Subtitle: Faith in Jesus Christ will save us for eternity, and it is an individual decision. Nowhere is the Church mentioned in receiving Saving Faith. We look at Judgment Day to see who will be present; if the Church is required to come between a person and Jesus Christ, then we should expect to see the Church standing between Jesus Christ and each man and woman on Judgment Day.
Thus Saith Rome, in the Catechism, page 46, paragraph 168. Section Heading, "Lord, Look Upon The Faith of Your Church".
"It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes, and sustains my faith. Everywhere it is the Church that first confesses the Lord. 'Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you', as we sing in the hymn 'Te Deum'; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: 'I believe', 'We believe'. It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the 'Rituale Romanum', the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: 'What do you ask of God's Church?' The answer is: 'Faith'. 'What does faith offer you?' 'Eternal Life'."
Catechism, page 319, paragraph 1253. Section Heading, "Faith and Baptism"
"Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe .. "
"Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother ... Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith." [Paragraph 169, p. 46] This symbology is identical to the symbology of the Virgin Mother intervening between Jesus Christ and the sinner.
This subject of eternal life is the most critical question in every person's life. We have only one chance to either go to Heaven or Hell. We must be right on this belief, or nothing else that we can ever believe makes any difference. Remember, also, that Jesus Christ Himself is the only One who will determine whether any individual has met His requirements to enter Heaven. No person can will themselves into Heaven, nor will they be able to overcome false teaching they received while living their life. Therefore, you must absolutely be certain in what we believe. Your precious eternal soul is at stake.
Let us approach this subject from a different angle. We know that Jesus Christ will be the Judge of the Final Judgment Day, where all men and women of every age will appear to give an account. Therefore, let us examine the Biblical account of Judgment Day to see what role the Church will play as Jesus Christ judges each and every man and woman that ever lived.
First, we know clearly that Jesus Christ will be the One judging on that Day.
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son ..." [John 5:22-23a]
Then, Jesus warns very severely that not every person who thinks they are going to saved are actually saved. Listen carefully: "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 [disregarding My commands]." [Matthew 7:21-24]
Thus, we can see that Jesus takes a very dim view of anyone or any organization disregarding His commands, His Words of Salvation. Now, let us look at the Day of Judgment, to see who shall be participating in each act of judgment.
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." [Revelation 20:11-15]
Notice that only two people will be present at the Great White Throne Judgment: Jesus Christ the Righteous Judge, and the individual being judged. If the Roman Catholic Church REALLY were the mother of each sinner, and REALLY were the conduit of faith, we would expect to see the Church intervening between Jesus the Judge and the individual. After all, if a person's faith depended upon the Church, then it would only be fair for Jesus to allow the Church to intervene for each individual, to ensure that there were not significant extenuating circumstances that made an individual act or believe the way they did in their life. After all, perhaps an individual had a bad priest, or had a bad experience that was not his or her fault. We should expect to see the Church present at the Judgment Seat to explain these extenuating circumstances.
But, we see no one but Jesus the Judge and the individual. The above argument also applies to the Churches' teaching on the Virgin Mary, I.e., that she is our intercessor between God and man. If there was ever a time for her intercession, this is it, when each individual in history will have to give account of his actions. After all, this is the true intercession ministry, at the time of Final Judgment. Yet, we see no one present except Jesus and the individual!
Yet, this picture the Bible presents IS consistent with Biblical truth, that there is only one intercessor between God and man, Jesus Christ [1 Timothy 2:5] This is another example of Roman Catholic doctrine adding to the World of God, which is absolutely forbidden [Read Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; and Revelation 20:18-19]
Let us now examine what the Bible has to say about Saving Faith. We discover that it is a private matter between Jesus Christ, the only Intercessor, and each person.
Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Notice there is no mention of the word, Church in this statement.
Romans 4:4-5, "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Again, we see that no amounts of works we do can earn Salvation, but only faith that God counts as righteousness on behalf of the individual.
