In one of the answers you gave on the internet you said that Catholics are
condemned to hell. I thought that Catholics believed that Christ was their Lord
and Savior, or am I confused? I am not Catholic but much of my family is,
are they saved?
I was a Catholic for 34 years, and come from an all-Catholic family. I was saved at the age of 34, and entered Seminary one year later. While in my four years of seminary I did a rather in-depth study of the Catholic Faith to determine why 34 years of Catholicism never made a difference in my life. At the end of the 34 years of Catholicism, I was involved in all kinds of sin and certainly not living a Christian life. I then came to Christ, by repenting, faith and submission to Him, a very simple prayer of the heart and lips. Within one week my life started a transformation, I suddenly stopped drinking and swearing. As the weeks went by the Lord kept weaning me from more sin.
When I as seminary I searched for the reasons why Catholicism didn't work--why all the years as an altar-boy, all the rosaries, all the Novenas, Masses, Stations of the Cross, etc. never made a difference.
The answer was in their Gospel message. Every religion in the world can be defined by the Gospel message--what must a person do to get to heaven?
The Bible was clear, "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." [Ephesians 2:8-9] I came to Christ by faith and faith alone in Christ, with absolutely no works--it was all by what Jesus did. I simply repented of my sin, believed in who Jesus claimed to be, and then submitted my life to His control.
Now what I discovered about the Catholic Church was that they have a different gospel than the one of the Bible. I went to eight years of Catholic grade school and knew what it was, but the study at seminary explained the source for their belief.
The Catholic gospel says that "one gets to heaven by the Grace of God through the death of Jesus on the cross" (so far so good--it sounds right). But the way to receive this grace is NOT by faith and faith alone (a free gift as Ephesians 2:8-9 said), no, the way a person receives the grace to be saved (according to the Catholics) is by "doing certain things" (works), like:
1. Going to mass = grace
2. Saying Catholic prayers (Our Fathers, Hail Marys, rosaries, etc.) = grace
3. Receiving communion = grace
4. Being baptized (infant) = grace
5. Going to confession = grace
6. Helping others = grace
7. Making a novena = grace
8. Making the Stations of the Cross = grace
and on, and on it goes.....each thing you do brings a bit of grace................
Then according to the Catholic Church, "If you die in a state of Grace, then you will go to heaven ---eventually! You have to stop in Purgatory for an indefinite period of time (millions of years?). Purgatory is a place just like Hell (torment and agony), but the difference is you will get out some day--once "you have paid for your sins." (yet Christ said on the Cross, just before He died, "It is Finished!" He meant that the price for sin has been paid!)
Yet, there is a problem, in that a Catholic can lose all of their accumulated grace by committing a MORTAL sin! A Mortal sin is a premeditated sin, basically one of the Ten Commandments, like killing someone, committing adultery, stealing, using the Lord's name in vain, missing Mass on Sunday, etc. Any of these sins done with a willful heart caused all the accumulated grace to disappear. Thus if you then died without any grace, then you went non-stop to Hell.
However, if you could then rush to a Catholic priest and get your sins forgiven, then you collected a little more grace again, and were back on the road to heaven--at least until the next Mortal Sin dumped all your grace again.
Basically the Catholic Gospel is a "works" gospel, that is, "it is what Jesus did on the Cross PLUS my works gets me to heaven." But the true Gospel of the Bible, is salvation by faith and faith alone in Jesus--no works allowed nor accepted--it is all based only on what Jesus did.
In seminary I learned that the basic Catholic doctrine was set at the Council of Trent (1545-1563), 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, which met in response to the Protestant Reformation to initiate general church reform and define its essential dogmas). At that Council, they came up with a bunch of "canons" (ecclesiastical laws) of which one said this, "If anyone believes that salvation is by faith and faith alone, then let them be anathema (cast into
hell)". The Catholic Church at their core doctrine deny salvation by faith and faith alone in Christ. Yet the Bible said, that, "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." [Ephesians 2:8-9]
All that I have just told you about the Catholic Church is available in any of their Catholic Catechisms, which outline their teachings.
The Roman Catholic Church is a false religion, and anyone who dies believing and trusting in their false gospel will be eternally condemned to Hell.
There are some other very obvious false teachings, that clearly contradict the Bible, but since most Catholics are ignorant of the Bible, they easily believe the lie.
For example, the Bible says, "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." [1 Timothy 2:5] This is a pretty clear statement, that Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man, yet the Catholic Church claims that there are two mediators: Jesus and His mother Mary. I quote a Catholic Catechism, "It was through the Redemption that the Savior exercised his mediatorial reconciliation, and that his mother SHARES in the process." (The Catholic Catechism, John Hardon S.J., p168, Imprimatur, James P. Mahoney, D. D., Vicar General, Archdiocese of New York, DoubleDay, 1975). It goes on to explain how Mary suffered pain watching Jesus die on the cross, so she can also mediate with God, because she too bore some of the pain of Calvary.
This is complete nonsense from the evil one.
Another example is the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which basically says that Mary was born without original sin--just like Jesus. Another lie, for the Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." [Romans 3:23] Everyone except Jesus, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." [Hebrews 4:14-15] Only Jesus was without sin. Mary had original sin and sinned in her life.
One last example, the Bible says, "Do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven." [Matthew 23:9] This does not refer to our earthly fathers, for they are always referred to as "father", rather this forbids the calling of anyone on earth "father" in the spiritual sense. Yet the Catholic Church calls their priests "Father" and the Pope in Rome, the "Holy Father"--both in a spiritual sense and in direct violation of Scripture.
A long answer to say, yes Catholics who believe and trust in the Catholic false gospel are condemned to Hell.
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
Bible Bulletin Board
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Online since 1986