Tag Archive: Jesus Christ only way to the Father


Capture Catholic New Testament Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church pic 1

SERIES INTRODUCTION

There are two very important reasons why I felt compelled to write this series of posts, and I’d like to briefly share these reasons with you now before I go any further:

1) Since I am a former Catholic who is very aware of the teachings of the Catholic Church because I attended twelve years of Catholic school, attended Catechism classes, made my First Holy Communion, was Confirmed, and faithfully attended Mass not only every Sunday for many years, but also before school began for three years (as required by the school that I attended at the time), and who came to the knowledge of who Jesus Christ truly is and what He actually accomplished for us by reading a Catholic New Testament Bible exactly like the one pictured above, I decided to write this series with the hope of reaching precious Catholics so that they can not only come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is as His Word, the Bible, declares Him to be, but also so they can see by reading God’s Word that they can have complete forgiveness, lasting joy, true peace, and the assurance of salvation if they choose to believe God’s Word and place their trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Also, since many Catholics do not realize everything that the Catholic church actually teaches (as I once did not realize until after doing research and reading the CCC), I thought that it was extremely important to share this information to make Catholics aware of many things that are quite disturbing, as you will all soon become aware of as this series continues.

2) This series of posts is also being written with the intention of helping those of you who are born-again, Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ who have no idea of what the teachings of Catholicism are so that you can become aware of their teachings and be prepared to offer hope and assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ to Catholics based solely upon the truth that is recorded in God’s Word.

As we continue on in this series together comparing Scriptures in the Catholic New Testament to teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we must keep these important thoughts in mind:

When it comes to our eternal destination — heaven or hell — we must be certain that we place our trust in solid truth and not in speculation or in the traditions of men. The Catholic church claims to be the “one true Church.” Therefore, it stands to reason that their teachings must line up with God’s Word and not contradict it since God does not change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8), and His Word stands firm forever. (Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24,25) If a contradiction is found it must be rejected because God’s Word is our plumb line by which we must measure (or test) the teachings of every religion to see if it lines up or not. If it is off in one point we can be certain that it will lead us further and further away from Biblical truth and lead us into spiritual deception.

This series will cover many different subjects ranging from what does the Catholic Church teach about the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, priests, the pope, sin, forgiveness of sins, salvation, prayer, and what must a Catholic believe in order to receive eternal life. Some of these teachings will shock even many Catholics when they learn what their church actually teaches!

Lord willing, I hope to share at least one post every month with you in this new series until I have covered all the most important teachings that need to be brought to your attention. The main goal that I have in writing this series is to present the Word of God to Catholics — and to every person — in order to point everyone to Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and ‘the only name under heaven given among men by which we can be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)

Dear Catholic, please take a minute now to sincerely pray; ask God to open your mind to the Scriptures and to reveal the truth to you –whatever that may be.

Because only God can reveal the truth to you, I will refrain from making any comments unless I find it completely necessary. Since God’s Word is truth I trust that He will not only give you eyes to see the truth, but also I trust that He will give you the courage to respond to His leading. However, each one of you will find yourself having to answer this question when you come to many points that I present to you in these posts after realizing that there are oftentimes extreme differences between what the Word of God says and what Catholicism teaches, and the question that you will have to answer is:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God or the word of man?”

 

For those of you who are not Catholic, and are taking the time to read these posts in order to learn what Catholicism actually teaches, please keep in mind that every time you see the word “church” spelled with a capital c they are referring to the Catholic church, since they believe that the “Catholic Church” alone is the “one true Church.”All of the information that I will be sharing with you I have obtained from the following sources:

1) CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (pictured above) – Imprimi Potest – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) – Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2) THE WORD OF GOD – THE NEW TESTAMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR IN TODAY’S ENGLISH VERSION – SACRED HEART LEAGUE EDITION – IMPRIMATUR JOHN FRANCIS WHEALON, ARCHBISHOP OF HARTFORD, APRIL 15, 1971 SIGNED AND SEALED BY BISHOP JOSEPH B. BRUNINI, DIOCESE OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

3) Occasionally when I share a Scripture with you from the Sacred Heart League (SHL) Catholic New Testament and notice that it lacks depth and clarity, I will then follow it with the same verse but in the King James Version in order to give you a better understanding of what is being said, and so that you can see what is missing from the SHL translation.

4) Very briefly in this series, when it is necessary to quote from the Old Testament, I will also be quoting from THE CATHOLIC DOUAY RHEIMS VERSION OF THE BIBLE – in which you will find the following statements:

“EXCERPT FROM ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF OUR HOLY FATHER BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE POPE LEO XIII ON THE STUDY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:

“The God of all Providence, Who in the adorable designs of His love at first elevated the human race to the participation of the Divine nature, and afterwards delivered it from the universal guilt and ruin, restoring it to its primitive dignity, has in consequence bestowed upon man a splendid gift and safeguard–making known to him, by supernatural means, the hidden Mysteries of His divinity, His wisdom, and His mercy. For although in Divine revelations there are contained some things which are not beyond the reach of unassisted reason, and which are made the objects of such revelation in order “that all may come to know them with facility, certainty, and safety from error, yet not on this account can supernatural Revelation be said to be absolutely necessary; it is only necessary because God has ordained man to a supernatural end.” This supernatural revelation according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, “being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been delivered to the Church.” (Page ix)

“Wherefore it must be recognised that the sacred writings are wrapt in a certain religious obscurity, and that no one can enter into their interior without a guide; God so disposing, as the Holy Fathers commonly teach, in order that men may investigate them with greater ardour and earnestness, and that what is attained with difficulty may sink more deeply into the mind and heart; and, most of all that they may understand that God has delivered the Holy Scriptures to the Church, and that in reading and making use of His Word, they must follow the Church as their guide and their teacher. St. Irenaeus long since laid down, that where the charismata of God were, there the truth was to be learnt, and that Holy Scripture was safely interpreted by those who had the Apostolic succession. His teaching, and that of other Holy Fathers, is taken up by the Council of the Vatican, which, in the renewing of the decree of Trent, declares its “mind” to be this–that “in things of faith and morals, belonging to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be considered the true sense of Holy Scripture which has been held and is held by our Holy Mother the Church whose place it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.” (Page xvii)

“Wherefore the first and dearest object of the Catholic commentator should be to interpret those passages which have received an authentic interpretation either by the sacred writers themselves, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (as in many places of the New Testament), or from the Church, under the assistance of the same Holy Spirit, whether by her solemn judgment or her ordinary and universal magisterium –to interpret those passages in that identical sense, and to prove, by all the resources of science that sound hermeneutical laws admit of no other interpretation. In the other passages, the analogy of faith should be followed, and Catholic doctrine, as authoritatively proposed by the Church, should be held as the supreme law; for seeing that the same God is the author both of the Sacred Books and of the doctrine committed to the Church, it is clearly impossible that any teaching can by legitimate means be extracted from the former, which shall in any respect be at variance with the latter. Hence it follows that all interpretation is foolish and false which either makes the sacred writers disagree one with another, or is opposed to the doctrine of the Church.” (Page xviii)

“For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should nevertheless, bear well in mind–as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages –that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt outside of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture and never attain its pith.” (Page xix)

To read PART 1 click HERE

For PART 2 click HERE

For PART 3 click HERE

For PART 4 click HERE

For PART 5 click HERE

For PART 6 click HERE

For PART 7 click HERE

For PART 8 click HERE

For PART 9 click HERE

For PART 10 click HERE

For PART 11 click HERE

For PART 12 click HERE

For PART 13 click HERE

For PART 14 click HERE

For PART 15 click HERE

For PART 16 click HERE

For PART 17 click HERE

For PART 18 click HERE

For PART 19 click HERE

For PART 20 click HERE

For PART 21 click HERE

[As I have mentioned in some previous posts in this series, in order to get this entire series finished in a timely manner, from now on I will be trying to keep my comments very brief and will mainly be making them in the introduction and closing sections of these posts. I will, however, continue to keep the focus on Scripture which is where it should be. I am also trying very hard (but not succeeding) to limit these posts to no more than 5000 words which makes it rather difficult sometimes. For those of you who have busy schedules and do not have the time to read lengthy posts, I will continue to highlight just some of the many troubling things in turquoise, the extremely troubling things I will highlight in red, where the Catholic church has added to Scripture with their teachings I will highlight in amethyst, and some things that are Biblical I will highlight in blue in order to quickly bring these things to your attention. Emphasis on certain words that I have put in bold print throughout this post is mine.]

