October 31 is not only Halloween, it’s also Protestant Reformation Day – a pivotal point in Christian History.
It started with Jesus and the Resurrection when he defeated death by dying on the cross then he was raised from the dead. Then Pentecost when God gave us the Holy Spirit. Then Paul’s missionary journeys to spread the Gospel to not just Jews, but Gentiles (non-Jews) also. Emperor Constantine converted from Paganism to Christianity declaring that the Roman Empire was now all Christian in 4th century.
Though there are many more pivotal points in Christian History, besides the ones mentioned above, the Protestant Reformation is the most crucial.
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a German monk, posted the 95 Thesis on the door of the Catholic church in Wittenberg, Germany. It listed 95 ways that the Roman Catholic Church of the time, did not follow the Bible.
The Bible, back then was only available in Latin, a language that only Catholic priests read and spoke. He translated the Bible into German so that the public could read it and learn the truth as God declared it rather what the Catholic Popes & the early church leaders invented.
Some of the “inventions” or lies of the Catholic Church are:
- Purgatory – It doesn’t exist and it’s not in the Bible
- Buying or praying someone into heaven – Only believing in Christ Jesus can get you into heaven.
- You cannot be saved by good works – People are saved by the Grace of God and through Christ Jesus.
In Martin Luther’s time, the church was selling “indulgences” saying that you can buy your way into heaven. This was a scam to raise money to build St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. You can’t. Just like you can’t pray someone into heaven after their dead. It’s too late. That person needed to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and ask Him into their heart. That’s the only way to get that ticket to heaven.
The Catholic Church still sells indulgences in the form of Masses for the dead. I watched a YouTube video of several former Catholic priests and nuns testifying to why they left the Catholic Church. One priest told his story of after holding a funeral, the daughter of the deceased asked him, “How many Masses do I have to do to get my father out of Purgatory?”
The priest couldn’t answer her. However, that got the priest started in researching the whole idea of Purgatory and he couldn’t find proof of it in the Bible — anywhere. That research led him to the truth and he quit the priesthood. That video is at the bottom of this post. It’s a little long, but eye-opening.
Confessing to a Priest is a Lie
Luther, as a monk, was bothered with going to weekly confessions and having to confess his sins to a priest. He felt that if he died before he went to confession, he would go to hell. And he was right!
He insisted that, since forgiveness was God’s alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances.Wikipedia
Luther wrote about “justification” in the Smalcald Articles:
The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24–25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23–25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us … Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).*
The problem with today’s Catholic Church is that it’s still living in the Dark Ages. I believe that during the dark ages, the church had to reign in the people because most of them were illiterate, masses were presented in Latin — which only the priests understood, and they didn’t have the Bible in their own language.
Growing up Catholic, I wasn’t taught that true salvation came only through asking Jesus to come into my heart and then being baptized by immersion. I was deprived of Bible studies that taught truth about Jesus. It wasn’t until I started attending a Protestant Church that I started to learn what I needed to do to be assured a place in Heaven.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.John 14: 1-3
I didn’t learn the meaning of having to be “Born Again” in the Catholic Church.
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”John 3:1-8
How do Catholics and Protestants Differ on Salvation?
The Truth about the Forgiveness of Sins
If you confess that Jesus is the Christ, the only Son of God; that you are a sinner and repent of your sins; that you want to follow Jesus the rest of your life; and ask Jesus to come into your heart, your sins will be forgiven — once and for all!
You don’t need to go to confession every Saturday so you can receive communion on Sunday. Any follower of Christ can — and should — partake of the Lord’s Supper (communion) in church.
If you’ve watched my first testimony video, I admit there that I used to lie in the confessional because I hadn’t sinned at all that week. Yes, I lied to the priest.
I know there are some Catholics who are saved. But, I’m pretty sure the majority — even those who are “devout Catholics” may not be. You can be devout, be a good person, not break any of the 10 Commandments — which I seriously doubt that you’ve never lied, stolen or taken the Lord’s name in vain — and have a false sense of salvation.
How good is good enough? Watch the top video again. And here is actor Stephen Baldwin’s testimony…
It’s never too late. Ask Jesus into your heart now, then find a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, non-denominational church to get plugged in.
- Part 1: From Catholicism to Prodigal
- Part 2: From Prodigal to a Progressive, Halfway Christian
- Part 3: From a Halfway Christian to a True, Born Again Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