False Sense Of Serenity
By Robert J. Stewart
I recently conversed with a Catholic man on matters of peace and harmony. He confessed to me how he had been an emotional wreck for some time in his life, how he had to visit a psychiatrist for many years because of his tremendous depression. He then told me after all these tragic events in his life, that he had finally found peace of mind. I was glad for him to hear that. Curiously, I asked him how he had found the peace he was looking for in life. He exclaimed in joy that he had obtained peace of mind by praying to Mary, and by following the manmade traditions of the Catholic faith. I was saddened at that point, to realize that many people have the same temporary joy and happiness; BUT, they don't have Jesus Christ as their personal Savior! These misled people have a false sense of security, a false sense of peace--a false sense of serenity! I informed the man that lasting peace and joy can't come from a religion; BUT, only from Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 states, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The man became defensive of my words, saying ... "It doesn't matter who we worship. If we can obtain peace of mind, or serenity, then we know we are on the right path, that leads to Jesus Christ." However, nothing couldn't be further from the truth! The Bible says:
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverb 14:12
This man seemed so happy. He told me that for the first time in his life, he was finally free from misery. I kindly explained to him that the Catholic faith was a false religion, based upon manmade traditions instead of the Word of God. At that point, he became extremely angry, reasonably so. I explained to him that he may presently have peace of mind; but he didn't have true peace with God, and was still in his sins. He has a false sense of serenity! He told me that the Catholic Church is all he has left in this world. The Bible tells us that this man has a false sense of happiness, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men ... Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" -Mark 7:7,9. I told him that there is no mention in God's Word of going to Mass (i.e., the Holy Eucharist), there is no mention of venerating statues of dead saints, there is no mention of showing devotion to images, etc..
The man replied by explained to me that the Bible does mention going to Mass in Luke 22, and John 6; BUT, he is terribly wrong. Many Catholics will try to justify going to Mass by claiming these Scriptures; however, what Catholic's don't understand (or in this man's case, didn't want to understand) is that the Bible plainly teaches that the Lord's Supper is only to be observed in REMEMBRANCE of Jesus' crucifixion. To claim that Jesus meant for us to literally eat His flesh and blood is absurd. In John 10:9, Jesus said He is the Door. What if I fabricated a door, and said it was literally Jesus, and told you to walk through it to be saved? You'd think I was nuts. What's the difference? To claim that Jesus intended for us to literally digest His flesh and blood is bizarre. Do you think God wants us to be cannibals? Although Catholic's won't admit that the Eucharist is a cannibalistic practice, it certainly is! Unfortunately, the Catholic gentleman with whom I was conversing wouldn't listen to reason.
Matthew 7:21-23 states ...
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
We must do the will of God to be saved! No amount of manmade traditions are going to help anyone on judgment day.
I further explained to the man that we should seek the truth from God's Word, instead of believing the lies of men who make up their own religion. Psalm 118:8 declares, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." He told me that the Bible can't give us that much faith. He said that it's better to pray to Mary. I told him that the Bible says otherwise ...
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." -Romans 10:17
He hesitated for a moment, searching for words to defend his Catholic faith; but, he couldn't. I further explained to him that the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (i.e., that Mary was born without any original sin) was unscriptural. Romans 3:10 declares Mary a sinner. Some Catholics have even gone as far as to request that the Vatican declare Mary a co-redeemer of our sins. The man became defensive once again, telling me that Mary was the mother of Jesus and; therefore, she was technically the co-redeemer of our sins, and was sinless! I shared the following Scriptures with him:
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1st Timothy 2:5
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10
There is NOT one mention in the Word of God of Mary having any part in our redemption, and it is utter blasphemy to teach otherwise. Mary was born with a sin-nature, just like you and me. Mary was simply a vessel used by God to bring the Savior into the world--nothing more. It is sinful to recognize Mary in any capacity. Not one disciple, Apostle, or even Jesus Himself ever instructed anyone to recognize Mary. So don't do it! Exodus 20:4-5 and Isaiah 42:8 plainly forbid recognition of dead saints, including Mary. Further, I explained to the man that Mary did not remain a virgin; but, had at least 6 other children besides Jesus (Matthew 13:55-56). Disturbingly, the Catholic Douay version of the Bible actually claims that Matthew 13:55 is speaking about a different Mary, other than Jesus' earthly mother. How far will the Catholic Church go to pervert the Truth of God's Word? We read in Luke 2:42, "And when he (Jesus) was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it." Now why would Joseph and Mary still be living together, after 12 years since Jesus' birth, if they never shared intimate relations? Do you think it is reasonable to believe that Joseph and Mary lived together without ever being intimate? If you believe that, I have some swamp land in Siberia I'd like to sell you. Of course Joseph and Mary were intimate--they were married, and they conceived at least 6 children together, according to Matthew 13:55. The sad thing is that Catholics refuse to accept the truth, that their religion is of the Devil. Their pride will be their undoing, and a guaranteed ticket straight to Hell. Catholics have a false sense of serenity, and are in serious trouble with God.
