Is your light really darkness?

Luke 11:35 – Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness!

I’m inclined to think that there are many Catholics out there that consider themselves Christians; men and women  that think they love God and are not ashamed to tell you so. I personally know of such a Catholic. He prays daily, sometimes numerous times a day; he goes to mass religiously, and knows more about the bible than most of my protestant or evangelical friends. He reads the works of the esteemed men within the arena of his faith; men like Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. He even manages to occasionally agree with some of the “protestant” propositions I’ve deduced from various passages of scripture, that is, until he realizes that his church has a different take on that particular conclusion then he simply retracts his affirmation and betrays his initial reasoning by trying to understand why he was wrong to agree with me in the first place. Lastly, he is steadfast in his devotion to the Roman Catholic church, meaning, no matter what problem you may point out to him regarding contradictions, lies or misunderstandings that his church has taught and committed, he seems able to live with these issues without any displeasure or uncertainty about his church’s doctrines or worldview. His most common line of defense is something like “We’ve had this conversation before so you are not going to convince me…etc”; so much for contending for the faith!

Anyway, what is apparent to me is that these devout Catholics do not understand Christ’s admonition in Luke 11:35. No matter how certain or confident you are about your worldview, shouldn’t we follow the bible’s advice that we:

  1. Test everything (against scripture) and abandon that which isn’t good (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
  2. Work (hard to rightly understand the propositions in scripture) so that we make our election sure (2 Peter 1:10)
  3. Study the scriptures so that you can learn how to rightly divide (understand and utilize) the bible (2 Timothy 2:15)
  4. Do not embrace or ignore false and evil doctrines but rather expose them (Ephesians 5:11)
  5. Demolish any argument that exalts itself above that which is found in scripture (2 Corinthians 10:5)

In Luke 11:35 Christ says that you may think that your faith is light when in reality it is really darkness. In Matthews 7:21-23, Christ says that these people call out to Him saying Lord haven’t we done [insert works here (i.e. church prescribed works)] but Christ’s response is: I never knew you (to be saved)! Thus, Christ says that there are people that flaunt his name but do not follow his teachings in scripture; these folks are not authentic Christians.
So, how would you know whether or not you fall in to this category of people who thought that they were saved but really weren’t? A church cannot perform this sanity check for us. The only light that we have available to us in this completely dark world is the bible. The Roman Catholic Church (nor any other church for that matter), the Pope, our parents, “Church fathers”, Augustine, Mary or Thomas Aquinas are not lights; they are merely sinners that are or were in need of the same salvation that we seek. They are fallible humans just like you and I. Mary’s close and personal relationship with Christ was of no use to her in terms of salvation, Christ said that those who hear His words and believe are His relatives, not those that were genetically closer to Him (Matthew 12:47-50, Luke 11:28).

Christ holds everyone accountable to know him; there is no such doctrine as Implicit Faith (i.e. believing in the Church which in turn believes in Christ on your behalf) anywhere in scripture. This warning is not to Catholics only, but to all people that call themselves Christians and yet embrace doctrines that are antithetical to scripture. I urge everyone who identifies themselves as Christians to make sure that the light which is in them is in fact light and not darkness! It would be a huge shame for these folks that call on the name of Christ to end up missing the Kingdom of Heaven; but, that is exactly what awaits them.

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Traditions of Men

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
(Mark 7:6-13)

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
(2 Thessalonians 2:15-3:6)

Both of the passages above are used by Biblical (or Evangelical) and Roman Catholic apologists respectively to drive home a point of view. Evangelicals that espouse a bible-alone approach to truth will point out to the Roman Catholic the verses in Mark 7 and the Roman Catholic typically responds with the verses in 2nd Thessalonians and then the stalemate ensues. One could surmise that the two passages above create a contradiction but that conclusion would lack merit since the passages above are easily reconciled with mere reasoning. There are two ways of understanding the passage that come readily to mind:

1) Christ was denouncing “bad” traditions while Paul was extolling “good” traditions so it is fine for the Christian to elevate the traditions of “godly” men to the same level of reverence as the Word of God (per John Paul II – see R1) as long as the  Christian chooses the “good” traditions and not the “bad” traditions.

