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Are You Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

Thoughts For Young Men

Articles

What's Wrong with the Picture? (Part -2)

                              What’s Wrong with the Picture? (pt-2)
      Our look at Vic Scaravilli’s close examination of a tract by Jack Chick continues this month as we compare this examination with Scriptures to see who is right. He now says that the tract claims Catholics "supposedly" believe that baptism saves them. Vic doesn't deny this but rather agrees saying that Scriptures teach this. Pointing out Acts 2:38 that says, "Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." and Acts 22:16 which says, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord," as two examples of this in the Bible. He attempts to seal this issue by asking the class to look up John 3:3 and 5 that tells us this, "Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." Therefore Vic has proven that baptism is necessary for salvation. "Doesn't the Church teach this?" He says and then asks so confidently, "How clear do they need to be?" When the point of believing first and then getting baptized was brought up, Vic said that fits adults but since babies are too young, that is why they have God-parents. He then goes to Scriptures by pointing out the many verses that say, "whole families were baptized." (Acts 16:33)   
      Is Vic and the Catholic Church correct on this as Vic thinks? No, absolutely not. God is not the author of confusion. Although Vic mentions that adults believe first, the facts are that those Catholics are believing, but just as the Catholic Church teaches, not the Biblical issue of faith in what Christ accomplished alone at Calvary's cross. That is a big difference as well as that babies are getting baptized before the belief, so what good does that do? Acts 10:47 shows how many of them already had the Holy Spirit before being Baptized when it says, "“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? Need I also remind you that Titus 3:5 says, "not by works of righteousness which we have done?" Sure we should get baptized but that does not mean that baptism is the method by which one gets saved, nor does it cleanse anyone's soul of sin. The Bible never actually tells us of any infant baptism. That idea comes as a result of trying to get Scriptures to say what they want it to say. They are placing their confidence in a sacrament and ignoring other Scripture verses such as Isaiah 53:5 that has, "by His stripes we are healed," and the many verses that emphases about Jesus such as 1 John 1:7, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Once again we are only get the whole picture by not ignoring any verses of the Bible.
      Vic then admits to the accusation of the tract when it says that in the Sacrament of Penance, Catholics have a priest who forgives sins, but asks the class who is really the one doing the forgiving of sins? The class responds, "Jesus Christ." He adds that Catholics are falsely thought of as having the priest give penances without repentance. For a Bible verse to back them up, he has everyone look at John 20:21-23 which says, "So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” He also adds the questions of "Who is doing the talking?" and "To whom?" He caps this off by give us 2 Corinthians 5:28 which says, "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." 
      Again I suggest not to jump to their conclusions because he is implying, based upon those seemingly undeniable points that He give, that they are right. They continue to twist verses and to ignore other Biblical facts. Mark 2:7 tells us that even the Pharisees knew the truth when they question Jesus's ability to do such. They wondered, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?” The correct interpretation is basically that the disciples knew the truth about trusting the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and could inform those that did not do that therefore they wouldn't have their sins forgiven. This is based upon the already mentioned many verses about Jesus and what His shed blood accomplished. and how our works do not cleanse us of our sins. The ministry given to the disciples, is the same as ours. It’s about Jesus, the Bible and the truth given once for all, for whosoever believes in them. As Paul says, any other Gospel is not a Gospel at all and those that push it are accursed. (Galatians 1:8,9)  
      In closing, I want the reader to do as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11, "they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." We are to do likewise. Jesus warned us about the deceptions out in the world and as you can see, the battle for truth continues. Vic continued with the ridiculing of Jack Chick, his tract and fundamentalists in general, obviously not looking at the differences of Catholics and the Biblical points that deny what he says. Don't make the same mistakes. Turn to Jesus and His holy word and you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free.