Monday, December 31, 2007

This is, perhaps, one of the best New Year's Resolutions that I've heard (or seen!) yet. It's by Dan Wallace of DTS. I think he's right on. I love his heart revealed here...

So, this year, I’m making one new year’s resolution—viz., not to make any new year’s resolutions.

It’s not just that they don’t work; the focus is all wrong. Even if I had a 100% success rate in New Year’s resolutions, it would be all wrong because the goals would be short-sighted and the means would be self-glorifying. No more New Year’s resolutions for me. No, what I want is to know Christ, to love Christ, to obey Christ, to glorify Christ beyond what I had never dreamt of before.

But this is not my new year’s resolution that will fail in a couple of weeks, not to be reviewed or reflected on till next December 31; this is my weekly confession, even daily and hourly confession, that though constantly tainted with failure will nevertheless be the objective that does not go away, that does not wait for twelve months before I decide that it was just a pipedream, causing me to pick on something more ‘practical’ next year. No, this is what I want now, today, every day. And when I fail now, today, and every day, I will confess who I am and confess who Christ is, and he will pick me up and enable me to follow him again. And I will know that my new day’s, new hour’s, new week’s resolution is coming to fruition in my life if I have a genuine, growing love for fellow believers, an increasing concern for their greatest good, and a deeper sense that others are more important than I am. I’ve got a long, long way to go—but at least at the end of the tunnel is not a new and improved me, but Christ himself.
It's always good to remember these seventy resolutions that Jonathan Edwards penned a few centuries ago:

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
This is the most complete official deliverance on the Reformed position with respect to the doctrine of Christ found in the Second Helvetic Confession prepared in 1566. Here it is in part:

Therefore the Son of God is co-equal and consubstantial with the Father, as touching His divinity; true God, and not by name only, or by adoption, or by special favour, but in substance and nature... We therefore do abhor the blasphemous doctrine of Arius, uttered against the Son of God... We also teach and believe that the eternal Son of the eternal God was made the Son of Man, of the seed of Abraham and David; not by means of any man, as Ebion affirmed, but that He was most purely conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary...

Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ had not a soul without sense or reason, as Apollinaris thought; nor flesh without a soul, as Eunomius did teach; but a soul with its reason, and flesh with its senses... We acknowledge, therefore, that there be in one and the same Jesus Christ our Lord two natures - the divine and the human nature; and we say that these two are so conjoined or united that they are not swallowed up, confounded, or mingled together, but rather united or joined together in one person (the properties of each nature being safe and remaining still), so that we do worship one Christ, one Lord, and not two...As therefore, we detest the heresy of Nestorius, which makes two Christs of one and dissolved the union of the person, so do we abominate the madness of Eutyches and of the Monothelites and Monophysites, who overthrow the propriety of the human nature.

Therefore we do not teach that the divine nature in Christ did suffer, or that Christ, according to His human nature, is yet in the world, and so in every place. For we do neither think nor teach that the body of Christ ceased to be a true body after His glorying, or that it was deified and so deified that it put off the properties, as touching body and soul, and became altogether a divine nature and began to be one substance alone; therefore we do not allow or receive the unwitty subleties, and the intricate, obscure, and inconsistent disputations of Schwenkfeldt, and such other vain janglers, about this matter; neither are we Schwenkfeldians" (quoted in Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines [1975], 116-17).

What do you think? Are you in agreement with this?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I just got home from the rehab center where I go and preach fairly regularly. Tonight my text was Hebrews 10:19-31 entitled "Come all the way to Christ." The text is so clear and straightforward it almost needs no sermon. This is one of those texts in the Bible that we should read regularly to test ourselves and make certain we are in the faith. For those who are pastors, this would be a good sermon text to preach at least once a year so your people are reminded of the horrors of apostasy.

Here is the text. Please read it with a reverence knowing that we are on holy ground:

Hebrews 10:19-31 19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.

28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
We love Christmas and we had a wonderful Christmas. Here is a review of our last few days.

