(There has been a lot in the news lately about the Catholic Church. The resignation of one leader and the selection of another have dominated the news. When we take a look at the church mentioned in the New Testament and the Catholic Church, we find that things simply do not add up. That is, the practices of the Catholic Church are not to be found in the Bible. Please read the following material with an open mind and AN OPEN BIBLE.)
Is the Roman Catholic Church the One True Church?
With one billion members, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the world. Since the Bible teaches that Jesus built only one church, we must learn if the Roman Catholic Church is the one mentioned in the Bible (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 1:18).
The organization of the Lord’s church is described in the Bible (Philippians 1:1). It is made up of saints (Christians). Christian men who meet God’s qualifications serve as bishops (also called elders and pastors). Deacons are servants who work under the elders (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). Elders are to be appointed in each church (Acts 14:23). The Bible always speaks of a local assembly having two or more bishops (Acts 14:23). These bishops (elders) have the rule over the church (Hebrews 13:17). Their rule is limited to the church where they are members (1 Peter 5:1-3).
The Roman Catholic Church is a body with two heads! It claims Jesus is its head in Heaven and the Pope is its head on earth. The “college of cardinals” elects the Pope to office. Under the cardinals are the archbishops, bishops, priests, monks, nuns, and finally “the laity” (ordinary members). Clearly, the organization of the Roman Catholic Church proves it is not the church of the Bible.
The Bible teaches all are born sinless and pure (Matthew 18:1-5; 19:13-15). When we sin, we separate ourselves from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). The result of sin is spiritual death (Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23). Salvation from sin is by the grace of God (Titus 2:11-14). This does not mean all will be saved. Christ “became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus is the Sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:24-28; 1 Peter 1:17-19). We receive His free gift of salvation by hearing His Word (Romans 10:17), believing in Him (John 8:24), repenting of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confessing His name (Matthew 10:32-33), and being baptized in water for the remission of sins (Romans 6:1-4; Acts 2:38). When we show our faith in this way, God adds us to His church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
In order to go to Heaven, we must serve God faithfully until death (Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:4-8). When one sins after becoming a Christian, he can be forgiven. He must confess his sins, repent, and pray for forgiveness (James 5:16; Acts 8:13-24).
When a child is twelve years old, he must be confirmed, according to Roman Catholic teaching. The priest makes the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead. This is supposed to give him the Holy Spirit.
When a Catholic sins, he must confess to a priest. The priest decides what act of penance the sinner must do. When this is done, the priest grants forgiveness. God’s law of pardon for erring Christians is ignored. Priests who are weak, sinful men, like we are, are given the power to forgive sins by the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible teaches that only God has the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-12). It is blasphemy for a man to claim to do this. It is clear the Roman Catholic Church is not the church of the Bible because it does not practice what the Bible teaches concerning salvation!
From Truth for the World (tftw.org)