This is presumably the position that the Roman Catholic apologist would take in an attempt to reconcile the two passages above. If you notice, I have placed the words: good, bad and godly in quotes so that the reader understands that these words (or standards) need defining before one can understand the position above. What is a good tradition and how does it differ from a bad tradition? How does one ascertain a godly man or even whether a tradition espoused by a godly man is a good tradition or a bad one.  Peter, the apostle that Christ urged to “feed His sheep”, had a tradition of preaching and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ (Act 2:38) but Peter also had another tradition where he would refrain from eating with Gentiles when other Jews were around (Galatians 2:9-15). Are both of these traditions good? If not, how do we know which one of the traditions was a bad one and which one was good? I think Christians would agree that Peter that was certainly a godly man but we are only certain of this because of scripture. Likewise, we know that Peter’s refraining from eating with Gentiles when Jews were watching was a bad tradition only because scripture informs us so.  In summary, since we need scripture to discern between the good traditions and the bad ones, it follows that scripture alone is the only infallible guide for the Christian; all traditions of men must ultimately be judged by and brought into conformity with the Holy Scriptures. Therefore, the approach of embracing “good” traditions and denouncing “bad” ones must succumb to a much better rule, namely, embracing that which is more superior to the traditions of men.

2) When Paul refers to “the traditions … received of us” or “the traditions which ye have been taught” he is referring to the teachings found in scripture so there is no contradiction between his words and Christ’s words.

This interpretation is the only warranted one because it is rooted in scripture. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul states that we should only follow him in as much as he follows Christ. In Romans 3:4 Paul urges us to adopt a point of view in which only Christ’s words (i.e. the words of Scripture) are true but all other words from anyone else are false. Why does Paul want us to adopt this point of view? So that when man’s word is brought into judgment against God’s words, God’s words will always overcome (Romans 3:4b)! If you will allow me to overstate the point, consider 1 Corinthians 4:6 where Paul advices us not to think beyond that which is written in scripture or 2 Peter 1:19 where Peter discounts his own eyewitness testimony for the more sure and certain words of scripture.

I will end this blog with the commentary of Dr. Henry Morris (author of “The Defenders Study Bible”) on 2 Peter 1:19:

More Sure Word.
As sure as Peter was of what he had seen and heard, this was only his own experience, and could only be given as a personal testimony to others. Thus, he stressed that God’s written Word, available to all in the holy Scriptures, was more sure than any personal experience he or others might have. It is not in Peter or Paul as men, no matter how sincere or holy they may be, that we must trust, but in Christ as revealed (not in our experience either!) in God’s written Word.

References
R1
As a result the [Roman Catholic] Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Wash. DC: United States Catholic Conf., Inc., 1994, 1997) Para 82.

Bill O’Reilly affirms what bible believers already knew…

…which is, anyone that has read the bible firsthand (and not vicariously) should know that Roman Catholicism is antithetical to scripture. Virtually every doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church adheres to in its catechisms, canons, and “ex cathedra” infallible Papal dictates are either gross perversions of biblical teaching or have no basis in scripture at all; this conclusion is evident to me without the need of any third party literature. Nevertheless, there are are no shortage of scholarly websites (including this one but also see: http://www.thebereancall.org and http://www.trinityfoundation.org), books, sermons, lectures, etc. in circulation that point out this painful fact.