Romans 5:1-2a, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand ..." We are justified by our faith in Jesus Christ, giving us peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a perfect picture of 1 Timothy 2:5, that only Jesus is our Intercessor between God and man. Note there is no mention either of the Church or Mary.
Galatians 3:24-25, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." The Old Testament Law was our schoolmaster to bring all men to a belief in Jesus Christ; but once Jesus came as Messiah, He instituted a New Covenant between God and man, abolishing the Old Law, and its temple rituals, and its priesthood. The sad fact of the matter is that the Roman Catholic Church, over the past 1,200 years, has largely reinstated this old, abolished Judaic priesthood, plus bringing in much "new" revelation that is largely Pagan in origin! but, that is the subject of another article.
Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." We see that Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to every true believer. Again, we see no reference to the Church.
Matthew 17:20, speaking to His disciples: "Because of your unbelief: verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Jesus was speaking here to His disciples, individuals. No reference to any Church, either in that time period or in any time period in which to come.
1 Corinthians 13:2, "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." Here, the Apostle Paul utilized the personal pronoun, "I" four times in this passage, including the passage about Faith. Faith is a matter between a person and His God, through the Redemptive Work of Jesus Christ; neither the Church nor the Virgin Mary has any part in it.
Acts 6:7, "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." This is one of the most significant parts of our argument, since the Church of Jesus Christ had been born earlier, in Chapter One, when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers. If the Church was to have any role as the conduit through which a person was to have Faith, we should see this role here. However, we see no such role given the Church.
Ephesians 4:4-7, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." Again, we see that Faith, as well as all gifts of the Holy Spirit, are given through Jesus Christ. No reference is made to the Church.
Jude 3, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Again, the Apostle Jude does not give any role for the Church in the matter of the Faith.
Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him ..." Since we cannot please God without Saving Faith, we must be certain that the Faith we possess is the kind that Jesus will accept on the Day of Judgment. That is a personal faith between the individual and Jesus Christ, not a faith that is polluted by a Church, which has taken upon itself the role of conduit, even though the Bible does not give such a role in any way, shape, or form.
Ephesians 6:16-17, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" Again, we see individuals being urged to take the "shield of faith, by which we can quench the attacks of Satan. Later, we see that the only offensive weapon is the Bible (Word of God), one of the most powerful arguments for "Sola Scriptura". But, most importantly, we see no role given the Church in this daily warfare which the believer endures!
1 Thessalonians 5:8, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." Only individuals put on a "breastplate" of a Roman soldier of that day! Again, no role is given the Church as a conduit.
Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE for your salvation, through His Shed Blood on Calvary (2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Romans 10:9-10). Furthermore, we see that true Saving Faith is establishing a relationship with God through Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:20-21; Galatians 43-7; Ephesians 1:3-8)
While there are many more Scriptures we could quote, the main point remains the same: Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation; then, He will adopt us as His children, establishing a personal relationship with each individual believer. The Church is not given any role between this personal relationship between Jesus and the individual believer. In fact, many believers have felt that they were so secure in this relationship that they did not need to go to Church at all! The Apostle Paul, in urging them to continue to go to Church, did not rebuke them on the grounds of a supposed role the Church plays in their Faith or in their salvation; rather, he pointed out that the Church is an excellent place to receive encouragement from fellow believers, and to reach out to the lost (Hebrews 10:25).
Friends, we encourage you to realize that this belief that the Roman Catholic Church possesses a critical role in a person's salvation is entirely wrong, and will result in you not being saved for eternity! When the Roman Catholic Church teaches you that your faith in Jesus Christ can only come through it, the Church is blocking your faith in Christ! Thus, you are being condemned by false doctrine from receiving the very eternal life for which you long!
Turn to Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible, alone for your expectant hope of salvation!
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that nothing will not hurt you spiritually. You will also know the greatest heart peace that the greatest God can give to one of His own children.
If you would like to become Born Again, and come to know this wonderful heart peace, turn to our Salvation Page now.
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