Is It True that Mary Never Died? Did Mary Ascend to Heaven?

  

IS IT TRUE THAT MARY NEVER DIED?


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Is It True That Mary Never Died? - Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “the Immaculate Virgin…was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things.” (CCC 966)
  • she shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body” (CCC 974)
  • “But while in the most Blessed Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists without spot or wrinkle, the faithful still strive to conquer sin and increase in holiness.  And so they turn their eyes to Mary: in her, the Church is already ‘all-holy’” (CCC 829)


Is It True That Mary Never Died? - Scriptures to Consider:

  • Acts 2:32–36 “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. [33] Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. [34] For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, [35] until I make your enemies your footstool.’ [36] Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (ESV)
  • 2 Kings 2:10–12 “And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” [11] And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [12] And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.” (ESV)
  • Genesis 5:23–24 “Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. [24] Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (ESV)
  • Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.” (ESV)
  • Proverbs 30:6 "Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (ESV)


Is It True That Mary Never Died? - Questions to Consider:

  • Where does the Bible reference Mary as a Queen?
  • Who are the only three people that the Bible references as going directly to Heaven without dying?  Why is there such clear evidence and observation about their ascensions?
  • Why would the Bible not reference Mary as ascending directly to Heaven also?  Who observed it happening?  Where is it described?
  • When was this idea added to church Tradition? Why did not the apostles or early church fathers speak of this happening with Mary?
  • If such a significant claim is made by the Catholic Church, without biblical or early church evidence, is the Catholic Church trustworthy on other issues?


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Was Mary a Virgin Her Entire Life? Did Jesus Have Any Brothers?

 


WAS MARY A VIRGIN HER ENTIRE LIFE?
DID JESUS HAVE ANY BROTHERS?


The Catholic Blog - Helping people find answers to the most common questions about Catholicism with answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. (www.catholic.blog )


“Was Mary a virgin her entire life?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity” (CCC 499)
  • “Against this doctrine the objection is raise that the Bible mentions brother and sisters of Jesus.  The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary.  In fact James and Joseph, ‘brothers of Jesus,’ are sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls ‘the other Mary.’  They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.” (CCC 500)
  • “Mary ‘remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin’” (CCC 510)


“Was Mary a virgin her entire life?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • Matthew 1:24–25 “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. [4] For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. [5] Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (ESV)
  • John 7:3–5 “So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see  the works you are doing. [4] For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” [5] For not even his brothers believed in him. (ESV)
  • Matthew 13:55–56 “Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? [56] And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” (ESV)
  • Luke 8:19–21 “Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. [20] And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” [21] But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (ESV)
  • John 2:12 “After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.” (ESV)
  • John 7:5 “For not even his brothers believed in him.” (ESV)
  • Acts 1:13–14 “And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. [14] All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 9:5 “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 15:7 “Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.” (ESV)
  • Galatians 1:19 “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother.” (ESV)
  • Galatians 2:9 “and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.” (ESV)
  • Jude 1 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James
  • James 2:1 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (ESV)
  • John 2:12 “After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.” (ESV)


“Was Mary a virgin her entire life?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Would having other children detract from Mary’s holiness?  Or add to it according to Gen 1:28?
    • Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (ESV)
    • 1 Timothy 5:14 “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” (ESV)
  • In John 2, Jesus has just performed a miracle changing water to wine and rebuked his mother Mary in the process.  This same passage refers to Jesus’ mother and “brothers” as continuing with him to Capernaum.  Why are these “brothers” referenced and so involved in traveling with Jesus’ mother if they are only cousins or more distant relatives?
  • Why is there no historical or linguistic evidence that the Greek words (adelphoi (“brothers”) and adelphai (“sisters”)) support this idea of them not being brothers and sisters but just distant relatives?
  • Would Mary not have been a bad wife is she refused to be physically intimate with her husband Joseph?
    • 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. [4] For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. [5] Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (ESV)
  • Why would the Catholic Church invent and propagate the idea that Mary was always a virgin?  If they would twist the Scriptures to misrepresent this, what other areas of their Tradition are untrustworthy?


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Is Mary the Cause of Salvation? Did Mary Save the Whole Human Race?

  

IS MARY THE CAUSE OF SALVATION?