To counter this travesty, an increasingly common strategy that Catholic apologists have employed is confusion.  By this I mean that the Roman Catholic church has rarely been consistent in it’s stances and has never spoken with one clear voice on any particular issue and some RC apologists are increasingly using this flaw to their benefit in an attempt to confuse the accuser as to the severity of the offense leveled against the Roman Catholic Church. By obfuscating the Church’s position, Catholic apologists know that they can leverage opposing sound bites that exist in the Catholic treasury whenever it is convenient to do so. My accusations against the Roman Catholic Church are ratified by one of their very own operatives. When confronted with the claim of the Roman Catholic church’s persecution of Galileo (a catholic scientist who sought to show that heliocentricism was compatible with biblical teaching, incidentally, his “persecution” had little to do with science and much to do with his disregard for papal orders – http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i1/galileo.asp), Roman Catholic Jesuit Dr. Guy Consolmagno, an influential astronomer at the Vatican’s Observatory responded with the following: “It’s not a simple ‘The church was against science,'” “The [Roman Catholic] church never speaks with one voice on these things.”  It is doubly ironic but not surprising that the same accusation (of being double-minded on purpose) should befall Dr. Consolmagno himself who works on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church (which purports to believe in the Bible) and yet he contends the following:
-Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism and a destructive myth (http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2006/05/07/vatican-astronomer-accuses-six-day-creationists-of-paganism/)

More examples of Roman Catholic State Church’s confusion :
1. The Roman Catholic Church has had popes excommunicate other popes (So which Pope was right?)
2. The Roman Catholic Church has had popes declare other popes as heretics (So which Pope is the heretic?)
3. The Roman Catholic Church has had popes declare the ex cathedra (and thus infallible) teachings of other Popes as heresy (So which teachings are heretical?)
4. The Roman Catholic Church has said that good works must be done to get to heaven but has also said that good works aren’t required (wearing brown scapulas on a special day obviates good works) to get to heaven  (So which statement is  the Roman Catholic Church’s position?)
5. The Roman Catholic Church was supportive of Hitler and Mussolini (even after the ideology of these individuals was revealed to the world) before they were against them (So what are their true feelings about these dictators?)
6. The Roman Catholic Church has said that Muslims worship the same God but also that Muslims do not worship the same God (So which one of these statements do they really believe?)
7. The Roman Catholic Church has said that you need to believe in Jesus (in addition to other church-prescribed requirements) in order to be saved but also that you do not need to believe in Jesus (per Lumen Gentitum) in order to be saved (So which teaching represents their true position?)
– Many (if not all) of these claims are substantiated in the much maligned book “A Woman rides the Beast” by Dave Hunt

Unfortunately for my catholic friends, this list could go on for pages and pages but it is the 7th claim (the requirement for salvation) that I would like to focus on.

On April 25th 2011, the news personality Bill O’Reilly (who identifies himself as a Catholic) stated on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, that his (Roman Catholic) Church does not teach that people need to believe in Christ in order to be saved from Hell. In Bill’s attempt to present his guest (some “theologian” trying to posit the idea that Hell is fictional) with an argument for the reality of Hell he ends up calling evangelical Christians extremists for teaching that those who do not believe in Christ are consigned to Hell. Apparently Mr. O’Reilly and the Roman Catholic church have never read the following verses of scripture:  2Thessalonians 1:7-9, 1Pe 4:17-18, John 3:18, Mark 16:16, John 8:24, and 1 John 5:12.  Mr. O’Reilly then quoted some statements that sound similar to content in Chapter 2, Section 16 of Pope Paul VI’s “Lumen Gentium” which I have included below:

“Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life.” (Lumen Gentium 16)

I find it interesting but not surprising that the biblical God expresses a quite contrary sentiment to that mentioned above in Lumen Gentium. Consider the following words from the breath of God:

Lord Jesus shall …[i]n flaming fire tak[e] vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction [i.e. Hell] from the presence of the Lord. 2Thessalonians 1:7-9

