BY ROME OR BY GRACE? (part 3)
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION - WHAT DOES THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BIBLE SAY?
In spite of all that Roman Catholicism teaches is necessary for salvation, she flatly denies the Biblical truth that a person may have assurance of his own salvation. The Council of Trent, whose decrees were all affirmed at Vatican Council II, pronounced a curse upon anyone who would dare to presume that he had assurance of salvation: "...no man can know with infallible assurance of faith that he has obtained the grace of God." That means that not even the Pope, who one would assume would have assurance that he has obtained the grace of God seeing that the Roman Catholic Church says that he is Christ’s representative on earth, can say with any certainty that he is saved!
Moreover, "this very decree of Rome, while directly opposed to the Word of God, stamps its own lofty claims with the brand of imposture; for if no man who has been ‘regenerated’ by its baptism, and who has received its ‘absolution from sin’, can yet have any certain assurance after all that ‘the grace of God’ has been conferred upon him, what can be the worth of its opus operatum?"36
Rome’s position then is that one cannot be saved unless one is baptised into the Roman Catholic Church, attend Mass, confess one’s sins to a priest and believe and adhere to many other teachings and practices of Romanism, yet none are, at any time, to dare presume that they have any assurance that they are actually saved!
"Such assurance is pronounced a delusion and a result of sinful pride, by the Roman Catholic Church. Rome keeps her subjects in constant fear and insecurity. Even at death, after Extreme Unction has been administered and after thousands of Rosary prayers have been said ‘for the repose of the soul,’ the priest still cannot give assurance of salvation. The person is never ‘good enough,’ but must serve in purgatory prison to be ‘purified’ of venial sins before he can be admitted to the celestial city. No one can be truly happy without the assurance of salvation; and particularly in spiritual matters a state of doubt and uncertainty is a state of misery."37
The truth, however, is that "...Christ is able to keep His people saved, not because of their goodness or faithfulness, both of which are very erratic, but because of His power and grace: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them, to Me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand" (John 10:28,29). This eternal life that Christ speaks of is a gift (John 3:16); it is made effective by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the soul, which is called ‘regeneration’ (Titus 3:5), or a new birth, a being ‘born anew’ or ‘from above’ (John 3:3), and as such it is irrevocable—"For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable" (Romans 11:29). "Nothing less than a supernatural act on the part of God (regeneration) can bring a soul from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life; and nothing less than another supernatural act of God could reverse that condition. This is the true ‘perseverance of the saints’—not that we persevere in holding on to God, but that He perseveres in holding on to us"38 (see Jeremiah 32:40 & Hebrews 13:5).
Roman Catholicism vehemently denies that anyone can be assured of salvation, or even claim to be saved and to have ALREADY passed from death to life, as the apostle John mentioned in 1 John 3:14 concerning every true believer: "We KNOW that we HAVE passed from death to life..." Sadly, dear Roman Catholic people have been kept from the truth contained in their own Bible, whilst being taught to believe the lie that one never passes ‘from death to life’ but is always ‘earning salvation’ with the help of the Roman Catholic Church.
"In fact, excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church is the penalty for saying that one is saved and knows that he has eternal life through faith in Christ’s finished work. The very heart of the Gospel which evangelicals affirm is denied by the Roman Catholic Church in all its creeds, catechisms, canons, decrees and dogmas, and those who dare to affirm it are anathematized or eternally damned by the Church. The first page of the documents of Vatican II declares, ‘For it is the liturgy [Sacramental rituals] through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, the work of our redemption is accomplished.’"39 The Roman Catholic Bible stands forever in disagreement! It states that the Gospel of Christ’s Righteousness: "...is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes...for in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, 'the one who is righteous by faith shall live" (Romans 1:16,17). "Salvation is not channelled through sacraments. It is presented through the medium of preaching (Romans 10:10-15; 1 Corinthians 1:21). It is received by faith alone in the Saviour (Galatians 2:16)."40
Dear Roman Catholic, "There exists a magnificent statement and it is found in the eighth chapter of Romans, verse 16" written to true believers: ‘The Spirit...bears witness with our spirit that we ARE children of God.’ "Do you know what that means? There is nothing more wonderful than that; but the Roman Catholic Church denies it completely."41
Such denial of the assurance of salvation, to which Roman Catholicism subscribes, would consign every apostle to hell, "...for they were all certain of going to heaven. The thief on the cross was happy in his assurance when Jesus said to him that he would be with Him in paradise that very day(\(\(\(\(Luke 23:43) ...Paul personally preferred to die, for he knew that death meant life in heaven for him (Philippians 1:20-23)."42
John the apostle, in writing to Christians in his first letter, informed them: "I write these things to you so that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life, you who BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God" (5:13). Dear Roman Catholic, let this truth grip you and set you free from the lies of Roman Catholicism!!
