A Gospel Tract for Catholics

Written by Michael Miller [Facebook]

In the Bible a man asks the Apostle Paul, “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?” Paul replied, “believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved …” (Acts 16:30-31a). The Bible says salvation is, “by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9), and “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Tim 1:9). So the Bible states a person is saved because of God’s grace, and not by a person’s works. GRACE is a gift a person does not deserve. MERCY is when a person is not given what they deserve. Consider a criminal in prison under a death sentence for murder; if he is granted a pardon, this is grace and mercy. Grace, because he is made right with the Law even though he is guilty; mercy because he is not killed as he deserves for his crime. The Bible says that God is rich in mercy to those who call on Him (Rom 10:12 repent from their sins, and believe in Jesus. God gives “grace to the humble” but resists “the proud” (1 Pet 5:5).

WHAT IS BELIEF AND FAITH? Faith is believing God and acting accordingly. Faith believes God about what He says about Himself, His character, and His promises. Faith believes God about what He says about man (every man is a wicked sinner and deserving of death). Faith believes God when He says that He has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save sinners by offering Himself on the cross to pay for their sins. Faith believes God when He says that if we believe in Jesus and repent from our sins; we will be saved. Faith means a person believes God when He says, “… there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one …” (Rom 3:10-18).

THE CHARACTER OF GOD IS HOLY, morally perfect and separate from His creation (Isa 6:3, 55:8-9, 2 Chron 2:6, 6:18, Neh 9:6). God says “be Holy, for I am Holy” (1 Pet 1:15-16) and He requires moral perfection (Matt 5:48). God is a righteous judge (Psa 98:9), all powerful, all knowing and unchangeable (Psa 147:5, Heb 13:8). You can’t avoid His judgment (Psa 139:8, Dan 4:35). God “searches the heart” and will “render to every man according to his deeds.” (Jer 17:10). God is love and hates evil (1 John 4:16, Prov 6:16-19). God shows mercy to “thousands that love Him and keep His commandments” but He won’t clear the guilty. (Deut 7:9-11, Num 14:18).

ALL MEN ARE SINNERS. But what IS sin? And what will God DO to sinners in the judgment?The Bible says that sin is breaking God’s law (1 John 3:4). God has given many laws, for instance God gave 10 Commandments to Moses (Exo 20). We can see whether we have broken God’s law and whether we are a sinner, by seeing if we have broken any. Let us look at just half of them.

The 1st commandment is to have no other “gods” before the One True God. This means that you are to love God “with all of your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (Deut 6:5). If you have any “gods” before the True God, or if you refuse to love God fully the way you are commanded; then you are guilty.

The 2nd commandment is do not make any idols to worship. This can include any supposed “image” of God or another person, an angel, a saint, Mary, or a shrine of any kind. (Deut 4:12-19). Instead, God demands that He be faithfully and simply worshipped in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). There is “one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ;” Mary is not a joint “redeemer” to be worshipped (1 Tim 2:5). Consider how a loving father would feel if his children worshipped a statue of him? It would be even worse if his children worshipped a picture of an animal, or one of the father’s servants. In the same way, God condemns idols or images as blasphemy. He wants His people to worship Him in simple childlike faith and obedience to His commandments. (Matt 18:3). Peter refused to be have Cornelius worship him (Acts 10:26), Paul and Barnabas also refused to be worshipped, (Acts 14:11-18) and Angels refused worship, directing that all worship MUST be to God ALONE (Rev 19:10, 22:9, Judges 13:16). Mary never received worship in the Scriptures. Instead she refers to God as her “Savior”, and the Lord Jesus loved Mary, but does not give her special place among other disciples (Luke 1:46, Mark 3:35). Idolatry includes any veneration of a person other than God Himself. Veneration is a type of worship and is idolatry. If you have worshipped any idols, even supposedly “holy” ones; then you have broken this commandment.

The 3rd commandment is do not take God’s Name in “vain.” God promises to “not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.” This would include using His Name as a curse word, or disrespectfully. It would also include claiming to be a “child of God” and committing acts of wickedness. If you have done either of these, even once; then you are guilty.

The 6th commandment is “you shall not kill.” The Lord Jesus goes further and says that if you “hate your brother without a cause” that you are guilty of murder. If you curse your brother or call him a name, God considers that murder. Murderers will not enter Heaven. (Matt 5:21-22, 1 John 3:15).