INTRODUCTION TO PART 22

In this next section in the Catechism Of The Catholic Church we will be covering pages 673 and continue on through the first half of page 701. The entire focus of this section is on prayer.

In this post you will begin to see the subtle use of mystical, eastern New Age religious terms begin to emerge in the teachings of Catholicism. Words such as contemplative, silence, rhythms, and mental prayer; words that have been derived from unbiblical practices of the desert fathers (consider reading THIS POST from Lighthouse Trails about the desert fathers) who sought out different (unbiblical) ways to try and achieve union with God. These terms have been blended in with Catholicism’s basically Biblical teachings on prayer which sadly then lead many precious Catholics to believe and to embrace these things as being acceptable for a Catholic or a Christian to practice, when in reality, according to Scripture, these eastern, New Age pagan practices are completely unacceptable by a thrice Holy God!

“You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.” (Isaiah 2:6 – NIV version)

Let’s begin:

PART FOUR

CHRISTIAN PRAYER

 

SECTION ONE

PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

WHAT IS PRAYER?

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”(1 – Thérèse of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C25r).

Let’s take a few minutes to find out a little about Thérèse de Lisieux:

Thérèse was a cloistered, Carmelite nun who was proclaimed to be a Doctor of the [Catholic]Church by Pope John Paul II for her spiritual writings.

In the following video at the 28:18 minute mark, you will hear that when Thérèse was only ten years old she said her life’s mission was the salvation of all people.  She said that she was to accomplish this…“by becoming a saint, and doing good deeds for people here on earth after her death.”

Then, beginning at the 45:33 minute mark in the video above, the people who attended this presentation are told the following:

“St. Térèse had had a mystical experience earlier in her life through which she knew she would spend eternity doing good deeds for people on earth…so please, take advantage of her help, okay? She wants to help you. So, her advice would be, get to know her. Talk to her. Share your problems with her, and ask her for help.”

Again, at the end of this video, the speaker, Bob Martino, pleads with the people in the audience and says:

“I’d also like to ask you here to please talk to St. Therese. That may sound kind of weird, but it’s very true; she wants to help you…that’s her mission. Remember her mission? Tell her what’s on your mind. Tell her what your problems are, and ask her to help, okay? Read more about her. Get to know her through these efforts. And as you’ll find, what Therese will do, like all the saints and mystics, they will lead you to Christ; they will lead you to Jesus. “

Now, are you beginning to see the roots of mysticism in Catholicism and just how difficult it is for precious Catholics to be able to simply come straight to Jesus Christ alone for salvation and to ask Him alone for their help in their time of need, and to trust Him to help them in the midst of difficult times and times of suffering? They are continually being told to turn to the mystic saints of the Catholic church or to the virgin Mary instead of coming to our Heavenly Father by the one and only way and through the one and only Mediator between God and mankind –Jesus Christ. (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5)

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus Christ Himself said:

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying your heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. The yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” (SHLCNT)

Catholic teachings like praying to saints and statues, which are based on Catholic Tradition, is in direct violation to what the Word of God says regarding attempting to contact the dead (referred to as necromancy in the Bible), warnings about how some will accept teachings of demons in the last days, and through whom and to whom we are to address our prayers:

“And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto the necromancers and unto the soothsayers, who chirp and who mutter, [say,] Shall not a people seek unto their God? [Will they go] for the living unto the dead?” (Isaiah 8:19 – Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

“I am the Lord your God: you shall not make to yourselves any idol or graven thing, neither shall you erect pillars, nor set up a remarkable stone in your land, to adore it: for I am the Lord your God.
(Leviticus 26:1 – Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

“The Spirit says clearly that some men will abandon the faith in later times; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons.” (1 Timothy 4:1 – SHLCNT)

[Jesus speaking:] “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven…’ ” (Matthew 6:9 – SHLCNT)

“Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6 – SHLCNT)

[Jesus speaking:] “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak of what he hears and tell you of things to come. He will give me glory, because he will take what I have to say and tell it to you.” (John 16:13,14 – SHLCNT)

“In union with him, and through our faith in him [Jesus Christ], we have the freedom to enter into God’s presence with all confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12 – SHLCNT)

“Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great high priest who has gone into the very presence of God–Jesus, the Son of God. Our high priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy with our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a high priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Let us be brave, then, and come forward to God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 – SHLCNT)

“There is another difference: those other priests were many because they died and could not continue their work. But Jesus lives on forever, and his work as priest does not pass on to someone else. And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives forever to plead with God for them.” (Hebrews 7:23-25 – SHLCNT)

Let’s continue on:

CHAPTER ONE

THE REVELATION OF PRAYER

THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

ARTICLE 1

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, “who had received the promises,”(13) is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham’s faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering”), for he “considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead.”(14) And so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but will deliver him up for us all.”(15)Prayer restores man to God’s likeness and enables him to share in the power of God’s love that saves the multitude.(16) (13 – Heb 11:17). (14 – Gen 22:8; Heb 11:19). (15 – Rom 8:32). (16 – Cf. Rom 8:16-21).

Moses and the prayer of the mediator

Para 2574

Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of intercessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”(19 – 1 Tim 2:5).

Para 2576

“Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”(21) Moses’ prayer is characteristic of contemplative prayer by which God’s servant remains faithful to his mission. Moses converses with God often and at length, climbing the mountain to hear and entreat him and coming down to the people to repeat the words of his God for their guidance. Moses “is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly, not in riddles,” for Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth.”(22) (21 – Ex 33:11). (22 – Num 12:3, 7-8).

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

Para 2581

For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer; pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence (“shewbread”)–all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encourages an excessively external worship. The people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

Para 2590

“Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” (St. John Damascene, De fide orth. 3, 24:PG 94, 1089C).

Note: St. John Damascene was a Syrian monk and priest who defended the use of icons. However, the Word of God is very clear regarding the forbidden use of icons, images, statues, etc.

“And the Lord spoke all these words:

I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth.

Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:

And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6 – Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to thy name give glory.

For thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake: lest the gentiles should say: Where is their God?

But our God is in heaven: he hath done all things whatsoever he would.

The idols of the gentiles are silver and gold, the works of the hands of men.

They have mouths and speak not: they have eyes and see not.

They have ears and hear not: they have noses and smell not.

They have hands and feel not: they have feet and walk not: neither shall they cry out through their throat.

Let them that make them become like unto them: and all such as trust in them.

The house of Israel hath hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.

The house of Aaron hath hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.

