"Last week Pope Benedict XVI made the historic and unexpected announcement that he will soon retire ... In the coming days and weeks, you’re likely to find yourself in a variety of conversations about the Catholic Church with friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors—each one an opportunity to shed biblical light on a topic that everyone will be talking about. And when the Lord brings those opportunities, I want you to be able to speak with clarity and authority regarding the truth of God’s Word and the corrupt idolatry of Roman Catholicism."In the first installation of the series, Pastor MacArthur pulled no punches. He said, "The fact is, the most formidable, relentless, and deceptive enemy in Satan’s long war on the truth has been Roman Catholicism. It’s an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity—a thinly veiled façade for the kingdom of Satan."
His blog allows comments and I read them all last night. I came to one comment in particular, and I was just stricken to the heart. I admit, I did get emotional over it, and I prayed. The comment may not strike you the same way as it did me, but I post it here for you to consider. It is from a brother in South America. He opens with blessing Pastor MacArthur:
God bless you. Thank you for this resource. I live in Colombia where Catholicism has a huge influence and evangelical Christians are seen as an apostate sect.There are two missionaries I know in Guatemala right now. They came and spoke to our church about the deep spiritual darkness of Central and South America, directly due to the Catholic Church. Their talk touched me deeply, and aroused a fervent inclination to oppose the Catholic Church where and when I can.
I'm a journalist with a tv show in a secular channel, where I dedicate many programs to spread the truth and present many Christian testimonies. In my Facebook page I've had strong debates against many Catholic positions in many topics. The latest was the spiritual significance of the carnival (Mardi Gras) in our city, Barranquilla. It is the world's second largest after Rio de Janeiro, according to Wikipedia. I've been alerting everyone about this, being the son of a carnival queen and the father of a carnival queen, member of the board of the entity which runs the carnival. Opposing to that is the Catholic Church. It's archbishop and priests give their blessing to this pagan and satanic festival. It's outrageous!
I can't say enough about the spiritual damage the Catholic Church does in countries like mine where their influence is enormous.
Resources like this one are very helpful for people like me that like to preach the Truth not being a pastor or teacher of the Word of God, and only a disciple of Grace to You and John MacArthur's teachings and writings. I listen to you daily on the web through KDRY of San Antonio, have your podcasts and read your books.
I just dream that we could have a Grace to You church in my town, dedicated to the teaching of the Truth of Scriptures. That would be a gigantic blessing because we have a lot of Christian Churches of all sizes, but many don't preach the Gospel as it is and others are preaching the prosperity gospel.
So, there is a ton of work to be done and I just try to contribute from my position as a public figure in journalism to spread the true Gospel of Jesus.
Thank you for all you do and I must say you have been a blessing to me and my understanding of God's Word "one verse at a time"!
May God bless you and your marvelous ministry.
Manuel De la Rosa; Barranquilla, Colombia, South America
Mr De la Rosa of Barranquilla, Colombia's comment was deeply humbling. As I prayed, I envisioned the darkness of so many millions in that place; the delusion of so many Catholic congregants; the wails and gnashing of teeth on the Day of the LORD when they discover to their eternal regret of the horrific ramifications of their spiritual choice.
But more than that, the comment touched in me a joy for our brethren who labor in obscurity in the dark places. In addition to spiritually cold and dead locations like Europe, and dangerous places like in the Muslim nations, the task is monumental for our Christian brethren in South America, as Mr De la Rosa indicated.
It is hard for an 'emotion' or an 'attitude' to bleed through the monitor of the laptop, but this one did. His joy in persevering, his graciousness in accepting the sphere in which the Lord has placed him, and the heartfelt love for Jesus that is obvious from this man all touched me deeply.
Please remember to pray for our brethren who do not enjoy the liberties as we have in the US, and where spiritual warfare is more real and present and in greater force. And please, if you would be so kind, think of Mr De la Rosa, and the people like him, who humbly preach the truth in obscurity in a mature and gracious way.
It was a joy to read a fellow believer's struggle and to see his servant's heart. Though the task is daunting, we are one united body, spread all over the world, to be the Light for Jesus and to give Him glory. And...there are brethren who toil tirelessly, UNdaunted by the task, because they know who their Master is.
Pray for each other.
"Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints," (Ephesians 6:18)
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people," (1 Timothy 2:1)