THE TWO ROMAN ROADS

BEING BORN AGAIN AS JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT

My dear Catholic friends, there are indeed two Roman roads, and Ive walked them both.

  1. The first was the Roman Catholic road.
  1. At two weeks old, I was "born-again" at my baptism. The decision to perform this "sacrament" was made for me by my parents and two "god-parents". Nonetheless, I was "born-again" according to the definition set forth by the pavers of this Roman road.
  2. When I began to attend Catholic school, I was soon taught how to honor Mary, saints, and angels through repetitious prayer. I would attend Mass every school day as well as on Sunday. They taught me to pray the rosary, and I spent many hours in obedience to my teachers in hopes that I would somehow please God by repeating all the prayers I had memorized..
  3. When I was in second grade, I was instructed in the sacrament of penance. This was not an individual act, but everyone in the second grade participated. I have to admit that this was very hard as a child. I often got a sense of panic when I went into the little dark closet waiting for the priest to open the small window. My fear often made me forget half of the sins Id committed and I sometimes confessed several that I did not do. When it came time for penance, I always tried to add an extra "Hail Mary" or "Our Father" to make up for the mistakes. I hoped that God would understand and forgive me, but I was never really sure He heard me. Most often, I would pray to Mary, because I was sure that God would hear her because she was perfect and she was His Mother.
  4. By third grade, our whole class was introduced into the sacrament of the Eucharist. This was never an individual or personal decision. The Church made the decision for all of us. As an eight-year-old, this was a very big event. I felt so holy! I got to walk up the isle in a pretty white dress, like a bride, to "eat God". The Church taught me carefully not to eat anything after midnight, neither was I permitted to touch the host, chew it, or to even let my teeth touch it. Sometimes the host got stuck to the roof of my mouth, and I was terrified that I would hurt Jesus trying to get "Him" loose. I would not be offered the cup to "drink" because I might cause "Jesus blood" to spill. Once, a friend of mine ate a piece of bread before communion and lived for years in fear of eternal hell. The way they taught us to take communion only added to the fear and guilt a Catholic child often suffers.
  5. Since there was never any way to know if God was mad, or happy with me, most of my life I searched for ways to make God like me. For all the Masses, rosaries, scapulars, prayers to saints, novenas and obedience to the Catholic faith, I never knew where I was going when I died. I never knew peace with God.
  6. The next sacrament that I received was Confirmation. As with the previous sacraments, it was not a personal decision, but rather a group effort that was expected of everyone in the sixth grade. I had hoped that after the bishop laid his hands on me I would be different, but there was no change. Another sacrament, and still no assurance of salvation. I was no better off than before.
  7. As an adult I taught C.C.D., and still did not know where I stood in the eyes of God. My best expectation after my death was to go to purgatory. I was sure that I was not that bad, even better than many. Besides, Id never murdered anyone. Id just hoped that the good I did do would somehow outweigh the bad.

JESUS' SIMPLE ROAD TO ETERNAL SALVATION AND HEART PEACE WITH HIM

  1. One day, someone challenged my Catholic faith. But, I was so sure Catholicism was founded on the Word of God that I boldly began to read my Bible, believing God would vindicate my faith in my Catholic religion. However, I unexpectedly discovered another Roman road. This road was the complete opposite of the one I had been travelling for the last 30 years!
  1. As I walked through the Book of Romans, I was so surprised to read, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (3:10) This scripture was amazing to me, since I had often prayed to saints that I thought were more righteous than me.
  2. As I continued walking, I discovered these verses: "...Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (3:18-23).
  3. Here I was reading for the first time that NO FLESH would be justified by the deeds of the law. No flesh meant me, too. I started seeing myself differently. I went from thinking that I wasnt "that bad" to seeing myself as the sinner I really am. It was true that no matter how hard I tried, I could not reach that perfection that our holy God required.
  4. My curiosity kept me walking down this road to find out what lay ahead. When I reached Romans 6:23, I found those precious words: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I clearly understood what a wage was...it was something I had to earn. By my sins, I had earned death. It was the last part of that verse that touched my heart, that great promise of God offered to man, "...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus". I knew that a gift is not something I could purchase or earn. It was something I could either accept or reject. If I tried to buy it, I would not only be insulting the one who purchased it, but it would no longer be a gift.
  5. Romans 11:6 made it very clear about this grace of God: "And if by grace, then is it no more works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." (Rom.11:6)
  6. Romans 10:10-13 says: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, 'Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
  7. I called upon the name of the Lord and became a "whosoever"!