They that fear the Lord hath hoped in the Lord: he is their helper and their protector.” (Psalm 115:1-11 – Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

“God’s wrath is revealed coming down from heaven upon all the sin and evil of men whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known. God punishes them, because what men can know about God is plain to them. God himself made it plain to them. Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen. Men can perceive them in the things that God has made. So they have no excuse at all! They know God, but they do not give him the honor that belongs to him, nor do they thank him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense and their empty minds are filled with darkness. They say they are wise, but they are fools; instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. Because men are such fools, God has given them over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created instead of the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen. (Romans 1:18-25 – SHLCNT)

“Since we are God’s children, we should not suppose that his nature is anything like an image of gold or silver or stone, shaped by the art and skill of man. God has overlooked the times when men did not know, but now he commands all men everywhere to turn away from their evil ways.” (Acts 17:29,30 – SHLCNT)

Let’s continue on:

Para 2591

God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call between God and man.

ARTICLE 2

IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME

Jesus prays

Para 2599

The Son of God who became Son of the Virgin also learned to pray according to his human heart. He learns the formulas of prayer from his mother, who kept in her heart and meditated upon all the “great things” done by the Almighty.(41) He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of the prayer of his people in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at Jerusalem. But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he intimates at the age of twelve: “I must be in my Father’s house.” Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for men. (41 – Cf. Lk 1:49; 2:19; 2:51).

Para 2601

“He was praying in a certain place and when he had ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ “(45) In seeing the Master at prayer the disciple of Christ also wants to pray. By contemplating and hearing the Son, the master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father.

Para 2602

Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude on a mountain, preferably at night.(46 – Cf. Mk 1:35; 6:46; Lk 5:16).

Para 2603

The evangelists have preserved two more explicit prayers offered by Christ during his public ministry. Each begins with thanksgiving. In the first, Jesus confesses the Father, acknowledges, and blesses him because he has hidden the mysteries of the Kingdom from those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to infants, the poor of the Beatitudes.(48) His exclamation, “Yes, Father!” expresses the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father’s “good pleasure”, echoing his mother’s fiat at the time of his conception and prefiguring what he would say to the Father in his agony. The whole prayer of Jesus is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart to the mystery of the will of the Father.(49) (48 – Cf. Mt 11:25-27 and Lk 10:21-23). (49 – Cf. Eph 1:9).

Para 2609

Once committed to conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the Son gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to “seek” and to “knock,” since he himself is the door and the way.(65 – Cf. Mt 7:7-11, 13-14).

My Note: Amen!! Then why does the Catholic church see the need to add to Scripture and violate the truth of God’s Word by teaching precious Catholics to pray to Mary and Catholic saints?

The prayer of the Virgin Mary

Para 2617

Mary’s prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father’s plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ’s conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, his Body.(88) In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made “full of grace” responds by offering her whole being: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.” “Fiat”: this is Christian prayer: to be wholly God’s, because he is wholly ours.(88 – Cf. Lk 1:38; Acts 1:14).

Para 2618

The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana,(89) the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast–that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross, (90) that Mary is heard as the Woman of the New Eve, the true “Mother of all the living.” (89 – Cf. Jn 2:1-12) (90 – Cf. Jn 19:25-27).

Para 2621

In his teaching, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray with a purified heart, with lively and persevering faith, with filial boldness. He calls them to vigilance and invites them to present their petitions to God in his name. Jesus Christ himself answers prayers addressed to him.

ARTICLE 3

IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH

II.  PRAYER OF PETITION

Para 2629

The vocabulary of supplication in the New Testament is rich in shades of meaning: ask, beseech, plead, invoke, entreat, cry out, even “struggle in prayer.”(102 – Cf. Rom 15:30; Col 4:12). Its most unusual form, because the most spontaneous, is petition: by prayer of petition we express awareness of our relationship with God. We are creatures who are not our own beginning, not the masters of adversity, not our own last end. We are sinners who as Christians know that we have turned away from our Father. Our petition is already a turning back to him. (Cf. Rom 15:30; Col 4:12)

Para 2631

The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: “God  be merciful to me a sinner!”(105) It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that “we receive from him whatever we ask.”(106) (105 – Lk 18:13). (106 – 1 Jn 3:22; cf. 1:7-2:2).

III.  PRAYER OF INTERCESSION

Para 2634

Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners.(112) He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”(113) The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us…and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”(114) (112 – Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; 1 Tim 2:5-8) (113 – Heb 7:25). (114 – Rom 8:26-27).

My Note: Amen, again!! One must ask the question, then:

Why deviate from and contradict Scripture by teaching people to pray to anyone other than Jesus Christ, Himself?

Let’s continue on:

V.  PRAYER OF PRAISE

Para 2642

The Revelation of “what must soon take place” the Apocalypse, is borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy(127) but also by the intercession of the “witnesses” (martyrs).(128) The prophets and the saints, all those who were slain on earth for their witness for Jesus, the vast throng of those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb.(129) In communion with them, the Church on earth also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition and intercession, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the “Father of lights,” from whom “every perfect gift” comes down.(130) Thus faith is pure praise. (127 – Cf. Rev 4:8-11; 5:9-14; 7:10-12). (128 – Rev 6:10). (129 – Cf. Rev 18:24; 19:1-8). (130 – Jas 1:17).

My Note: I must take a moment here to explain why  I highlighted the portion above. It was to point out the fact that it was written in past tense because the Catholic church holds to the view of preterism, which teaches that (most of, possibly all of) the events in Revelation already took place; they teach that the destruction of Jerusalem spoken of in the Book of Revelation was regarding its destruction in 70 A.D.  Lord willing, I may try to write a post on that at one point, possibly early next year, which will show what their reasons may be in doing so.

Para 2643

The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer: it is “the pure offering” of the whole Body of Christ to the glory of God’s name(131) and, according to the traditions of East and West, it is the “sacrifice of praise.”(131 – Cf Mal 1:11).

Note: Once again it must be pointed out in this series, that Scripture is very clear regarding Jesus Christ’s once for all sacrifice as being sufficient to have already paid the debt for all of our sins in full. Therefore, it must be said that since the Eucharist is indeed a sacrifice (Para 1405 of the CCC) for the sins of the living — and dead — (Para 1370, Para 1371) though an unbloody sacrifice, (Para 1367), instead of  it being simply done in memory of what Jesus did for us, it becomes a blasphemous practice because it clearly  denies the sufficiency of Jesus’ once for all sacrifice.

It also must be pointed out that according to the Word of God, the body of Christ is not some mystical belief that the bread and wine literally become the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ as the Catholic church (Catholic Tradition) teaches. Rather it is the church; those who believe the Biblical gospel. Consider these verses:

The church is Christ’s body, the completion of him who himself completes all things everywhere.”(Ephesians 1:23 – SHLCNT)

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as to the Lord. For a husband has authority over his wife in the same way that Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body.” (Ephesians 5:22,23 – SHLCNT)

“Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the firstborn Son, superior to all created things. For by him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. He existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life; he is the firstborn Son who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things.”(Colossians 1:15-19 -SHLCNT)

“All of you, [believers in Jesus Christ] then, are Christ’s body, and each one is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Let’s continue on:

CHAPTER TWO

THE TRADITION OF PRAYER

Para 2650

Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transmission (Sacred Tradition) within “the believing and praying Church,”(1) the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray. (1 – DV 8).

ARTICLE 1

AT THE WELLSPRING OF PRAYER

The Word of God

Para 2653

The Church “forcefully and specially exhorts all the Christian faithful…to learn ‘the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ’ (Phil 3:8) by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures…Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man, ‘for we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles.’ “(4 – DV 25; cf. Phil 3:8; St. Ambrose, De officiis ministrorum 1 20 88: PL 16, 50).

