Letter to Catholics 5 OF 5
Then, lastly, Peter clarified the manner in which baptism saves in 1 Peter 3:21. There he states, concerning baptism, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Notice baptism does not put away the filth of the flesh, but it is the answer of a good conscience toward God. Baptism will never change the heart. Only the new birth can cause a sinner to see himself as hell-deserving, and his only hope to be the Lord Jesus Christ as his substitute. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). There upon believing on the Lord, he should submit to be baptized by someone with the God- given authority to baptize.
In conclusion: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:1-3). Why does the Catholic Church forbid its priests and nuns to marry? Why do they teach their people to abstain from eating meat on Friday?
Salvation is all of Christ and not in any works or ritual. It is all of grace and not of any works (Eph. 2:7-9). Salvation is not in a church, but in a person entirely, and that person is Christ. It is trusting only in the work that Christ performed. The problem is that men do not see themselves a hell deserving sinners, totally void of righteousness, and shut up to the grace of God in Christ. As long as you see yourself as a righteous person by your own actions, there is no hope for you. You must see yourself spiritually bankrupt and fall prostrate before the throne of grace for mercy. If you see that, and are trusting in the righteousness of Christ for your salvation, then it means that God has already brought you to life by His Spirit and has completely taken care of your sin problem, in the legal sense, 2000 years ago, for, "when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Rom. 5:10); Yea, and purposed it from the foundation of the world.
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (2 Cor.11:3-4).
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
In the Revelation, chapter 17, it was revealed to John that a great false church would arise, whose seat would be a city seated upon seven hills. Rome is known as the "city of seven hills." In the Catholic schools that I attended we were never taught anything in history class about the Inquisition, and yet all one needs to do is open any encyclopedia and they will find information concerning the inquisition. If I lived during the time of the inquisition, I would probably be put to death for writting this article. Many were for preaching what the Catholic Church considered heresy. The book of Revelation declares that this great false church was drunken with the blood of the saints (Rev. 17:6). And God says concerning her, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not her plagues" (Rev. 18:4).
I do not think that any man should criticize another man's religion just for the sake of criticism, or out of hatred for other men; but the question arises, do we love the Word of God more than the word of men? I have not written this article out of hatred for Catholics. Please believe that! My parents are still to this day Roman Catholics, and I assure you that I do not hate my parents. My desire is for them to know the same Lord and Saviour that reached down and saved this depraved sinner. My desire is that the Lord may use this to open the eyes of a few and cause them to see the bondage that they are being held under by false religion. If you are a Roman Catholic, and if I am telling you the truth, then my hope is that I have not become your enemy (Gal. 4:16).
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Call no man your father upon the earth-Matt 23:9