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“Is Mary the cause of salvation?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.” (CCC 494)
  • “Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert … : ‘The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the Virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.’ Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary ‘the Mother of all living’ and frequently claim: ‘Death through Eve, life through Mary.” (CCC 494)
  • “The Virgin Mary ‘cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation. … By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.” (CCC 511)
  • “by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death” (CCC 966)
  • “restoring supernatural life to souls” (CCC 968)
  • “the Blessed Virgin…under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC 969)
  • “collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish” (CCC 973)
  • “the new Eve, the Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ” (CCC 975)
  • “she is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son” (CCC 1172)
  • “The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith.  At Cana, the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast - that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride.  It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at the foot of the cross, that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the true ‘Mother of all the living.’” (CCC 2618)
  • “by asking Mary to pray for us….we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One.  We give ourselves our to her now…our trust broadens further…to surrender ‘the hour of our death’ wholly to her care. … May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise” (CCC 2677)


“Is Mary the cause of salvation?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • NOTE: The Bible never mentions Mary being “full of grace” (but uses that phrase with Jesus and Stephen), redeemed from conception, or sinless.  While the Bible describes Mary as “highly favored” (Luke 1:28) and  “blessed . . . among women” (Luke 1:42) it does not support the claim to sinlessness.
  • Romans 3:23–24 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (ESV)
  • Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (ESV)
  • 1 John 1:8-10 "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us”
  • John 2:4 “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me?’”
  • Acts 6:8 “Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”
  • John 1:14 “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth”
  • Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
  • Romans 5:17 “For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
  • Romans 5:10 “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (ESV)
  • John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish”
  • 1 John 2:1 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (ESV)
    Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 15:45 “Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (ESV)
  • John 14:16 "I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (ESV)
  • Hebrews 13:6 “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (ESV)
  • John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (ESV)
  • John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (ESV)
  • John 16:7 "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (ESV)
  • 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (ESV)
  • John 2:4 “And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.'” (ESV)
  • 1 Peter 4:19 “Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (ESV)


“Is Mary the cause of salvation?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Why is Mary given titles that are only biblically used as titles to describe God Himself? “Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix [Mediator]”  Why are there no biblical passages giving Mary these titles?
  • Did Jesus praise his mother or rebuke his mother for her interference at Cana?
  • Why are we called to “trust” and “give ourselves” to Mary?  How is this different than faith and worship?  Doesn’t Peter say to entrust our souls to the Creator?  Where does Peter tell us to entrust our souls to Mary in the Bible?
  • Is mercy referred to by the Bible as coming from Mary?  Where does the Bible refer to Mary as the “All-holy” one?
  • Do these claims and titles about Mary elevate her to the level of deity (being a god/goddess)?
  • Where does the Bible address Mary as the “cause of salvation” (CCC 494)?
  • Where does the Bible connect Mary to Eve (CCC 494) as it connects Jesus to Adam (1 Cor 15:45)?
  • How do “our prayers” cooperate with Mary to “deliver our souls from death” (CCC 966)?  Where does the Bible describe this practice?Subscribe to “The Catholic Blog” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC03uZywULBplunOmh4nCB2A    

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How Can I Be Sure that I Have Been Born Again?

HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT I AM A CHRISTIAN?

John 3:3  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (ESV)

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. 

Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—

unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV)


1. Did a work start in you?  if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

  • And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)


2. Have you experienced God’s Spirit in you?  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)


3. Is there fruit of God’s Spirit growing in you? (Read the book of 1 John)

1. Do you enjoy having fellowship w/Christ & Christians? (1 John 1:3)
2. Would people say you walk in the light or darkness? (1 John 1:6-7)
3. Do you admit and confess your sin? (1 John 1:8)
4. Are you obedient to God's Word? (1 John 2:3-5)
5. Does your life indicate you love God or the world? (1 John 2:15)
6. Is your life characterized by "doing what is right"? (1 John 2:29)
7. Do you seek to maintain a pure life? (1 John 3:3)
8. Do you see a decreasing pattern of sin in your life? (1 John 3:5-6

[i.e. not continuing in sin as a way of life, not a total absence of sin.]
9. Do you demonstrate love for other Christians? (1 John 3:14)
10. Do you "walk the walk," vs just "talking the talk"? (1Jn 3:18-19)
11. Do you maintain a clear conscience? (1 John 3:21)
12. Do you experience victory in your Christian walk? (1 John 5:4)

4. Do you endure in the faith? They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)


Works of the Flesh vs. Fruits of the Spirit: What best describes you?