Both Christ and the Roman Catholics cannot simultaneously be right as their respective stances are in oppposition to each other. So, as it turns out, both Bill O’Reilly and his guest are wrong (Romans 3:4). Bill erred by stating that you don’t have to believe the Gospel to escape Hell and his guest erred in his idea that Hell is fictional. And by the way, if you really don’t need to believe in the Gospel (at least according to Bill O’Reilly and the Catholic Church) which comes from the scriptures then why even bother to read the bible at all?
I suspect that many or most people (like Mr. O’ Reilly) suffer from the inability to think rationally and are thus prone to accepting arbitrary propositions as long as these propositions are not “offensive” to their confused minds.
After all, if it is OK for the Pope to assert that we do not ultimately need to believe in the Gospel in spite of biblical verses that state the opposite then it is also equally OK to contend that there is no place called Hell; both propositions use the same biblical hermeneutic (namely, a total disregard for what the text actually says) and are equally unsound.
Furthermore, if there is no Hell then it follows that there is also no Heaven so when we die we get to go wherever it is that we feel dead people should go. This may sound foolish but this is the logical absurdity of the contrary; the “reductio ad absurdum” of rejecting the biblical worldview is that you are reduced to foolishness.  Allow me to pursue this foolishness even further: Yes, in fact, if there is no Hell, then it follows that there is also no absolute standard for morality since our basis for morality is found in the same bible that introduces us to the concept of Hell. Also, if there is no absolute standard for morality then there is nothing inherently wrong (even though it may currently be against the law) with pedophilia, rape, murder, incest, lying, stealing, cheating or anything else that comes to mind. I’m able to reach these conclusions using the irresistible force of mere logic. I dare anyone to provide a rational explanation as to why the preceding conclusions are uncalled for (especially if you don’t need to believe in the gospel (and thus the bible) in order to be saved).

As the old cliche goes: Without Christ anything goes!

Re: Pope Forgives Jews for Killing Jesus

CO:
James:
I apologize in advance (if I hurt the feelings of any of my catholic friends) as the following email is very candid but ultimately in love.
The Pope doesn’t have to ‘exonorate’ the Jews for killing Jesus since the death of Christ was planned by God before the foundation of the world (Revelations 13:8) and the group of Jews that hated Jesus themselves acknowledge that they were responsible for His death (Matthew 27:24-45, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15).
However, (and tangentially) the Catholic Church should apologize for putting Mussolini, Hitler and many more horrendous leaders into power and being responsible for killing more Christians than any other institution on the face of the earth (massacred Christians include but are not limited to: Huguenots, Albigenses, Bogomils, Brethren, Cathari, Hussites, Vaudois, Waldenses, St Bartholomew’s Massacre in France, victims of the inquisition etc).
The damage that the CC has done over the years is a lot worse than many people think. The CC was actually against the 1948 re-nationalization of Israel even though this event was prophesied in scripture (Amos 9:14-15, Jeremiah 16:14-15). This is probably due in part to the fact that the Catholic church thinks that they have replaced Israel as God’s chosen people; in fact, they took the names that God gave to Jerusalem (i.e. The city of God, the Holy city, the Eternal City) and instead applied these names to Vatican city (we can thank St. Augustine for some of these contributions to ‘Replacement Theology’). 
They have produced more child molesters than any institution on the face of the earth forcing them to fork over 1 billion+ in out of court settlements for permanently damaging the lives of countless unsuspecting victims. The bible calls the Catholic Church “the mother of harlots.” What else would you expect as a title for an institution that has single-handedly empowered and sustained the brothel industry by it’s unbiblical rule of mandatory celibacy for its priests.
My boy, MB wants me to demonstrate why I thought that the Mormons were not nearly as bad as the Catholics to which my reply is:
It is not even a competition, granted the Mormons also spew heresy (eg. the Mormons say that Jesus and Satan are brothers while the Catholics Supreme Pontiff is actually Satan masquerading as Jesus) and also rely on extra-biblical material, but the only violence from the Mormons I can think of that merits mentioning is the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 120 men, women and children by the Mormon militiamen and Paiute Indians on Sept. 11, 1857.
On the other hand, what I have mentioned above regarding the Catholic Church probably constitutes less than 10% of the evils perpetrated by that institution (I came up with this figure based upon the shear number of atrocities that I am solidly familiar with). I mean, the Mormons don’t have Popes that:
 (1) claimed they were God, (2) toasted Satan, (3) were murdered in bed by their mistress’ angry husband who caught them in the act – this happen to at least two different Popes, (4) put six other Popes into power under the influence of a mother and daughter harlot team, (5) produced fraudulent documents and forgeries for the purpose of acquiring filthy lucre, (6) raped women visiting St. Peter’s, (7) ran a harem in St. Peters Palace, (8) blinded and murdered friends and foes, (9) deposed and installed emperors throughout history or (10) that died in the Papal bedroom while being sodomized by a male page.
I only stopped at ten because I don’t have anymore time to spend on this rsponse. All the claims that I have made above concerning the CC have their basis in hundreds of historical accounts that provide details concerning these atrocities. Among my favorites are: A Woman Rides the Beast by Dave Hunt, Papal Power: Its Origins and Development by Henry T. Hudson, Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church by Dr. John Robbins (I have all of these books if anyone is interested in reading, I even have some on audio book); even the Catholic Encyclopedia also contains details of these monstrosities. Another good source is the Patrina Logia (Writings of the Church Fathers) or the following website: http://www.thebereancall.org.
A common reply to these accusations (usually by Catholic apologists) is to suggest that all this behavior is comparable to the biblical King Solomon having hundreds of wives and mistresses, but this reply is just silly. Sin is still sin, God warned Solomon not to have more than one wife (Deut 17:17) but he decided that he would disobey God to his own demise. Likewise, the collective sins of the popes and the church will lead to the destruction of this vile vessel of Satan that claims to hold the only road to salvation, contrary to what we find in scripture (Titus 3:4-5).
As God promises to destroy the Catholic Church in Revelation 17, the Pope and his church are definitely in for it. All I can do is echo the same cry that Christ had for the poor souls that are unlucky enough to call themselves Catholics; Come out from her (the Catholic Church), my people, so that you do not be partakers of her sins and her punishment (Revelations 18:4).
Incidentally, I just finished reading an excellent article entitled: “Israel and Prophetic Proof Part 1” (http://www.thebereancall.org/node/7745) and I highly recommend this article!

Destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved.

1 Corinthians 5:5
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

In Paul’s rebuke to the Corinthian Christian who slept with his father’s wife we have here a compelling argument for the durability of the Christian’s salvation. We see that not even this “mortal sin” (if you subscribe to such a thing) is able to keep this Christian from losing his salvation as Paul’s judgment calls for him to punitively lose his life but not his salvation.

Critics of the “Eternal Security” doctrine like to erect the exhausted straw man that this doctrine permits Christians to make a profession of faith and revert to a life of profligate and licentious living while fully expecting to enter into the joy of the Lord. However, those who read the scriptures carefully should know better; James reminds us that a true faith is authenticated by its accompanied good works. In fact, if a professed Christian is living an unrepentant, unmitigated life of sin and rebellion, chances are this person isn’t really saved at all (see 1 John 2:19). Since this is the case, why, I must ask, do critics always claim that this is the necessary consequence of God’s promise that nothing can separate us from His love (in Romans 8:38-39)?

My theory is that these critics are secretly self-righteous. They cringe at the idea that all their good works mean absolutely nothing in respect to attaining their salvation or keeping it for that matter. For long they have followed doctrines that denigrate the sufficiency of Christ’ sacrifice on the cross; a transgression that is in itself just as sacrilegious as murder. Christ uttered the words “It is finished” on the cross at Calvary, to which they respond:

“What is finished? Surely you don’t mean the payment for my salvation! After all, I have to earn that by accumulating various (Church-prescribed) works of righteousness; the same ones that You describe as “filthy rags” in Isaiah 64:6. I know that in Titus 3:5 You state that I am not justified by the works of righteousness which I have done but according to your mercy but I refuse to embrace that truth because that would make my good works irrelevant to my salvation and that is something I cannot embrace. So God please continue to grant me this conditional salvation that is tethered to my church’s mandates so that I perpetually remain in a state of “grace” and pursue powerless works of righteousness (that incidentally were insufficient in the first place) as I decide to utterly disregard your truth for that of my Church’s. Amen.”