My Note: St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was one of the first Doctors of the Catholic Church who taught the Immaculate Conception; a teaching of the Catholic church (based on Catholic Tradition, not Scripture, and was not taught until 1854) that says the virgin Mary was sinless from the moment of her conception and throughout her whole life. Although Mary was a humble, wonderful, God-fearing woman, to say that she was sinless is an unbiblical teaching that comes from faulty human reasoning! The Word of God says that ALL have sinned! (Romans 3:12,23, Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:3, Jeremiah 14:20)

Consider watching these videos for a Biblical perspective on Mary:


Let’s continue on:

Para 2654

The spiritual writers, paraphrasing Matthew 7:7, summarize in this way the dispositions of the heart nourished by the word of God in prayer: “Seek in reading and you will find in meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you by contemplation.“(5 – Guigo the Carthusian, Scala Paradisi: PL 40, 998).

Note: First please notice how Guigo’s quote above distorts and twists the Scripture found in Matthew 7:7,8 by paraphrasing it and blending it with eastern mystical language.

Guigo the Carthusian was a monk who died in 1193. Among some of the things he wrote are: The Ladder of Monks and The Twelve Meditations. It has been said that he built upon St. Benedict’s contemplative practice of Lectio Divina.  Here is an article written from a Biblical perspective showing the unbiblical nature of Lectio Divina:
LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS – LECTIO DIVINA – WHAT IT IS, WHAT IT IS NOT, AND WHY IT IS A DANGEROUS PRACTICE

Para 2661

By a living transmission–Tradition–the Holy Spirit in the Church teaches the children of God to pray.

 

IN CLOSING

So, dear Catholic, once again I prayerfully and humbly present you with this question that you must seriously and prayerfully reflect upon, because what you choose to believe as true, and in whom or in what you choose to place your trust in, will indeed be the deciding factor as to where you will spend eternity:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God (the Bible), or the word of man (teachings of Catholicism – Tradition – that contradict God’s Word)?”

I think I said enough in all of the notes that I added to this post to express my concerns and to point out the truth that is very clearly presented in Scripture, so I will simply end with this final verse:

“Jesus, then is the high priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinful men and raised above the heavens. He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day, for his own sins first, and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself.” (Hebrews 7:26,27 – SHLCNT)

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke – Living4HisGlory

 

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“Watch out for false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but they are really like wild wolves on the inside.”(Matthew 7:15 – SHLCNT)

“Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the death of his own Son. I knowthat after I leave, fierce wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. The time will come when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers after them. Watch, then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you for three years.” (Acts 20:28-31 – SHLCNT)

“Put all things to the test: keep what is good, and avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21 – SHLCNT)

“False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you.” They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrine, and deny the Master who redeemed them, and so bring upon themselves sudden destruction. Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, people will speak evil of the Way of truth. In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!” (2 Peter 2:1-3 –  SHLCNT)

“I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge all men, living and dead: because of his coming and of his Kingdom, I command you to preach the message, to insist upon telling it, whether the time is right or not; to convince, reproach, and encourage, teaching with all patience. The time will come when men will not listen to the true teaching, but will follow their own desires, and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4 – SHLCNT)

 

RELATED VIDEOS

 

UPDATE:

Just one more post to write in this series and it will then be complete! Lord willing, I hope to finish it before the end of this year. However, I need to share with you that my dear sister is in the hospital again, and has been since November 9th. If the Lord leads you, I would truly appreciate it if you would please pray for her. She is fighting some infections and is very weak since she has been on kidney dialysis for over 20 years now. She is unable to swallow and therefore has a feeding tube in her nose. The antibiotic that she has been on caused confusion to her mind, and she rarely talks, which is heartbreaking! We almost lost her eight months after our dear Mom died in April of 2018, and it is truly a miracle that she is still living since the doctors said they were not sure that she would make it, BUT GOD is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think. To Him be all the glory!

I also need to tell you that I am having some computer problems again, and my new computer is less than three years old! So, because of these serious matters (mainly regarding my dear sister), I may not be able to finish writing the last post in this series by the end of this year, but, Lord willing, I will try my best to do so when time allows.

SUNDAY 11/29/2020 8:36 P.M. URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!

Please pray for my sister who is now fighting for her life! Her heart stopped today for 15 minutes but they were able to start it again, praise God! However, she is unresponsive. So they are going to try a procedure in which they will wrap her body in cold wraps in order to lower her body temperature to see if they can get her to respond. She is back on a ventilator, as well. Thank you!

 

 

Capture Catholic New Testament Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church pic 1

SERIES INTRODUCTION

There are two very important reasons why I felt compelled to write this series of posts, and I’d like to briefly share these reasons with you now before I go any further:

1) Since I am a former Catholic who is very aware of the teachings of the Catholic Church because I attended twelve years of Catholic school, attended Catechism classes, made my First Holy Communion, was Confirmed, and faithfully attended Mass not only every Sunday for many years, but also before school began for three years (as required by the school that I attended at the time), and who came to the knowledge of who Jesus Christ truly is and what He actually accomplished for us by reading a Catholic New Testament Bible exactly like the one pictured above, I decided to write this series with the hope of reaching precious Catholics so that they can not only come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ truly is as His Word, the Bible, declares Him to be, but also so they can see by reading God’s Word that they can have complete forgiveness, lasting joy, true peace, and the assurance of salvation if they choose to believe God’s Word and place their trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. Also, since many Catholics do not realize everything that the Catholic church actually teaches (as I once did not realize until after doing research and reading the CCC), I thought that it was extremely important to share this information to make Catholics aware of many things that are quite disturbing, as you will all soon become aware of as this series continues.

2) This series of posts is also being written with the intention of helping those of you who are born-again, Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ who have no idea of what the teachings of Catholicism are so that you can become aware of their teachings and be prepared to offer hope and assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ to Catholics based solely upon the truth that is recorded in God’s Word.

As we continue on in this series together comparing Scriptures in the Catholic New Testament to teachings found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we must keep these important thoughts in mind:

When it comes to our eternal destination — heaven or hell — we must be certain that we place our trust in solid truth and not in speculation or in the traditions of men. The Catholic church claims to be the “one true Church.” Therefore, it stands to reason that their teachings must line up with God’s Word and not contradict it since God does not change (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8), and His Word stands firm forever. (Psalm 119:89, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Peter 1:24,25) If a contradiction is found it must be rejected because God’s Word is our plumb line by which we must measure (or test) the teachings of every religion to see if it lines up or not. If it is off in one point we can be certain that it will lead us further and further away from Biblical truth and lead us into spiritual deception.

This series will cover many different subjects ranging from what does the Catholic Church teach about the Bible, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, priests, the pope, sin, forgiveness of sins, salvation, prayer, and what must a Catholic believe in order to receive eternal life. Some of these teachings will shock even many Catholics when they learn what their church actually teaches!

Lord willing, I hope to share at least one post every month with you in this new series until I have covered all the most important teachings that need to be brought to your attention. The main goal that I have in writing this series is to present the Word of God to Catholics — and to every person — in order to point everyone to Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and ‘the only name under heaven given among men by which we can be saved.’ (Acts 4:12)

Dear Catholic, please take a minute now to sincerely pray; ask God to open your mind to the Scriptures and to reveal the truth to you –whatever that may be.

Because only God can reveal the truth to you, I will refrain from making any comments unless I find it completely necessary. Since God’s Word is truth I trust that He will not only give you eyes to see the truth, but also I trust that He will give you the courage to respond to His leading. However, each one of you will find yourself having to answer this question when you come to many points that I present to you in these posts after realizing that there are oftentimes extreme differences between what the Word of God says and what Catholicism teaches, and the question that you will have to answer is:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God, or the word of man?”

