Why Catholics Should Read The Bible - James R. Urban
The Holy Bible is man's most unique and wonderful treasure.
Revealed between the covers of this sacred book we may catch a
glimpse of the heart and mind of God. It is written for man's
eternal good, for his salvation, his guidance and his spiritaul
nourishment. It brings to mankind the glad message of the
Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, our Saviour,
Redeemer and our King.
The Scriptures are not merely a revelation of man's wisdom
but, in fact, the revealed wisdom of almight God. Because the
Bible is inspired by God, it is the only unchanging and reliable
source upon which we can rest our hope for eternity. Though we
read it for many other reasons, the most important purpose of
the Bible is to point us to the only way (God's way) of
In the Bible is to be found, not only the key to heaven,
but enough insturction and information to make one spiritually
rich for time and eternity. It reveals the secret of happy
living in this changing world and describes the Biblical
Christian's inheritance, an inheritance that is incorruptible,
eternal and that cannot fade away.
The Bible has a great and grand mission--within its pages
one can grasp the source of light and comfort. In the midst of
darkness and sorrow, we are offered genuine faith, hope and
love. It strengthens the mind with the sublimest of truths and
fills the open heart with pure and honest love; it will cause
solid principles of righteousness to sink into the depths of
one's soul. Nothing can ever change or diminish the written Word
of God. Someone has said that tradition has dug for it a grave,
intolerance has lighted many fires for its demise, many a Judas
has betrayed it, many a Peter has denied it with an oath, many a
Demas has forsaken it, yet the Holy Bible still endures. No book
that is merely human in its origin could take such assault and
continue to exist.
The Scriptures are majestic and enduring. Where could one
find a book more beautifully written, so instructive and so
deeply inspirational? The Bible is truly unique in its grandeur
and its splendor. It is of intrinsic value to all who will study
it. Besides being divinely inspired, infallible truth, the
Bible includes literature, poetry, philosophy, theology,
history, prophecy, war, drama, love, songs, prayers, sermons and
warnings. Even before the printing press, tens of thousands of
copies were meticulously hand written by Christian believers.
From the days of the apostles it was being translated into the
languages the people. It has been reported that the Bible is
read in more languages than any other book that has ever been
written. Portions of it have been translated into most of the
languages and dilects of the world and in each one it retains
its personality and individuality, its ability to meet the need
of men, bringing them into a personal relationship with the God
who inspired it. No other book offers so much to man. It reveals
both what man is and what he may become. lst John 3:1 declares,
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us,
that we shold be called sons of God".
To become a son of God is the hightest and noblest position
a human being can obtain. We are not born "Christians" or
"children of God". To become a son of God and enjoy the "more
abundant" Christian life, one must be born-again (born
spiritually) as opposed to our natural, human birth. Jesus
Christ said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God" (John 3:3). "As many as received Him, to them
gave He power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).
God's plan for all of us is that we recognize our spiritual
need (because of our failure to attain the perfect standards of
the Creator) and in ture Godly sorrow for that "sin", repent,
changing our natural attitude toward sin. We are to genuinely
desire to turn away from sin and allow the Holy Spirit of God to
work in us to live a clean, holy and righteous life in obedience
to God's written Word. To become a Bible Believing Christian one
must submit to and receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and
Saviour through faith in His perfect and completed
substitutionary sacrifice as their only means of eternal
To receive Jesus Christ in this way is as simple as speaking
to Him (Remember that as God, He is omnipresent. He knows what
you are saying from your heart.) Think of the commitment of your
life to Him as similar to the promises in a marriage ceremony. A
man may love a waman, but until those promises are made, he is
not "married" to her. In the same way, a person is not a true
Christian until they have committed their life to Jesus Christ
by reciving Him as personal Lord and Saviour. If you have not
already received Him, now is the time to do so.
The Bible says that "If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away: behold all things are
become new" (2nd Corinthians 5:17). When a person is "born of
God", they begin to "hunger and thirst after righteousness"
(Matthew 5:6); they want to read and study the Bible (2nd
Timothy 2:15); their prayer life is no longer just a formality
but a true response of love to our father in heaven; their new
attitude and life-style will reveal to family and friends that
something genuine and wonderful has changed in the motivation of
their life. There will be a new understanding of the Bible, for
spiritual things are spiritually discerned (understood) (2nd
Corinthians 2:14). Old religious concepts are replaced with an
understanding of Biblical truth.
Many have been led to believe that the Roman Catholic
church is the original church, that it is apostolic, that it is
based entirely upon the authority of the Bible, that it is a
true Christian church (if not now, at least it used to be). Yet,
from its beginning Roman Catholicism failed to limit itself to
Biblical doctrines and principles. Instead, it altered the
simple meaning and practice of things such as baptism and the
Lord's supper and added other teachings and practices which
neither Jesus Christ nor the apostles ever taught or practiced.
Thus Roman Catholicism has followed many unscriptural traditions
that men have accumulated during the centuries.
One of those traditions is Rome's teaching on mediators.