"...When God saves a sinner, He saves him once and for all from the punishment due to his sin (John 6:37; 10:27-29). When God pardons a sinner, He pardons him once and for all (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 38:17; 1John 1:9)."43
One of the reasons God Almighty has given us His Perfect Word, the Bible, is so that His people would not live in darkness and fear concerning where they would spend eternity, but that His chosen would be assured, and greatly comforted in the midst of their sufferings on earth, of the fact that those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ HAVE passed from death unto life, and can KNOW that they HAVE eternal life!!
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION!!
The Lord Jesus Christ has pronounced: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME" (John 14:6). The Roman Catholic Bible plainly informs all who read it that it IS possible for a man to be saved and know that he is saved once and for all. The Roman Catholic Bible exhorts us to trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross, where He bore the sins of all those the Father gave Him, and to receive from Him the free gift of eternal life: "...God gave us eternal life, AND THIS LIFE IS IN HIS SON" (1 John 5:11).
The Lord Jesus is saying to each and every Roman Catholic person today: "...I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in the One who sent Me HAS eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but HAS PASSED from death into life" (John 5:24).
Jesus Christ did not teach that the Roman Catholic Church was the way, nor did He teach that the Protestant Church was the way. In other words, no one comes to the Father through a church. Salvation is to be found in Jesus Christ ALONE, not by being a devoted member of any organization here on earth.
Being a member of a Roman Catholic or Protestant Church, or for that matter, of any of the cults such as the Mormons or the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Seventh-Day Adventism WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE!! It is the Church of the firstborn, the called out ones, those enrolled in heaven, the heavenly Church of Jesus Christ mentioned in Hebrews 12:23, that we must be a part of if we would see heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:18 informs the believer that God has "...reconciled us to Himself THROUGH CHRIST..." The writer to the Hebrews exclaimed that the Lord Jesus Christ "...is THE source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9). Truly, the Lord Jesus Christ is far more than merely the source or author of our salvation, but as His name, Jesus, implies, HE IS OUR SALVATION!! "...you are to name Him Jesus, because HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS" (Matthew 1:21 cf. Luke 2:30; 3:6). The apostle Peter says expressly: "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved" (Acts 4:12). "‘No other name under heaven’ he insists. No Church of any kind. Salvation, declares the apostle Peter, is through Christ and Christ alone. Then why not turn to Christ? For [the] Roman Catholic Bible tells us that it is Christ and not the Church who saves."44
"Salvation is based solely on the merits of Christ who suffered and died for His people. It is for this reason that God can command perfection of all who enter heaven and yet admit into heaven those who have been sinners."45
"The basic and fatal error of Romanism is the denial of the sufficiency of Christ as Saviour. It denies the efficacy of His sacrifice on the cross. Oh yes, Roman Catholicism has a christ, but he is not sufficient as a Saviour. What the christ of Roman Catholicism has done must be repeated (in the mass) and supplemented (through works of penance), and this makes priestcraft and sacramentarianism necessary. Romanism, is a complicated system of salvation by works. It has a salvation to sell, but not on Isaiah’s terms—‘without paying and without cost (Isa. 55:1). It offers salvation on the installment plan, and then sees to it that the poor sinner is always behind in his payments, so that when he dies there is a large balance unpaid, and he must continue payment by sufferings in purgatory, or until the debt is paid by prayers, alms and sufferings of his living relatives and friends. The whole system and plan of Roman Catholicism calls for merit and money, from the cradle to the grave, and even beyond. Surely the wisdom that drew such a plan of salvation is not from above, but is earthly and sensual."46
In closing our study on the subject of Salvation, let us look at an article that appeared in a magazine written by Dr. Walter M. Montano, former editor of ‘Christian Heritage’ magazine, in which he recalled the final moments of Pope Benedict XV, who died in 1922. Notice how even popes die without any assurance of salvation, and often in great dread of eternity: "One can feel only a sense of pity for the last end of such a man. How is it possible that the ecclesiastical demigod who allegedly had the keys of heaven and earth is unable to use those keys to gain entrance into his own eternal salvation? What a pathetic ending for a man who has devoted his life to religion; who has directed, as they say, ‘the barque of St. Peter’; who was ‘infallible’; who has elevated the Virgin Mary to a state that no other Pope had dared to imagine.
