Controversial Issues

Roman Catholicism’s Gospel: What do Roman Catholics Believe

Discussing the Roman Catholic Church is a complex subject.  What do Romans Catholics believe? As far as history is concerned Roman Catholicism has always taught the Tri-Unity of God being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Along with the Trinity being consistent the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the One who died on the cross and rose again.

The atonement of Jesus and what was accomplished on the cross and resurrection is the main issue within this article.  The Bible teaches that Jesus completed the work (debt paid in full/ John 19:30) of atonement through His shed blood and death on the cross, and those who put their faith in Him have all sins forgiven.(1 John 1:7&9)  The Bible teaches that all those call upon the name of the Lord and turn to Him for salvation will be saved from their sins, and are justified by faith alone in Christ. (Romans 3:19-31&10:9-13)  With that being said the Roman Catholic Church has another gospel on how one is justified of their sins and who is saved.

One of the divisive things that makes Roman Catholicism Magisterium a major concern is that they teach those who refuse acknowledge them as the one true Church are not saved, though this is not known by the average Catholic.  Also, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that works are required for salvation, not by faith alone in Christ.  Another disturbing and false teaching is that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is a place called Purgatory where people go to purge out their own sins for justification, which in essence means that the blood of Christ does not atone for all sins once and for all. (Hebrews 10:10-14)  These teachings are false and we will examine and explain why

If you are a Roman Catholic we want encourage you to examine following quotes and information shared very carefully for yourselves.  Below will be various quotes from official teachings & doctrines within the Roman Catholic Church and the sources of Roman Catholicism on salvation.

QUOTES – What do Catholics believe

Roman Catholic Church is the Only True Church For Salvation

“Outside the Church there is no salvation – Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church/Section Two/Article 9/Section #846)

“The Church alone dispenses the sacraments. It alone makes known the light of revealed truth. Outside the Church these gifts cannot be obtained. From all this there is but one conclusion: Union with the Church is not merely one out of various means by which salvation may be obtained: it is the only means.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Church)

Salvation By Works – Sacraments of the Church

“Holy Baptism holds the first place among the sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church. And since through the first man death entered into all, unless we be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, we can not enter into the kingdom of Heaven, as Truth Himself has told us.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Baptism)

“Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same.”  (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Penance)

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude.”(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1257)

“Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin…It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification…The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1446)

Purging Your Sins In Purgatory

“Purgatory (Lat., “purgare”, to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“All sins are not equal before God, nor dare anyone assert that the daily faults of human frailty will be punished with the same severity that is meted out to serious violation of God’s law. On the other hand whosoever comes into God’s presence must be perfectly pure for in the strictest sense His “eyes are too pure, to behold evil” (Hab., i, 13). For un-repented venial faults for the payment of temporal punishment due to sin at time of death, the Church has always taught the doctrine of purgatory.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Purgatory)

“Venial Sin – Since a voluntary act and its disorder are of the essence of sin, venial sin as it is a voluntary act may be defined as a thought, word or deed at variance with the law of God.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, under Sin)

Biblical Christianity vs. Roman Catholicism

The quotes that were posted are official beliefs and doctrines of Roman Catholicism.  The Roman Catholic Church’s message of salvation is quite different from what the Bible teaches.  The Bible teaches there is ‘one’ body of Christ, but many members.  When the Apostles wrote letters to various Christians they wrote to those in Christ who were a part of the Church.  The Church was identified in different ways.  The Church was called “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2), “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23), “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16), “Body of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), “House of God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “Bride of Christ” (Revelation 21:2).  The point is that the Church of God does not have ‘a’ name but is simply those in Christ who have come to know Him personally, and received His sacrifice for all our sins through His shed blood.  The Bible teaches:   ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us (our) sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7&9) The Roman Catholic Church proclaims they are the only true Church which they are not.   Salvation is not in a Church, but in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and putting your complete trust in Him. (John 14:1&20:31/ Revelation 3:20)  The body of Christ is one, but one in unity in Christ.(Ephesians 4:5)