Earlier in the month, we celebrated Hanukkah. I taught Elizabeth some of the traditional Jewish blessings (in Hebrew too! -- she's a natural!). We didn't open any presents though. At any rate, we had a good time.
Then a few weeks ago, we were in cold New York and here's a nice picture of me and Elizabeth, NOT in sunny and warm southern California, but in cold southeastern New York on a frigid morning outside the home where we were staying.
On Sunday evening, we had youth group and instead of playing games before our Bible study, we walked a few blocks to a nearby grocery store and sang some Christmas carols and handed out tracts and pamphlets to our church.
On Monday, Christmas Eve, Elizabeth and I went to the Whitney home for a Christmas eve party. Brent is the other associate pastor at Christ Community Church. He is the pastor of families and children. He is a great guy and we had a fun time at their place. We did the traditional bobbing for "doughnuts." I lost both my matches (one was against the other three seminarians and then the other match was against a guy in my youth group -- man, I gotta practice for next year).
Then on Monday night we had our Christmas Eve service at church. Here is a picture of me and Elizabeth to add to our memories from our first marriage as a married couple :=)
Praise God for His goodness to us. We are mindful that "today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).

Friday, December 21, 2007

Over the past few days I have been reminded of God’s goodness to me. This is such a simple concept yet with such profound innumerable implications. No doubt God has had his hand upon my wife and me as we have traveled cross country and been in cities which were unintentionally entered because of flight cancellations and reschedulings. I am delighted that I serve a God who has all things under control. I am overwhelmed that I can submit to a God who is ne’er surprised by any circumstance which takes me off guard. I am thankful to God who has given to me His Word.

I have been preparing for a sermon this upcoming Sunday from one of the most Christological passages in the Bible, Colossians 1:15-20. I have been overwhelmed by the supremacy of my Savior. I have been enthralled at the all sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for me. I have been ecstatic in yet another reminder of seeing my Savior face to face one day (soon, Lord willing!). I have been overjoyed by the sufficient and reconciliatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the preeminent God-Man for me. I am thankful that I have not been redeemed by some other fallible being. I am amazed that I have not been justified by the work of a created being. No! Rather, I have been redeemed, bought, owned, sealed, justified, blessed, adopted, declared righteous and made positionally holy by the finished work of the all-sufficient, wholly eternal and authoritative Head, Jesus Christ. This excites me.

Why would I want to acquiesce to some other savior? Why would I want to imitate another deity? Why would I want to rejoice in some other god? I would be damned if these were true.

But praise God I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, by Him who has reconciled all things to Himself, making peace through the blood of his cross (Col 1:14, 20).

My God is the King. Yes, that’s my God. My God is ne’er surprised. Yes, that’s my God. My God is wholly sufficient to save me from my sins. No other savior can claim this fact. But mine can. My God is in control. My God has chosen me to be His own treasured possession even before there was a spot of dust upon the young earth. Why? Because of anything good He found in me? God forbid. Rather, God chose me out of sheer grace.

And for this I am overjoyed by my God’s sufficiency and supremacy.

Your pastor and friend,

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mark 10:45 45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told: those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear.

Jesus was born to die.

Don’t think I’m trying to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Far from it—for Jesus’ death, though devised and carried out by men with evil intentions, was in no sense a tragedy. In fact, it represents the greatest victory over evil anyone has ever accomplished" (John MacArthur).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Darrel Bock from Dallas Seminary has a good article in Christianity Today on When the Media Became a Nuisance: How to respond to the next blockbuster book/documentary/movie that questions traditional Christianity. I commend it for your reading. He makes some good notes and how we, as evangelicals, ought to respond to this fast-pace media presentation of quasi Christianity.

Here is a paragraph from his article:

We need to understand that public discussion of the Christian faith has changed—permanently. So the next time you hear an earth-shattering announcement about Jesus from the media, don't get angry. Rather, take three deep breaths, sit down with your Starbucks coffee, and watch how the announcement is treated on blogs and other media. Above all, prepare yourself for the opportunities it presents.

Jude 1:3-4 3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Read the article here. It's discouraging that over 100 Christian leaders, including Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Robert Schuller, have expressed delight in this invitation offered by the Muslims.

This is discouraging, yet not shocking, considering the state of evangelicalism today. Read the post here.

I want to protect you and rattle the snake when there are Christian leaders (well-known) who are saying that Christians and Muslims are on common ground. Please do not fall into this trap. May we be faithful to God's Word and exhort others to do likewise. Soli Deo Gloria.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My heart was challenged and convicted this morning as I read a portion from Hosea and I want to post it here for your encouragement as well.

Hosea 6:6 6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

We find that this is in the section of the book where Yahweh is declaring that Israel is that faithless wife who has gone to other lovers rather than being faithful to her husband (i.e. Yahweh). And in this sobering section, Yahweh declares this verse that is quoted in the NT (Matt 9:13; 12:7) and it serves as a fitting test for us today as well.