The “works of the flesh” are evidence for unbelief and an eternity in Hell.

The “fruit of the Spirit” evidences God’s saving work and eternity with Christ. (Galatians 5:16-24)


[19] Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, [21] envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 


[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Parable of the Sower: 

What category of “soil” best describes your response to the good news about Jesus?

(Matthew 13:19-23 ESV)

  1. [19] When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
  2. [20] As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, [21] yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 
  3. [22] As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 

Only the fourth ("good") soil below describes a genuine Christian.

  1. [23] As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.



Do You See These Three Characteristics in Your Life?

The Book of 1 John Helps Us to See Characteristics of Truly Converted and Saved Souls.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God 

that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)


1. Obedience to God's Commands?

  • If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1:6 ) 
  • Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:4-6) 
  • If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9) 
  • No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:6)
  • By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10)
  • For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.  (1 John 5:3)

 

2. Forgiveness?

  • Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. (1 John 2:9) 
  • For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matt 6:14-15) 


3. Love?

  • If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15) 
  • No one who denies the Son has the Father. (1 John 2:23) 
  • But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8) 
  • Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8) 

Was Mary Always Saved? Did Mary Ever Sin?

 


WAS MARY ALWAYS SAVED?
DID MARY NEVER SIN?


The Catholic Blog - Helping people find answers to the most common questions about Catholicism with answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. (www.catholic.blog )


“Did Mary ever sin?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace”, was redeemed from the moment of her conception.  That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: ‘The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (CCC 491)
  • Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long” (CCC 493)
  • "from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life” (CCC 508)
  • “the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin” (CCC 966)
  • “her complete adherence to the Father’s will” (CCC 967)


“Did Mary ever sin?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • 1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (ESV)
  • Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (ESV)
  • Romans 3:10 “None is righteous, no, not one” (ESV)
  • Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”
  • Romans 5:18–19 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. [19] For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.” (ESV)
  • Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
  • Jeremiah 17: 9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)


“Did Mary ever sin?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Did Jesus or any of the apostles mention that Mary was sinless?
  • Does any part of the Bible mention someone (apart from Jesus) who was sinless?
  • Is not the claim to Mary’s sinlessness putting her on the same level as Jesus?
  • If the implication is that Mary had to be sinless for Jesus to be unstained by sin, then wouldn’t that logic extend to Mary’s parents as well? When would that line of “sinlessness” end?
  • What does 1 John 1:8 say about claiming to not have sin?  What does that imply about The Catechism of the Catholic Church?”


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How Can I Be Born Again?

 HOW CAN I BECOME
A CHRISTIAN?

John 3:3  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (ESV)



1. Understand and believe that God is the Creator of the Universe


God created us and has authority over us.

  • Colossians 1:16-17 "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
  • Hebrews 11:3 "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”


We will give an answer for our lives.

  • Hebrews 9:27 "And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment"
  • Hebrews 4:13 "And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."


2. Acknowledge and confess your sinfulness


God's Commandments are His perfect standard of Holiness.

  • Romans 3:19-20 "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
  • Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”


Admit that you are not good.  Turn away from you sin and turn towards Christ.

  • Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
  • Romans 3:10-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; [11] no one understands; no one seeks for God. [12] All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
  • 1 John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”


3. Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave

Realize that Salvation is by Faith (trusting in Jesus, loving and valuing Him more than anyone or anything) and not by works.

  • Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
  • Mark 12:28-31 “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ [29] Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”


Affirm that Jesus is God and is the Only Way of Salvation. Salvation is not possible by obedience in Judaism, not through Mohammed's revelation of Allah (Islam), not through Buddhism or Hinduism, not by good works, and not through Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormonism.  Salvation is only available through Jesus.

  • John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
  • Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
  • 1 John 2:23 "No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also."


4. Call out to Jesus in prayer to be in charge of your life

Publicly place your trust and faith in Him.

  • Acts 16:30-31  Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” [31] And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
  • Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
  • Romans 10:13 “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”


Submit and yield to His Lordship.  Let Him be in control of your life.

