Come Out of Her
"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4) This passage says a lot about how God feels if a decides to stay in some place or thing to which He objects. What I feel is necessary is to ask the question, "Does this include leaving the denomination that the individual was raised up in?" So let's examine this a little more closely, by looking at whether Catholics (or whatever denomination you were raised up to practice,) in many cases, never leave their church. Most of the public would say that Catholicism is Christian so why leave? But are they truly Christian? Yes, there are so many there that proclaim to be Christian in that denomination, but how can that be and why do I question this?
Although there may be a billion members in this Church, it certainly isn't a "Bible alone" denomination. Many don't have any idea that they can understand Scriptures if they had an ear to hear or, in other words, if they had a heart to seek after the truth. Most people think that it doesn't what "religion" one is, as long as they're sincere in their faith. That is why often times they refer to ex-Catholics as "the separated brethren." However Matthew 7:13-14 tells us, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Obviously, this verse blows up that the idea of many different paths to get to Heaven as well it refutes their arguments about being the largest so it must be right.
Often times Catholics believe that since they do know that Jesus is God, born of a virgin, and died for us, that they believe in Jesus, saying that "We have the same Jesus." But is their Jesus the same Jesus as the Biblical Jesus? Paul questioned the Corinthians in a similar manner when he said to them, "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted--you may well put up with it!" *2 Corinthians 11:4) Again, knowing that there is only one Jesus doesn't mean that you believe in Him, actually saves you. Satan knows that much when you look at James 2:19, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!" The more important point is whether or not your life shows that you do or don't believe in what He did when He came to Earth over two thousand years ago. Yes, it is true that they know Jesus died for us at Calvary, but how then can they be believing in Catholicism's teaching of a place called Purgatory? This final purging of sins, we are told, is to attain residence in Heaven. But if they are believing in this place, then they obviously aren't trusting in the finished work of Calvary's shed blood where Hebrews 1:3 tells us that, "He had by Himself purged our sins." So which way is it as one way denies the other?
Catholics also know that Jesus hears and sees all things. They know He is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, but that does not save them. But Scriptures show us that, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews: 4:16) It also tells us in Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved." The Bible also tells us not to have false gods before Him in many spots. With these areas being true, why do they pray to and for the dead? It is directly in conflict with the Word of God as one way again denies the other. The problem is to get Catholics to understand the error that is very ritual and traditional to them.
The Bible tells us that our salvation comes as a free unmerited gift from God, yet Catholics think they must do enough or at least some things to "merit" salvation. This is reflected by their daily mass and weekly sacraments in which they think in this manner, God would somehow see that they are striving to do His will. But again, none of those reasons show faith in what Jesus accomplished when He said "It is finished," but rather in their own abilities to be good enough to gain their own Heaven. And look how Romans 10:2-4, explains this, "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God." Once again, it cannot be both ways but in appearance seems so righteous and innocent.
These are just a few points in which a Catholic might stay as they were raised. But another reason might be peer pressure or fear of being one who causes troubles with others. This potential division we were was also told would indeed happen in Scriptures as Jesus said, "Do you suppose that I came to bring peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but division for from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." (Luke 12:51-53) Perhaps this is why so many of that denomination do not witness to other Catholics? Others just stay as a Catholic because they don't realize the importance of what the Bible actually has to say about being reborn and that people everywhere are lost, needing a Savior. Incredibly, they would rather live in their own comfort zone.
Ahhhh, that comfort zone may be not willing to confront the lost because it will cause conflict, perhaps an over abundance of having their eyes on the things of this world, or even just wanting to attempt to make a difference in other Catholics by staying in that denomination. The sad part is knowing how Jesus took the time to warn us in Matthew 24:4and 5 that, "Jesus answered and said to them, ’Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many," to verse 24:24, "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.'"
Yes, there may be some Catholics of whom are saved, but those that refuse to leave that church, I wonder what their Jesus is about? I hope they have the right Jesus with the only solution to sin that is available. Otherwise....