 

NOW MY HEART KNEW PEACE AND JOY!

Romans 5:1-2 says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

Knowing I am justified by faith brought me great peace with God.

I, like Paul, am now persuaded, "that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39)

After reading this Biblical Roman road, I learned something else was very important. I learned that knowing God meant knowing him personally, not as group performing vain and repetitious acts. It meant making a decision to have faith in Him, and not in my religion.

It meant travelling down the road of grace paved so clearly by God in the Book of Romans, instead of the road of works paved by the Catholic Church.

The Biblical road promises peace with God; the Roman Catholic road delivers only fear, guilt and bondage.

The Biblical road gives us blessed assurance; the Roman Catholic road delivers no such assurance, even to its most devoted follower.

The Biblical road leads to eternal life; the Roman Catholic road leads to eternal hell.

Both Roman roads are before you... which one will you choose?

by Rebecca A. Sexton, Former Catholics For Christ

If you choose the Biblical road to eternal life in Heaven, as we pray you will, won't you become Born Again right now, in the privacy of your own home? You do not need, nor do you want, a priest to show you the way, as Jesus' Plan of Salvation abolished all priests. Once you see how simple, and yet how profound, the true Plan of Salvation is, you will be both amazed and enlightened. But, most importantly, your heart will know true peace with God, for the first time in your life!

Understand also that you will be speaking directly to Jesus Christ, Whom the Bible correctly identifies as the "only Advocate between God and man". [1 John 2:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:5]

SIMPLE STEPS TO BECOMING BORN AGAIN

1. Understand that ALL men ever born are sinners. [Romans 3:23, says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This message that all men are sinners is amply repeated through Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.

This means you are a sinner in the eyes of an angry God, Who must punish all sin. Do you believe you are a sinner?

2. Since man is an imperfect sinner, and God is a perfect God, no man can save himself. Jesus made this fact very plain in Matthew 5:48, when He said, "Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect."!!!

If we all have to be perfect in God's eyes, how can there be anyone in Heaven, especially since the Bible declares, repeatedly, that ALL people are sinners? Obviously, no one is going to get to Heaven this way, by trying to be 'good enough' to merit Heaven. Since the Bible says there are going to be untold millions of people in Heaven, there must be some other way to get there, other than by trying to be 'good enough'.

You must also be very sorry for your sins, and want to have them forgiven. This is known as Repentance. The word Repent means to both be very sorry for your sins, and to want to not sin anymore. Repentance means the desire to turn your life around 180 degrees. This does not mean you will never sin again, but it does mean that sin will become the exception in your life, not the rule. [Don't worry -- the Holy Spirit will give you the spiritual power to become this type of person]

3. Jesus Christ, offering His shed blood on Calvary, died as a substitute punishment for your sins, and is now offering eternal life in Heaven to you as a Free Gift!! Sound too good to be true? In Romans 6:23, we read, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Wow!! Eternal life is a gift, a free gift, of God through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross. You can't earn it, and you sure don't deserve it, but it is yours as a FREE GIFT.

4. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Apostle Paul reiterates this teaching that eternal life with God is a free gift. "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." No man can stand before God in eternity, and boast that they 'earned' their way to Heaven. Rather, all people in Heaven will be there only because of Jesus' FREE Gift, which He obtained from God because of His Substitutionary death sacrifice on the Cross. Rather than punishing each person's individual sins, God heaped all those sins on Jesus on the Cross [Isaiah 53:2-12]

Now, you are probably thinking, 'How can I receive this free gift of eternal life'? Again, the Bible is not silent. In Acts 16:25-33, the jailer anxiously asked Paul, "What must I do to be saved"? Paul answered "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ..." [verse 31] But, what exactly must we believe about Jesus Christ that will attain us unto Salvation? We must believe what the Bible teaches about Him.

