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From Roman Catholic to Born Again!

I’m writing this today because to me there’s nothing more important in this life than what I have to tell you.
Often, it happens that the situation doesn’t lend itself to deeper, more serious conversation, so I got the idea to write this letter to you so you can read it when you have time.
I give this letter only to those people God puts on my heart, not just anyone. You are special to me, but infinitely special to God. I’m definitely a rank and file sinner, but I’m saved and born again by an infinitely loving and merciful God.

I have a real burden on my heart to share with you what the Bible says about salvation, and where we go when we die. People don’t even seem to think much about this these days. I didn’t either until I was 27.
I was raised Catholic, and I took my relationhship with God very seriously. Spiritual things always interested me. I tried to get closer to God through my Catholic church, but as a young adult, I didn’t feel Him there at all. In fact, it felt dead in church and in the Mass. I was hungry for a real connection. I wanted the real thing!

I turned to the Bible, which even the Roman Catholic church recognizes as a spiritual authority, although the Popes and their decrees are considered the final word on everything.
All I knew to do at the time was to go to a local “St. Jude Shop” where they sold Catholic Bibles, statues, jewelry, etc. I bought a St. Joseph’s Bible and rushed home to see what it said. I had a list of questions I was hoping to get answered: Is it right to pray to saints or Mary? Is Jesus really in the bread at the Mass like they teach? And more. God directed me because I did not know the Bible at all – Catholics weren’t encouraged to read it. I was taught that only a priest can rightly interpret it.

I cracked it open at random, and my eyes fell on 1 Timothy 2:5 which says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” This was written by St. Paul, the apostle. Wow! That answered my question about praying to saints and Mary. Paul said they were not mediators! That started me on some deep research into the Roman Catholic church, it’s background, doctrine and decrees.

In a nutshell, I learned that Catholicism is based on getting to heaven by “being a good person,” “doing good works,” “receiving the sacraments.” There was also: burning in Purgatory for as long as it takes to pay for your sins (which is exactly like hell, but temporary, while hell is permanent).
And then there are indulgences: plenary and partial. Plenary erases all your sins so if you died right after you got it, you’d go right to heaven. Partial indulgences pay for only some of your sins – shortening your time in Purgatory. These indulgences were earned by saying certain prayers and doing certain things. I used to get them frequently as a grade school kid. I thought it was so cool.

This is true Catholic doctrine, written in Vatican documents. However, to make it even more confusing, I was taught that each priest was allowed to interpret these things as he saw fit. Not to mention, he alone could forgive your sins because only he had the authority as a Catholic priest to do so in the sacrament of confession. We were never told we could just ask God to forgive us directly. (See 1 John 1:9)

I never heard the word ‘repent.’ I found out later, from the Bible, Jesus taught us to repent (be truly sorry for our sins, and turn away from them) and trust His work of suffering and dying on the cross as the only acceptable payment for sin.

So it turns out that the Bible, or Holy Scripture, which is God’s Word, has a message, a theme for us running throughout the whole thing…old and new testament. It’s that God loves us so much He doesn’t want anyone to go to hell (which was made only for the angels that rebelled against Him) so He made a way to cover our sins and blot them out. That was only possible by the shedding of the blood of a 100% pure, and innocent sacrifice. That’s why Jesus was born – to be that sacrifice, to pay for each person’s sins. This is the only way to approach God, the Father. Jesus Himself said, “…I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father except by Me.” (John 14:6)

No sacraments, no rules and regulations, no good works or repeated prayers can ever pay or make up to a holy God for our sins. Only trusting faith like a little child in Jesus finished work on the cross for us satisfies our God.

Jesus warned us about hell in the New Testament alone 46 times! He died so we could join Him in Heaven and never go to hell. There is no Purgatory, that is a man-made doctrine not mentioned in Holy Scripture, as is the idea that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without sin. That is based on a dream a Pope once had! Did you know that the Immaculate Conception doctrine does not refer to Jesus’ conception, but Mary’s own conception in her own mother’s womb?! True! Roman Catholicism subsequently teaches that Mary herself lead a perfectly sinless life, putting her on a par with Jesus…a type of goddess herself. From the Bible we know that she was a wonderful, godly woman, but a sinner who needed a Savior, just as we all do as she herself mentions in Luke 1:47.