"At the end of his life he dies in fear and agony, not knowing what the future holds in store for him. All the pomp and ceremony, all the masterfully devised rituals in his honour may impress the people, especially Roman Catholics, but they cannot gain him one inch of heaven. And what about his soul and eternal destiny? What Roman Catholic knows where this Pope is right now? The doctrine of the Roman Church established that anyone who can say ‘I am saved’ at any time in his life commits a mortal sin.
"If Pope Pius XII had had the courage to express faith in the only One who died for sins; if he had realized that there is only One Mediator between man and God; if he had accepted the fact that Christ’s death invalidated any other sacrifice and that once for all He died for the sins of His people—then Pope Pius XII would not have faced a death of fear and desperation, an ‘agonizing death.’ Instead, he would have been able to say: ‘I know whom I have believed!’"47
The Roman Catholic is again reminded that Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ ALONE can save: "...He (Jesus) is always able to save those who approach God through Him, since He lives forever to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
As the apostle Paul wrote, so does every Christian pray: "...that I might gain Christ and be found in Him, NOT HAVING ANY RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MY OWN based on the law but that which comes THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST, the righteousness of God depending on faith" (Philippians. 3:8,9).
COME OUT FROM HER....
The purpose of this booklet has not been to judge or condemn you, the Roman Catholic, but has been designed to educate you, to inform you of facts and proper biblical teaching which the Roman Catholic Church has not given you. It has been written in order to provide you with historical facts about the origins of many of your Church’s teachings and traditions. You have read for yourself what the Roman Catholic Church admits to and what your own Roman Catholic Bible says, and doesn’t say—what it teaches and simply does not support. Ultimately, this booklet is a plea for you to come out of the Roman Catholic Church, away from all its man-made doctrines and pagan practices, away from its false gospel. God must be worshipped HIS way, for no other way is acceptable unto Him. There is no other way to worship the true God—and therefore be a saved, justified and true follower of God—other than the way He has prescribed in His Holy Word. There is no Gospel that must be believed, by which a man is saved, other than the one that reveals the Righteousness of Christ.
We have presented the truth to you. Verifiable truth. We have quoted from many sources approved by your own Church including a Church approved Bible. But do not believe things simply because you saw them written in a booklet. The Bible commends those who properly investigate what is presented to them as truth and we encourage you to do so. In Acts 17:11 the apostle Paul and Silas preached to the people at Berea. The Roman Catholic Bible says that "These...were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all willingness and EXAMINED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO." The Scriptures were their sole authority. They did not refer to the writings of mere men, seeking out their opinions, but went immediately to the Holy Word of God knowing that His Word alone could be trusted, and was the sure test for all teachings being presented as God’s own decrees (see 2 Peter 1:19). Paul and Silas were not offended by their examining and putting to the test what they were saying, they did not say ‘How dare you examine what we have said to you; don’t you know who we are?’ Every Christian, indeed every person, is to examine by the Holy Scriptures all that is presented to him as God’s teaching, and if it does not match with the Scriptures, you can be sure it did not come from God and is to be rejected out of hand. Writing to true believers, John said, "Beloved, DO NOT TRUST every spirit BUT TEST the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
The subtle deceptiveness of the Roman Catholic Church is that she teaches some truths of Scripture but always adds to them, something which the Scriptures roundly condemn: "Add NOTHING to HIS Words, lest He reprove you, and you be exposed as a deceiver" (Proverbs 30:6). In speaking against such deception the Lord Jesus warned His disciples to "...Look out, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6 cf. Galatians 5:9). Later, the disciples "...understood that He was not telling them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of THE TEACHING of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:12). The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. The apostle Paul warned: "...watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent" (Romans 16:17,18). EXAMINE EVERYTHING! TEST EVERYTHING BY THE WORD OF GOD! For we are dealing with eternal issues here. We are dealing with heaven and hell, and what a person believes determines their eternal destiny, for the doctrine you hold to is the surest evidence of whether or not it is the true God Who has revealed Himself to you or whether it is a false god whom you have embraced.