When you come to God, as the Israelites sure did in the 8th century BC, do you come to God bringing all of the sacrifices you can find? Do you come to all the church services that are available? Do you get up early and spend time in God’s Word and in fervent prayer and delightful meditation? Do you walk around the office with a Bible in hand so that others see that you are a Christian?


But let us never forget that “God delights in loyalty rather than mere sacrifice. If your church attendance is merely a box on the checklist; if your time early in the morning in God’s Word and fervent prayer and meditation is merely another box on the checklist; if your Bible in hand as you walk around the office is out of duty and out of the desire to be seen with a Bible all merely for the sake of “doing” these things – which are not bad in and of themselves (no, they are good things!) – then we miss the whole point. God is not pleased.

Let us be loyal to God. Let us pursue the knowledge of God rather than merely bringing the sacrifice and burnt offerings of God to the altar. Notice, however, that these sacrifices and burnt offerings were commanded by God to be brought. Yet, hear this crucial truth: obedience to God’s rules with a heart that is rebellious is worse than not bringing a sacrifice at all.

Notice one last point. When Yahweh says, “I delight in loyalty, it is the Hebrew word chesed which could be translated: “lasting loyalty,” “faithfulness,” (Holladay) or “covenant faithfulness.” When you come to God, do you come to Him with a lasting loyalty in heart and attitude? Do you come to him with a genuine heart expressing its love and passion for God in those sacrifices and burnt offerings?

Let us remember this Christmas season to draw near with our hearts right before God rather than a mere external act of religiosity. Soli Deo Gloria.

Your pastor and friend,

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rob Bell is pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and has now made TIME magazine headlines. He is, according to editor David Van Biema, the "Hipper-than-thou pastor." Bell has a few well-known works, Velvet Elvis and Sex God that find the sacred in the profane.

Van Biema noted this about Rob Bell:

At 28, he founded a megachurch that threw out the conventional sermon-and-worship service and instantly drew thousands of attendees.

Referring to the town of Grand Rapids:

The town is notoriously well churched, but Bell saw an untapped audience: some were his music fans, others Christians left cold by traditional services. "A hundred people a day were calling and saying, 'Dude! Give us the real thing.' I was like, If someone could speak to these people in their mother tongue, they'd be here in droves." Fifteen hundred people, alerted by word of mouth, came that first Sunday. Nine years later, Mars Hill tallies 11,000 weekly.

I am not sure what Bell refers to when he speaks of "the real thing" if that is excluding the preaching of the Word of God, which, of course, he is NOT doing. I am disturbed that this kind of publicity is going out to a guy who is trying with every fiber of his being to reach culture. I fear that he has left the authoritative expositional preaching of God's Word for a sheer monologue giving his thoughts, opinions and "cool comments" so people are met, satisfied and left "feeling better about themselves." This, however, is not what the Bible commands a preacher to be.
According to the Bible, we find a completely different potrait. The preacher must not be one who responds to "Dude, give us the real thing" (as if nonbelievers know what the true real thing is anyway), but rather:

1 Timothy 4:13 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

May we as true and faithful expositor's of God's Word forget about being "cool" to the culture (which changes every day anyway) and be faithful to God's Word (which never changes). Soli Deo Gloria.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

We have looked at seven of the most serious assaults of the Roman Catholic Church on biblical Christianity. To review, here they are:

1. The Supremacy of God’s Words in the Bible

2. The Sufficiency of God’s Son

3. The Singularity of God’s Gospel

4. The Sovereign Grace of God

5. The Security of God’s Children

6. The Sanctity of God’s Church

7. The Severity of God’s Judgment

We have looked at each of these briefly giving the Catholic view and then the Scriptural rebuttal which, in every case, contradicts and trumps the RC doctrine. I am troubled when I read of a movement forming (which is actually one of many), Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) which is signed by leaders of both the RC church as well as the Evangelical church (signed in 1994, 1997, 2002 and most recently in 2005). ECT says:

We give thanks to God that in recent years many Evangelicals and Catholics, ourselves among them, have been able to express a common faith in Christ and so to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We confess together one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; we confess Jesus Christ the Incarnate Son of God; we affirm the binding authority of Holy Scripture, God’s inspired Word; and we acknowledge the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds as faithful witnesses to that Word.