The first word Jesus said when He began His public ministry was, “Repent!” in Matt.4:17. Jesus did not preach a tolerant acceptance of other’s beliefs and opinions. He taught repentance and obedience to God and His Word. As Bill Wiese says in his book, 23 Questions About Hell: a loving message isn’t always sweet and nice; at times it may be a rebuke or be corrective in nature. Jesus doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, but spend eternity in heaven with Him! He wants each one of us to admit we are a sinner and turn from our sin and change our ways. That is what ‘repent’ means.

To be sure that you will go to heaven when you die, you must believe Jesus paid for your personal sins on His cross. The Father accepted His sacrifice for you, me and all mankind as payment in full! It’s His free gift of love to us! If you’d like to receive this gift you can simply talk to Him and tell Him something like this:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to You in the name of Jesus.
Your Word says, “He that comes to Me, I will in no way cast out” (John 6:37), so I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in and I thank You for it.
You said in You Word, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). I am calling on Your Name, so I know You have saved me now.
You also said, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes producing righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made producing salvation. (Romans10:9-10)
I believe in my heart Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe that He was raised from the dead for my justification, and I confess Him now as my Lord.
Because Your Word says, “With the heart man believes producing righteousness,” and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) …And I am saved!
Thank You, Lord!
You can sign and date the above prayer so you never will forget the day you became God’s child and stepped into eternal life! (Prayer composed by Reverend Kenneth E. Hagin)

Now you are a new creature in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Seek to know your new Savior. Read His Word the Bible every day. Try to read a chapter a day. The Bible says Jesus is the Word of God! You can start in the gospel of John. Ask a godly Christian who loves the Lord your questions as they come up about what you read. Underline verses that pop out to you or seem special or stand out like a neon sign to you (as one Christian writer once said!) – that is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart. Expect Him to communicate with you; He loves you and wants to talk to you!

Start to pray. Not formulated ritualistic prayers, but genuine talking to Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit as if they were real personalities, because they are! Talk about anything on your mind. Pour out your heart to God. Talk about big and little things. Ask Him questions. Ask for His help with anything! Keep a little journal of answered prayer – you will be amazed at the lively, loving relationship you’ll have!

Find a Bible-teaching church that has a heart to reach the lost and teaches salvation by faith. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you to the right one.

As the Holy Spirit guides you – start to forgive everyone who has ever hurt you. Let go of it! Unforgiveness in your heart towards others blocks your Heavenly Father’s forgiveness of your sin (Mark 11:26). It only hurts you! Tear up the old I.O.U.’s you hold against other people from the past. Tell God you forgive them, and they don’t owe you anything anymore! You’re free!

If you’ve hurt anyone seek them out and ask their forgiveness, in person if possible. Let the Holy Spirit show you who they are.

Lastly, in order to start off your brand new life in the best way possible, cut off all occult connections as the Holy Spirit shows you. Don’t give satan any doorways into your life. See the www.Spiritwithus.com blog post on the paranormal for more information on this topic.

Thank you so much for reading to the end! If I can be of any help, or you just have some questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My number is 484-753-5777. Just leave a message and I will call you back, asap. Or text me, or email me at jules.spiritwithus@gmail.com.

I highly recommend you read the book 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. You can get it on Amazon.

For your own personal Bible – which will become a living treasure to you – I recommend the Spirit Filled Life Bible, New King James by Nelson.

There is a great free phone app by Tecarta that let’s you choose between a few versions of the scriptures. I have the Amplified Bible on mine, and I love it

I suggest you get a physical Bible that you can write in and underline and love everyday, as well as the phone app!

Please keep in touch. Write, text or call me anytime. Let me know how you are progressing.

God bless you!

 

 

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Are You Too Bad for God??

