Posted by Gary on November 22, 2016
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31)
The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope Francis, “extended indefinitely to all Roman Catholic priests the power to forgive abortion, a right previously reserved for bishops or special confessors in most parts of the world.” So, we are to understand that in 2016, some two thousand years after Christ declared that “any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people”, that Francis has extended the power to all priests to forgive abortion? Apparently Francis and many popes before him did not get the memo that Jesus had already declared that any sin and blasphemy (save the blasphemy against the Spirit) shall be forgiven.
At the heart of this issue is the question where truth is to be found, in the Word of God or the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church? Is it necessary for a person to confess their sins to a priest to receive forgiveness? Thank God, that Jesus has made possible our direct approach to God through His own mediation. Jesus is our high priest and because He is, no mortal, fallen priest is needed for us to come to the throne of grace:
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
In the gospel the former order of priesthood is fulfilled in one person, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other mediator other than Jesus:
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…” (1 Timothy 2:5)
Great sinners like me and you need not come to another sinner to mediate forgiveness for us. The veil into the most holy place has been torn in two and we have access to God the Father directly through Jesus our Savior and Mediator:
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)
I fear that we do not understand just what Jesus made possible through His death and resurrection. Christ’s sacrifice of Himself for sins so satisfied the justice and wrath of God that Jesus teaches us that we have direct access to the Father:
“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. (John 16:26-27)
Did you hear what Jesus said? He said that in His name our requests come directly to the Father. We are not outside the room sending Jesus (or Mary) in to ask for us, but we may go directly in, because the Father loves us and we may ask Him ourselves! Does this not include asking for forgiveness? Certainly it does.
Listen to Scripture demolish the idea of mortal, fallible priesthood in the immortal, sinless Son of God:
“The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.” (Hebrews 7:23-28)
Please note what I have underlined, “those who draw near to God through Him…” through “Him”, (Christ) not through anyone else. No one else is needed, no one else should be desired.
Away with this false teaching of popes and priests. How dare Francis take such authority upon Himself to declare what our Lord and Savior has already declared. Those who fear God and tremble at His Word owe no respect or deference to this man and his non-existent office or his false teaching. Just who does this declaration exalt, Christ or Francis? Christ has already declared forgiveness possible for “any sin” yet Francis gives the appearance that he is extending the wider mercy. Blasphemous!
Repentant sinners have in Jesus the only mediator they need. Women who have had abortions and seek the forgiveness of God through Christ have that forgiveness, not because Francis declares they can but because Christ has purchased it for them and made it available through Himself, not through bishops or special confessors. In the same way, men who were complicit in abortions, encouraged them, paid for them and even those who have performed them, may have forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
The world may fawn over the supposed benevolent mercy of Pope Francis but his mercy is late and is bound up in lie. Forgiveness for even the most grievous sins (like abortion) was possible long before Francis declared it so and without the mediation of sinful men.
It grieves me to see so many deceived by the unbiblical, false teachings of Roman Catholicism. You hold before them the truth and glory of Christ and the gospel and they settle for popes, priests and special confessors. I know and love many such people, I was one once.
Pope Francis did not get the memo. He also has not been reading His Bible which commands him and all that we are not to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). We have a great Savior that purchased forgiveness for great sinners. This salvation makes possible our direct approach to God apart from mortal, sinful men. Sinners, turn to Jesus. Come with all your many and great sins. You will find forgiveness in Him. You do not need popes, priests or pastors such as myself, Christ has opened the way directly to the Father for you.
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