Halloween (Part 1): The Silly and The Serious


What goes through your mind when you think of Halloween? Costumes, tricks, treats, haunted houses, decorations, parties, or movies?


Halloween is full of all sorts of activities that many people enjoy and celebrate.  It has become a highly commercialized holiday that is given a lot of attention and resources.  The practices surrounding Halloween should cause Christians to ask important spiritual questions.


Here are some frequently asked questions we should consider…


Is demonic possession real? What can a demon do to me? Can the devil or a demon make me do something I don’t want to do? 


Yes, demonic possession is real.  Demons can tempt, attack, and live within humans.  Satan already controls everyone who is not born again with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  While not every unbeliever is possessed by a demon, demonically-possessed humans sometimes evidence (manifest) the presence of demons in supernaturally scary ways.


2 Corinthians 4:4 “the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers”


Can a Christian be possessed by a demon? “Demonized”? “Have” a Demon? 


No. If someone truly repents from sin, treasures Jesus more than anyone or anything, and trusts in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, then they are saved and in-dwelt by God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-11, 1 Corinthians 3:16).  A genuine believer cannot be possessed or controlled by a demon since Jesus is in them through the Holy Spirit.  Believers can be tempted and deceived by demonic spirits and influences. Christians have personal responsibility for their actions, inactions, and beliefs and accordingly must “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).


2 Corinthians 13:5 “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!”

Can a Christian be harassed by a demon? Oppressed? Attacked?

Yes. As one example, we know that the apostle Paul was attacked and harassed by a demon.  We do not always know the specifics of why demons attack true believers. We do know that if we dependently seek God in these seasons of attack, He will strengthen and grow us (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 1 John 4:4).


2 Corinthians 12:7 “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger [angel] of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.”


Can someone be a Christian and their life not demonstrate real change? 


No.  True believers always evidence a changed life through the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit (Matthew 13:19-23, Galatians 5:16-24, 1 John).  Genuine Christians are not perfect but will manifest a decreasing pattern of sin and an increasing pattern of righteousness.  May you be able to look backwards and see God’s progressive work on your life and look forward to how He will continue to mature you as you seek Him in spirit and truth.


1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”


As you see scary or silly Halloween costumes, decorations, and advertisements may you be reminded that this is not simply a pretend subject.  Our spiritual state matters.  Satan and his demons are on the prowl, seeking to deceive and destroy us.  If you are not yet a Christian, why would you wait another day to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior? 


If you are a Christian, have confidence that God is with you and in you.  Do not fear.  Put on the full armor of God daily and be like Paul, seeking to “boldly proclaim the mystery of the gospel” everywhere you go. (Ephesians 6:10-20)


1 John 4:4 “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”


Want a free resource about spiritual warfare in the early church?  To find summaries of some of Neil Anderson’s most important works? To pick up a Bible reading plan for 2023? Then please visit www.spiritualwarfare.blog/free-books for some of my free e-books and writings.

How Can Marriages Be Annulled? What Does the Bible Say about Catholic Divorce and Remarriage?

  

CAN MARRIAGES BE ANNULLED?
WHAT ABOUT REMARRIAGE?


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 )


“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “The Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.  In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.” (CCC 1629)
  • “A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection” (1633)
  • “In the case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage. (1635)
  • “the remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ.  They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion.” (CCC 1665)
  • [Encouragement to divorce if your wife does not obey you] Sirach 25:35-36 “If she walk not at thy hand, she will confound thee in the sight of thy enemies. 36 Cut her off from thy flesh, lest she always abuse thee.”


“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • Mark 10:7–9 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, [8] and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. [9] What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (ESV)
  • Romans 7:2–3 “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. [3] Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” (ESV)
  • 1 Corinthians 7:39 “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” (ESV)
  • SEE: “What Does the Bible Say about Divorce and Remarriage?” www.trustworthyword.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-divorce-and-remarriage


“Can marriages be annulled?” - Important Questions to Consider:

  • Is the concept of “annulment” (that a “marriage never existed”) a biblical concept? If so, where?
  • How does that differ with Romans 7:2 and 1 Corinthians 7:39 saying that only death ends a marriage?
  • Does the Bible ever distinguish between marriages inside or outside the church?
  • Is it right to provide an avenue of allow marriage to a non-believer when the Bible prohibits it clearly (1 Corinthians 7:39)?
  • Is not withholding Eucharistic communion withholding forgiveness? 
  • Why would Sirach 25:35-36 encourage divorce in such a sweeping manner?  Does the Bible encourage it or permit it on rare occasions?