For those of you who are not Catholic, and are taking the time to read these posts in order to learn what Catholicism actually teaches, please keep in mind that every time you see the word “church” spelled with a capital c they are referring to the Catholic church, since they believe that the “Catholic Church” alone is the “one true Church.”All of the information that I will be sharing with you I have obtained from the following sources:

1) CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (pictured above) – Imprimi Potest – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) – Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2) THE WORD OF GOD – THE NEW TESTAMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR IN TODAY’S ENGLISH VERSION – SACRED HEART LEAGUE EDITION – IMPRIMATUR JOHN FRANCIS WHEALON, ARCHBISHOP OF HARTFORD, APRIL 15, 1971 SIGNED AND SEALED BY BISHOP JOSEPH B. BRUNINI, DIOCESE OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

3) Occasionally when I share a Scripture with you from the Sacred Heart League (SHL) Catholic New Testament and notice that it lacks depth and clarity, I will then follow it with the same verse but in the King James Version in order to give you a better understanding of what is being said, and so that you can see what is missing from the SHL translation.

4) Very briefly in this series, I will also be quoting from THE CATHOLIC DOUAY RHEIMS VERSION OF THE BIBLE – in which you will find the following statements:

“EXCERPT FROM ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF OUR HOLY FATHER BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE POPE LEO XIII ON THE STUDY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:

“The God of all Providence, Who in the adorable designs of His love at first elevated the human race to the participation of the Divine nature, and afterwards delivered it from the universal guilt and ruin, restoring it to its primitive dignity, has in consequence bestowed upon man a splendid gift and safeguard–making known to him, by supernatural means, the hidden Mysteries of His divinity, His wisdom, and His mercy. For although in Divine revelations there are contained some things which are not beyond the reach of unassisted reason, and which are made the objects of such revelation in order “that all may come to know them with facility, certainty, and safety from error, yet not on this account can supernatural Revelation be said to be absolutely necessary; it is only necessary because God has ordained man to a supernatural end.” This supernatural revelation according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, “being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been delivered to the Church.” (Page ix)

“Wherefore it must be recognised that the sacred writings are wrapt in a certain religious obscurity, and that no one can enter into their interior without a guide; God so disposing, as the Holy Fathers commonly teach, in order that men may investigate them with greater ardour and earnestness, and that what is attained with difficulty may sink more deeply into the mind and heart; and, most of all that they may understand that God has delivered the Holy Scriptures to the Church, and that in reading and making use of His Word, they must follow the Church as their guide and their teacher. St. Irenaeus long since laid down, that where the charismata of God were, there the truth was to be learnt, and that Holy Scripture was safely interpreted by those who had the Apostolic succession. His teaching, and that of other Holy Fathers, is taken up by the Council of the Vatican, which, in the renewing of the decree of Trent, declares its “mind” to be this–that “in things of faith and morals, belonging to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be considered the true sense of Holy Scripture which has been held and is held by our Holy Mother the Church whose place it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret Holy Scripture against such sense or also against the unanimous agreement of the Fathers.” (Page xvii)

“Wherefore the first and dearest object of the Catholic commentator should be to interpret those passages which have received an authentic interpretation either by the sacred writers themselves, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (as in many places of the New Testament), or from the Church, under the assistance of the same Holy Spirit, whether by her solemn judgment or her ordinary and universal magisterium –to interpret those passages in that identical sense, and to prove, by all the resources of science that sound hermeneutical laws admit of no other interpretation. In the other passages, the analogy of faith should be followed, and Catholic doctrine, as authoritatively proposed by the Church, should be held as the supreme law; for seeing that the same God is the author both of the Sacred Books and of the doctrine committed to the Church, it is clearly impossible that any teaching can by legitimate means be extracted from the former, which shall in any respect be at variance with the latter. Hence it follows that all interpretation is foolish and false which either makes the sacred writers disagree one with another, or is opposed to the doctrine of the Church.” (Page xviii)

“For although the studies of non-Catholics, used with prudence, may sometimes be of use to the Catholic student, he should nevertheless, bear well in mind–as the Fathers also teach in numerous passages –that the sense of Holy Scripture can nowhere be found incorrupt outside of the Church, and cannot be expected to be found in writers who, being without the true faith, only gnaw the bark of the Sacred Scripture and never attain its pith.” (Page xix)

To read PART 1 click HERE

For PART 2 click HERE

For PART 3 click HERE

For PART 4 click HERE

For PART 5 click HERE

For PART 6 click HERE

For PART 7 click HERE

For PART 8 click HERE

For PART 9 click HERE

For PART 10 click HERE

For PART 11 click HERE

For PART 12 click HERE

For PART 13 click HERE

For PART 14 click HERE

INTRODUCTION TO PART 15

[As I have mentioned in some previous posts in this series, in order to get this entire series finished in a timely manner, from now on I will be trying to keep my comments very brief and will mainly be making them in the introduction and closing sections of these posts. I will, however, continue to keep the focus on Scripture which is where it should be. I am also trying very hard (but not succeeding) to limit these posts to no more than 5000 words which makes it rather difficult sometimes. For those of you who have busy schedules and do not have the time to read lengthy posts, I will continue to highlight just some of the many troubling things in turquoise, and anything that is Biblical I will highlight in blue in order to quickly bring these things to your attention.]

Part 15 will focus on The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation and cover pages 396 to the beginning portion of page 417.

First I would like to begin this post by sharing many Scriptures with you in order to make it very clear to you that on the basis of the truth of God’s Word we can have complete assurance of the forgiveness of sins because of everything that Jesus Christ has already done for us. There is no need for us to confess our sins to a priest or to anyone other than to God and God alone. If a person accepts the free gift of salvation paid with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, there is no punishment for sin that remains; Jesus Christ’s “once for all sacrifice” completely satisfied the just demands of a fully Holy God.

Even though the Catholic church does teach that Christ alone expiated our sins once for all (See below – Para 1460 in the CCC), their teachings of “purgatory,” “indulgences,” and “the Sacrifice of the Massnullify the truth of God’s Word by these “Traditions” (Matthew 15:3-9) of men that they put on the same level as Scripture. Sadly, many of the teachings that the Catholic church presents to precious Catholics do not allow them to discover the sufficiency of Jesus Christ’s “once for all” sacrifice. Instead they add man-made teachings to the truth of God’s Word, and the simplicity and joyously good news of the Biblical gospel remains hidden from them.

Keep the truth of the following Scriptures in mind as you take the time to read through Part 15 of this series in which we are continuing to compare Scriptures in a Catholic New Testament Bible to many teachings that can be found in the Catechism Of The Catholic Church not only to show precious Catholics the importance of testing what they are being taught in the Catholic church against the truth of God’s Holy Word, but also to inform Bible believing Christians what their precious Catholic friends believe because of what they are being taught:

“I am, I am he that blot out thy iniquities for my own sake, and I will not remember thy sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)

“I have blotted out thy iniquities as a cloud, and thy sins as a mist: return to me, for I have redeemed thee.” (Isaiah 44:22)

“You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all brothers of one another and have only one Teacher. And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father’ because you have only the one Father in heaven.” (Matthew 23:8,9)

“Jesus was preaching the message to them, when a paralyzed man, carried by four men, was brought to him. Because of the crowd, however, they could not get the man to Jesus. So they made a hole in the roof right above the place where Jesus was. When they had made an opening, they let the man down, lying on his mat. Jesus saw how much faith they had, and said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Some teachers of the Law who were sitting there, thought to themselves, “How does he dare talk against God like this? No man can forgive sins; only God can!” (Mark 2:2b-7, Luke 5:17-24 )