Some examples of such deceptiveness are as follows: the Roman Catholic Church teaches her followers to pray the Lord’s prayer, but they are encouraged to do so whilst holding the Rosary which is a pagan invention and has nothing to do with true Christianity. Yes, Rome agrees that God alone forgives sin, but they add that this power to forgive has been given to her priests and one must go to them to receive it and not directly to God the Father through Jesus His Son, as the Scriptures prescribe. Yes, Roman Catholicism teaches that the Bible is the Word of God but it considers tradition to be equal to God’s precious Holy Word and insists that she is the only true interpreter of Scripture! In other words, what ROME says God’s Word is saying is what is to be obeyed, rather than what the Scripture’s interpretation of Itself is saying! Compare Scripture with Scripture, not Scripture with a man’s interpretation. All along, Roman Catholicism adds to God’s Word and in other instances withholds certain parts of it, such as the second Commandment, from its publications. It is true that Roman Catholicism teaches ‘the death, burial and resurrection’ of Jesus Christ but it is vitally important to note that while she may correctly teach some aspects of these things—things which are aligned with historical fact—the Roman Catholic Church does not teach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ "...in accordance with the Scriptures..." (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
It is no accident that so much pagan tradition is found today in Roman Catholicism. It has been carefully managed and seen to, that old pagan/occultic rites and traditions, which the Bible calls demonic, are continued to be adhered to and promoted as vigilantly as they were by the early pagans, but now with a Christian veneer thus setting up the Roman Catholic Church as the unmistakably identifiable anti-christian system referred to as ‘Babylon’ in the Bible. Roman Catholicism stands today not only against Christ, for it does not teach His Gospel, but Rome has also, in a most vulgar way, usurped Christ’s position. The papacy claims that IT is the vicar of Christ on earth, rather than the Holy Spirit as the Word of God says.
That which immediately reveals a religious organization’s ungodly foundation may be seen in the gospel it teaches. What a person, or organization such as the Roman Catholic Church, says about Who Jesus Christ is, what He has done and for whom He has done it—in other words His Person and His Work—will reveal whether or not that person or organization is of God (see 2 John 9). After having preached to them the True and only Gospel of salvation which reveals the true God and true Christ, Paul the apostle warned the believers in Galatia that "...even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel OTHER THAN the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).
There are many who by nature are religious; many who are extremely zealous for what they believe to be the things of God, yet Scripture reminds us that by nature "There is no one just, not one, there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God" (Romans 3:10,11). Saving, God-given faith in the true and only Gospel of God shows that it is the true God Who has revealed Himself. Belief in any gospel other than that one and only Gospel of God reveals that it is not the true God Who has revealed Himself but rather a false god who cannot save.
