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Table of Contents - 40

 

1995 by Rick Jones
Reproduced by Permission

God's Plea to Leave Rome

Hopefully, you have just asked Jesus to come into your heart and have been born again scripturally. If so, according to the Bible, one of your first acts should be to come out of the Catholic church:

"...Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:4

Many Roman Catholics claim to be born again Christians, yet contend that God wants them to remain in the Catholic church. However, Scripture declares that God does not want His children worshipping Him in a false, idolatrous religion. On the contrary, He says come out and stay out:

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1

Many other verses teach us the same lesson:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

Should you worship with those who deny God's Word?

"And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." 2 Thessalonians 3:14

Many Catholics give various excuses for remaining in the Catholic church, but good intentions do not impress God when they cause you to disobey His Word. More than anything, God wants obedience:

"Thou shall therefore obey the voice of the LORD thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes..." Deuteronomy 27:10

"Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God..." Jeremiah 42:6

Obedience or Sacrifice?

Sometimes Catholics remain in the church, insisting that they are sacrificing their personal desires for the good of others. But God would rather have obedience than sacrifice:

"...Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice..." 1 Samuel 15:22

Why won't People Come Out of Rome?

Despite God's clear instructions in His Word, some people still refuse to leave the Catholic church. There are two possible reasons why:

1. They are saved but honestly don't know that God wants them to leave the church.

2. They think they are saved but aren't, because in their heart their hope for salvation is still in the Catholic church, and they are afraid to leave.

Only you can tell which category you fit in because no one else knows your heart.

Was he really converted?

I remember talking with a Catholic young man who willingly admitted his lost condition and his need to trust Christ as Savior. He prayed and asked Jesus to come into his heart. He had no problem with that.

Then I told him he needed to leave the Catholic church. He recoiled and blurted out, "Oh, I could never leave the Catholic church!"

"Why not?" I asked.

He explained that he had been born and raised in the Catholic church and that the church was necessary for salvation. Whether this young man understood it or not, his hope for eternal life was in the Catholic church, not in Jesus Christ.

Like him, many Catholics today claim to be born again, yet refuse to obey God. Certainly, no one can judge another man's salvation, but the Bible does reveal that those who trust in traditions of men will be bitterly disappointed on Judgment Day:

"Thus says the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5

If you are a Catholic who refuses to come out of Catholicism, you are, at best, a Christian living in disobedience to God, and, at worst, an unsaved person deceived into thinking you are a Christian:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Ephesians 5:11

If you really want to please God, you must obey Him and leave this system that denies His truths.

No Fear

Another reason people don't leave the Catholic church is fear. The church has instilled in them the belief that salvation is available only through the Catholic church! I remember being taught as a child that it was a mortal sin to attend any other religious service while it was in progress.

However, God's Word assures those who have been born again that they need not fear:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

You need not fear leaving the Roman Catholic church. Jesus Christ will take good care of you.

No More Idolatry

To help you be set free from the power of this false church, it is important that you remove from your home anything associated with it, like statues, rosary beads, Catechisms, prayer books, etc. These are all idolatrous items, and God hates idolatry:

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." 1 Corinthians 10:14

The Apostle Paul plainly states that those who practice idolatry will not go to heaven. (See Galatians 5:19-21.)

The best way to dispose of these idolatrous items is to burn them (see Acts 19:19).

"I'll reach them from within"

Another excuse people use to avoid leaving the Catholic church is that they want to win those still in the church from within.

But the truth is, the best way to win others is to obey God so you can have His power in your life. It doesn't make sense to disobey God to do His work better. If God instructs you to come out of the Catholic church, then you should obey Him.

A Converted Priest

Several years ago, a Catholic priest who learned that his church was in error asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him.

In obedience to God, he left the Catholic church. But every Sunday morning he drove back to his old church and sat in his car in the parking lot. After Mass, as former parishioners walked by and recognized him, they'd say something like, " Hey, Father, we heard you left the church. What happened to you?"

He'd reply, "Yes, I did leave because something exciting happened. Hop in the car and I'll tell you all about it." Using that method, he led over half his former congregation to true salvation in Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

So, my friend, the choice is yours. If you are now a true Christian, you know what God wants you to do. The question is, "Will you obey Him?"

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," 2 Corinthians 6:17