We do good works but not to attain or maintain the gift of salvation, but rather, to demonstrate our gratitude by doing His will and to prove to the world that we are in fact His followers.

Jesus always spoke to the multitudes in parables…

Matthew 13:34-35
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Mark 4:34
But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

In John 6:2 we read about a multitude that is opportune to hear Jesus utter the following words:

Verse 35: I am the bread of life (from heaven): he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.
Verse 51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world
Verse 53: Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you
Verse 56: He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him
Verse 63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

So, in light of the above, the question we should ask ourselves is:

Was Jesus speaking parabolically?

Without answering the question, lets remember that after Jesus noticed that some in the audience were offended by his words, he explained that his words were of a spiritual nature (verse 63); and thus not dealing with the fleshly or earthly realm.

After all, we know that heaven and earth shall pass away but the word of God abideth forever (Mat 24:35).

You shall know them by thier fruits[teachings], Part 1

The finished work dished out in installments

In Catholicism, apparently the Christian’s salvation is like a cup that was half-filled by Christ and is in process of being completely filled by Church sacraments especially the Eucharist. Don’t believe me? Check out the following authoritative quotes:

“…in this divine sacrifice which is performed in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in a bloodless manner the same Christ who once offered Himself in a bloody manner…this is truly propitiatory….For the victim is one and the same…now offering [Himself] by the ministry of priests…not only for the sins…of the faithful who are living, but also for those departed in Christ but not yet fully purified” [i.e., still suffering in purgatory for their sins] ( Council of Trent, p142).

By the way, immolate means: To offer as a sacrifice by killing or by giving up to destruction

If anyone says that in the mass a true and real sacrifice is not offered to God…[by] priests [who] offer His own body and blood…[or] that the sacrifice of the mass is…not a propitiatory one…let him be anathema (Council of Trent, p 149).

“The Church…formulated and devised various ways [the seven sacraments] of applying [in installments] the fruits of Christ’s redemption to the individual faithful…For it is the liturgy [sacramental rituals] through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, the work of our redemption is accomplished. (Vatican II, First page)

The Mass is a truly propitiatory sacrifice [by which] the Lord is appeased [and]…pardons wrongdoings and sins…. Finally the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary. Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually…mainly through the Mass….The priest is indispensable, since he alone by his powers can change the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ….the more often the sacrifice [of the Mass] is offered the more benefit is conferred [i.e.; Calvary wasn’t enough] (Pocket Catholic Dictionary, pp 248-49).

What does scripture say about this?

Nor yet that he should offer himself often [as Catholicism teaches]…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified….Now…there is no more offering for sin Heb 9:25-10:18

Redemption is finished! Yet this truth is denied by the Catholic Church. Paul wrote:

“In whom we have [present possession, an accomplished fact through Christ] redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph 1:7; Col 1:14).

Hebrews 9:12 says, “…by his own blood he entered in once [for all time] into the holy place [heaven], having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

For Catholics “even Christ’s death is an ongoing process, so the Mass is not a remembrance of a finished work but a sacrifice which obtains forgiveness of sins and from which ‘graces and merits’ flow in partial installments. ”

“The Mass continues to transmit installments of grace even after one has died, as relatives buy “Mass cards” which are laid upon the altar during Mass in the name of the deceased in order to shorten purgatorial suffering. Christ’s death couldn’t get us to heaven, but Masses, Hail Marys, good works, “bearing one’s cross” for others, etc. will do so. ”

“In Roman Catholicism the “graces won by Christ and the saints” are “applied to the faithful” in installments so that they must come back again and again to receive more “graces and merits” to help them on their way to heaven. There is no assurance that this goal will ever be attained, nor is there any indication of the number of Masses, rosaries, indulgences, etc. it will take to reach heaven. The Catholic’s only hope of salvation is in the ongoing ritual of the Church. Yet the Bible offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life as the free gift of God’s grace to all who believe the gospel. What a contrast!”

Quotes adapted from Dave Hunt @ The Berean Call