We implore you to come out of the Roman Catholic Church. A Church which is headed, not by the Lord Jesus Christ, for it does not promote His Gospel, but by a man who calls himself the ‘Pope’, and who allows himself to be addressed as ‘Holy Father’, a title which God ALONE is worthy. God ALONE is Father, and God ALONE is Holy. The Lord Jesus only ever referred to God as ‘Father’, and in Revelation 15:4 Jesus, praying to the Father said: "...You ALONE are Holy..." How dare ANY man take upon himself a title of which ONLY God is worthy! Not incidentally, the Lord Jesus Christ also said to His followers not to call any man on earth father, that is in a spiritual sense, for One was their Father and He resides in heaven: "Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven" (Matthew 23:9). Roman Catholicism responds to these words of the Lord Jesus by calling every one of its priests ‘father’, and demanding that everyone else, Roman Catholic or not, do likewise despite admitting in their footnotes to Matthew 23:9 that, "...Jesus forbids not only the titles (rabbi, father and master) but the spirit of superiority and pride that is shown by their acceptance."
Pope Leo XIII once blasphemously declared: "The Pope holds upon this earth the place of God Almighty..." Robert Bellermine, famous Jesuit Cardinal of the 16th century and also a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, had this to say: "All the names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ by virtue of which it is established that He is over the Church, all the same names are applied to the Pope." The Catholique Nationale of Paris, in its July 13, 1895 issue, contained the following claim made by the then archbishop of Venice, later to become Pope Pius X. He said, "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of the flesh..." Dear Roman Catholic, the Pope is NOT Jesus Christ! JESUS CHRIST IS GOD!! ONLY through the Lord Jesus Christ is there salvation, not through the Pope and his ‘church’ of Rome.
"History is replete with sayings that mocked Romanism’s false claim to celibacy: ‘The holiest hermit has his whore’" and "‘Rome has more prostitutes than any other city because she has the most celibates’" are examples. Pope Pius II called Rome ‘The only city run by bastards, the sons and grandsons of popes and cardinals’.
"Even Roman Catholic historians admit that among the popes were some of the most degenerate and unconscionable ogres in all history. More than one pope was slain by a husband who found him in bed with his wife. To call such a man ‘His holiness vicar of Christ’ makes a mockery of holiness and Christ. Yet the name of each of these mass murderers, fornicators, robbers, warmongers—some guilty of the massacre of thousands—is emblazoned in honor on the Church’s official list of Peter’s alleged successors, the popes" (‘The Berean Call’, July ‘94, p.2).
"Will you believe the words of the Roman Catholic Church or will you believe the words of the Roman Catholic Bible? It is for you to decide. Remember, there are only two religions in the entire world, man’s and God’s. If it is not the truth of God that you are believing, then you have embraced the lies of the Devil." You have embraced a false gospel wherein is no salvation. "Man’s religion is by works—his own efforts, his fastings and prayers, his obedience to the Church. That, in effect, makes him his own saviour. God’s is by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all... The Roman Catholic Bible states clearly: "...we have been JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..." Romans 5:1. The Roman Catholic Bible makes it perfectly clear that man cannot save himself and that Christ is his only hope; his only Saviour."48
"Salvation is not dependent on a human priest, Mary, Baptism, the saints, the sacraments, the Mass, confession, good works, membership in the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope."
Salvation is not gained by our loyalty or service to a person—be they our parents or grandparents and their religious traditions which they have passed down to us—or to an institution such as the Roman Catholic Church, but rather by our acceptance of the truth!! "Jesus said: "...I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME" (John 14:6) and "I am the Gate. Whoever enters through Me will be saved..." (John 10:9). Acts 4:12 says: ‘There is NO salvation through ANYONE else, nor is there ANY other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.’
It matters not how religious a person is or how sincere he might be in his religious pursuits, if a man has not the Gospel of God, if he does not "...remain in the teaching of the Christ (he) does not have God..." (2 John 9). "That all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned" (2 Thessalonians 2:12). Scripture also speaks of the vengeance that will be had upon the enemies of God "...at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His mighty angels, in blazing fire, inflicting punishment on those who do not acknowledge God and on those WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Only through the Gospel of Christ wherein is revealed the Righteousness of Christ, without which no man can be saved, is there true salvation: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel. IT IS THE POWER OF GOD for the salvation of everyone who believes: for the Jew first, and then Greek. For in it is revealed the Righteousness of God from faith to faith; as it is written, the one who is righteous by faith will live" (Romans 1:16,17). Central to the Gospel message is the Person and Work of Jesus Christ and, according to the Scriptures, if one is wrong about Christ, if one has embraced erroneous doctrine concerning Christ the Person and His Work, one is not merely in need of correction yet nevertheless saved, one has in fact fallen for another jesus who is identified by false doctrine, and thus remains in a lost state. Only in the True Jesus is their salvation. Belief, however sincere, in a false jesus CANNOT SAVE! You see, not only does the apostle Paul state that the Gospel is the power of God but he also defines this statement in 1 Corinthians 1:18: "THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved IT (THE CROSS) IS THE POWER OF GOD."