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life;  whoever disobeys the Son will never have life, but God’s wrath will remain on him forever.” (John 3:36 – SHLCNT)

Now look at how the same verse above reads in the Catholic Douay-Rheims Version below. Note the troubling difference between the two translations, the SHLCNT version above translates it as “whoever disobeys the Son will never have life, whereas the Douay-Rheims version (along with many other versions),  shows that if anyone chooses not to believe in the Son they do not have life, and God’s wrath remains upon them:

“He that believeth in the Son, hath life everlasting; but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Continuing on with a few more verses that reveal God’s truth to us on these important eternal matters:

“A man who works is paid; his wages are not regarded as a gift, but as something that he has earned. But the man who has faith, not works, who believes in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is his faith that God takes into account in order to put him right with himself. This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the man whom God accepts as righteous, apart from any works:

“Happy are those whose wrongs God has forgiven, whose sins he has covered over! Happy is the man whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!” (Romans 4:4-8 – SHLCNT)

“He was given over to die because of our sins, and was raised to life to put us right with God.” (Romans 4:25 – SHLCNT)

“For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked, at the time that God chose. It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may be that someone might dare to die for a good person. But God has shown us how much he loves us; it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his death we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s wrath. We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! But that is not all; we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.” (Romans 5:6-11 – SHLCNT)

“And there is a difference between God’s gift and the sin of one man. After the one sin came the judgment of “Guilty”; but after so many sins comes the undeserved gift of “Not guilty!” It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule, because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God’s abundant grace and the free gift of his righteousness will rule in life through Christ. So then, as the one sin condemned all men, in the same way the one righteous act sets all men free and gives them life.”(Romans 5:16-18 – SHLCNT)

“Surely you know that the wicked will not receive God’s Kingdom. Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral, or worship idols, or are adulterers, or homosexual perverts, or who rob, or are greedy, or are drunkards, or who slander others, or are thieves–none of these will receive God’s Kingdom. Some of you were like that. But you have been cleansed from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – SHLCNT)

“When anyone is joined to Christ he is a new being; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends, and gave us the task of making others his friends also. Our message is that God was making friends of all men through Christ. God did not keep an account of their sins against them, and he has given us the message of how he makes them his friends. Here we are, then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were appealing to you through us: on Christ’s behalf, we beg you, let God change you from enemies into friends.”(2 Corinthians 5:17-20 – SHLCNT)

“God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would bring us to himself as his sons–this was his pleasure and purpose. Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift  he gave us in his dear Son! For by the death of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, which he gave to  us in such large measure!” (Ephesians 1:5-8a – SHLCNT)

“For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and men together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5,6 – SHLCNT) 

“For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times. ” (1 Timothy 2:5,6 – Douay-Rheims)

“I write you this, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, the righteous, who pleads for us with the Father. And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of all men.” (1 John 2:1,2 – SHLCNT)

 

Now let‘s begin Part 15.

Please take a moment to pray, asking God for discernment before you begin reading:

CHAPTER TWO

THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING

Para 1421

The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health,(3 – Cf. Mk 2:1-12) has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of the two sacraments of healing: the sacrament of Penance and the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

ARTICLE 4

THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

Para 1422

Those who approach the sacrament of  Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins, and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (4 – LG 11 § 2).

I. WHAT IS THE SACRAMENT CALLED?

Para 1424

It is called the sacrament of confession since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament.

It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.”

V. THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE

Para 1435

Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one’s brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one’s cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance. (34 – Cf. Luke 9:23).

Para 1436

Eucharist and Penance.  Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and preserve us from mortal sins.” (35 – Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638).

Para 1437

Reading Sacred Scriptures, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, and the Our Father–every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.

VI.  THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

Para 1440

Sin is before all else an offense  against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.(38 – Cf. LG 11).

Para 1445

Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.

The sacrament of forgiveness

Para 1446

Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”(47 – Terrtullian, De Paenit. 4, 2: PL 1, 1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542).

Para 1447

During the seventh century  Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental  Europe the “private” practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church.

Para 1448

Beneath the changes in discipline and celebration that this sacrament has undergone over the centuries, the same fundamental structures is to be discerned. It comprises two equally essential elements; on the one hand, the acts of the man who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit: namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction;  on the other, God’s action through the intervention of the Church. The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgive sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion.

VII.  THE ACTS OF THE PENITENT

Contrition

Para 1452

When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sin; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible. (51 – Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1677).

The confession of sins

Para 1456

Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance.

Para 1458

Without being strictly necessary, confession of every day faults (venial sins) is nevertheless is strongly recommended by the Church. (59 – Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1680; CIC, can. 988 § 2).

Satisfaction

Para 1459

But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationship with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. (62) Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.” (62 – Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712).

Para 1460

It can consist of prayers, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbors, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs  with the risen Christ, “provided we suffer with him.” (63 – Romans 8:17; Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:1-2; cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1690).

VIII.  THE MINISTER OF THIS SACRAMENT

Para 1462

Forgiveness of sins brings reconciliation with God, but also with the [Catholic] Church. (67 – Cf. CIC, cann. 844; 967-969; 972; CCEO, can. 722 §§ 3-4). [NOTE: The word Catholic was inserted by me for clarification and to remind you that every time you see the word church used with a capital C, they are referring to the Catholic Church.]

IX. THE EFFECTS OF THIS SACRAMENT

Para 1468

“The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship.”(73 – Roman Catechism, II, V, 18).

Para 1469

This sacrament reconciles us with the Church.

Para 1470

In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, anticipates in a certain way the judgement to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin. (79 – Cf. 1 Corin. 5:11; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 22:15). In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and “does not come under judgment.”(80 – Jn. 5:24).

X.  INDULGENCES

Para 1471

The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.

What is an indulgence?

An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.(82) The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.* *(82 – CIC, can. 944.)

The punishment of sin

Para 1472

To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.”(83 – Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1712-1713; (1563): 1820).

Para 1473

The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.” (84 – Eph. 4:22,24)

In the Communion of Saints

Para 1475

In the communion of saints “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.” (86 – Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5). In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishment for sin.

Para 1476

We also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church’s treasury, which is not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated during the course of the centuries. On the contrary the ‘treasury of the Church’ is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted , which Christ’s merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their efficacy.” (87 – Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5).

Para 1477

“This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasure, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission the Father entrusted to them. In this way they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body.”(88 – Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5.)

Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church

Para 1478

An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishment due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity. (89 – Cf. Indulgentiarum doctrina, 5).

Para 1479

Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishment due for their sins may be remitted.

XI.  THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

Para 1480

Like all the sacraments, Penance is a liturgical action. The elements of the celebration are ordinarily these: a greeting and blessing from the priest, reading the word of God to illuminate the conscience and elicit contrition, and an exhortation to repentance; the confession, which acknowledges sins and makes them known to the priest; the imposition and acceptance of a penance; the priest’s absolution; a prayer of thanksgiving and praise and dismissal with the blessing of the priest.

 Para 1491

The sacrament of Penance is a whole consisting in three actions of the penitent and the priest’s absolution. The penitent’s acts are repentance, confession or disclosure of sins to the priest, and the intention to make reparation and do works of reparation.

Para 1493

One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.

Para 1495

Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.

Para 1496

The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:

–reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;

–reconciliation with the Church;

–remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;

–remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;

–peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;

–an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle

Para 1497

Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church.

Para 1498

Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.

