We Can Be Deceived
Life is full of many bitter disappointments in areas where we are deceived. On August 6, 1945, U.S. planes approached the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The people were seemingly unconcerned. Suddenly above the city a parachute was seen. Thinking that the U.S. planes were in trouble, the people began to cheer. That parachute was carrying the first atomic bomb to be dropped in combat. It floated to 1,800 feet above the city and exploded. People at ground zero disintegrated. They were deceived, thinking that there was no danger and found themselves in the midst of the greatest inferno this world has ever known.
Is it possible to be deceived on a spiritual plane? Most certainly! Jesus warned in Matthew 7:22-23, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity."
The First Time I Questioned My Catholic Faith
I went to St. Joseph's College in Rennselaer, Indiana. One day when I was a senior a group of priests were walking past the administration building. One of them said, "Hey, Norm," and then yelled out one of the sins that I had been confessing in his confession booth. Several of them were laughing.
I remember as a boy being taught in one of our catechism classes that a priest had to have the right intention or motive when he administered a sacrament. Saint Robert Bellarmine, a Doctor of the Catholic Church, states, "No one can be certain, with the certainty of faith, that he has received a true sacrament, since no sacrament is performed without the intention of the ministers,and no one can see the intention of another." Bellarmine's Works, Vol. 1, p.488.
The implications of this for any sincere Roman Catholic are staggering. Follow this logic with me. If the priest who baptized the Pope when he was an infant did not have the right intention, then he is not a catholic today. All the priests that he ordains today are not priests and all the sacraments they perform are of none effect for the people. I'm glad that salvation is not in the hands of man for Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of work, lest any man should boast."
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Missionaries in various parts of the of the world have used the Bible Study that appears at the end of the book and found it to be an effective tool to encourage Catholics to trust Christ. The Bible Study may be copied and used to reach others with the Gospel. The book is ideal to give to an honest searching Roman Catholic. It is also effective in discipling a born again Christian saved out of Roman Catholicism.