By Walid Shoebat
It’s a mystery that I easily resolved when I first read the book of Zechariah; Messiah will come to defend Jerusalem and its Jewish inhabitants. He splits the Mount of Olives and then:
“In that day I (The Lord) will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:10)
“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.’” (Romans 11:26)
Only through the Spirit of Grace and Supplication can anyone be saved.
It wasn’t I who said this. It was God.
When Jesus returns, “to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem,” he will be physically present in Israel. At this time, it is said that those Jews who are alive in Israel will realize that He is “the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him.”
Thus the acknowledgement of Jesus as the genuine Jewish Messiah and divine Savior will fill their hearts and, “so all Israel will be saved.”
It’s that simple.
Then in Matthew 25, when Messiah comes, He will judge the professing Church on the basis of the treatment of His brethren; Jews and by extension the spiritual adopted into Israel, the Church.
At that point, He will throw many from both camps into the abyss, Catholic and Protestant, for not helping persecuted Israeli Jews (who are all saved), persecuted saved Catholics and persecuted saved Protestants in their time of need.
In other words, many professing Catholics as well as professing Evangelicals who did nothing about persecuted Jews and Christians are damned in the end, while the Jew gets saved.
But how could Catholics be saved, especially with all the icons, statues, saints, Mary worship, chalices and especially the dreaded “salvation by works”?
Perhaps it’s best to answer this question with a question; I had asked Dave my anti-Catholic Sunday school teacher to:
“Show me a single church in history that had existed with church beliefs, style and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology in the history of the first centuries, all the way to the sixteenth century that was identical to what we see in the typical Evangelical church setting of today?”
I hope you have contemplated the question carefully.
Dave spent some time researching and came up empty handed. All orthodox churches prior to the sixteenth century whether we examine archeology or history all look Catholic; everything I have examined had icons along with statues and decorated liturgical elements, such as chalices with the image of Christ engraved upon them. A simple crawl through the Roman catacombs or the remains of Dura Europos (Syria) would provide a pointed demonstration.
All of them were more Catholic in style, worship, arts, liturgies, spices, and veneration of saints … Perhaps if you have a stunning answer you can provide it to us.
Its simple, Protestants inherited their faith from the Catholic and the Catholic from the Apostles who were all Jews. The Jews gave us everything.
I asked; why do we not appreciate what Catholics gave us while we do appreciate what the Jews gave us?
Perhaps you can contemplate this question.
The answer is simple; in America we denounce all prejudices except to be anti-Catholic.
When will we ever search the log in our eye before we poke at those of the Catholic?
Dave instead of answering, instantly machine-gunned all the problems with Catholicism; “Catholics worship Mary, they bow to and worship statues, they believe in indulgences and pray to dead saints to intercede for them … they believe you are saved by works and not by faith …”
This is a loaded statement indeed that will take volumes of books to deal with.
But perhaps the response is simple, when Protestants and Catholics deal with Muslims, they will usually ask a rhetorical question, “Why do you worship three gods, one of whom is a man and then you even pray to this man to intercede for your sins when you can go directly to God?”
What would pop-up in our mind when asked this rhetorical question?
You would instantly see that this Muslim is a product of some seriously convoluted ideas.
You instantly know and realize that the missing link to his problem is that Jesus is God in the flesh.
This is indeed complicated.
When I was investigating these issues, I didn’t solve all the complications by visiting Muslim websites but went to the source and investigated Christian arguments from their own sources. Likewise, to examine what Catholics believe about their complicated issues, ask yourself, when was the last time you visited their sources?
“Jesus is God in the flesh.”
To say that Jesus is God only is heresy.
To say that Jesus is man only is also heresy.
Likewise is our salvation.
Is it by faith or works? Well, it is not by isolated faith and neither is it by works.
Catholics object on the Evangelical use of sola-fide, faith alone. But Evangelicals do not expect to go to Jesus and say “I must enter the Kingdom because I believed in faith alone; common Jesus, let me in, and so what if I did not produce any fruit!”
The Evangelical’s, “by faith alone” does not exist in a vacuum, Evangelicals believe that faith must produce fruit.
Catholics do not like the use of “alone” with the word “faith” because James says, “man is not justified by faith alone” (James 2:24).
But does that mean that all Catholics believe in salvation by works alone?