The very last thing I can ever think to do would be to sign an agreement with another religion that anathematizes (i.e. damns as worthy of eternal hell) those who believe in justification by faith alone apart from human merit. The RC church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1459:

The sinner must "make satisfaction for" or "expiate" his sins. This satisfaction is also called "penance."

And again in paragraph 1477:

"In this way they attained their own salvation and cooperated in saving their brothers.”

I am troubled by this. If there is a Christian who says he can join hands in agreeing with the Catholics who deny the very fundamentals of true biblical Christianity, then have reason to approach these individuals, with love, and exhort them to stop treating the RC church as “brothers and sisters” but to start evangelizing them as lost sinners heading to hell who are in desperate need of a Savior.

In conclusion to this, what can we as bible-believing, blood bought, heaven-bound saved sinners do? Let me suggest three applications:

1) Expose the deeds of darkness by faithful expositional and biblical preaching (Eph 5:11)
2) Be on guard so as to not be carried away by every wind of teaching (2 Pet 3:16-18)
3) Pray and evangelize to your Roman Catholic friends with patience, love, gentleness and humility (1 Pet 3:15)

One final note, one of the best resources out there for Christians to learn about Catholicism is Mike Gendron’s website. He has an excellent page entitled, Hard questions to ask a good catholic. This is an invaluable resource!

Your pastor and friend,

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'll come back and comment regarding the conclusion of my Roman Catholic posts soon.

However, because I'm so busy and have not the time to blog at length, here are some excellent blogs that I've found and I commend them for your reading:

Mike Patton has a great post here on "An encouragement for Christians to question their faith." It's a good read. I may not agree end on end with everything he says and concludes, but his point is well taken.

Dave Trepanier has an extraordinary post on Song of Solomon here. When have you ever heard a sermon out of this marvelous book. And no, it is not allegorical for Christ and the Church. It is simply revealing God's view of love and marriage and the sanctity of sex, love and marriage. He comments on this text. Now, preacher (in all seriousness, now), how would you preach on this:

Song of Solomon 8:8-10 8 "We have a little sister, And she has no breasts; What shall we do for our sister On the day when she is spoken for? 9 "If she is a wall, We will build on her a battlement of silver; But if she is a door, We will barricade her with planks of cedar." 10 "I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.

Mark Dever gives not the five points of Calvinism but the five points of criticism. A great read and very insightful stuff. Man how our churches would be radically different if these five points were practiced.

That's all for now... enjoy the reading!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We have seen already the first four attacks of the Roman Catholic (RC) church on the orthodox doctrines as found in Scripture. Here are all seven of the attacks:

1. The Supremacy of God’s Words in the Bible
2. The Sufficiency of God’s Son
3. The Singularity of God’s Gospel
4. The Sovereign Grace of God
5. The Security of God’s Children
6. The Sanctity of God’s Church
7. The Severity of God’s Judgment

We will look at the next three attacks in brief.

Fifth, the Roman Catholic church is attacking the security of God’s children. This is not only a clear assault on the clarity of Scripture’s teaching on the believer’s security, but it also incorporates the doctrine of soteriology. By this I simply mean that when the RC church says that your salvation is not absolutely secure, that means that you, therefore, have some part to play in keeping yourself saved. With that in mind, on the contrary, consider:

Jude 1:24-25 24 Now to Him [Jesus Christ] who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

From this verse it seems as though Jesus Christ is the one who secures our salvation and keeps us safe. The RC church says that no one is ever absolutely and eternally saved from sin. That is what purgatory is for. When you commit a mortal sin, then you, essentially, lose your salvation until you do enough penance, confession and good works to merit yourself back. This is unfortunate, discouraging and anti-biblical.

Finally regarding this issue of the believer’s security, one more strong support will suffice:

Romans 8:35-39 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sixth, the Roman Catholic church is attacking the sanctity of God’s Church. The fact that the RC church claims to be just as authoritative as the Word of God in written form (i.e. the Bible). That the RC church says that both what the Pope says and also what he claims are infallible is another faith. It’s another religion. It’s a false religion. The Pope is not the head of the church. Peter is not the head of the church. Mary is certainly not the head of the church (cf. Luke 1:47).

Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. Period. He shares His Headship with no one – certainly not the Pope.

