.

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)

This is where most Romanists miss salvation because they feel their works add to salvation and that the work of Christ must be repeated through the mass. Jesus said:

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:4)

The Roman Church teaches her followers that Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us. Rome teaches that we are infused with grace and each grace that we act upon makes us more righteous before God. They teach that our sin stains are still with us after salvation and that these must be purged in purgatory.

They can teach this because they do not see salvation as a possession but a state of being. In other words you cannot possess salvation as a gift and have it and hold onto it but rather you can be in a “state of grace” where you have done enough good to merit God’s favor. The bad news is that you can do enough bad to fall out of that favor.

Let me address each heresy with the Bible. Is Christ’s righteousness imputed?

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:24)

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” (Romans 4:6)

Can doing good make us more righteous?

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

Do our sin stains stay with us after salvation?

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Is salvation a state of being or a free gift possession?

“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Can we lose the gift of salvation?

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37b)

These beliefs are at the heart of the doctrine of purgatory. The idea of fire in purgatory is common in Roman lore but separate from hell. Scripture speaks often, and definitely about hell but is silent on purgatory.

Some have agreed it’s a material fire, although some have used the term fire metaphorically. The Church has not condemned such use. It seems that even the Church in her supposed wisdom, and power cannot decide.

 





Debate on Marianism

3 06 2014

This is a debate between James White and Robert Fastiggi concerning the doctrine of Mary.





Without the Shedding of Blood Is No Remission

15 05 2014

One of the chief blasphemies of the Roman Catholic Church is the sacrifice of the mass. Rome teaches that the mass is the same sacrifice as Calvary offered in an unbloody manner. Listen to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“And since 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.”

Rome claims that the mass is a propitiatory sacrifice for sins. Listen to the Council of Trent:

“If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.”

The reason I can stand against Rome on such teachings is because the Bible stands against her. I won’t get too into the mass since I have written about it elsewhere but I want to address from the inspired Word of God what is said about the necessity of blood. We are told that the life of the flesh is in the blood. The blood is what makes atonement for the soul.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

The blood of animals could only push sins ahead but they could never take away sin that’s why they had to be offered over and over again.

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-4)

The blood of Christ was sufficient to not only push our sins ahead but to completely pay for them.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:11-12)

The issue with the mass is simple. They claim that the sacrifice of the mass is the same offering of Jesus Christ again. If this is true then His sacrifice was just as imperfect as the priests in the Old Testament. The perfection in His sacrifice is that it does not need to be repeated continually. Rome claims that the difference is that the mass is offered in an unbloody manner. The Bible not Rome is the ultimate authority. The Bible we know is the inspired Word of God and it declared that it is blood which makes atonement for the soul. The mass cannot take away sin, the mass cannot atone for the soul, the mass cannot be a propitiatory sacrifice if offered in an unbloody manner.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

The shedding of blood is absolutely necessary for the remission of sins. This passage of the Bible screams out as Rome makes her unbloody sacrifice and tells her followers their sins are forgiven. What does it scream? In loud bold tones it screams out WITHOUT THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION. Rome offers only false forgiveness of sin in her sacrifice. She despises the sacrifice of Jesus Christ every time the priest performs his rituals. What can be done? Shall we make blood sacrifices? The answer is no the sacrifice has already been made one time for all.

“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

I want to urge you that if you have been trusting in the sacrifice of the mass to take away your sin turn to the once for all sacrifice that was made by the Lord Jesus Christ. Stop trying to make your own offering and accept the offering that God made for you. Rome is like every other false religion she gives her followers a list of things to do in order to hopefully gain eternal life.

The Bible says that we can know our sins are forgiven and that we have eternal life by believing on the Son of God Jesus Christ. By faith in Him alone we are forgiven of all that we have ever done and we are given the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Will you do that today?





Is It Finished?

9 05 2014

I once spoke to a man who argued for the heresy of open theism. He claimed that when God declared His creation good that there could have been no way He knew that sin would come into the world. This same man argued in favor of Roman Catholicism and the sacrifice of the mass. What amazed me is that he doesn’t apply the same standard to what Jesus said on the cross. Jesus at the end of His sacrifice for sin made a declaration.

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” (John 19:30)

Why would Jesus declare it finished if He knew there would be a necessity for the sacrifice to be offered again and again? The answer of course is that He would not have made such a declaration unless He meant what He said. The sacrifice that Jesus made was complete, satisfactory, and for all time. The Roman Church teaches her followers that the sacrifice of Christ must be reenacted over and over again through the sacrifice of the mass.

According to Rome the priest magically calls Christ down from His throne. Christ submits Himself and obeys coming down to take the form of a wafer. They believe He is then offered again and again for the sins of the living and the dead. They teach that the mass is the same sacrifice as at Calvary offered over and over again. Listen to the Council of Trent which Rome teaches to be infallible.

“For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different.”

Trent calls Christ the victim because in their hearts they are calling Christ down and sacrificing Him all over again. This is the chief blasphemy of Rome because it denies the finished work of Christ on the cross. Some would argue there is no harm in this practice if they are wrong about the mass so why worry about it? The answer is because in their hearts they are sacrificing the Son of God. The Bible is clear that if we commit sin in the heart it’s just as if we actually did it. The Bible tells us that those who sacrificed Jesus did so wickedly.

“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”(Acts 2:23)

Rome teaches an incomplete salvation because they believe their followers must sacrifice Jesus Christ over and over again. What does the Bible say about the sacrifice of Christ. The Bible teaches emphatically that the sacrifice of Christ was perfect, complete, and a one time thing. The Bible teaches that the sacrifice is not like the Old Testament sacrifices that had to be repeated. This made them weak. What makes Christ’s sacrifice superior is that it does not need to be repeated.

“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:26-27)

“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26)

If sacrifices for sin were perfect then there would be no need for them to continue. To say that Christ’s sacrifice needs to be repeated is to say it was imperfect.

“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-2)

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:11-12)

The Bible tells us more then once that the sacrifice that Christ made was a one time perfect offering for sin.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14)

The doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass teaches that we must continually pay for our sins. The Bible teaches that once we believe on Christ unto salvation our sins are completely forgiven, God no longer remembers them which is a way of saying He no longer counts them against us and there is no more offering necessary for sin.

“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:17-18)

This salvation comes not by good works, or going to church or by making a sacrifice such as the mass. The Bible teaches it comes by faith.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:5-8)

Won’t you turn to Christ in faith today trusting His once for all sacrifice on the cross?








%d bloggers like this: