Meriting eternal life?

I have a few Roman Catholic publications that I keep for reference purposes includingsm the “New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal: Prayerbook and Hymnal for 2016.” The missal contains the Bible readings for every Sunday mass during the year along with some of the prayers of the priest during the mass and the responses from the congregation. I rarely refer to the missal but for some reason I pulled it off my bookshelf this morning.

This coming Sunday, September 18th, at thousands of Catholic churches across the country, the mass will begin with the following exchange:

Entrance antiphon: I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. Should they cry to me in any distress, I will hear them, and I will be their Lord forever.

Collect: O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Did you all catch that?

Rome gives lip service to grace and faith but the bottom line is every Catholic is instructed they must ultimately merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments, an impossibility. Millions of Catholics throughout the nation will be praying this same prayer this coming Sunday in the hope that they will be able to merit eternal life by obeying the Law.

“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” – Romans 3:20

Yes, Roman Catholics are a mission field.

God’s Word is an inexhaustible fountain of wisdom. How many times have you read a familiar Bible passage or verse and one day the Holy Spirit fully illuminates it to you for the first time? It’s a WOW! moment.

“And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’” – Luke 5:39

I’ve read Luke 5:39 many times before, but when I read it two nights ago the blinders finally fell off. Oh, I get it now! Jesus is saying we’d much rather hang onto our cherished religious traditions and rituals than accept Him as Savior by faith. Becoming born-again? Accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior? Catholics laugh at all that talk as being Bible-belt gobbledygook. I know. When I was a Catholic I used to chide Christians and laugh at it too. Catholics say, “Don’t give me that “born-again” stuff. You take religion way too seriously. What was good enough for Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Dad is good enough for me. Just give me those Ten Commandments to follow and I’ll be fine.”


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