Past Popes Taught
Catholics would be wise to take heed to what the Apostles Peter and Paul
wrote concerning the future of the church. Peter warned, "There
will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce
destructive heresies, even denying the Master who brought them" (2
Peter 2:1). Paul likewise issued this warning: "I know that after
my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the
flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the
alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did
not cease to admonish each one with tears" (Acts 20:29-31).
In spite of these warnings the Roman Catholic Church elevates the authority of its popes to be equal to the authority of God, thus making the church easy prey for the deceptive schemes of the devil. It declares that all of its popes are infallible. This means, they cannot err in matters of faith and morals. The source of their infallibility is said to be the Holy Spirit, who protects the supreme teacher of the church from error and therefore from misleading the people of God. We know that Peter, who Roman Catholics declare was their first pope, was not infallible. He erred when he was "not straightforward about the truth of the gospel" (Gal. 2:14).
As we examine the writings of Roman Catholic popes throughout history, it is obvious the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writers of the New Testament, is not the spirit who protects popes from error. Popes have denied God and His word by naming other ways of salvation. The lack of discernment of Roman Catholics is evidenced by their staunch and unbending loyalty to popes who reject the words of the one and only Savior. Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Most Roman Catholic popes have even denied the words of Peter, who they consider the original pope. Peter wrote: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Let us examine the other names popes have offered as the way of salvation:
Salvation Only Through Mary
Salvation Only Through The Catholic Church
Salvation Only Through Popes
To summarize, Roman Pontiffs throughout history have shut off the kingdom of heaven from men by proclaiming a false gospel. These destructive heresies have sent millions to their graves with a false hope. One day they will come before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment and realize they were deceived about life’s most important decision—whom will I trust for eternal life. They were duped into trusting men rather than obeying God’s Word. "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man" (Psalm 118:8). "Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation" (Psalm 146:3). "Cursed is the one who trusts in man... but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord" (Jeremiah 17:5-7).
There is good news for the one billion Catholics who follow the pope today. They can still repent from these destructive heresies of their church and believe the glorious Gospel of grace. By turning from the teachings and traditions of fallible men to the imperishable seed, the living and abiding Word of God, they can know the truth and be set free from the bondage of deception. May God give them the grace to do so! As the Apostle Paul prayed, so I also pray, that their love and loyalty to God will grow stronger than their love and loyalty to their popes. "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment" (Phil 1:9). May they test all things and hold fast to what is good (1 Thess. 5:21).
All pope quotes are found in The Apostolic Digest, Sacred Heart Press, Irving, TX, 1987.
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