I continued presenting various false teachings of the Catholic Church to the man, and disproving each of them with the Word of God. Unfortunately, he wouldn't listen. It is true that the same sun which melts the wax, also hardens the clay. The same Word of God which causes some sinners to repent and turn towards God, causes others to become bitterly hardened against the truth. In the end, the man alleged that I didn't know what I was talking about. He claimed that Catholic teachings are traditions carried over from the past, and that they are inspired by God. However, there are several serious problems with such a claim. Mainly that most of the traditions of the Catholic Church are diametrically opposed to the plain teachings of the Scriptures (they do not agree). The Word of God is a complete Book, with Revelation being the final writing. Nether Jesus, nor the Apostles, ever mentioned anything about future writings or traditions being introduced by the Church. To show how absurd the Catholic religion is--consider that the Pope John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina in the year 2000. She allegedly saw a vision of Christ and hired an artist in 1937 to paint the image. As a result, a "new" devotion to this Image of Divine Mercy is now required of Romans Catholics around the world. This is very unscriptural, as Exodus 20:4-5 explicitly forbids the adoration of any image. God would never tell us to follow a tradition that requires us to commit idolatry.
I explained to the Catholic man how he could obtain true peace and serenity, by placing his faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, instead of Catholicism. Sadly, he said to me smiling, "I'm going to Hell with my family because we're all Catholic ... and I look forward to it." He was so convinced that Catholicism and devotion to Mary would take him to Heaven that, in my opinion, he was unwilling to hear the truth of the matter. He thinks he has the truth--which, sadly, he doesn't. If that man doesn't get saved (i.e., born again) while on earth, he will be in for a horrifying surprise when he finds himself burning in Hell one day. I urge every Catholic to question your traditions. Are they the commandments of men?, or of God? You may seem happy in your faith; but, that does not mean you're going to Heaven. The road to Hell is always paved with good intentions. Do you have a false sense of happiness? Are you putting your faith in statues and vain traditions created by men, instead of the Word of God? Are you trusting in good works to save you? We read in Romans 4:5, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Good works is a sure road to Hell. Christ shed His blood for our sins because our self-righteousness isn't good enough (Isaiah 64:6). Either we trust Christ wholeheartedly, or else we are not trusting Him at all. Are you praising Mary instead of God? Are you praying the vain repetitions of the Rosary? Are you confessing your sins to a priest who is saturated with sins himself, when the Bible teaches that only God can forgive sin? Don't be like the blind Catholic man whom I have shared with you. If you're like him, you too will be saddened to find yourself in Hell one day. Get saved now!
The man with whom I had this lengthy conversation made one BIG ERROR in his thinking. He said that I didn't know what I was talking about; BUT, I wasn't talking about me, I was sharing the Word of God with him. I quoted him Scripture after Scripture; but, he refused to see it as anything more than my own personal opinion. He couldn't even offer me one Scripture because, like most Catholics, he is woefully ignorant of the Truth of God's Word. He has religion without truth, and churchianity without Christianity.
"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" Mark 7:7
Salvation is not found in any religion or tradition; but, in a Person--The Lord Jesus Christ!
John R. Rice said it best in his excellent book, "The Charismatic Movement" ; Chapter 12, pg. 134-136
"A Catholic woman wrote me the other day of what great joy and peace she had in the Catholic faith, how precious Mary was to her, and how she enjoyed praying to Mary! And what a great comfort the priest had been when he came to their home in a time of sickness. And how sad she felt that I did not have the joy and privilege of being in the Roman Church. She was sincere. But the simple truth is that praying to Mary, confessing to a priest, having masses said for people's souls, etc., are not scriptural nor right. And she did not know the joy of salvation by personal faith in Christ."
I frequently hear people say that they have found peace in their religion. I once heard a Buddhist claim to have found true peace and enlightenment! The Bible says that the only way to get true peace and serenity is by faith in Jesus Christ! Religion might give you a false sense of serenity; but it won't give you true peace. Think of it like being in the eye of a hurricane. Although it seems like the ravaging storm had subsided, and everything within the eye of the hurricane is calm and peaceful, it won't be that way for long. Any calmness and serenity would be a false sense of serenity. The trail wall of the storms' eye is approaching with a deadly force. The eye of the hurricane often deceives people, who think the storm is over; but, they are still in grave danger! That is what religion is--the eye of a violent hurricane!
Jesus Christ is not religion--He is a Person. Salvation is NOT found in religion; but in Christ alone. Do you want true peace? Do you want security that you can absolutely trust? Do you want to be happy? If so, then put your faith in Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 promises, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ..." Realize that NO ONE else can save you--ONLY JESUS! He paid the price for our sins. He shed His precious blood for our sins! He has the scars. The Word of God proclaims that salvation is found ONLY in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). Baptism cannot save you. Good works cannot save you. Going to church cannot save you. Praying to Mary cannot save you. Going to Mass cannot save you. ONLY Jesus can save you! Why not receive true serenity today, by believing upon Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins? Please trust Jesus Christ now as your Savior! Not religion!
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2nd Peter 3:9
"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man." Psalm 118:8
May the Lord touch your heart with this needful message. Amen.