Feb 1 2007
Question: Given the ecumenical thinking of many evangelicals today and the acceptance of Roman Catholics as Christians, how would you answer people who say you don't need to evangelize Catholics because they are as saved as we are?
Response: First of all, one would never say that Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, et al., are all saved. There are many unsaved in the average church congregation. Many Protestant churches have unsaved pastors and few if any real believers as members. This would be true among many churches, even among those that once preached the gospel.
So even if their Church were biblical, Roman Catholics would need to be evangelized. But the situation is far worse. That church not only has not preached the true gospel but has actively and often violently opposed it for more than 1,500 years! Some apostate Protestant churches and denominations still have statements of faith that include the true gospel--but not the Roman Catholic Church. Its doctrines, as stated irrevocably by Church Councils and catechisms, plainly deny the true gospel and teach a false gospel instead.
Yes, Rome does officially teach that Jesus Christ is God, that He came to earth through a virgin birth, that He died for our sins on the Cross, rose from the dead the third day, and is coming again. But each of these statements carries an unbiblical meaning according to their beliefs: Mary is still a virgin; Jesus is still a babe or hanging on the Cross; forgiveness of sins through Christ's death and resurrection comes only through the Church, its priests, its sacraments (beginning with infant baptism for salvation), and through Mary, the "saints," and good works. The sacrifice of the Mass is essential, during which bread and wine are allegedly transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ to be ingested by the faithful for forgiveness of sins.
Not even the Pope can be sure of his salvation. Roman Catholics represent the largest mission field, badly neglected, as we explain in A Woman Rides the Beast, which has led many Catholics to Christ and out of that false church.