Can Your Church Save You?


The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains:

`For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.” Pg. 215, #816

Here, the official source of Catholic doctrine boldly declares that salvation cannot be obtained except through the Roman Catholic church. You may be thinking, “The Catholic church doesn’t believe that anymore!” But the Catechism’s position is unmistakable:

“…all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: … 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.” Pg. 224, #846

If that isn’t clear enough, here it is again:

“It is in the Church that `the fulness of the means of salvation’ has been deposited. It is in her that `by the grace of God we acquire holiness.’” Pg 218, #824

“In her subsists the fulness of Christ’s body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him the fulness of the means of salvation…” Pg. 220, #830

When checking God’s Word on this subject, two critical facts leap out:

  1. The Bible never remotely indicates that one must go through a church to obtain salvation.
  2. Literally hundreds of Scriptures proclaim that salvation is a free gift from God, readily available to anyone, but only through Jesus Christ:

 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

No other name (or group) can offer salvation, except Jesus:

“Neither is there salvation in any other (except Jesus): for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:10, 12

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the full and complete price for the sins of all mankind and made it possible for anyone to come directly to Him for salvation. Jesus Himself announced that:

 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”        John 3:36

Jesus also preached:

“He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

Again and again, Jesus proclaimed this blessed truth:

 “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47

(Also read John 6:40, John 3:16, John 3:18, John 3:36, John 1:12.)

In John 20:31, we discover why the gospels were written:

 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:31

According to the Bible, redemption is in Christ, not in a church:

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24

Christ alone can offer the gift of eternal life because He willingly shed His blood for us:

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7

God’s Word declares that salvation is obtained through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, while the Catechism maintains that salvation is only available through the Catholic church. 

You must now decide who you will believe—the traditions of men, or the Word of God? You can’t say “both” because each insists that the other is wrong:

“… God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9


Catholicism teaches that it has the power and authority to forgive people’s sins. Here are a few quotes from the Catechism. (Please note that whenever the Catechism mentions the “Church,” it is referring to the “Roman Catholic church”):

“There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive.” Pg. 256, #982

“By Christ’s will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized…” Pg. 257, #986

“The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ…” Pg. 363-364, #1448

Does the Catholic church have power to forgive sins? Let’s see what the Scriptures say:

 “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?” Mark 2:7

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

According to Scripture, God wants His children to come straight to Him for forgiveness of sins, not to a church:

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

This verse loudly proclaims that forgiveness of sins comes from God’s throne, not from a church. Still, Catholicism teaches a contrary doctrine:

“Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ ” Pg. 367, #1461

“The Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives.” Pg. 255, #979

However, this man-made doctrine contradicts God’ s written Word. Many Bible characters freely approached God’s throne for forgiveness of sins. The psalmist went straight to God:

I acknowledged my sin unto thee… I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin…” Psalm 32:5

King David went directly to God to ask forgiveness for his sins:

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:18

In Psalm 51, David asks God for forgiveness again:

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…” Psalm 51:2,4

King Solomon was also aware that he and all the children of Israel could go straight to God to receive forgiveness for their sins:

Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.”   2 Chr. 6:21

God tells people to come to Him for forgiveness:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”    2 Chr. 7:14

God never requires anyone to go through a church to receive forgiveness for their sins.

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Psalm 86:5

“… if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13

[Note: God does want each Christian to belong to and serve in a local body of Believers, but the church does not save anyone. See Hebrews 10:25]

Why then would the Catholic church insist that forgiveness of sins is only available through her? The following Catechism quote provides the answer:

“Were there no forgiveness of sins in the Church, there would be no hope of life to come or eternal liberation. Let us thank God who has given his Church such a gift.” Pg. 256, #983

Rather than looking to Jesus for forgiveness of sins and eternal life, Roman Catholics are taught that their sins can only be forgiven through the Catholic church. Whether intentional or not, this doctrine keeps people in bondage to the Catholic church.

Once again, God’ s Word stands on one side, while the traditions of men stand on the other. God says He alone forgives sins, while Catholic tradition contends that the Catholic church has the power to forgive sins. Which side will you choose?


Does Catholicism still teach that it is the one true Church founded by Christ? Many think not, but there is no denying the church’s official position:

 “This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” Pg. 214, #811

Referring to the Catholic church, the Catechism pronounces: “In fact, in this one and only Church of God…” Pg. 216, #817

“First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.” Pg. 220, #830

This “one true church” doctrine can be traced to one verse of Scripture, which, when compared with other Scriptures, is found not to teach this doctrine at all. When Jesus asked his disciples who He was, Peter responded:

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Matt. 16:16″

Then Jesus answered Peter:

“… thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

Catholicism contends that the Lord was referring to Peter as the rock, and has since built the entire Catholic religion upon that premise. But all other pertinent Scriptures declare that Jesus was referring to Himself as the rock, not Peter:

“… for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4

Jesus is not only the rock, He is the chief cornerstone of the church:

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” Ephesians 2:20

Back in the Old Testament, it was prophesied that Jesus, whom men rejected, would become the cornerstone of the church:

“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Psalm 118:22

Even Peter, allegedly the first pope, confesses that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the church:

“…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth… This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” Acts 4:10-11

“… the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,” 1 Peter 2:7

According to Scriptures, Peter is NOT the rock:

“For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?” Psalm 18:31

“… I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock…” Deuteronomy 32:3-4

“Truly my soul waiteth upon God… He only is my rock…” Psalm 62:1-2

“But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.” Psalm 94:22

Who is the head of the church ?

Despite all these Scriptures, Catholicism still claims that Peter was the rock and his successors are the head of the church:

The sole Church of Christ (is that) which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it… This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successors of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.” Pg. 215, #816

But the Bible declares that Jesus Christ, not Peter or his successors, is the head of the church:

“And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he (Christ) might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church,” Ephesians 1:22

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Ephesians 4:15


At this point, you must make a few decisions:

Is Peter really the rock? The Catechism says he is, but God’s Word says he is not.

Is the Catholic church the one true church? The Catechism says yes, but the Bible says no.

Do you really believe that all non-Catholics will burn in hell?

Once again, the answers to each of these questions will be determined by which you choose to believe… the traditions of men, or God’ s Word. Jesus asked the Pharisees a question which all Roman Catholics should ponder:

“Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matt. 15:3

Remember, someday you will stand before God and explain to Him why you made the decision you did. Are you willing to risk rejecting the Word of God to follow the traditions of men?

 “For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” Mark 7:8

Excerpts from the book, “Understanding Roman Catholicism” by Rick Jones.  Reproduced with permission Chick Publications ,  P.O. Box 662   Chino, CA. 91708–0662


A Problem With Some of the Recruiting Procedures

A Priest Recruits From “Playboy”? Father Joseph F. Lupo of the Most Holy Trinity Fathers in Garrison, Maryland, got a lot of press attention after he placed a $9,000 ad in the January 1972, issue of Playboy. The ad was aimed at attracting recruits to the priesthood.

Playboy used the ad as the basis for full-page ads in several large dailies to promote the magazine. Downright irreverent, scolded Lupo. And also in error. The Playboy display boasted that Lupo’s ad had produced some 600 applicants within a few weeks’ time. While the ad generated a number of inquiries on a variety of topics, explained Lupo, the number of applicants within a year’s time was only thirty-five.           —Christianity Today

It is problems such as this, which makes one question the authority of those in leadership. Where are they really finding people who are willing to lead a supposed celibate life?

There are too many questionable incidences happening and too many facts to present to ignore the problems within the priesthood and the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

Many people claim, “Oh there a only a few minor incidences that have happened and it only pertains to those few individuals, but it does not effect my beliefs.” And, that’s fine, however, you must look at everything as a whole. If the Roman Catholic Church has the power to forgive sins, and the ONLY true church where Salvation is obtained, then, there is a major problem.


Priests arrested as raids smash child-porn Web ring.  In addition to the two priests, several other clergymen were suspected. “Innocent boys and girls have been targeted by offenders who view them as sexual objects.”

Father Matthew Berko, who pleaded guilty in 1985 to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, is still an active priest. ( Berko is one of dozens of priests ABCNEWS found still on the job, despite criminal convictions, guilty pleas or civil settlements involving sexual exploitation or abuse of children.

As part of a nationwide sting called “Project Special Delivery,” Father Jean Vogler, pastor of the Holy Rosary Church in Evansville, Ind., was caught in 1995 ordering videotapes of hard-core child pornography to be sent directly to the rectory.

As you know, the media is flooded with information in the news and elsewhere. But, the point is, with the church in the mess that it is right now, filled with fornication and all uncleanness, how could a holy God use unholy people to minister when they are not qualified. People who are living in sin cannot be recognized as suitable ministers, priests, or lay people. Sin separates, and God will hide His face from it. And God will not hear their prayers.


Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.                    Isaiah 59:1-3


Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.        1 Cor. 6:9-10




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