Heaven — that’s where we all want to end up, right? Well, most of us anyway. Those of us that do believe there is a God and that’s where He resides. How we get there is the debate of all the religions of the world. Growing up Catholic, as a kid, I was taught from the Catechism book. I did find mine at my mom’s house a few years ago, but I seem to have misplaced it. My only use for it was highlighting all the lies that it taught. According to the Catholic Church, you have 7 Sacraments that can help you get into heaven. I’ve already covered some of them, so those will have links to their respective articles. At the bottom, I’ve embedded 2 videos that go deeper in to the subject.
What are the 7 Sacraments of the Catholic Church?
- Baptism as an infant to remove “original sin”. However, if you commit a mortal sin, once you grow up, you can lose your salvation. If you behave and only commit venial sins, then you can get “grace points” through the other sacraments. Accumulating grace points gets you out of purgatory faster.
- Confirmation – this is practiced by not just the Catholics, but by many Main-line Protestant denominations. You become confirmed at the age of accountability — usually around 12 years old. It’s the age where you become accountable for your actions. You should know right from wrong. For Catholic kids, a bishop touches your head and supposedly “anoints” you with the Holy Spirit. In some of the Protestant churches, the youth makes an “affirmation of faith”. There’s only one problem here — only Jesus can give you the Holy Spirit. He breathed on His disciples in John 20:21-23 and gave them the Holy Spirit. The Apostles were later indwelled with the Spirit in Acts 2. I’ll get into why the Catholic way doesn’t work.
- The Eucharist/Mass – You MUST go to Mass every Sunday. At least that’s what I was told.
- Penance – This you get after confessing your sins to a priest on Saturday so you could attend Mass on Sunday to be eligible receive Holy Communion. Depending on the seriousness of your sins, you may have to say a longer penance — 10 “Our Fathers”, 5 “Hail Marys”, 1 or 2 “Acts of Contrition.” In some cases, you were assigned a task.
- Marriage in the Catholic Church – Well, I lost out on this one since I never married.
- Extreme Unction or Last Rites – This is where a priest anoints a person who is sick and dying. There’s a HUGE problem with this one. What if you’re in a car accident on your way to confession and you’re dying and there’s no priest around? What if you’re already dead when the priest gets to you? Oops! Too late!
- Holy Orders – Oh, man, only the clergy get this one! All the lay people miss out! Why is it even a sacrament?
When did the Sacraments Start?
As the church liturgy began to take form after Constantine, the Early Church leaders started formulating its doctrine.
Cyprian (200-250 AD) – he held that penance was vital to the Christian life and that infant baptism was important for the initial salvation from original sin.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) – Augustine was for adding marriage as a sacrament, he was for baby baptism and believed the Lord’s Supper should be a sacrifice as well as a sacrament.
By the end of the 6th century, all the seven acts that the Roman Catholic church regards as sacraments were in use and had an exalted position in worship.Christianity Through the Centuries, Earle E. Cairns, 1996, Zondervan, p. 153.
So here’s where the Catholic Church started going wrong. Basically, you were only saved until your next mortal sin. Only, we were never told what was a mortal sin and what was a venial sin. We figured murder was a mortal sin. A venial sin would be a “white lie”. Can a lie grow to become a mortal sin? No one knows.
False Gospel. False Hope. False Sense of Salvation
The True Gospel is found in the Bible…
6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.Galatians 1:6-9 NLT
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.1 Corinthians 15:1-4 NLT
But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.John 1:12-13 NLT
6 And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.Romans 11:6 NLT
21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
The Jesus of the Catholic Church is impotent and powerless to save Catholics completely and forever. He is not the Jesus of the Bible.
The Jesus of the Bible by one sacrifice, paid the penalty [or penance] for all sins.Mike Gendron (watch his video below)
Read the Bible
I trusted that what the Roman Catholic Church taught me in catechism was the truth and that was all that I needed to get to heaven to be with Jesus. After confirmation, my religious training was minimal if non-existent. My parents never encouraged me to read the Bible because they were never encourage to read it themselves! Our religious training became Sunday Mass. That’s it. And who pays attention? There are so many rituals that you need to make sure you follow, that the message is lost.
During my journey back to God, I read the huge Bible my parents had for show, and I didn’t understand it. When I started going to church again in my 30s, I went to Bible studies once a week. I read the lesson once a week.
Eventually, once I became born-again, my church and group studies encouraged me to read the Bible daily. Today, I start my day with God and end my day with God. In the morning, it’s way better to begin the day with the “Verse of the Day” in the YouVersion Bible App than it is to see what’s trending on Twitter. At night, I finish with a lesson from Through The Word. Thanks to these free apps, I’ve read through the Bible several times. The wonder of it all is that each time I read a passage that I’ve read dozens of times before, I see it in a different light. The Bible is God speaking to you, personally. You definitely don’t get that in the Catholic Church.
So, How do you Get Saved?
If you want to reap all the benefits of salvation including the 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven then…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Jesus Christ is coming back soon! Are you ready?
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!