Our brother in Christ, Dave Wilkerson, was a mighty man of God. He is the very one who started Teen Challenge, wrote the book, The Cross and the Switchblade,  and started the Times Square church, in Times Square, New York. He recently went to be with the Lord in 2011. He was a truly anointed man, very humble, who saw amazing miracles throughout the years of his ministry. He was especially known for his outreach to hardened gang members, drug addicts, criminals of every kind, and just sinners of all kinds.

I want to share with you one of the main ideas of his ministry that he was always trying to bring home to these toughened sinners who had given up on God a long time ago.

  • Simply put, the idea is the new covenant, or agreement, or deal, that God has worked out to save us from sin and hell. The Heavenly Father and Jesus His Son agreed that Jesus would take all the responsibility for human kind, if the Father would agree to accept Jesus sinless life on earth as a human,and His suffering, and death on the cross as payment in full for any human being who would receive Him as their Lord and Savior, by faith. Of course, the Father and Jesus are of one mind, one Spirit, so they agreed, out of a heart yearning with love for mankind, on this plan to save the human race from the consequences of sin.

 

  • Now here is the amazing miracle of it all. Here is the heart of God: there is no condemnation for whatever we’ve done…even whatever we continue to do… after we accept His free gift of salvation from eternal Hell! Does He expect us to live a clean life right away? NO! He doesn’t! He says to the Father, “I’m responsible for them. I’ll answer for them! I’ll take care of them! They’re mine now!”

 

  • I pray that you do accept Jesus free love gift of eternal life even today! And don’t hesitate because of hidden sin that you think is too nasty, too dark, to filthy to come to God with. No! That’s the whole point! That’s what Dave Wilkerson spent his life teaching! There is no condemnation now to those who are in Christ! Jesus loves LGBT’s, drug addicts, drunks, dealers, witches, fornicators…and on and on! Come to His amazing heart of love just as you are, and you will find forgiveness, and cleansing! You’ll be washed in the blood of the innocent Lamb of God. And now His innocence will be your innocence before the Father! He is your atonement! He is the sacrifice given for you to justify you to our dear Father of love. Jesus yearns over you with a heart bursting with love for you! Believe it. Take it on blind faith! That is the message of all the Word of God! Come to Him all you who are weary and heavy laden, and He will give you rest!

 

  • One final note: you are probably saying..What!!?? You can do all that sin, and Jesus will still love and accept you? My answer is absolutely YES! There is an amazing miracle that happens in the human heart who has experienced the unconditional love of the One who created him and died for him. You may find yourself loving Him back. You may find yourself feeling so content, so clean, so at peace that you just want more of Him! More and more and more! That’s how all of us who love Jesus so incredibly much got here! You fall madly in love with Him when you realize how much He loves you! And then it’s so easy to want to please Him. To want to make Him happy. And it grows and grows…
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Are You Catholic? Read This, Please!

Are you searching for truth like I was as a Catholic? I want to share what I learned with you. There is a lot to it. I mean whether or not Catholicism is the truth. As an ex-Catholic, I know. I wasn’t about to leave my Catholic church behind unless I was absolutely convinced. I was raised in it from birth. All my relatives were Catholic, as well as most of my friends. So I needed strong evidence.

I’ll get right to the points that forever changed me, changed my mind and my heart. I was lead to go buy a Bible. I went to a Catholic book store and bought one. I was having doubts and questions about the Mass, confession, everything.