RELATED VIDEOS ALONG WITH A FEW MORE THOUGHTS

RICHARD BENNETT, FORMER CATHOLIC PRIEST


WALTER MARTIN, FORMER BAPTIST PASTOR AND FOUNDER OF THE ‘BIBLE ANSWER MAN’ RADIO PROGRAM


MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN

In Catholicism, sin is classified into two categories; mortal sin and venial sin. (You will hear a Catholic priest explain this in the video further below). As a young child I was taught that mortal sins are serious sins, such as murder, and venial sins are lesser sins, like fighting with your brothers and sisters, disobeying your parents, and lying.  However, God’s Word makes it abundantly clear that all sin is mortal; the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God’s Word also says that all liars will be thrown into the lake of fire –hell. (Revelation 21:8)

“Then the one who sits on the throne said, “And now I make all things new!” He also said to me,  “Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.” And he said, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To anyone who is thirsty I will give a free drink of water from the spring of the water of life. Whoever wins the victory will receive this from me. I will be his God, and he will be my son. But the cowards, the traitors, and the perverts, the murderers, and the immoral, those who practice magic and those who worship idols, and all liars–the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:5-8 – SHLCNT)

Regardless of how minor the sin may appear to us, or how horrific the sin may be, all sin separates us from a completely Holy God and all sin can be forgiven. There is no other way for any of us (Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Muslim, etc., etc.), to be forgiven for our sins and to be reconciled with God except by coming to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son — the second Person of the Trinity and only Mediator between sinful man and a thrice Holy God — and by receiving the free gift of eternal life by placing our full trust in all that Jesus Christ has already done for us. This is the only way that God has provided for us to be forgiven and to have a relationship with Him. We can neither receive forgiveness for sin by trusting in a sacramental system that is said to impart grace that can be lost again by committing more sin, nor can we receive or earn God’s forgiveness by doing good works or by going to Mass (or any church service). Only  by choosing to place our full trust in the “once for all” sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered to God His Father when He willingly took upon Himself God’s full wrath that He has towards us because of our sins after He was nailed to the cross, died in our place, and arose from the dead in bodily form three days later, can we receive His forgiveness. Jesus Christ lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live; He was the perfect, spotless Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.

In the following video, this is some of what the priest has to say:

“Venial sin wounds our friendship with God. Mortal sins, as the name implies, deals to our souls a mortal wound. That is to say it destroys the life of grace in us. It ruptures our friendship with God, and, if we have the misfortune to die in a state of mortal sin, why then, we suffer eternal death in hell. Mortal sin is something we can’t simply stumble into by accident…”

‘Hey Father! What is the difference between venial and mortal sin?’


In the following video, Pastor Dan Carpenter answers a caller’s question. He addresses apostolic succession, do priests have the power to forgive sins (as the Catholic church teaches based on John 20:23), and is there any other mediator besides Jesus Christ:


In the following video this pastor makes an excellent point regarding John 20:23 by basically saying that if Jesus truly was giving the apostles the power to forgive sins, the context of this passage of Scripture clearly shows that the apostle Thomas wasn’t present that day, and Jesus certainly wouldn’t have done something so important as that when the apostles weren’t all together.


IN CLOSING:

So much more could be said, and I could share so many more Scriptures with you, but this post is now much longer than I had intended for it to be and I must bring it to a close. I can think of no better way to end this particular post than by sharing this powerful and encouraging Scripture with you that God brought to my attention in the spring of 1980. I was at the point where I was struggling between believing the joyously good news of the Biblical gospel that I discovered as I read that little Catholic New Testament, and what I believed regarding all that I had been taught as a Catholic. As I held my little Catholic New Testament, I cried out to God and asked Him to confirm to me in His Word that what I was reading was really true. To think that Jesus Christ actually paid the debt for all of my sins — in full — and that I didn’t have to burn in purgatory for “temporal punishment still due for sins” as I was taught, just seemed too amazingly good to be true! I opened my little Catholic New Testament and saw this verse in 1 John for the very first time:

“We believe the witness that men give; the witness that God gives is much stronger, and this is the witness that God has given about His Son. So whoever believes in the Son of God has this witness in his heart; but whoever does not believe God has made a liar out of him, because he has not believed what God has said as a witness about his Son. This, then is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write you this so that you may know that you have eternal life–you that believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:9-13) [NOTE: Emphasis is mine.]

When I first read that verse, the truth about the power and splendor of who Jesus Christ really was — and is — and the reality of all that He truly accomplished for us by His once for all sacrifice on the cross (which led to His death, burial, and glorious resurrection from the dead) became crystal clear to me! I no longer had the fear of death or any doubt remaining about the sufficiency of Jesus’ once for all sacrifice because God’s Word clearly shows us that we can have the assurance of salvation now, as long as our faith and trust are only in all that Jesus Christ already did for us. I pray that your eyes will also be opened to see this amazing truth that can be found in God’s Word and that you also will choose to believe it.

Dear Catholic, (and dear reader, whoever you may be), once again I present you with this important question that I had to answer back in 1980:

Are you going to believe the Word of God (Scripture), or the word of man (Tradition)?

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

Mary Dalke – Living4HisGlory

All of us have stories that we can share about heartache and loss. It’s how we deal with them that truly matters. Some choose to harden their hearts and push everyone away. Others may develop a heart of deep compassion because they know what it feels like to be lied to, abused, rejected, and unloved. They will always be the ones looking for those who are alone in a crowd at a party or some type of gathering desiring to bring hope to a shattered life.

Some go on with life as if they have years to make things right with those they have distanced themselves from, but tomorrow is promised to no one. Life is so fragile, and so fleeting, as well. My precious mom will be eighty-nine next month and my eyes fill with tears just thinking about the fact that there’s not much time left before she will be gone from this earth, and that causes me to treasure every moment that I have with her when we get together because even though I have shared the good news of the Biblical gospel with her many times, I don’t yet have the assurance that she has placed her trust in Jesus Christ alone for her salvation, as I have.

I hope that you will take the time to treasure every moment that you have with your loved ones, as well. And if you are a follower of Jesus Christ I pray that you will share the love of Jesus and the good news of the Biblical gospel with your loved ones who do not yet know Him and all that He accomplished for them/us through His sinless life, His sacrifice on the cross in our place for our sins, and His glorious bodily resurrection from the dead for our justification.

This Holiday Season I hope that you will set aside how you personally feel and reach out to someone who you know is hurting maybe as much as you are, and try to bring some hope and encouragement into their lives. Or, if you are someone who has unforgiveness towards anyone, now is the time to make things right because tomorrow just might be too late, and living with regret is even harder.

All of us have so much to be thankful for compared to so many people in this world. Yes, you may be deeply hurting right now because of the way that you have been treated by others, or because of how you are continuing to be treated by others, but unforgiveness only hurts the one who holds on to it. Express your sorrow and the anger that you feel to God who created you and who loves you more than anyone could ever love you! Take time to thank Him for the many blessings that He has given to you this year. Forgive those who have hurt you with an act of your will, and allow God to heal you emotionally, and to make things right and to change the circumstances in His time. Or He may just choose to change you through your circumstances. But please don’t wrongly believe that He approves  of abusive behavior or causes things like that to happen; do not blame God for the wrongdoings and sinful acts that others choose to do.


