Understanding Roman Catholicism
This book was not written to attack or criticize Catholic people. Having been born and raised as a Roman Catholic, I understand how average Catholics think and feel about their religion.
Two factors motivated the writing of this book. First, to expose the fact that Roman Catholicism is not Biblical. It is a religion comprised of traditions of men which violate scripture at every turn.
Secondly, I would love for you to experience the freedom and peace I found when I broke free from the bondages of the Catholic church by placing my hope for salvation in Jesus Christ alone.
Tens of thousands of other former Catholics have experienced this same freedom and peace.
As I mentioned, I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. At birth, I was baptized. I also received my First Communion and Confirmation. During grade school, I attended weekly religious instruction classes and attended Mass each Sunday. I confessed my sins to a priest and regularly received Communion.
At age 18, I enlisted in the United States Navy, leaving home and the Catholic church behind. While in the military, a friend invited me to a non-Catholic church. Though somewhat resistant, I agreed to try it once.
That first service was one I will never forget. When the pastor preached, he seemed to be talking straight at me. He concluded his sermon by inviting those who wanted to repent of their sins and be saved to come up front.
My heart began pounding like a jackhammer. I knew something powerful was going on but I felt frozen in my seat.
The pastor ended the service that morning with these words, "I believe that someone said no to Jesus today. I pray you won' t die before you have another opportunity to receive Him or you will spend eternity separated from God." I knew he was talking to me.
Within seconds, the pounding stopped. I knew that God had spoken to - and I had said no:
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
A couple of days later that same friend invited me to the next church service. I could hardly wait. Again, the pastor preached and again the pounding in my chest began as his sermon came to a close. When the pastor gave the invitation, I bolted out of my seat.
A young man at the front opened his Bible and showed me how I could receive the gift of eternal life. He read me verses, showing that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. He explained how Jesus had paid the full price for our sins on the cross.
He told me that I could repent of my sins and by faith ask Jesus to come into my heart and be my own personal Lord and Savior.
In my own words, I admitted to God that I was a sinner who deserved hell, but that I wanted to go to heaven. Then I invited Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save me.
I can't explain the feeling, but it was like a thousand pound weight was hoisted off my shoulders. Instantly, I knew that I had been set free. I knew that Jesus had come into my heart and had made me a brand new person. A lifetime of good works could never have accomplished the miracle that took place in those few moments.
It has been over twenty years since that day, and though I have failed the Lord many times, He has never failed me or left me. He is more real and more precious to me today than ever. I would not trade places with anyone or give up my relationship with Jesus for anything this world has to offer.
Precious Roman Catholic, that same freedom and joy is available to you. You can receive Jesus as your Savior right now. You have heard the truth and now you can be made free:
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
The wonderful goodness of God is leading you to repentance and salvation:
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4
God wants you to be saved today:
"...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2
If you would like to become a child of God, just bow your head and talk to God from your heart. In your own words, pray something like this:
"Dear Jesus, I admit that I'm a sinner. I repent of all my sins and I ask you to come into my heart and save me.
I repent of trusting in a false religion that demands good works for salvation. I now see that You paid the full price for all my sins on the cross. I reject the teachings of Catholicism and I place my trust in you alone.
From now on the final authority in my life will be Your Word, not the traditions of the Catholic church.
Thank you, Lord, for saving me and for giving me the gift of eternal life. In Jesus' name, Amen."
If you just prayed a prayer like that and really meant it, God's Word promises that you were just born into God's family:
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12
My friend, this entire book was written so you could hear and be convinced by God of the truth of this message. Please receive the gift of eternal life. Only then will you be able to experience the joy and peace of knowing that your sins are forgiven.
My prayer is twofold:
- First, that you will begin a personal relationship with God and experience true freedom that is only available in Christ.
- Secondly, that you will be set free from the bondage of the Catholic church.
This book was not written to criticize you, but to lead you to these wonderful truths. May God bless you as you begin your new life in Him:
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17
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Understanding Roman Catholicism © 1995 by Rick Jones