Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
The most notorious enemy of the Gospel, the Roman Catholic Papacy, has set itself up in the place of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has historically usurped the role of Christ by claiming the role of mediator between God and man and the power to absolve people of their sins. God hates what the Roman Catholic Church does–it is an abomination to Him.
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord. – Proverbs 17:15
Recently, Pope Francis, widely known as the most ecumenical pope in history, announced that he is extending the authority to the priests to absolve people for the committing a crime against God and murder against His pre-born image-bearers. In an Apostolic letter that the pope published on November 20, 2016, he writes:
I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion. The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary.
Though he continues, and rightly refers to abortion as a “grave sin” that “puts an end to innocent life,” the bigger issue is the false hope he gives to those who may be seeking reconciliation with God. Neither the pope or any other man has the power to absolve anyone from any sin, including that of abortion. Jesus Christ is the one and only sacrifice for sin, and the one and only mediator that has the power to forgive us of our sin restoring our relationship with God (Matthew 9:2).
The Roman Catholic church has long claimed that it has the divine power to represent Christ by forgiving sins. You will find no precept or precedent for this false doctrine in Scripture. The Roman Catholic Catechism, paragraph 1446 states,
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.
You see, for them, Christ’s sacrifice isn’t sufficient to justify the sinful. One must continue to go back and forth in limbo throughout the church’s sacramental system in order to remain in God’s grace. This works based salvation is antithetical to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ which is sufficient to justify and grant eternal life to all who will repent and believe in Him alone. Salvation is the act of being raised from spiritual death into eternal spiritual life. To lose your salvation would be to spiritually die again, rendering your eternal life, well, not eternal. This is the blasphemy of the Roman Catholic Church.
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:6
Of course, this is good PR for them considering millions have been technically excommunicated from the church for this sin. It wasn’t until 1983 that bishops were granted the power to absolve abortive mothers for their crimes. Expanding this power to the local priest potentially opens the doors of this false religious system to not only those who have committed this sin, but for millions of abortion fence-sitters who saw the RCC’s stance as too harsh.
If you’re in the Roman Catholic Church, and you believe that you have been forgiven of your sin because a priest claims he has absolved you, the bad news is you are still lost, and you still need a savior. But the good news is that Jesus died on the cross so that you really can be forgiven. If you will repent of your sin, and trust in Him alone for your salvation, you too can be saved. You need to repent of your sin, including the idolatry of the Roman Catholic religious system you are caught up in, and turn to Jesus Christ alone to be forgiven. No priest can do that for you.
[Contributed by Pulpit & Pen]