  • Acts 2:37-38 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ [38] And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • Matthew 16:24-26 “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. [25] For whoever would save his life(1) will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. [26] For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’”

Now What? If you have chosen to believe that Jesus Christ is God, died on the cross, and rose from the grave and have truly yielded control of your life to Him, you are a Christian and follower of Jesus.  Here is what to do next…


Walk with Jesus in Fellowship with Other Believers

Proclaim Christ's Lordship over your life through Baptism

    • Acts 2:38 "And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’"

See “What does the Bible say about Baptism?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Read your Bible to grow in your knowledge and love of Christ

See “How to Study the Bible?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Pray consistently and daily to relate more with Jesus

See “What Does the Bible Say God is Like?” and “What Does the Bible Say about Christian Identity?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Connect with a biblically faithful church family

    • Hebrews 10:25-26 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

See “What Does the Bible Say about Church Membership?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Speak and Demonstrate God's Love

    • Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

See “What Does the Bible Say about Love?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Listen to and Obey God's Commands

    • Hebrews 10:26-27 "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."
    • 1 Peter 1:15-16 "but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.’"

See “What Does the Bible Say about Sin?” and “What Does the Bible Say about Sanctification?” on TrustworthyWord.com


Common Objections to the Gospel


  1. What about people who’ve never heard about Jesus? Will they go to Hell?

What about other religions: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and tribal religions?  A person doesn’t go to Hell for failing to hear the Gospel, they go to hell for failing to obey God’s law.  Consider if a man jumped out of a plane without a parachute.  He doesn’t die primarily because he doesn’t have a parachute.  The reason he dies is because he violates the law of gravity…which brings him to his death.  If a person dies without Christ, it is because he has transgressed the law of God…ignorance is not excuse.  If we really care about those who have not heard about Jesus, we need to first come to Christ, and take His name, the only name which offers hope of salvation….to the ends of the earth.

  1. My god is a god of love and forgiveness who doesn’t send someone to hell.

This is an example of idolatry…a violation of the 2nd commandment.  Crafting a god of our own imagination, in our own image, or a god we are comfortable with.  We cannot separate God’s justice from God’s love.  He does judge the wicked and the immoral by their transgression of the law, and their sentence is eternal death and suffering in a very real Hell.  This same God, we learn from Romans 5:8, loved us so much, that while we were still rebels and enemies, sent His son to die for us.

  1. Why is there so much suffering?

We all go through suffering.  All of us have been hurt by the sinfulness of others, the consequences of living in a fallen world, and by our own sinfulness.  We need to have faith in God, knowing and trusting that He is in control, and that His good plan includes an eternal rescue from sin, suffering, and death.   It is good to ask these deep questions, I would recommend www.gotquestions.org to dig deeply into this and similar tough questions.  Ultimately God sent this message here today to help save you from eternal suffering.  This is God’s love.

  1. I’m already saved.

God tells us to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith.  Have our lives changed?  Do we desire to hear God’s voice through the Bible?  Are we obedient to God’s commands?  Do we see the fruits of God’s Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control) in our lives? (Galatians 5:22-24)  Or do we see the works of the flesh in our lives (sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these)? (Galatians 5:19-21)  Do we desperately seek Him in prayer?  Do we see righteousness being produced by God in our lives? Are we quick to forgive?  Do we love others?

SEE “How Can I Be Sure I Am a Christian?” on TrustworthyWord.com

When you see a doctor and you are sick, what does he do?  He assess the symptoms, shoots straight with you, and tells you about your disease and any possible cures.  The Bible clearly speaks to any symptoms of ongoing, unrepentant sin in our lives.  Matthew 7:21 “I never knew you.”  Test yourselves.

  1. I don’t believe in God.

Just because we don’t believe something doesn’t make it disappear.  Put on a blindfold and stand in front of a large truck on a highway, saying I don’t believe the truck exists.  I know there is no such thing as an atheist.  No such thing as an atheist at 25,000 ft in crazy turbulence. Look at a painting, do you say, look what coincidentally formed by chance over a ridiculously long period of time?  No. You see a painting.  You know there is a painter.  You see a building, you know there is a builder.  You see the Creation and you know there is a Creator.

  1. I don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word.

You are right the Bible was written by men.  When you write a letter, do you write, or does the pen?  Men are God’s instruments to write the Bible.  The Bible is the most accurate piece of literature in all of history…scientifically, historically, prophetically, archaeologically, and documentary or manuscript evidence.  Find an error.  We’ve searched.  We can’t find any.

