August 9, 2020
My guest post today was written by my sister, Lisa. She graduated from college at age 20, and taught in public schools for 30 years, during which time she earned a Masters Degree. Since retiring, she has tutored several students each year, as well as being active in St. Paul Street Evangelization in Dallas.
God Bless You,
Have you ever had anyone respond this way when asked if they’re a
Christian or if they go to church regularly? They proceed to explain how
they don’t believe in organized religion or in rules about having to
attend church. They say they believe in God and in being a good
person… blah, blah, blah. They say they simply listen to and trust their
heart and conscience. What they are really saying is that they have
made up their own religion, and that’s what they are comfortable
following. Pretty easy, huh?
The problem with that is that Jesus had something else in mind. Jesus
came to establish ONE religion, ONE church. Ephesians 5:11 speaks of
building up the body of Christ until we all attain the unity of faith.
1 Corinthians 12:12, 10:17, 1:10 tell us we are all ONE BODY in Christ
and that there be NO divisions among us. All of these verses tell us to
be of one mind, in harmony with each other united in heart and
thinking one thing. John 17:17-23, and Phil 2:2. So, how are we free to
simply make up our own religion and follow our own “spirituality”?
Jesus didn’t give us a choice about attending church either. We are told
in the Bible to keep the Sabbath holy – that it is a sign between God and
us. Exodus 20:8-11. If we honor the Sabbath, not going our own ways,
then we will be rewarded. Isiah 58:13-14 We are instructed to forsake
not the assembling of ourselves together. Hebrews 10:24-25.
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another…” Hebrews 10:25.
The Catholic Church teaches that not going to Mass when you are able
is a sin. This is based on the First Commandment, “You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all
your strength.” Matthew 4:10 says, “You shall worship the Lord your
God.” So the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains (par. 2135) that
praying to Him, offering Him the worship that belongs to Him, fulfilling
the promises and vows made to Him are acts of virtue of religion which
fall under obedience to the First Commandment.
In talking with a family member recently, he said, “Surely you really
don’t think God will allow good people to go to Hell.” I had to respond
with what I’ve heard a lot of learned Christian scholars say, “Hell is
going to be packed full of good people.” The Bible backs that up. “Not
everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 7:21 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the
way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are
many. “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and
those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14 “Now the works of the
flesh are evident…” “… those who do such things will not inherit the
kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Along with the “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual” people are those who
claim to be agnostic. Well, I hate to tell them, but God doesn’t know
that word. Jesus told us, in Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with me is
against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” We are
also taught in Revelation 3:16, “So, then because thou art lukewarm,
and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” It looks like
God will vomit us away if we are just “on the fence” kind of Christians.
There are many, many more verses in the Bible, and explanations in the
Catechism that back up these claims. For brevity I’ve only listed a few.
To use a Protestant saying, “I’ve been convicted” to share this
information. I need to share with some friends and family members
because God has led me to. So, I thought I might as well take my turn
and help out my brother with submitting a post for his blog while he is
taking a break.
I hope that no one thinks I’m acting “holier than thou” in this post. I am
a terrible sinner. I don’t even like to think back on my past. But, by the
grace of God, He has forgiven me. He was crucified for me and for you
so that our sins will be forgiven and completely washed away. John
I hope that any “not religious, but spiritual,” “agnostic,” or “I don’t like
organized religion” people will perhaps see that Jesus did come to this
earth and become human to establish an organized church. You can’t
doubt Jesus as the Savior, you have to have faith and believe. And you
can’t sit at home or sleep in when you can worship with your brothers
and sisters. It’s not really a choice.
I know that many of Spencer’s subscribers are Protestant. If you have
any questions about the Catholic faith, please feel free to reach out to
me and I will be happy to answer your questions and visit with you. I
grew up Protestant, always with a little itch and emptiness in my heart,
always with some doubt and longing for spiritual fulfillment. Once I
discovered and converted to Catholicism, I’ve never looked back. I am
now complete – living and loving the faith that Jesus came to establish
here on earth. My heart is overflowing.
God Bless. I hope maybe you can share this with someone you know
who will benefit from it.