The 7th commandment is “you shall not commit adultery.” This isn’t just taking the spouse of another. Jesus said if you even “look on a woman to lust after her” that you have “committed adultery” with her. God promises to judge “adulterers and fornicators” and any person who commits sexual immorality will not enter Heaven. (Matt 5:28, Heb 13:4, 1 Cor 6:9). You have broken all of God’s commandments, but even if you kept a few, the Bible says that if you “break 1 commandment” then you are guilty of breaking “all” of the commandments (James 2:10).

So God sees you as a sinner, a idolatrous, blasphemous, murdering adulterer, and God promises that “the soul that sins shall die.”(Eze 18:20, Rom 2:6, Jer 31:30). The judgment of God is an eternal Hell which is described as flames, darkness and everlasting contempt. The Bible does not present any purgatory. There are only 2 destinations; Hell for those outside of Christ, and Heaven for those in Christ. (Rev 20:14-15, Matt 8:12, Mark 9:44-48, Dan 12:2, Rom 2:6-10).

THE GREAT DELIMMA. The Bible says it is an abomination before God to justify the wicked (Prov 17:15). So how can a Holy God forgive guilty sinners?

JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED FOR SIN. A criminal can’t pay a fine, but if another pays it; then justice is satisfied. This is what Jesus did for you (1 Tim 1:15, Rom 5:6, 1 Cor 15:3, Heb 9:15). God took on flesh (Heb 2:14), Jesus, He lived a sinless life and in love offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice (John 3:16-18, 1 Pet 1:19, John 8:46) baring the wrath of God for your sins (1 Pet 3:18). He died, was buried, and resurrected the 3rd day showing the penalty fully paid for sin (Luke 9:22, Rom 4:25). Salvation is by grace, through faith, in Jesus alone (Acts 4:12, John 14:6).

REPENTANCE AND FAITH. God commands “all men everywhere to repent” and trust in Jesus alone (Acts 17:30, Mark 1:15). Repent, believe; humbly cry to God confessing and forsaking your sins (James 4:8, Rom 6:2). Pray for God to give you repentance and faith (Acts 11:18) begging for mercy (Psa 41:4, Luke 18:13, Prov 28:13). “He that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37, Rom 10:13) “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a contrite heart” (Psa 51:17). “To this one I will look, he that is humble and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My word.” (Isa 66:2, 57:15, James 4:6).

THE NEW BIRTH. Jesus said you “must be born again” (John 3:3-8). In Christ you will become a “new creature” (2 Cor 5:17). God will change your heart to desire Holiness. Your sin will be put on Jesus, and His righteousness to you (2 Cor 5:21, 1 Cor 1:30, Rom 4:8).

What about Church Tradition? Traditions don’t save. Only Jesus Christ can save you. Examine where your traditions have come from and who is really served by them? Jesus said this when the Pharisees where making their traditions equal to Scripture, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matt 15:3). You must submit to Scripture, and according to the Apostle Paul since you have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus; you will not be made “perfect” with traditions (Gal 3:3).

What about the Pope? Christ is the Head of the church and not any man. Even Peter sinned according to Paul (Gal 2:11), so how can any other man be sinless and perfect in doctrine? All servants in the church are just servants and are not to “lord over” the church (Eph 5:23, 1 Pet 5:3). Peter never accepted the worship of men like the Pope (Acts 10:26).

What about Mass? The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed passed the cup and broke bread with his disciples and said, “do this in remembrance of Me …” (1 Cor 11:24). Jesus did not say do this to become righteous or receive forgiveness. When you repent and put your trust in Jesus; you will receive the forgiveness of sins, and the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to you by faith alone. Jesus didn’t say that this “memorial” meal was another sacrifice of Himself. Christ died once for all (1 Pet 3:18, Heb 9:26-28).

NEXT STEPS. Read the Bible daily and submit yourself to Scripture. Find a Bible-preaching church; see that the pastors of that church meet the qualifications of a Godly overseer in the church (1 Tim 3:1-7).

A Warning to Hypocrites. Are you already a professing Christian? Then “examine yourself to see if you are in the faith” (2 Cor 13:5); ask yourself if you are really trusting in Jesus alone, or your own works? Read 1 John and compare yourself to Scripture. “Make your calling and election sure.” (2 Pet 1:10). To hypocrites Jesus will say “I never knew you, depart from me, you who work lawlessness.” (Matt 7:22-23). Don’t take your salvation lightly.

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