n great contrast to the position of the Roman Catholic Church, if you want to be forgiven of your sins, once and for all, then you need to come to Christ (Matt. 11:28). You need to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior (John 1:12; Rom. 10:13). You need to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins (John 14:14), and trust in Him alone and in nothing that you can do. Remember, your good deeds have no merit before God (Isa. 64:6). Furthermore, if you have faith, it is because that faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29). If you believe, it is because God has granted that you believe (Phil. 1:29). It is not because you were baptized, or have been good, or have been sincere. It is all of God. The Lord must receive all the glory for salvation because it completely and totally rests in Him. Salvation rests in Christ alone and it is received by faith apart from works.
Please read the following scriptures carefully.
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23).
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Rom. 6:23).
"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed," (1 Pet. 2:24).
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," (2 Cor. 5:21).
"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it," (John 14:14).
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29"Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls," (Matt. 11:28-29).
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," (John 1:12).
"I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly," (Gal. 2:21).
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Rom. 3:28).
"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness," (Rom. 4:5).
"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life," (1 John 5:13).
The Gospel for Roman Catholics is the same as for anyone else and it is obtained by grace through faith in believing and trusting in Jesus alone, who is God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins. Salvation is not found in a true church. Salvation is not found in being good. Salvation is not found in good works. Salvation is not found in a sincere heart. Salvation is not found in making up for past sins by efforts of restoration, or penance, or indulgences. You can never do enough to please God.
Because God is so infinitely holy and righteous, and because we are sinners, we are incapable of pleasing God by anything that we do. In fact, our righteous deeds are considered filthy rags before God (Isa. 64:6). You can do nothing to earn forgiveness or keep forgiveness. Salvation before God is not administered to us through an earthly priest in the Catholic church by the sprinkling of water, or giving of penance, or recitation of formula prayers. Salvation for the Christian is not kept through the effort of the person who hopes and tries and worries about being good enough to stay saved.
Such error can only lead to despair and hopelessness and a desperate and unwarranted dependence on the Roman Catholic Church as the only means by which salvation can be distributed and maintained. In this error, people far too often seek to work their way to heaven by being good, by doing what the Catholic church teaches them to do, by prayers to Mary, by indulgences, by the Rosary, and by a host of other man-made works. Remember, in the RCC, salvation is through the Church and its sacraments, not through Jesus alone, by faith alone. This is exactly how the cults of Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses work who both teach that true salvation is found only in their church membership and in following the revelation and authority of their church teachers and traditions.