Christianity, faith

The Journey Seeking God’s Forgiveness

Being a Catholic means Eucharist and Confession. The two work together, for without confession, one cannot partake in the Eucharist. This article is about a journey to understand forgiveness in the biblical sense of how to obtain it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has regulations on how forgiveness is to be administered. While they do teach that only God can forgive sin, they also adhere to the clergy are the one’s to administer the rite (sacrament). This is found in the Catechism. Part Two Section Two Article 4 No. 1441, Only God forgives sins. Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, “The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” and exercises this divine power: “Your sins are forgiven. The second part of No. 1441 states “Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.

They take this ‘authority’ for two reasons. The first is a single line in scripture (John 20:23) “After His resurrection, Jesus told the disciples, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”. The second is the belief that the power of the Catholic Church derives straight from the Apostles and Peter as the first designated Pope. It must be understood that other denominations (and Latin Rite Catholic is a denomination of non-Protestants) also make this claim. This article is not about their claims of authority. Although through it, that authority may be questioned.

Let us look at the history of priestly confessions. The Fathers of the Church (those after the Apostles) did speak on confession. But not always to a priest. Barnabas in his letter (AD 74) simply states “you shall confess your sins”.Since he was an Apostles he would be referring to this verse (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sin,he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. The he that is spoken of here is God.

Tertullian (AD 203) states, “The Church has the power of forgiving sins.” Hippolytus (AD 215) states while speaking of a new appointed bishop in the church, “and by the Spirit of the high priesthood to have the authority to forgive sins, in accord with your command.” John Chrysostom (AD 387) states John 20:23 and then says this. “The Father has give all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men”.

So this belief dates back to at least the third century. The command to receive forgiveness and penance from a priest, was not placed into the rules and regulations of the church until the 4th Lateran Council in 1215. Two things came out of this council, in relation to this article. The first being the Eucharist, the real presence in the communion wafer and wine after a priest consecrates the host. The second point relating to this article is the addition to canon (law) that confession must be made to a priest once a year at the minimum. So, for the first 1200 years of the church, confession to a priest was not commanded.

There is the first issue with the ‘need of a priestly mediator, instead of God’s omnipotent grace and ability. The second is that none of the Apostles ever forgave a sin. The book of Acts in the New Testament is the continuing story of the post resurrection disciples (some now given the term of Apostle). They heal, the teach, they preach, but nowhere in the entire accounting of their ministries and travels do they once forgive a sin.

The third thing to discuss in this, is the supposed need for a human mediator between man and God. We are told in 1 Timothy 2:15 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” If one sees the bible as the true word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by the various writers over the various centuries from Moses to John, then this statement in itself eliminates a priest as mediator in which is needed by the canon of the Church of Rome. It also calls into question of Mary as co-mediatrix. This article is not to condemn or deny the mother of Christ. But does put into light any source as a mediator between man and God that is not Christ.

Martin Luther gave the reformative concept of salvation and grace through Christ alone. So, as the Bereans would do, let us search scripture.

In Acts 2:38, Peter said “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.

It is also stated in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

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.

Through the words of the Apostle Peter and Jesus the Christ, it is only through Jesus that a man can be saved and forgiven his sins. And being the only mediator between man and God, Jesus does not relinquish or share that ability with anyone.

And let us take the warning of the Apostle Paul when it comes to teaching. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)

So as my journey in faith with Christ continues, I see an opening of possibilities in faith and ministry, as well as the possible ending of part of this path. Never take as gospel what you hear or read. Always search it for yourself. Be guided by the Holy Spirit. And be ready to defend your faith. And never let tradition take the place of scripture.

Christianity, faith

Why the World Mocks God

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10

When one looks around today, we see every evil deed spoke about in the Holy Scriptures. Both old and new testaments show what constitutes evil in God’s eyes, the only definition allowable. And until our society (globally) became woke in to many areas, these positions and thoughts of evil were preached against by the pulpits of our nations.