Ephesians 1:22-23 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

Colossians 1:18 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

Colossians 1:24 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

May we all recognize that the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ (that is, those who are truly regenerate and have come to Christ as Lord and Savior by grace through faith and have turned from sin and submitted their lives to Christ) will obey and submit to Jesus Christ as the sole Head of the Church.

Furthermore, the church is holy. It is consecrated. It is set apart. Let us never forget Nadab and Abihu (cf. Lev 10) who came to offer a sacrifice before the Lord with strange fire. They came into God’s holy and awesome presence in an unsatisfactory way and God struck them and dealt with them severely. Oh how I can envision God’s judgment coming on the false church of Jesus Christ (cf. Gal 1:8-9).

Seventh, the Roman Catholic church is attacking the severity of God’s judgment. The sheer fact that Roman Catholicism teaches that a person can go to so-called “purgatory” (which really doesn’t even exist) to atone for sins is a blatant broadside upon the clear judgment of God.

Hear these severe verses of the wrath of God:

Psalm 5:5-6 5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. 6 You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.

Revelation 20:10 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Revelation 14:9-10 "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

The RC church attacks the severe judgment of God upon all those who reject Him. We know from the Sermon on the Mount that many will think they are believers to awake after death and bitterly find out that they will be cast into eternal hell:

Matthew 7:13-14 3 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it…. Matthew 7:22-23 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
To be continued tomorrow…

Monday, December 3, 2007

We have made mention of seven crucial biblical truths that are under attack by the Roman Catholic (RC) church:

1. The Supremacy of God’s Words in the Bible
2. The Sufficiency of God’s Son
3. The Singularity of God’s Gospel
4. The Sovereign Grace of God
5. The Security of God’s Children
6. The Sanctity of God’s Church
7. The Severity of God’s Judgment

We previously have touched upon how the RC church is attacking the supremacy of God’s Word as well as the sufficiency of God’s Son as the efficacious and sufficient sacrifice for sins. But today, I want to look at the next few:

Third, The Roman Catholic Church is attacking the singularity of God’s gospel. Here’s what I mean. To say that believing in Jesus Christ alone or, to use more biblical phraseology, that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through [Him]” is not enough is to attack the singularity of the biblical gospel. The RC church adds to God’s “gospel” indulgences to remit punishment for sin. This, however, is completely absent from the Bible. Moreover, the Bible is absolutely clear that there are no “indulgences” that can remit punishment for sin. That’s what eternal hell is for, and still, even that, can never fully satisfy the penalty and payment for sin. Listen to these texts:

Psalm 49:7-8 7 No man can by any means redeem his brother, Or give to God a ransom for him-- 8 For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever--

Hebrews 9:22 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

So here, the only way to atone for sin is through the shedding of blood. It is another essential crux of the RC church to say that the Pope is the “head of the church.” Well, Scripture clearly says otherwise and, sorry to say, the pope is not infallible, inerrant or inspired by God when he speaks. Listen to God’s Words:

Colossians 1:18-20 18 He [Jesus] is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Ephesians 1:22-23 2 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.

So it is not the Pope here who is the head over all things given to the church, but rather it is Jesus Christ, the God-Man.

Fourth, the Roman Catholic church is attacking the sovereign grace of God. This is one of the clearest truths in all the Scripture and the RC church eliminates all of the glories of God’s grace from the inspired Word of God. The RC church says that God’s grace is insufficient to atone for all of our sins. To say it differently, God is impotent or incapable of forgiving us all of our sins at the moment of conversion. That is, to be brash, why they must go to confession and confess their sins before a (human and infallible!) priest, why they must do good works to merit their own salvation and why they must go to purgatory to purify sins after death before entering heaven. Scripture is convincingly true that there is no purgatory (it’s either eternal heaven or eternal hell), and there is no need to go to confession and confess sins before a human priest.

1 John 1:7 7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Luke 23:39-43 39 And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" 43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

May it be known that the RC church is attacking the sovereign grace of God in salvation which offers regenerate people forgiveness of sins in total. There is no sacrifice left to be accomplished. There is no need for another sacrifice. If there were, then the sacrifice of Christ on the cross would have been insufficient and, hence, we would be still dead in our sins and without hope (cf. 1 Cor 15:1-22).

It is my prayer that we understand these RC doctrines that are so false and so antithetical to the Scriptures and, with love and gentleness, confront these dear people with the truth so as to rescue them from the damning trap of Satan’s gospel wrapped in Christian garb which only leads to eternal hell.
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