Whilst out on the streets in the city centre recently, I had a lengthy discussion with a pleasant young man named Sean. As he walked by I handed him a gospel Tract. He took it and looked at this, I explained it was a Gospel Tract about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sean then replied, ‘Thank you for this, we are actually on our way to Church right now’ He was with a young female companion. We are on our way to St Marys. This is the large Roman Catholic Cathedral in the centre of Aberdeen. He then explained that he was on his way to the cathedral to take part in the Eucharistic adoration. For those not familiar with Roman Catholic tradition, this is where the Eucharist (Communion wafer) is housed in the Monstrance. This basically is a container used to house the Eucharist. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that through the practice of transubstantiation, the priest has the authority and power to call down from heaven the spirit of the living Christ to inhabit the bread and wine, thus becoming the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is nothing short of superstition and is contrary to what the written word of God has revealed through the bible. Whilst Jesus was Hanging on the cross before he died, he cried out “It is Finished” (John 19:30) The work on the cross to pay for the sins of his people was complete. He doesn’t need to be sacrificed again, in a superstitious tradition of the Roman Catholic church called the Mass. We should break bread with each other in remembrance of the death of christ. But this is purely a symbol of the gospel of Jesus Christ, symbolic in that his body was broken on the cross for sinners.
We then started to have a rather lengthy conversation on what the differences are between what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in regards to Salvation, and what the bible teaches. I explained that the bible teaches that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I asked him if he believed that Jesus is the only way to have forgiveness with God. He answered yes, but we can also pray to the saints, and he says, oh, I also worship Mary. At that point I knew that Sean wasn’t believing in the same God that has revealed himself through the Bible. I asserted that Jesus was the only way (John 14:6) and that there is one God and one mediator between God and Man, and it is the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5) That only Christ Alone intercedes for his people; Therefore is he able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25) Sean was a typical Roman Catholic, who was steeped in the beliefs of the teaching and traditions of the Roman Catholic church, which teach that for a person to enter Heaven he must adhere to the teachings of the church, and follow the seven sacraments, which is a works meritorious system, in which the person with the assistance of Gods grace can work there way into Heaven. This is completely contrary to the Scriptures teaching that we are saved on the perfect merit and finished work of Jesus Christ Alone. Through his Life, death, and resurrection, we are Justified (Made Right with God) by the grace of God alone, through Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9) That salvation (Being saved from the Judgement of God) is a gift from God, this cannot be earned by sinful creatures.
I explained to Sean what the Bible teaches about Bowing down to any images made with Human hands. In the Book of Exodus, God hands down to Moses the 10 Commandments. These were the Laws that were given to the people of Israel, who God had just brought out of Egypt after 430 years of slavery.
The First and second commandment was; You shall have no other gods before me.4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them
We see clearly that God has commanded that we make no image with our hands and bow down before it, because God is not visible to us, neither is he made with Human hands. Deuteronomy 4, God tells Moses this: You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature
that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
So many heathens accross the world bow down before dumb hand made idols. That can’t speak, heal, or forgive sin against the only true God. This is idolatry, and no idolaters will enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9)
20 “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. 21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:20-22, ESV)
Sean like so many catholics are enslaved to their religion and sense of self righteousness. They indeed worship idols that can neither hear then or save them. Unlike the eastern nations who bow before visable hand carved idols; Many people in the west are idolaters because they put their trust in the idols of sports, worship of self, celebrity worship, pop star worship, money, career, power and esteem. These are the biggest snare to the western world. They refuse to worship their creator and saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
We must lovingly share the gospel of grace with our Catholic friends, heathens, Atheist, agnostics, whoever will listen, and warn them of the wrath to come and lovingly point them to the truth of Sola Scriptura. That salvation is by grace alone in Jesus Christ alone, so that no-one can boast.