What comes next in the article will make people mad and bring with it vehement attitudes. Most will be from the non-Christian society in our nation. But what will be worse is that it will also come from those that say they follow Jesus Christ. The mindset of the American Christian Church has become one of including the allowance of sin, even within the confines of the church. This is not to say that certain people or groups are not allowed to come to God. Nor do they have to be perfect. But what does need to occur is this. They have to be told the truth of God. Does God love everyone and want them to turn to him. Of course. Did Jesus deny a person’s coming to Him because of their sin. No. That’s the reason He came, died, and rose from the grave, so that we would have a means by which to make sure our souls are saved from sin.

Never once in Scripture did Jesus say, be saved and continue in your sin. He said Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee (John 5:14). She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more (John 8:11).So by allowing sin to reign, these ‘Christians’ defy and deny the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. For a person who claims salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ but continue to sin, there is no more hope.For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26). This doesn’t mean that if a truly repentant sinner does fall that there is no hope. Mankind isn’t perfect so we do make mistakes. But it is expected to ask for forgiveness and strength. What the verse means is that you sin by choice after being saved, the sacrifice is not enough to cover it.

A gay preacher is loved by God. However, God does not approve of the sin. And since the preacher has claimed to be saved through the blood, he/she must seek forgiveness not continue in the sin. And yes, being any part of the LGTBQ+ community, engaging in the acts, and either not seeking forgiveness or continuing in the sin by choice is a sin. I know lovely people that are within this community, and I love the people, but have no option but to call the sinful act what it is…A SIN. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 9-10). Also included are cross-dressers The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5)

The reason God gave us a moral code in the 10 Commandments was to help us understand that God loves us. The punishment that comes from sin without repentance is seen in how we raise our own children and deal with the criminal element. Why? Because like a parent, God chastises those who choose not to follow moral codes, laws, rules, whatever name you chose to give them. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).

  It needs repented for and turned from. I will not turn my back on those that sin, but I will tell them it needs fixed. And for those in the LGTBQ+ community, God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you genetically what you are, male or female. The rest of the gender discussion is one of a sin sickness not a mental health issue or crossed wires in the brain. To say it is either of those things is strictly the devil playing games and stealing souls.

We are to pull ourselves out of the ways of the world. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).So when preachers are seen and heard saying things like, God looks on the heart, that statement is only right up to a point of understanding and redemption. The only time that the sin is not looked at is when a person is saved through grace and turns from the sinful nature of the world. A person who does not understand because he/she has not been taught will be looked at with that in mind at judgment. But for those that know and still refuse to turn from their sin will be judged according to that choice.

Romans chapters 2-4 tell us we are not to judge whether a person is good or bad. We are to show them the path to Christ and the need for redemption. No man has the ability of say this one will go to heaven or that one will go to judgment of the damned. We are to preach Christ crucified and risen. We are to lead the non-believer (and in today’s society the believer as well) to understand that God has said in the Scriptures what actions will not make it to judgment of the saved. A person can only no what sin is by biblical description. The knowing of the sin brings with it the understanding for the need of Christ’s redemptive power.

How will those that do not believe learn form those that teach error and blasphemy? Those that preach the Gospel message are warned against teaching false doctrines. I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive (Romans 16:17-18). Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (Ephesians 5:11).I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

In this woke wilderness, we are searching for ways to make things better. Here’s the best way to do so. Read the bible, repent from sin, and follow Christ. We are told how to make things the way we should, without sending our nation into a tailspin of no return. We are told how to conduct business. We are told how to treat people. We are told how to raise our families. And we are told what it takes to make that trip into a heavenly home at His coming.

If you haven’t made that choice to follow Christ as a believer and follower, OR you have but still live with sin you refuse to give up and turn from, NOW IS THE TIME. Jesus Christ is coming back in all His glory. And it will be soon. When that time comes, it will be too late. Please consider your eternal future. It only takes a moment to make that choice to be covered by the soul cleansing blood of Jesus.