Belief in false doctrines concerning Christ constitutes a belief in another gospel, one which does not represent the true Christ but a false savior (see 2 Corinthians 11:3,4). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) and never presents a man with, nor leads him to believe, a false gospel: "But when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you to all truth..." (John 16:13). Jesus prayed, "Consecrate them in the Truth. Your Word is Truth" (John 17:17). The true believer is consecrated, or sanctified, through the truth which is the Word of God and not through the lies of men. Speaking to saved men, the apostle Paul stated: "...God chose you as the firstfruits for salvation through sanctification BY THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF IN TRUTH" (2 Thessalonians 2:13). There is no true sanctification if one’s faith is not in the Truth of God.
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which says that man is dead in sin, without God and without hope of salvation by anything he is or does in an effort to please God and gain His favor, is a man saved: "Therefore, remember that at one time you...were at that time without Christ...without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:11-13). "You were dead in your transgressions and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). "All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which says that a man is saved not by works, not by anything he has done, is doing or will do, but solely by the grace and mercy of God, is a man saved: "...a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified" (Galatians 1:16). The cry of the truly justified sinner is that he is "...justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, Whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by His blood..." (Romans 3:24,25).
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which says a man is not saved based on anything he has done but solely by the grace of God through the election of grace, is a man saved: "...God chose you as the firstfruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in truth" (2 Thessalonians 2:13). "As He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before Him" (Ephesians 1:4); "He saved us and called us to a holy life, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began" (2 Timothy 1:9). No saved person ever came to God first (see 1 John 4:19). In every case God came to the person first and gave them the gift of salvation, not because they had in any way earned this gift, but freely and only by the will of God and the grace of God. Scripture says that by nature "...there is no one who seeks God" (Romans 3:11). "But when one does not work, yet believes in the One Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. So also David declares the blessedness of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works" (Romans 4:5,6).
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which says that Christ died exclusively for His people, those whom God had given Him (see John 17:2), and has provided them with an atonement for their sin, having their sins imputed, or charged, to Him and imputing unto them His perfect righteousness, is a man saved. Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep....I will lay down My life for the sheep" (John 10:11,15). Writing to true believers Paul said, "For our sake He made Him to be sin (for us) who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which says that all His people shall come to Him, hear and believe His Gospel, is there true salvation. None whom the Lord has given unto Him shall perish, none shall be plucked from His Hand, but all for whom He died shall be saved: "My sheep hear My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of My hand" (John 10:27,28). "Everything that the Father gives Me WILL come to Me..." (John 6:37).
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which states that none for whom He died shall ever perish, but all who have had their sins charged to Him shall be given eternal life, is a man saved. Salvation has not only been obtained for God’s chosen, but it is eternally maintained by the Will of God and all that Christ has done: "...Give glory to Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify You, just as You gave Him authority over all people, so that He may give eternal life to all You gave Him" (John 17:1,2). Christ has not only obtained salvation for His people, by paying the penalty for their sin and imputing to them His righteousness, He also maintains their salvation by His eternal and completed work upon the cross. Thus ALL the glory for salvation belongs to God and none of it is shared with any man based on his works. Only THIS Gospel gives ALL the glory to God for salvation and wherein there is no room for man to boast in anything he is or has done.
Only by belief in Christ’s Gospel, which states that no man is, or can be saved by his own righteousness, by his own efforts at obedience to God’s Law, but only by the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ which is freely imputed based on His grace and mercy ALONE to all those for whom He died, is a man saved. The apostle Paul wanted to "...be found in Him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith..." (Philippians 3:9). Paul considered all that he was and did in the realm of religion as rubbish, and therefore himself as a lost person, before knowing Christ and His Gospel: "...because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish..." (Philippians 3:8).
