Does God want everyone to be Catholic? part 2

Q:    Does God want everyone to be Catholic?  (Cont’d)

A:    Last week I showed that, according to Scripture, the church must teach us truth without error because: a) it was founded by Jesus Christ (Matt 16:16-19); b) it is the pillar and ground – the upholder and foundation – of the truth (1 Tim 3:15); c) it is the fullness of the truth (Eph 1:23; John 14:6); and d) it is guided into all truth by the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). Based on that, I talked about how one clue as to whether or not a church is founded by Jesus, is if it at least claims: a) to be founded directly by Jesus Christ; b) to contain the fullness of the truth that Jesus Christ revealed to us through His Apostles; and c) to teach without error in the areas of faith and morals.

The Catholic Church at least claims all of these things for itself.  If whatever church you are in doesn’t at least claim these things for itself, then you have some thinking and praying to do, because of the implications of that.  And, as a Catholic, I believe what my Church teaches.  If I didn’t believe what my Church teaches, I wouldn’t be Catholic.  I would have to be one big hypocrite to go around saying I was Catholic, professing every Sunday that I believe in “one, holy, CATHOLIC, and apostolic church,” but then not actually believing what the Church teaches and believes.

Even if the Catholic Church is right, though, and it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and it does contain the fullness of the truth as given to us by Jesus Christ, would that necessarily mean that God wants everyone to be Catholic?  Let’s look again into the Word of God and see what it says. In 1 Tim 2:4, the Bible says this, “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The Bible tells us God desires that all men “come to the knowledge of the truth,” and it lets us know that coming to the knowledge of the truth is tied up with being saved – with salvation. Knowing the truth saves us…it sets us free. So, if the fullness of the truth resides in the Catholic Church, and God desires everyone to know the truth, then it only makes sense that God DESIRES all men to come to the Catholic Church, where the fullness of truth resides?

Or, if you believe the Baptist church has the fullness of the truth, then does it not make sense that God DESIRES all men to come to the Baptist church?  And the same is true of the Evangelical church, the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, and so on.  Truth matters.  It is important.  Knowing the truth is linked to salvation!

Now, do you understand the ramifications of answering, “Yes,” to the question of whether or not God wants everyone to be Catholic?  If God wants everyone to be Catholic, so that they can share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ, the fullness of the truth that leads to salvation, what does that mean for you?  It means you’ve got to get into the game, folks!  We can no longer be content with thinking something like, “Well, my son – or daughter or brother or sister or whoever – is no longer Catholic, but it’s okay, because at least he’s still going to a Christian church.”  No!  If the Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth, then your son does not currently have it.  And Scripture says, in John 8:32, “And you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free!”

Your son no longer receives the Body of Christ in the Eucharist.  And Scripture says, in John 6:54, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life.”  If the Catholic Church has the fullness of the truth, then God wants your son to be Catholic – God wants your son to share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ – God wants your son to receive Him in the Eucharist.  What are you going to do about it?!

And we can no longer be content with thinking about a friend or a co-worker, “You know, Jim’s a good guy, he loves the Lord, it doesn’t really matter if he’s Catholic or not.”  It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t have the fullness of the truth?  It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t receive Christ in the Eucharist?  It doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t receive the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and of all the other Sacraments?  You know, if Jim is such a good guy without the fullness of the truth, without the Sacraments, imagine what kind of incredibly holy guy he could be with the fullness of truth and with the Sacraments!  God wants Jim to be Catholic – God wants Jim to share in the fullness of the truth that is Jesus Christ – what are you going to do about it?!

I want to emphasize this, for Catholic and non-Catholic alike.  For Catholics, if we do indeed have the fullness of the truth…the fullness of Jesus Christ; if we do indeed receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of God the Son every time we go to Mass; then I ask you: Which of your family members, friends, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors do you believe God does not want to have the fullness of Jesus Christ?  Which of your family members, friends, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors do you believe God does not want to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist?!

 Next week: The ramifications of answering, “No”…

 

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John Martignoni

About John Martignoni

As one of America’s leading Catholic apologists, John Martignoni is founder and president of the Bible Christian Society, an apostolate dedicated to explaining and defending the Scriptural foundations of the Catholic faith. He presents talks around the country and hosts EWTN’s Open Line program every Monday at 3 pm Eastern/12 pm Pacific. Click here to check out John’s free audio and written apologetics materials. You can write John at jmartignoni@bhmdiocese.org.

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