What Roman Catholics have been taught to believe concerning salvation is in opposition to what the Bible teaches.   The Roman Catholic Church teaches that works are needed for salvation, which in essence is a false gospel.  They teach that water baptism is essential for one to enter the kingdom of God.  The reference used to teach water baptism is required to enter the kingdom of God is John 3:5: “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  Does the word Baptism appear here? Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus about becoming a Christian and was speaking in earthly terms. Jesus was speaking of being born of water which meant being born of flesh and born into this earthly world. And went on to say that being born again of the Spirit is what is required for eternal life. That is what John 3:6 says:  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”   Jesus was clearly contrasting the fleshly birth of which everyone is born into this world, and compared it to being born again by the Spirit. In John 3:15-18 you will see that Jesus taught on how to receive salvation and eternal life. Christ taught that by believing in Him that was all that was necessary for eternal life, not being water baptized.  When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and when we become a Christian the Holy Spirit comes into our heart and we are born again, and baptized through the Spirit into the body of Christ. (Ephesians 1:13-14 1Corinthians 12:13) Paul said that he was sent to preach the Gospel, not to water baptize. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18) Peter preached to Cornelius and those with him, and they believed the Gospel and received the gift of the Holy Spirit before water baptism.(Acts 10:43-48) Peter taught that spiritual baptism is required for salvation, not water baptism.(1 Peter 3:21) The Gospel is that Jesus loves us, and died for us, and through our faith in Him we have the forgiveness of all sins. (Romans 5:8-9/ 1 John 1:7&9)

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Penance are required for ones sins to be forgiven.  Penance in the Catholic Church means that people who have committed sins (whatever kind) are to go to the priest and confess their sins to him, and the priest will give him the forgiveness of that persons sins.  The Word of God says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) In the New Testament we are told that we are to confess our sins to the Lord Jesus, He is our High Priest and Advocate. (Hebrews 3:1/ 1 John 2:1) Paul taught that Jesus is the Mediator between God and man. (1 Timothy 2:5) No where in the New Testament are we instructed to go to a priest and ask for him to forgive us of our sins.  When we sin against someone we ask them to forgive us what we have done to that person, and vice versa.  But we can not atone for their sins, they must seek God and confess their sins to Him.  Jesus is our advocate when we sin, and it is to Him we pray and confess our sins.  Teaching that a person must go to a priest to have their sins forgiven is un-Biblical, and is heresy.

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when people die without repenting of their sins  they go to a place called Purgatory.  Purgatory is a place where people go to have their sins purged out or to be made clean, according to Roman Catholicism.  Depending upon the sins you have done is how long the person will be there.  The Roman Catholic Church states it is clearly a Biblical teaching, but where is it in the Bible?  The Roman Catholic Church teaches that ‘venial sins’ are sins that people commit that oppose the law of God.  That means that people commit everyday sins but are not opposed to who God is, and His Law.  Teaching that people have to go to place to pay for their own transgressions goes against the Word of God.  The Bible teaches that Christ shed blood and sacrifice bring atonement for all sins, and that when a person becomes a Christian they have the assurance of salvation and eternal life in Christ.(John 3:16-18&5:24/ Ephesians 1:13-14/ 1 John 1:7-9) Paul said “there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) When a Christian dies they are not held guilty of their sins to where they have to have them purged by their own punishment.  Jesus came and reconciled us to God, and set us free from the punishment and condemnation: “8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9)  Teaching that the blood of Christ does not atone for all sins, and that a person will have to pay for their own transgressions is another gospel than what the Bible teaches.

The purpose of this information is examine what Roman Catholics believe and to properly inform and warn people of the dangers of Roman Catholicism and it’s false teachings concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Again, the Roman Catholic Church teaches they are the true Church, and those who do not acknowledge them are not saved.  They teach that (doing) the sacraments (works) are required for salvation.  They teach one must go to a priest to confess their sins so they may be forgiven of their sins.  They teach that there are those who die who need to go to Purgatory to pay for their own sins.  The gospel of the Roman Catholic Church on salvation and justification is a false gospel, and it is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We welcome your feedback and comments you may have concerning this information or others topics.


2 thoughts on “Roman Catholicism’s Gospel: What do Roman Catholics Believe

  1. Kelly,
    Great article thanks for posting it.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 2, 2012, 9:14 PM
  2. I was born and raised a roman catholic, bit can honestly say ive never understood half of it, I have a real fear of the church because of the terrible punishments we were told would happen to us for telling lies, We were only 5 years old, and told how red hot pokers would be put down our throats in hell. I wonder what jesus would think if he had been to one of the sunday schools

    Posted by elaine | July 12, 2015, 4:16 PM

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