Here’s the 2nd part. Thanks again everyone for your help in answering this:
The Catholic Church teaches that a Christian’s soul must burn in purgatory after death until all of their sins have been purged. To speed up the purging process, money may be paid to a priest so he can pray and have special masses for an earlier release.
This heresy began creeping into the Roman Church during the reign of Pope Gregory around the end of the sixth century, and it has no scriptural support. In fact, Jesus warned us about this pagan practice in Matthew 23:14 when He spoke of those who devoured widows houses and made long prayers for a pretence. Psalm 49:6-7 tells us that a person couldn’t redeem a loved one, even if such a place did exist: “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:”
Peter addresses this issue in Acts 8:20 when he says, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” God’s word is clearly against the doctrine of purgatory.
By perverting the Christian practice of the Lord’s Supper (Mat. 26:26-28; I Cor. 11:23-27), the Catholic Church has created the Mass, which they believe to be a continual sacrifice of Jesus Christ:
“Christ…commanded that his bloody sacrifice on the Cross should be daily renewed by an unbloody sacrifice of his body and blood in the Mass under the simple elements of bread and wine.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, Pg. 13, Article: “Mass, Sacrifice of”)
Jesus never made such a command. If you’ll check the above references in Matthew 26 and I Corinthians 11, you’ll see for yourself that the Lord’s Supper is a MEMORIAL and a SHOWING of Christ’s death until He comes again. It is not a sacrifice. The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following:
“In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. It is called transubstantiation, for in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of bread and wine do not remain, but the entire substance of bread is changed into the body of Christ, and the entire substance of wine is changed into his blood, the species or outward semblence of bread and wine alone remaining.” (Vol. 4, pg. 277, Article: “Consecration”)
The Catholic Church teaches that the “Holy Mass” is a LITERAL EATING AND DRINKING OF THE LITERAL FLESH AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. The priest supposedly has the power to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
Now, what does God’s word say about such practices? If you’ll read Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:11-12, and Acts 15:29, you will find that God absolutely FORBIDS the drinking of blood all through the Bible.
Rome teaches that the Mass is a continual “sacrifice” of Jesus Christ, but God’s word states that Jesus made the FINAL sacrifice on Calvary! This is made perfectly clear in Hebrews 10:10-12:
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
The mass is unnecessary and unscriptural.
The Catholic religion is filled with all sorts of symbols, images, and relics. The Catechism of the Council of Trent states these words:
“It is lawful to have images in the Church, and to give honor and worship unto them…”
It’s lawful to honor and worship images? Not according to God’s word. Exodus 20:4-5 says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” Image worship is unscriptural and will end with the eternal damnation of those who practice it (Rev. 14:11).
Salvation by Works
Through infant baptism, keeping sacraments, church membership, going to mass, praying to Mary, and confession (just to mention a few), the Catholic church has developed a system of salvation through WORKS. God’s word says that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not through works:
“For by grace are ye 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)
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)
Jesus Christ came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU–to pay for your sins, because you couldn’t. Jesus is your only hope for salvation. Only by receiving Him as your Saviour can you enter the gates of Heaven. There is no other way.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary. By receiving Him as your Saviour, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19). Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”**