When my wife and I lived in Houston, we met Charles and Elizabeth Melton. We broke bread with them at a local restaurant. They had come out of the Catholic Church. They said, "When we were Catholics, we weren't taught what Jesus said, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:7), but we were taught that you'll go to heaven if you're a good Catholic."
I guess that means if you follow the rules of the Catholic church. When you're supposed to light a candle, you do. When you're supposed to go to confessional, you do. When you're supposed to put something in the offering, you do.
But that doesn't get people to heaven, Joe. You must be born again, Jesus said. You get born again after hearing that you can have salvation from God because of Jesus dying for our sins, who rose from the dead on the third day, and you pray a prayer asking Jesus to save you. "All that call on the name of the Lord shall be saved," the Bible says. (Ac 2:21)
Romans chapter 10, verses 9 and 10 tell us that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you're saved. After we get saved, of course, there are some things the Lord Jesus wants us to do. "If you love me, keep my commandments," Jesus said.
But to keep his commandments, we must know what they are. So, we should read the Bible.
We should be baptized in water. "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved..." (Mark 16:16) The Lord also wants his people to have the Baptism with the Holy Ghost with the speaking in unknown tongues. Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost, says John the Baptist in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I've played some chess (ajedres in Spanish, I think) with a man, Randy, here in El Paso. On his pickup truck, he had a sticker, "Pray the Rosary."
The Rosary starts out, "Hail, Mary, mother of God." It's a prayer addressed to Mary. There is no scripture anywhere in the Bible authorizing anyone to pray to Mary. I am sure that if you pray to Mary, she can't hear you, based on teachings of Kenneth E. Hagin, who walked in the office of Prophet.
I believe that to pray the Rosary is to commit the sin of idolatry. Any prayer should only be addressed to God. People who pray to Allah are sinning because Allah is not God. God has a son, Jesus. Allah does not, if there even is such a being as Allah. If there's a being, Allah, I expect that he is a demon.
The Rosary calls Mary the mother of God. Wrong. God doesn't have a mother. God the Father had no beginning, but always existed. Jesus had a beginning, but it was long before Mary. Jesus was present at the creation of the world, and before Adam.
Mary is only the mother of the earthly body Jesus used for about 33 years, when God the Father sent Jesus down to earth.
In the Rosary, Mary is called "full of grace." Those words are in the Bible, but it's not talking about Mary, it's talking about Jesus.
Jesus said call no man on earth your father.
Matt 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Matt 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
But Catholics call their priests father. While my Dad was on earth, I didn't call him father, I called him Dad.
Catholics go to confessional and confess sins. Then the priest tells them "Absolved." How does a man on earth have authority to forgive sins? Especially, when that man is a sinner himself. The Bible says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23
No, it's God that we need to forgive our sins, not some man. And we can get God to forgive our sins by simply asking Him to with a simple prayer.
I don't know if they still do, but the Catholic church used to teach that there was a place called Purgatory, where if you didn't qualify to go to heaven, you could somehow work it out to qualify for heaven.
There is no such a place, for it is written, "It is appointed to men once to die, and after this the judgment." (Heb 9:27) People get one life. They must get right and be right with God during that life. They must get born again. If they don't get right with God in that one life, they don't get another chance after they die.
I've heard that Pope Benedict is against capital punishment, and also the previous Pope, John Paul. But toward the end of the book of Numbers, God says, "Blood defiles the land, and the land can't be cleansed from the blood shed in it except by executing the murderer." (Nu 35:33)
So then God requires execution of murderers. If God requires it, how can the Pope be against it? I believe there will be Popes in hell.
In the book of Revelation, last book of the Bible. In chapters 17 & 18, it talks about the "Great Whore that sits upon the waters." and that "Rules over the kings of the earth." It says the Great Whore is a city that sits on seven hills. The only major city in the earth that sits on seven hills, that I know of, is Rome. And Rome is the headquarters of the Catholic Church.
Jesus says come out of her, my people, in the book of Revelation. I believe Jesus wants his people to come out of the Catholic Church.
But if someone were to ask me where's a good church to go to, I don't know. But when it's God's time, I expect to start a church. I don't know whether it will be in El Paso.
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