No. The whole of Catholic salvation is by “grace” and by grace alone.
Would any true Christian dare deny the following formula for salvation: “If any one says that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ—let him be anathema.”
Do you know who penned this? It was the Catholic Church (see Canon 1).
And in The Council of Trent: “We are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification—whether faith or works—merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.”
This conforms to what it says in Zechariah on how the Jews get saved in the end: “the Spirit of Grace and Supplication” (Zechariah 12:10).
Is this not an acceptable salvation?
The Mother Teresa of the Christian Martyrs Hatune Dogan, does not rescue lives because she believes that her salvation is by works, but that her good works emanates from her love for Christ.
Therefore, who are we to dare judge with utter arrogance that she will end up in heaven or hell?
Will you help Sister Hatune? Please donate and save Christian lives.
Note to Goober who commented below,
At times I wonder about you; had you been with Moses, would you have been a “Joshua” or one of the complaining crowd?
Had you been with Jesus, would you have complemented the woman, or would you be one of the onlookers who complained because the perfume could have been sold for a year’s wages?
You write: “When this site kept its focus on Islam and endtime events, things ran smoothly.”
So then, by your analogy, it’s divisive to be self-critical and for attempting to promote unity between Catholic and Protestant?
You write: “To be honest, that is why people come to this site, not to learn theology. We all come from different backgrounds with some different beliefs, but we all unite as one body and come here to learn what you’ve been set aside to teach, endtime events and how they correspond to Islam.”
When you say “we all” should I suppose that you speak for all people? Including determine that I have been “set aside [only] to teach endtime events”?
Is converting people to become Prophecy Buffs the goal?
Then you say, “it has become increasingly difficult with the articles that have been posted that honestly don’t belong on this site. They are off topic and as you have noticed, it has brought out the worse in some.”
Do the commandments to be self-critical and to promote love and unity “bring out the worse in some”? Or is it bringing out the worse in you?
You also say, “The critical articles need to stop, they are pouring gas on the fire.”
Should I answer with, “Yes boss”? Do you think of the church as if it is Walmart and you are an unhappy customer and we need to comply or else you won’t buy our product?
Also, I think you meant “gasoline,” “gas” floats in the air and cannot be poured out. And I am not throwing gasoline on a fire, I had stopped throwing Molotov cocktails long ago. What I want to burn is the wood, hay and stubble in our minds.
As to your comment “Problem number two with this interpretation is that now you are left with insecurity because you can never be confident that you have measured up to the standard. When you have that mindset, it is never enough no matter how much you do.”
When the other group says, “’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”
These had “security”, but it was a false sense of security; To have “security” does not mean you are saved, but to “know them by their fruit” does. Plenty are who sells false “Security” and is the type of nonsense that Joel Olsteen promotes.
As I always say, the commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few. I learned long ago that there are two types of people; a type that would glean an article and acknowledge what is good and what is bad, the other group acknowledge only what they want to knit pick about, sort of like Moses with the bickering crowd and with Jesus and the woman with the perfume.
It never fails.
Have you tried to answer some of my challenges in the article? Have you attempted to answer what had a “?” (question mark)? No.
Had you been a student in a class, would you then blame your teacher for giving you an “F” for not trying?
As one expects, no matter what you say, someone bickers. I looked up the name “Goober” and the dictionary said: “basically a goober is just a kindhearted, rather oblivious goofball.”
You advise me on how to run my ministry and my website, that I should not have written an article attempting to solve Catholic-Protestant differences.
But perhaps you might offer help for the dilemma I have; many Evangelicals refuse to help since we also help save Catholics; how do you suppose I convince people of their error if I do not lay an argument that Catholics can indeed be saved spiritually and if so, they can also be saved physically when Muslims are persecuting them?
For centuries, Protestants thought that Catholics are not “saved” and Catholics thought that Protestants were not “saved”.
Today we are doing much better, on both camps things are easing up.
But I have a dilemma, still, the only solution to my dilemma is to try to fix up the misconceptions held by so many about Catholics. So, Mr. Goober the advisor; can you offer help instead of only complaining?
This gets to the core issue of the difference between you and me; I am in the midst of the issue, you are not. I deal with it, you don’t. But you find yourself to be the advisor, the judge and the jury.
When I say, “people love to bicker,” you prove my point.