Only those who have heard the Word of Truth, God’s Mighty Gospel, can be said to truly hope in the true Christ: "In Him you also, who have heard the word of truth, THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION, and have believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13).
Look then to the only true Jesus Who is the Author and Finisher of the Faith which God gives and which only believes in the true Gospel.
ANY AND ALL FAITH IN ANOTHER JESUS WILL NOT SAVE.
ANY AND ALL FAITH IN ANOTHER GOSPEL WILL NOT SAVE.
"Whoever believes (THE Gospel) and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
The true born again believer knows that "...by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
May God bless each and every one of you with His Truth as revealed in His Gospel.
NOTES 1. The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, 1919 edition. 2. The Roman Catholic Catechism, article 147, Australian Catholic Truth Society, 1937. 3. The Baltimore Catechism, p.60. 4. Roman Catholic Catechism, article 148, op.cit. 5. Romanism & Protestantism, Rev. R.W. Weir, p.97, A & C Black, Soho Square, Edinburgh, 1910. 6. Roman Catholicism (booklet), p.13. 7. Vatican II, Flannery’s edition, Vol.1, pp.64-66. 8. Romanism & Protestantism, p.99, op.cit. 9. Roman Catholicism, L. Boettner, p.255, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing co., 1962. 10. Roman Catholic Catechism, article 151, op.cit. 11. The Documents of Vatican II, Abbott-Gallagher, 1966. 12. Roman Catholicism, p.257, op.cit. 13. Our Priceless Heritage, H.M. Woods, The Evangelical Press, Harrisburg PA, 1941. 14. Romanism & Protestantism, p.96, op.cit. 15. Roman Catholicism, p.259, op.cit. 16. Ibid., p.261. 17. Ibid., p.258. 18. Romanism & Protestantism, p.95, op.cit. 19. You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, W. Ewin, p.108, 1961. 20. The Documents of Vatican II, op.cit. 21. All Roads Lead To Rome, M. de Semlyen, p.35, Dorchester House, 1993. 22. The Question & Answer Catholic Catechism, Doubleday & Co., 1981. 23. Bull Unam Sanctum, 1303, quoted by Pope Pius IX in his encyclical of December 8, 1864. 34. Decrees of Vatican Council, 1870, Session IV, Chapter 3. 25. Focus (magazine), March 1991 Issue, E. Sussex, U.K. 26. The Glories of Mary, St. A. de Liguori, ed. E. Grimm, Brooklyn: Redemptorist..., 1931. 27. Roman Catholicism (booklet), p.13, op.cit. 28. Romanism & Protestantism, p.98, op.cit. 29. Evangelical Catholics, S. Mawhinney, p.12, Christian Ministries Incorporated, 1982. 30. No Justification, Rev. D.N. Samuel (pamphlet), pp.4-5, The Australian Protestant Council. 31. Roman Catholicism, p.259, op.cit. 32. Evangelical Catholics, pp.12-13, op.cit. 33. You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, p.93, op.cit. 34. Roman Catholicism, p.260, op.cit. 35. The Berean Call, (newsletter), p.2, May 1994. 36. The Two Babylons, Rev. A. Hislop, p.148, S.W. Partridge & Co, 1916. 37. Roman Catholicism, p.267, op.cit. 38. Ibid., p.268. 39. The Berean Call, p.2, op.cit. 40. You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, p.94, op.cit. 41. Roman Catholicism (booklet), p.14, op.cit. 42. You Can Lead Roman Catholics to Christ, pp.94-95, op.cit. 43. Evangelical Catholics, pp.11-12, op.cit. 44. The Catholic Bible Has The Answer, O.J. Smith, p.14. 45. Roman Catholicism, p.260, op.cit. 46. Sermon delivered in the Jarvis Street Baptist church by D.D. Cole. 47. Christian Heritage, ed. W.M. Montano (magazine), December 1958. 48. The Catholic Bible Has The Answer, p.16, op.cit.