5. In John 1:1, 14, we see that Jesus Christ is God, equal with God, present with God from before the beginning of time, and the actual Creator of the Universe and all that is within it. Jesus repeatedly made these claims during His ministry. He is 100% God and 100% human at the same time, which is why He used both titles during His ministry, Son of God and Son of Man. To become Born Again, you must believe this about Jesus Christ.

6. Isaiah 53:6 foretells exactly what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross; "the Lord [God the Father] has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Praise God!! Only the Wisdom, Grace, and Power of God Almighty could conceive of such a gracious Plan of Salvation!! God's Nature is such that sin must be punished. Period! But, God set up a Plan whereby an innocent substitute was to be punished instead of the guilty person. In the Old Testament, God allowed the lamb to be the substitute sacrifice for sin; Jesus then became the ultimate substitute sacrifice, for all the sins of the world. His was the Perfect sacrifice, that never needs to be repeated, and that saves all people forever more.

You must believe in, and understand, this principle of Substitute Punishment, before you can become Born Again. And, you must believe that Jesus Christ became the Perfect Substitute Punishment for YOU, before you can become Born Again.

Now that you understand these Truths, and believe them for your life, you now need to understand how you can receive this FREE Gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. After all, if I were to attempt to give you a FREE gift, that gift would not become yours if you were to refuse to reach out and take that gift from my hand. So it is here. You must reach out and take this FREE Gift of Eternal Life from the hand of Jesus Christ. How is this done?

Through Saving Faith.

Notice I said Saving Faith. There are types of faith that will not get you saved. You may have faith that merely intellectually assents to the facts of Jesus Christ's person, but that is not Saving Faith. You may be in a 'church' or a cult that teaches many truths about Jesus Christ, but who teach that you must do many things to earn your way to Heaven. This is not Saving Faith.

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for your Salvation. If you think you need to do anything for Salvation except trust in Jesus work on the cross, you are guilty of violating Ephesians 2:8-9 and Isaiah 53:6b.

Does this make sense to you? Most cults and false Christian religions err at this point; they add things that are "necessary" for Salvation, or they offer a counterfeit way to Heaven, i.e., Salvation by Baptism.

You receive this wonderful FREE Gift of Eternal Life by reaching out in Saving Faith and accepting it. This is the greatest story ever told, about the greatest offer ever made, by the Greatest Person who ever lived. Truly, only an all Wise, Gracious God could conceive of such a wonderful Plan whereby men could have their sins forgiven, and obtain eternal life. Think of it!! Since God must punish sin, but because He is Merciful, He offered this Plan of Substitutionary Punishment, through Jesus Christ. We have historically called this wonderful Plan the Gospel, i.e., Good News!!

Do you want to receive this Gift of Eternal Life that Jesus left Heaven and died on a cross to give you? If your answer is, 'Yes', you can immediately receive Eternal Life.

Let me clarify exactly what this involves. First, you are going to transfer your trust, your hope of eternal life from what you have been doing to what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross. Jesus will take your sin and transfer TO YOU His right standing with God the Father, what we call His Righteousness. This means that though we have failed repeatedly to keep God's commandments and to live consistently by the Golden Rule, Christ perfectly obeyed all the laws of God. He lived the perfect life, so He could be the perfect, innocent substitutionary sacrifice that God would accept for your sins, and the sin of the entire world, for all who will accept this gift.

Are you willing to repent of your sins right now, and become a responsible member of God's forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His forever family, following Him and serving Him as a member of His body, the Church? If your heartfelt answer is, "Yes", then we can go to Him now in prayer, and we can tell Him that you want to cease trusting in anything else for Eternal Salvation, especially in what you can do for yourself. You can place your trust in Him and Him alone for salvation, receiving Him now as your personal Savior. Before we pray this simple prayer, I need to point our that the Lord Jesus Christ is looking at your heart more than His is listening to your lips. As He promised, "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when [after] ye shall search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13).