  1. I confess my sins and say I’m sorry all the time.

Consider civil law.  If someone is guilty of a serious crime, when they come to trial, if they just say “I’m sorry” to the judge, do you think he’ll just let her go?  That’s not fair. Only a corrupt or unrighteous judge would let a guilty person free without a penalty.   The law has been broken. Justice demands a punishment.  We can’t just say we are sorry.  We can’t be “good enough” to overcome our crimes.  We need Jesus to pay for the penalty for our sin.

  1. I’ve lied, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.

On moral issues…it only takes one commission of a crime to be labeled a criminal.  One murder = a murderer.  One lie = liar.  One theft = a thief.  One lust = adulterer.  It is human nature to trivialize sin, but sin is serious.  God tells us in James 2:10 that anyone who is guilty of one sin is guilty of all sin.

  1. Christianity is narrow-minded.

The Bible is clear that there is only one way.  Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” In Acts 4:12 we learn that there is only one “name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”   I you don’t have the Son, don’t have the Father.  You’re right, without Jesus, no hope for your transgression of the law.  Jesus has the power to forgive sins…He openly offers that exclusive path to salvation to all who hear…would you reject Him?  Put your faith in Him?

  1. I don’t agree with you.

No one knows when they will face death. Did you know that 150,000 people die every 24 hours?  That is not a scare tactic, that is reality.  And after death there is guaranteed judgment.  Jesus speaks of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man who is in Hell becomes desperate to tell his family about Jesus.  Read Romans 2:4 – We plead with you to realize you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of judgment…don’t presume upon God’s patience and kindness.  Get right with the Lord.  Consider our motives…we just want you to know and love Jesus and find eternal life.  Paul in Romans 9 explains that he wishes he could sacrifice his own salvation for the salvation of someone else…but it doesn’t work that way.  You must decide.


THE BOTTOM LINE?  There is no good objection for failing to follow Christ as your Lord.  Do you have a good reason for putting Him off any longer?


Check out these resources for more answers!

What Is Veneration? Is Mary Our Mother? Should Mary Be Venerated?

  

WHAT IS VENERATION?  
IS MARY OUR MOTHER?  
SHOULD MARY BE VENERATED?


The Catholic Blog - Helping people find answers to the most common questions about Catholicism with answers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible. (www.catholic.blog )


Our word usage matters…what do we mean by the words we use?  

Are they accurate descriptions of our actions?


NOTE: The same word “venerate” is used to describe the Bible, images, Mary, saints, & angels.

Merriam-Webster’s Definitions: 

Veneration - “respect or awe inspired by the dignity, wisdom, dedication, or talent of a person”

Worship - “excessive admiration of or devotion to a person”

Adoration - “strong feelings of love or admiration”

Sacred - “worthy of religious veneration, holy, dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity”

Prayer - “an address (such as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought”

Genuflect - “to touch the knee to the floor or ground especially in worship”


“Is Mary our mother? Should Mary be venerated?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith” (CCC 149)
  • “the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body” (CCC 103)
  • “Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore.” (CCC 1192)
  • “Through sacred images of of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and the saints, we venerate the persons represented” (CCC 1192)
  • “Jesus is Mary’s only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men” (CCC 501)


“Is Mary our mother? Should Mary be venerated?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • Matthew 11:11 “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (ESV)
  • Ps 18:3 "I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, & I am saved from my enemies.” (ESV)
  • Psalm 71:16 “With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.” (ESV)
  • Psalm 72:18 “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.” (ESV)
  • Isaiah 26:13 “O LORD our God…your name alone we bring to remembrance.” (ESV)
  • Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)


“Is Mary our mother? Should Mary be venerated?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • According the dictionary definitions, how different are the words “veneration”, “worship”, “adoration”, and “sacred”?
  • Where is the line crossed from “veneration” to “worship” or “adoration”?
  • What are the differences and similarities in Catholic practices of veneration to Mary and worship to God?  What protections are in place so people do not have more affection for Mary than Jesus?
  • Considering what Jesus said about John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11, why is he not given more honor than Mary in the Bible?  Why is Mary not referenced as “our Mother” in the Bible?
  • Does Psalm 71:16, 72:8 or Isaiah 26:13 focus on angels or saints?  Why not
  • Does the Bible use the word “veneration”? What does Philippians 4:8 say to do about things that are “worthy of praise”?  Do Catholic practices go beyond “thinking about these things”?
  • Does the Bible command the use of images, prayers, the Eucharist, or sacrifices in order to give honor to Mary, the saints, or angels?



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