  1. My new Bible opened right to 1Timothy2:5. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Well, that answered the question about praying to saints, Mary, and going to a priest for answers. My one and only mediator was Christ.
  2. Salvation. The Catholic Church never talked about it. I never heard much about how to get to heaven. It was sort of assumed that you’d get there somehow, someday. You’d probably have to burn in Purgatory for awhile to purge your sins away. After all no one is perfect and sinless, right? If you die after having just gone to confession to a priest, you would go straight to heaven of course. Or if you had just said one of those prayers, or string of prayers the church attached a plenary indulgence to. That means you got a free ticket out of Purgatory! (BTW Purgatory is just like hell, except temporary) They don’t teach this stuff too much anymore because it’s not very popular. However it is definitely the doctrine of the Catholic church. What about salvation? Isn’t that pretty important??? Well, in my new Bible I found out that Jesus main message everywhere He went was teaching people that they needed SALVATION! Salvation means ‘saving.’ Saving from what?? From HELL! Yeah, I’d say that should be the number one message of the true church. As a Catholic, the topic of ‘where would you go when you die?’ didn’t really come up. You figured you’d make it if you were a ‘good person’ and obeyed the rules as best you could. It wasn’t the main issue. Well, come to find out it was the main issue for Jesus Christ!
  3. As a Catholic I never heard that I had to be ‘Born Again’ in order to go to heaven! What? Really? They never thought that needed to be shouted from the rooftops? Jesus is the One who first said those words ‘born again’ to Nicodemus! Nicodemus came to Him quietly, didn’t want anyone to know about it. He asked Jesus how he could be sure to get to Heaven. Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3
  4. As a Catholic I was still hung up on two things. From childhood I had believed that only a Catholic priest could administer the sacrament of absolution. That is, he is the only one who could hear your sins and then pronounce that you were forgiven of those sins. Of course, when you did a few more sins, you had to go back and get another confession/absolution from a Catholic priest. It always felt to me like putting my soul through a spiritual car wash. You had to get a wash every week or so. There wasn’t any other way to do it. Or was there?? Then I was lead to this verse which blew me away: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Wow! Combine that with the verse in my first point above, and it was now obvious I didn’t need to go to the Catholic car wash any more! I could go right to God! I could keep it private between Him and me. That felt so right, so good. I had never felt right about telling my most intimate sins to a man. It was embarrassing! I now know that our loving Father never meant for us to do that. It’s between Him and me.
  5. The last thing to go was Transubstantiation. That’s the Catholic teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are actually and really, materially, turned into Jesus’ body and blood. The Catholic church goes on to say that if anyone denies that, they are anathema, which means damned to hell! Well, I had believed this teaching from as far back as I could remember. At the last supper, didn’t Jesus bless the bread and wine and tell His disciples that this bread is My body, and this wine is My blood? I prayed and asked God to show me. I struggled so hard with this one. If it turned out that this core teaching of the Roman Catholic church wasn’t true, then I was out of there. That was it for me! I read the scriptures over and over again that spoke about this. I bought all the Catholic doctrinal books I could find regarding  the teachings put forth by the Popes, who by the way, are supposed to be Christ’s representative on earth, completely holy and sanctified. So I took a second look and saw that Jesus was sitting there with His apostles saying, ‘Take eat; this is my body.” Did the apostles think they were chewing on Jesus as He sat there? No, of course not! It was symbolic. Then He said, “Drink, all of you” regarding the cup of wine. He goes on to say, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” There are several things here. He is sitting there passing the cup of wine to His disciples. Did they think they were draining His arteries of real blood? Then, this was huge for me, AFTER He calls the wine His blood (which the Catholic church says is the moment when He institutes the sacrament of transubstantiation) He then calls it the FRUIT OF THE VINE again! It wouldn’t be the fruit of the vine anymore, would it?? No. This, too, is obviously symbolic. In Luke 22:19, Jesus says, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” It is to be a beautiful, holy remembrance of Our Lord Jesus until that day that we will eat and drink with Jesus again in the Father’s kingdom. Will we be chewing on flesh and drinking real blood in Heaven? What do you think?

If you are a Catholic seeking the truth, look no further than your own Catholic Bible. The teachings of the Roman Catholic church do not lead us to heaven. They do not teach what Jesus taught. They do not teach that by GRACE are you saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:5. And again: Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law.”

Read the gospels and the New Testament as if you had never heard any of this before. If you had just met Jesus when He walked the earth, and listened to Him talk, what conclusion would you come to?

Today I am thrilled to be a Born Again follower of Jesus Christ through His Holy Word, the Bible. The Truth will set you free!