If this is what you mean, then the Lord will hear your prayer and grant you eternal life, right now, in the privacy of your home. Let me pray.

"Father, I pray that You would grant the FREE gift of eternal life. May thy Holy Spirit draw him or her unto Thyself. Grant him faith to believe Thy wonderful promises. Grant him or her repentance to turn from his sins. Reveal unto him Jesus Christ crucified as the perfect Substitutionary sacrifice, today."

Jesus Christ is right with you right now. You are not talking to anyone now, but to Him. If you really want to be Born Again, into the Eternal Family of God through Jesus Christ, pray this prayer, from your heart.

"Lord Jesus, I want you to come in and take over my life right now. I am a sinner. I have been trusting in myself and my own good works, and in other things. But, now I place my trust in you. I accept You as my own personal Savior. I believe You died for me. I receive You as Lord and Master of my life. Help me to turn from my sins and follow You. I accept Your offer of the FREE gift of eternal life. I am not worthy of it, but I thank You for it. Amen."

Now, allow me to pray. "Father, you have heard the prayer which has been prayed. I ask that in this quiet moment, Thy Holy Spirit will grant unto him Your absolute assurance of life eternal; grant unto him the certainty that his sins are forgiven. Grant that he may hear, in the depths of his soul, Thy voice saying, 'Thy sins be forgiven thee. Go in peace'. Grant, O Jesus, that he may hear Thy voice saying, 'As far as the east is from the west, so far have I put thy sins from thee, never to remember them against thee anymore. [The person] that believeth on Me shall not come into condemnation. He that trusts in Me is passed from death unto life. He that believeth on Me shall not perish but has everlasting life [paraphrased from Psalm 103:12; John 3:18; 5:24; 3:16]. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen."

You have just prayed the most important prayer you have ever prayed in your life. If you were sincere in this prayer, I want you to see what Jesus says about what you have just done. In John 6:47, Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me has everlasting life." In your prayer, you didn't hear any angel choirs or see any visions; however, by a simple act of faith, you have placed your trust for your eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.

Saving Faith is trusting in Jesus Christ ALONE for your salvation. If you meant with your heart what you just said with your lips, you have the promise of Jesus Christ that He has forgiven your sins, and has adopted you into the kingdom, and has given you eternal life in Heaven with Him.

If this sounds so simple you have trouble believing that it could be true, the Bible assures you that it is most definitely true. Over the centuries, man has deliberately complicated this simple Plan of Salvation that most people simply do not know how simple and uncomplicated God has planned Salvation through Jesus Christ to be!! If you were genuine in your prayer, you now have eternal life, and are as assured of it as if you were already there!! This is why Jesus said, that no person can ever take any of His that are Born Again out of the Father's hand. You are now in the Father's hand, and no power on Earth or in Heaven can take you back out!!

But, He has done much more!! In Revelation 3:20, Jesus promised, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock [He has been knocking at the door of your heart, and you have just opened that door to let Him in]; if anyone hears and listens and heeds My voice, and opens the door I WILL come in to him and will eat with him, and he will eat with Me." Jesus Christ has just entered INTO YOUR HEART through the work of the Holy Spirit, to live in your heart for the rest of your life!! What great news, for now we have the same Holy Spirit power within us that raised Jesus from the dead [Romans 8:11]. In fact, I encourage you to read Romans 8 to see all the advantages we have because the Holy Spirit indwells us daily.

Salvation through Jesus shed blood on Calvary gives you a deep, abiding Personal Relationship with His Holy Spirit while you live on this Earth!! As you read the New Testament, you will come to understand the wonderful depth you can reach between you and your Creator!! Salvation produces a relationship that will deeply enrich your life daily!! You will never have believed, prior to becoming Born Again, what kind of life you have been missing out on for so long!

Please write back to tell us if you have decided to become Born Again. We need to give you some practical advice on how to ensure your continued maturity and productivity in the Lord.

We love you in the Lord. Pray for us in this ministry, in warning people all over the world about the impending New World Order. Satan has been so strong in attacking this ministry.

Because of His Love On Calvary,

David Bay and Rebecca Sexton, Former Catholics for Christ

 

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