The Bible clearly states in 2nd Timothy 2:5 that "There is ONE
MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". Jesus said,
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cameth unto the
Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). By the authority of God's Word,
no human being (not Mary, the mother of our Lord, nor any saint,
pastor or priest) can be a mediator between God and man. Jesus
Christ alone is our mediator. He is our great high priest, He
needs no assistance. He alone is God's gift to mankind as
Saviour and Redeemer.
Rome has declared thousands of the dead to be "saints".
Yet, according to the Holy Scriptures, all true Biblical
Christians are called to be "saints" (Romans 1:7). The
distinguishing mark of a saint is not as in the Roman system,
based upon what one has done for God, but what God has done by
saving that soul from sin and eternal death.
The Bible teaches that God alone has the power to forgive
our sins. John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us form all
unrighteousness". (We confess our sins to God, not to a priest
in the confessional.) John 2:1 says, "If any man sin, we have an
advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (not a
human, mediating priest). It is a self-evident fact that only
the one offended is able to forgive the offense. When God is
offended, God alone can grant forgiveness (Mark 2:7).
In spite of all the emphasis Catholics give to Purgatory (a
place of torment where the wrath of God falls upon individuals
until they have suffered sufficient torment to be purified and
atone for their own sins), no such place is ever mentioned or
described in the Bible. The Bible does teach, however that Jesus
has "delivered us from the wrath to come" (1st Thessalonians
1:10). He is the propitiation for our sins" (Hebrews 2:2).
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13).
John 3:36 declares, "He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not
see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." God's wrath is
declared to be only upon unbelievers. The believers are
delivered from God's wrath.
Roman Catholicism teaches that "our Saviour, at the Last
Supper...instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and
Blood so that He might perpetuate the Sacrifice of the Cross
throughout the centuries 'til His coming". The mass is not just
another form of the Lord's supper or holy communion. Rome
teaches that it is the unbloody "sacrifice of the body and blood
of Jesus, really present on the alter under the appearance of
bread and wine, and offered to God for the living and the dead".
Yet, Hebrews 9:22 states that "without the shedding of blood is
no remission" (forgiveness). The mass is an aboslute dichotomy,
diametricrally opposed to the teaching of the Bible. There are
about 400,000 masses every day. If the mass were true, Jesus
would be suffering at every mass instead of "once for all" as
Hebrews 7:25-28 says, "He is able to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them...who needeth not daily, as those high
priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then
for the peoples: for this he did once, when he offered up
himself". (See Hebrews 9:10-15, 26, 28; 10:10 and 11-14.) One
perfect offering ended any need for future offerings. To teach a
need for continued sacrifices is to diminish the efficacy of the
work of Christ and implies that sinful man is capable of adding
something, perhaps improving upon the work of Christ. That is an
unthinkable blasphemy to a Biblical Christian.
One of the most precious joys of every Biblical Christian
is that their salvation is secure in Jesus Christ. The Bilbe
teaches that believers are justified by grace through faith (not
by human merits or religious rites such as baptism,
confirmation, 1st communion, mass, good works etc.) and are
assured of eternal (spiritual) life. The true Christian has no
fear of hell, purgatory, the future possible loss of salvation;
does not depend upon last rites administered by a priest nor
upon family and friends who will pray for the dead, but ONLY
upon the Lord Jesus Christ who promised, "I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). "And this the the
record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is
in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not
the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unot
you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that YE MAY KNOW
THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. (1st John 5:11-13). "Ye know that ye
were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold"
(also as human merits, sacraments, religious traditions), "but
with the precious blood of Christ (1st Peter 1:18).
With all the various beliefs, sacraments and other
practices of Roman Catholicism, Rome is not able to give peace,
joy and certainty of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life
that the Biblical Christian can now have through simple faith in
the Gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39;
John 5:24; John 14:3).
We urge all Roman Catholics to faithfully read and study
their Bibles. In so doing, they willfind God's only way of
salvation. The Bible itself declares that the way is so plain
that "fools shall not err therein" (Isaiah 35:8). We are more
than convinced that the need of the day is to "search the
Scriptures" (Which never change) to see if what religious
leaders teach is the truth or not. (See Acts 17:11, Galatians
1:8-9 and 2nd John 10-11).
Do not assume that positive emotional religious feelings,
mystical experiences, the "commitment" of your life to Christ or
the acceptance of certain beliefs and practices is sufficient to
guarantee that you are a true "born-again" Christian. READ AND
STUDY THE BIBLE. Make a promise to yourself and to God that you
will trust all the teachings of the BIBLE as your only source of
spiritual authority. Question everything you believe and
experience in the light of God's Holy Word. The Bible is the
infallible Word of God and all that we need to know about
salvation, the certaionty of salvation, God's will for man --all
spiritual matters-- may be learned by anyone willing to study
its' message. The Lord is "not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance" (2nd Peter 3:9).
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness; for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). "For as
many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God"
(Romans 8:14). Do not chance being deceived because of failure
to study God's infallible Word. Instead, as Jesus said, "SEARCH
THE SCRIPTURES" (John 5:39). YOU CAN TRUST THE BIBLE!
Mission to Catholics
P.O. Box 19280
San Diego, Ca 92119
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