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Who Goes to Purgatory? Will I Go to Purgatory? Do Indulgences Help Us?

  



WILL I GO TO PURGATORY?


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 )


“Will I go to purgatory?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “Woe on those who will die in mortal sin!” (CCC 1014)
  • “Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life” (CCC 1472)
  • “every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified here on earth, or after death in a state called Purgatory” (CCC 1472)
  • “this purification frees one from what is called the ‘temporal punishment’ of sin” (CCC 1472)
  • “A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain” (CCC 1472)
  • “Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven - through purification or immediately, or immediate and everlasting damnation. ‘At the evening of life we shall be judged on our love.” (CCC 1022)  
  • “the souls of all the saints…and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, … or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, …)…will be in heaven” (CCC 1023)
  • “All who died in God’s grace and friendship, but  are still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (CCC 1030)
  • “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (CCC 1031)
  • The Church formulated their doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence [1439] and Trent [1563].  The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.” (CCC 1031)
  • “for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire” (CCC 1031)
  • “we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come” (CCC 1031)
  • “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God” (CCC 1032) 
  • “The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead” (CCC 1032)
  • “Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them” (CCC 1032)


DO INDULGENCES HELP US?


“Do indulgences help us?” - Important Passages of The Catechism of the Catholic Church to Consider:

  • “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions throughout the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints” (CCC 1471)
  • “relatives who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God” (CCC 2299)
  • “An indulgence…removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.  The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.” (CCC 1471)
  • “every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creates, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death, in the state called Purgatory” (CCC 1472)
  • “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory, and those who are still pilgrims on earth.  Between theme there is, too, and abundant exchange of good things.’  In this wonderful exchange the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others.  Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified for the punishments for sin” (CCC 1475)
  • “This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (CCC 1477)
  • “In this treasury too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints” (CCC 1477)
  • “In this way they attained their own salvation and at the same time cooperated in saving their brothers” (CCC 1477)
  • “Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them so that the temporal punishments for their sins may be remitted” (CCC 1479)
  • “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory” (CCC 1498)
  • 2 Maccabbees 12:43, "And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection.”


“Will I go to purgatory? Do indulgences help us?” - Important Scriptures to Consider:

  • 1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (ESV)
  • Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • 1 Corinthians 13:15 “If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (ESV)
  • 1 Peter 1:7 “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
  • Hebrews 7:27 “He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” (ESV)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (ESV)
  • Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (ESV)
  • Philippians 1:23 “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”
  • Job 1:5 "And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.’” (ESV)
  • Luke 23:43 “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (ESV)
  • Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” (ESV)
  • Romans 8:1–2 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (ESV)
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (ESV)
  • Colossians 2:13–14 "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” (ESV)


“Will I go to purgatory? Do indulgences help us?” - Important Questions to consider:

  • Were Job’s sons alive or dead when made offerings for them (Job 1:5)?
  • Does 1 Corinthians 13:14-15 speak about people being burned up or their works being burned up to evidence their quality/genuineness?  Does it talk about the person being burned or escaping from the fire or being cleansed by the fire?
  • If the Bible speaks so much about Heaven and Hell, why did it take the Catholic Church 1400+ years to approve a statement on Purgatory?
    • “The Church formulated their doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence [1439 A.D.] and Trent [1563 A.D.].” (CCC 1031)
  • What were the motives of the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory?  How were they connected with indulgences and money/fundraising?  Why were Martin Luther and other reformers so much against this abuse of power and manipulative tactics?
  • Why does the Bible have so many warnings about adding to it?  What is the danger? What is the offense?  How has the Catholic Church offended God in the invention of purgatory?
  • Where is the concept of indulgences in the Bible?
  • What does Romans 8:1-2 mean?  What does 1 John 1:9 mean?
  • If our debt has been fully paid (Colossians 2:13–14), why is there a need for Purgatory or Indulgences?
  • SEE: “What Does the Bible Say About Heaven?” www.trustworthyword.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-heaven 
  • SEE: “What Does the Bible Say About Hell?” www.trustworthyword.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-hell


Subscribe to “The Catholic Blog” on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC03uZywULBplunOmh4nCB2A    

Free Books for Catholics: www.catholic.blog/books 

Free Videos for Catholics: www.catholic.blog/videos 

Frequently Asked Catholic Questions: www.catholic.blog  


You can download the free eBook "A Biblical Study of The Catechism of the Catholic Church" at www.catholic.blog or purchase a Kindle, paperback, or hardback version at Amazon (www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098L1MRLK).


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