UPDATE: When I originally wrote this post it was rather late; it was close to  midnight when I finally finished it. Because it was so late I didn’t have enough time to carefully consider how some people might perceive some of the things that I had said concerning forgiveness, so I want to update this post now with additional information, some personal thoughts, and more Scriptures in order to give a more Biblically balanced view of forgiveness according to God’s Word:

As I started writing this post the night before Thanksgiving, the main people I had in mind were those who have chosen to distance themselves from family due to a minor disagreement or an unwillingness to forgive someone who has sincerely apologized for their wrongdoing or their failure to do what’s right. However, I failed to think of the many of you out there who must distance yourselves from family members because, sadly, you have been physically and/or sexually abused by those who were supposed to have loved and protected you. If that is you, I am deeply sorry if I hurt or offended  you by causing you to think that you are wrong for choosing to stay away from abusive family members. It took my dear Sister-In-Christ, May I Not Clang, who left a comment in which she shared some heart wrenching things that her family has gone through in life, to make me realize what I failed to include in my post which I will now add:

Yes, as hard as it may be, we must come before God, and with an act of our will we must choose to forgive those who have hurt us out of obedience and love for Him, even when our hearts are still filled with crushing pain and a righteous form of anger. We must choose to forgive even if the person never chooses to express any amount of sorrow for the wrong they did to us. We must release them to God and allow Him to deal with them as only He can.

Forgiveness is a very difficult thing to talk about, and it’s even more difficult to do! I speak from experience, so please don’t think that I am giving you advise so easily as if I don’t understand what it feels like to be deeply hurt, betrayed, lied to, and rejected. I have had to deal with things in life such as verbal abuse, and things that I never could have gone through if it wasn’t for the grace of God and His strength being made perfect in my weakness:

My husband left me and my two children when they were young, and he told me it was because I had changed so much since I became a Christian. However, the painful truth that was made known to everyone many years ago, is that he left me for another woman, and only God knows just how many years he was involved with her before he actually left us. God kept trying to show me what was going on in many visible ways, which included having my eyes fall upon verses dealing with adultery when I would open my Bible to read it during the day. When I refused to believe that he was cheating on me, God brought me to face the painful reality; the phone calls began:

A woman called one day and asked for my husband by name, and when I asked who it was that was calling, she replied by saying, “Oh, just a friend,” and she hung up. There were other times when I would answer the phone and say, “Hello,” and the person would then simply hang up. We did not have caller id at the time, but the time soon came (after receiving a disturbing phone call in the middle of the night) when I saw the need to have it, and it verified what I believed to be true based on certain evidence that I had found. Sometimes being a detective-at-heart, as I am, makes the shocking truth even more shocking — and heartbreaking — when you see more of the facts. 😥

There were many other heartbreaking things that happened over the years after he left us, the worst being the fact that when we were still legally married my husband chose to bring the woman he was living with to our daughter’s wedding. Instead of ignoring her as many people told me to do, I prayed for God to show me the right time to go over to her and to confront her. I did it in such a way that it dealt with the truth, and yet it honored God in how I did it and by what I said, and by what I didn’t say or do, as well! Confronting her was my way of fighting for my ‘husband’ and our marriage (what was left of it). I was hoping that my ‘husband’ would see it that way, and that he would come to realize just how much I loved him, and that he would end his relationship with her and take steps towards making things right between us. But that never happened. I became angry at God because I thought that He was going to restore our marriage. My anger towards God only lasted for a short time. It ended on the day that my anger quickly turned to repentance before God when my eyes fell upon this verse:

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b)

In a moment’s time God used His Word to show me that I was turning away from Him, and I realized that I must love Him for who He is and for all that He had already done for me [by sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who bore all of my/our sins and took upon Himself the full wrath of God intended for me/you for my/our sins and die in my/your place upon the cross, and that He arose from the dead for our justification] and that my love for Him must never be based upon what He does or doesn’t do for me! My life changed that day, and I made a decision to love God and to live for Him with all of my heart whether my husband chose to come back or not.

The passage of Scripture that I stood on from that moment on was:

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17,18)

He never came back. I realized that as much as  God hates divorce, He will not violate man’s free will, and my ‘husband’ freely chose to continue on with his adulterous relationship, and he completely ended our marriage in divorce and married the woman less than a year after the divorce was final.

In Matthew 6:14,15 and Mark 11:25 God shows us the importance of forgiveness if we find ourselves holding anything against anyone:

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins your Father will not forgive your sins.”

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

 

As hard as it was I chose to forgive them both before God, even though no words of sorrow were ever expressed to me by either of them. On the day the divorce was final I read a letter that I had written to my ‘husband’ in front of the judge which brought me peace and a sense of closure, but I did it to mainly express what was in my heart to my ‘husband’ and to bring glory to God through the words that I said that day in order to make the most of that opportunity knowing also that the judge was Jewish.

CONCERNING ABUSE

God’s Word gives Christians a very strong  and clear warning concerning getting involved with anyone who claims to be a Christian and yet continues in a sinful, unrepentant lifestyle. This verse alone shows those of you who have been verbally and sexually abused by a professing Christian that you are not to associate with anyone who has abused you in the past and has not come to you broken and remorseful for the wrong they have done and the hurt they have inflicted upon you:

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I was not including the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a verbal abuser, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)

The life of a true follower of Jesus Christ will not be perfect, but there will be a strong desire to live according to the Holy Spirit and not according to the flesh, and their lives should show forth the fruits of the Spirit. This passage of Scripture also comes with a strong warning:

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:16-25)

Please forgive me! When I originally wrote this post I did not have sexual or physical abuse in mind when I said how we should all set aside our differences and forgive those who have hurt or offended us and join with family! I never want any of you to think that I am condoning putting one’s self in a situation where there may be the possibility of them being sexually, physically, or even verbally abused again by a family member or friend of the family! In the minds of some people, who have been abused and have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and have been transformed by His Spirit and His Word, they may think that attending a family gathering where their abuser will be present is showing the love of Jesus Christ. However, if the person has not come to the point of asking your forgiveness for the wrong they have done to you, you may actually be allowing them to continue on in their sinful behavior towards you! God would not want you to put yourself in a situation where you may be harmed again!

Rape and physical abuse is never the fault of the person whom these acts of violence have been done against! Don’t believe the lies they tell you! You do not deserve to be treated that way! There is no good excuse for their destructive behavior towards you!

If you are presently being sexually or physically abused by someone in any way, please tell someone that you completely trust! The truth needs to be made known! You will be protecting others who may possibly become a victim by this abuser if you don’t let the truth be know! Think of your little sisters and brothers! Think of your little nieces, nephews, and cousins! Yes, it will be very difficult. Yes, some may not believe you, but this is something that you must do!

If you are not a Christian, come to God through Jesus Christ; He is the only way to the Father. He will give you the wisdom to know what you need to do next and He will heal you from all that you have been through. He will make all things new, give you hope to face tomorrow, His grace that is sufficient, and His strength that will be made perfect in your weakness.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10) END OF UPDATE


IN CLOSING

God offers the free gift of salvation to whosoever will come. Only through Jesus Christ  can we receive forgiveness for the vilest of sins and freedom from the burden of guilt by placing our trust in His once for all sacrifice when He died on the cross in your place and in mine. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took upon Himself the full wrath of  God that we deserve for our sins, so that we could be covered with His righteousness in God’s sight, and our sins would be paid in full, never to be remembered again. If you choose to place your trust in what He did for you the barrier of sin that separates you from Himself will be removed and you will then become His child. This is the only provision that He made for us to receive His forgiveness, true peace, and a relationship with Him.

There is no other way:

Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

There is no other name:

“It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10b-12)

“There is no other Mediator:

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.”      (1 Timothy 2:5,6)

 

Give thanks to the Lord this Holiday Season — and every day — for He truly is good! Others may have wronged you, but God desires to forgive you, to heal all the pain in your life, bring you true joy, and His peace that surpasses all human understanding. I truly speak from experience!

I want to express my thanks to all of  you who stop by here from time to time to read my blog posts. I appreciate every one of you!

To those of you who are in the United States, a blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family!

God Bless You

~Mary/Living4HisGlory

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