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THE CUTTING EDGE
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matt.19:16)
Catholicism has always taught that good works are necessary for salvation. The counter-reformation council of Trent was called by Rome to condemn the scriptural belief that a man was justified by grace through faith apart from works. This same council not only taught that a man was justified by good works, but also that justification was kept and increased by good works. Listen to their own words:
If any one shall say that justification received is not preserved, and also increased before God through good works; but that such works are only the fruits and signs of justification obtained, and not a cause of its increase; let him be accursed (Council of Trent, Canon xxiv).
We have received thousands of letters from Catholics warning us to repent of our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for our justification and righteousness and to do good works so that we can get to heaven. Of course, their idea of good works is to go to Confession, then to Mass and receive communion (eat their wafer-god named Jesus) while continuing in prayer to Mary and the saints, whom they consider to be more worthy to approach God than they themselves.
If we say we are free in Jesus, they falsely accuse us as being free to sin instead of free from sin. They do not understand the power of God nor His word. Truly did the Holy Spirit speak of Roman Catholicism when He said:
"For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. (2 Timothy 3:5; Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary)
Please, carefully and spiritually read this verse until its full impact strikes you with Holy Spirit power. This verse is saying that a religion will spring up that "holds a form of piety -- of true religion -- but this religion will deny the power of the genuine faith! Truly, Catholicism claims to be Christian, and use many of the same words and doctrines; however, their priests and adherents have no genuine spiritual power, and the final analysis of their teaching as to how one may be saved is so flawed that billions of souls are at risk of going to Hell!
But, then, this verse really gets interesting, when it says that "their
conduct belies the genuineness of their profession"! Does Catholicism
exhibit conduct that is diametrically opposed to the truth? Indeed, they do.
Think of the scandals now plaguing the Catholic Church, and then realize they
have been going on for almost a 1,000 years!
* Homosexual rape of young boys by priests, with the Bishops and Cardinals complicit. One of our articles quotes from an old book that demonstrates this behavior was occurring in the 1930's with the Bishops and Cardinals covering it up by transferring the priests from East to West and back again.
* Heterosexual assault of women through the Confessional has been occurring for almost 1,000 years. In fact, during the Inquisition, priests were regularly getting sex from their parishioners by threatening to turn them into the Inquisition Panels as heretics if they did not comply with their sexual demands!
You can read this sorry litany of sexual abuses by going through our Headline News and Headline News Archives. We have written many articles on this subject. What spiritual advice does the Holy Spirit give to someone caught in a system that "holds a form of piety (true religion)", but denies the power of it? Listen"
"Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]."
One Catholic man wrote me and said:
You Protestants think that you are saved by grace alone without works. But in Matthew 19:16, when the rich man asked Jesus What good thing shall I so that I may have eternal life, Jesus answered but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. So, Rebecca, read it and weep. Even Jesus said you had to keep the commandments to have eternal life. This means the Catholics are right and you Protestants are wrong! Repent and come home to Rome!
Of course, I could never, nor would I ever return to that idolatrous system from which Jesus delivered me. The sad part is that this man probably got his one verse from a Catholic apologist who took it out of context in order to deceive the ignorant. Keep in mind that a Catholic is forbidden to interpret the scriptures, so they must take the word of these priestly liars. Most Catholics will never read or challenge these priests. They are afraid, lest they should be excommunicated for daring to disagree. Praise Jesus that His Spirit dwells in us and His promise to open the eyes of our understanding still stands, in spite of Romes decrees! Lets take a look at what Jesus was really saying in Matthew 19, starting at verse 16:
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Jesus first answered the question with a question: Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Now consider this: If Jesus just said that no one was good but God, how then can this young rich man get to heaven by being good? Jesus, who cannot lie, just said that there is NONE GOOD BUT ONE. His disciples taught the same thing:
What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. (Rom.3:9-10)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Rom.3:23)
Knowing that all men are sinners, and that no one is good but One, that is, God, why then did Jesus say, ...but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments? He said it because He knew that
...what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Rom.3:19)
When this rich young man heard Jesus say that he must keep the commandments to enter into life, youd think he would have responded with: Lord, what can I, a sinner, do? But instead, he said, Which? Think about that folks...he said Which? What was he thinking? Did he honestly think there were some commands he didnt have to keep? You see, he knew he was a sinner, but he tried to justify himself, in much the same way the lawyer in Luke 10:25-29. He also asked Jesus What shall I DO to inherit eternal life? And the Lord said, What is written in the law? how readest thou? The lawyer answered with the two commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets (Matt.22:36-40):
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (Lk.10:27)
When Jesus said, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live, the lawyer willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? The rich man in Matthew and the lawyer in Luke both tried to justify themselves, but they both knew there were guilty. Remember, what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law. And why? That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Jesus wasnt misleading these two men, but rather, he wanted them to see that they needed a Saviour, because they could not be justified by the law. Keep in mind that Romans 2:13 says it is not the hearers of the law that are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. And Galatians 3:10 tells us that
...as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to DO them.
The rich man, the lawyer as well as all of mankind have not kept the law. The whole world is guilty, and if under the law, we are also under the curse. Thus the reason that the scriptures teach:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20
Matthew 19 in no way teaches that we are saved by good works as the Catholics claim. Lets look closer at what Jesus was really saying here. After the rich man said, Which?, Jesus answered him:
Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Did you notice that Jesus only gave the commands that deal with our neighbor and none of the commands that deal with our relationship to God? Jesus neglected to mention the first and great commandment which is Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matt.22:37-38) The Lord knew the hearts and minds of men, and he knew that this rich man had prided himself on his relationship towards others. The rich man answers, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Now the Lord will deal with the first and great commandment when He says, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Of course, when the rich man heard that, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Jesus then turned to His disciples and said:
Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The disciples of Jesus then asked the right question: WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED? The answer to this question proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Catholicism is wrong when they say works save us, for Jesus Himself said, WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. Who then can be saved? With men this is impossible! It is impossible because we have all sinned and all fall short of the glory of God. We cannot save ourselves by keeping the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight! Oh my friend, dont you see that if there was any other way, Jesus would never have gone to the cross?
In Matthew 26:39, we read:
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, IF IT BE POSSIBLE, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
If we could be saved by keeping the law, then Christ died in vain!
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal.2:21)
Only Jesus, the perfect sinless Lamb, could save mankind. He alone is the Saviour of the world. No man was worthy for all have sinned.
When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4, he took scripture out of context, but Jesus always put the scripture back into its proper context, thereby destroying Satans attempt to deceive. We should follow the Lords lead. When we see Catholicism taking scripture out of context to deceive the ignorant, then we must defeat these lies by putting them back into their proper context. Dont let Rome, the great private interpreter, get away with her deceitful ways. Let us fight the good fight in hope that even one Catholic will hear and turn to the only possible way of salvation, that is, through the blood of the sinless Lamb alone, Who died for us.
To Jesus Christ be all glory, honour and praise forever and ever!
By Rebecca A. Sexton
Former Catholics For Christ
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
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