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Why Do Catholics Reject The Words of Jesus?
Have you ever wondered why "professing" Christians often dispute the words of Jesus? Is it rational or sensible for Christians, who say they believe in Jesus, to deny His teachings and promises? This would be similar to a Mormon rejecting the words of Joseph Smith or a Roman Catholic refuting the teachings of their "infallible" Pope. What causes those who name the name of Christ to substitute His word and authority for something else?
We know the devil’s ongoing strategy is to lead Christians away from their pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). One of Satan’s most successful techniques has been to convince man that God’s Word is not sufficient, that it must be combined with extra-biblical revelation or experiences. This strategy produces an apostate form of Christianity whereby the master deceiver leads people away from the faith of the Apostles and convinces them they are genuine Christians when they are not. Tragically, those who dismiss or renounce the words of Jesus Christ may not be aware, that they are also rejecting Him. Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day" (John 12:48).
When a "professing" Christian does not believe the words of Christ, it shows their faith is ultimately in someone or something else. But what on earth could cause "Christians" to reject the very words of God? Clearly, "it is impossible for God to lie" (Heb. 6:18). The revealed word of God reigns supreme in authority, infallibility and truth. Yet historically, we find professing Christians supplanting the words of Christ with their religious traditions (Mark 7:13); false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-3); another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9) or "supernatural" experiences (Mat. 7:21-23). It is truly amazing how these professors of Christ respond when confronted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some believe it and are gloriously saved for all eternity, while others reject it and continue to follow their religious traditions to the lake of fire.
Why Do Some Follow the Words of Men?
Without the Spirit of God no one can know the things of God and without faith no one can understand the word of God (1 Cor. 2:12, 13; Heb. 11:3). According to Jesus, the reason people do not understand what He says is because they cannot hear His word (John 8:43). They cannot hear because they are not "of God" (John 8:47). Jesus said, "You do not believe, because you are not of My sheep" (John 10:26). The ears of unbelievers are tuned in to the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 1:21). They follow ways that seem right to man—self-righteousness, religious rituals, good works or the traditions of men. They are taken captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Col. 2:8).
Satan who is the prince of the world uses the wisdom and principles of the world to veil the Gospel from those who are perishing (2 Cor. 4:4). The Apostle Paul wrote that the message of Christ is foolishness to "those who are perishing" (1 Cor. 1:18). He said, "A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised" (1 Cor. 2:14). The veil that covers an unbeliever’s heart can only be removed by turning away from other mediators and turning to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:15-16).
Why Do Others Believe the Words of Jesus?
Those who believe the words of Jesus are those who receive His word in humility, for the salvation of their souls (James 1:21). The Lord Jesus describes them as being "of God" and "of the truth" (John 8:47, 17:37). Jesus said they follow Him because they know His voice (John 10:4, 27). They trust Him as the Good Shepherd to feed them spiritual truth and protect them from error. Clearly, it is a sovereign act of God to draw His lost sheep to the Shepherd (John 6:44). Those who believe Jesus are a gift from the Father to the Son (John 6:37). Jesus promises never to cast out or lose anyone the Father has given Him (John 6:37, 39), He said, "I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand" (John 10:28-29).
Those who believe the words of Jesus Christ have the assurance of eternal life based on the power and faithfulness of the Father and the Son. By keeping His words they will never taste spiritual death (John 8:52; 11:26). Jesus gave this promise, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (John 5:24). There is no condemnation or judgment for believers because all the sins of all believers were judged and punished at Calvary’s cross.
Whoever rejects the word of God is rejecting the "imperishable seed" which brings forth divine life. It is for this reason Jesus warned, "Take care how you listen" (Luke 8:18). He said, "The ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast" are the ones who "bear fruit with perseverance" (Luke 8:15). Let us look at some of the words of Jesus that many Roman Catholics have rejected or renounced because they oppose the teachings of their church.
You Must Be Born Again
Jesus declared: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). The way to be born again is "through the living and abiding word of God" (1 Pet. 1:23). When one, who is dead in their sins, looks into the word of God, enabled by the Sprit of God to trust the Son of God, they become a child of God. Yet, it is interesting to note, this essential requirement to be "born again" does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).
No One Comes to the Father But Through Me
Jesus also made it perfectly clear that there is only one way to the Father. He renounced any other means of salvation when He declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). Again, the Roman Catholic Church does not receive these words of Christ as binding authoritative truth. The "infallible" Pope John Paul II rebuked Jesus as "the only way" by declaring the Kingdom of God is for "all who seek God with a sincere heart, including those who do not know Christ and His Church" (VIS 12/6/00). The Catholic Catechism teaches: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims (CCC, 841). The Catechism also renounces the words of Christ by stating; "Those who do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but…try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation" (CCC, 847).
It Is Finished
The Catholic Church repeatedly rejects the words of Jesus in its daily sacrifice of the Mass. When Jesus declared, "It is finished," then gave up His Spirit, the punishment for sin was paid for completely (John 19:30). Yet Rome’s sacrifice of the Mass continues to re-present Jesus as a sacrificial "victim" for the forgiveness of sin (CCC, 1371). By referring to Jesus as a "victim" Rome again denies His words: "I lay it [my life] down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again" (John 10:18).
Behold, Here is the Christ
The Roman Catholic tradition of calling Jesus Christ physically down from heaven through the "miracle" of transubstantiation is a direct assault against His word. Jesus said when He returns physically to the earth, it will be "after the tribulation" (Mat. 24:29; 23:39). The priest ignores this clear statement of Christ by holding up a wafer and announcing this is "the body of Christ." Catholics need to listen to Jesus who said, "If anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’…do not believe him" (Mat. 24:23). The Eucharist is a false Christ and those who worship it are committing the most serious sin of idolatry. Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9).
Pray To The Father
Catholics who pray the rosary by reciting repetitious prayers to Mary are disobeying the words of Christ on two accounts. He said when you pray, pray to the Father (Mat. 6:9). And secondly, He said, "When you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words" (Mat. 6:7).
Worship God Only
Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only" (Mat 4:10). Yet Catholic priests are taught to disregard what Jesus said by declaring: "devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship" (CCC, 971).
The apostle Peter spoke of the importance of heeding the words of Christ over anything else. He said, "You shall give heed in everything He says to you." Those who fail to do so will be "utterly destroyed" (Acts 3:22-23). The words of Christ bring knowledge of the truth and the power to set sinners free from the bondage of sin and religious deception (John 8:31-21). His words also bring salvation to those who believe them and condemnation to those who reject them (John 5:34). Those who are allowing extra-biblical teachings and experiences to nullify Christ and His Word must repent. Anyone who "strays from the truth," must be turned back because a sinner who turns "from the error of his way will save his soul from death" (James 5:19-20).