The Bible says:
~John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
For a devout catholic to say that he is saved, he would be commiting the sin of presumption. The catholic catechism says:
There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit.” Pg. 507, #2092
What a conundrum for the poor catholic member! As you can see, to say you are saved but are yet a catholic is like combining oil and water. They do not mix because the born again believer is born of the Spirit while the catholic religion is based on traditions and magisterium. The catholic magisterium state that man cannot presume that he is saved but the Bible says that you can know that you are saved.
The poor catholic is led to believe that they are born again the day they are baptized because this is what is read at the baptism.
“By the sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined and received with the proper dispositions of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into the crucified and glorified Christ and is reborn to a sharing of the divine life” (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism, chap. 3, II, 22, p. 427).
So the catholic sincerely believes that he is saved. However, how can a baby repent of his sin? How can a baby acknowledge that he is a sinner? He cannot. There is not one documented case in the Scriptures of a baby being baptized. There is not even documentation that babies were ever dedicated to God in the New Testatment.
As a catholic, I knew about Christ but I did not know Him personally. I always felt as though I was working my way to God. But the Bible clearly states:
~Ephesians 2:8-9 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.”
I can remember how good I felt after I did the Stations of the Cross, or went to confession and did my penance, or even gave money so I could light a candle. All these things made me feel good but they never added one smidgen to my salvation. Doing all these things made me feel good but I never had total peace and assurance that I was saved. Why? Because this assurance does not exist in catholicism – that would be guilty of the sin of presumption and, therefore, I was lost.
The catholic church did teach me about the Trinity, about Jesus’ life on earth, about His death on the cross and His resurrection. However, I was never taught that I could be saved. I was, however, taught that if I did all that was required of me (the sacraments, penance, the mass, etc.) I would go to purgatory and then I could enter Heaven. In fact, not a priest could tell me how long I would remain in purgatory even if I died right after a good confession! There is no assurance with the catholic church. Therefore, how can a roman catholic be born-again and remain a roman catholic?
How can a catholic remain a catholic if he claims to be born again? After all, the mass offers Christ up daily and He becomes their unbloody sacrifice. But the Bible says in Hebrews 7:27 that Christ died once! Hebrews 9:28 also says that He was offered once. The catholic continues to go to confession but yet the Bible says that only God forgives sin. The Bible says that only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7 and Luke 5:21). What about Mary? 1 Timothy 2:5 says that there is only one mediator between God and man and that is Christ! The catholic church teaches that Mary is the mediatrix and they can go to her with their problems and prayers and she will petition God on our behalf.
So how can a catholic say he is saved but yet he remains in the catholic church? He either denies the Bible because he trusts the catholic church or he will deny the catholic church because its teachings are not scriptural. The Bible says that the born-again believer will have a new nature. The Bible also says that we possess the Holy Spirit. Would the Holy Spirit lie to us? Absolutely not! He would not teach us one thing in the Bible and then allow it to be different because the “church fathers” say so. Jesus said,
~Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
God’s Word would not command us one way in the Scriptures and then turn around and contradict itself through the teachings of the magisterium. Surely you can see this! Open your eyes, dear catholic, and trust in the Lord with all your heart. It is He who shows us the way to salvation and provides the way. None other!
My friend, use the brain that God gave you. Do not leave your eternal destination in the hands of man or a church. Take responsibility and search out the Scriptures! The picture above is of a petrified log – I took this at the Petrified Forest outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This wood is no longer living but is now petrified and is hard as solid rock. The catholic church is much like this petrified wood. It may have been living at its inception, but throughout the years its many compromises and heresies have caused it to become petrified. Jesus Christ brings life – a new life! Not a petrified one.
© Kate Plourde 2009