I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.Galatians 1:6-9
The Roman Catholic Mass is an idolatrous ritual held by the Church daily, though most Catholics partake in either Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings weekly. The Mass is also held at special events such as wedding ceremonies, funerals, infant baptisms, and others. The Mass consists of the Eucharist which, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is “the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner” is now (and perpetually being “offered in an unbloody manner” by the priests.
“It is finished” was the cry of Jesus on the cross as he took his last breath–declaring victory over sin for those who would trust in him. Christ’s sacrifice was not only victorious over sin, it is efficacious as a one-time offering for his people. The Scriptures clearly teach that for those who trust in him alone, their sins have been forgiven, not temporarily, but forever (Hebrews 10:17), and “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin (Hebrews 10:18).
Yet, the Catholic Church claims that a repeated offering of Christ on the altar of the Roman Catholic Church is necessary for forgiveness. The Catholic Catechism states:
Because it is the memorial of Christ’s Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested in the very words of institution: “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in my blood.” In theCatechism of the Catholic Church, 1365
EucharistChrist gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1367
None of this is taught anywhere in Scripture. In fact, it’s not only absent from Scripture but diametrically opposed to Scripture. The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation–that Christ’s actual body and blood are present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. It twists the metaphorical words of our savior in John 6:54, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,” into a literal act of cannibalism. Jesus never meant by these words that his flesh needed to be offered repeatedly as a propitiatory sacrifice. He clearly defines this as figurative, as he states that this is to be done “in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
Jesus often used figurative language, and even confirmed his use of figurative language. In John 16:25, Jesus says,
I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.John 16:25 (ESV)
Jesus referred to himself figuratively on many other occasions in John:
- The Bread of Life (John 6:48)
- The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
- The True Vine (John 15:11)
- The Door (John 10:9)
Of course, Jesus is not literally bread, a shepherd, a vine, or a door, or any of the other figurative metaphors he used for himself. Interpreting the Eucharist literally as the flesh and blood of Jesus is contrary to the teaching of Scripture as a whole–and particularly at odds with commandments against eating and drinking blood (Leviticus 17:10-14).
But most importantly it needs to be understood that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was a one time event. Christ is not being summonsed by idolatrous priests out of his seat in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3) to be offered over and over. No, his sacrifice was sufficient, he has been raised from the dead, and now reigns on the throne over all creation.
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.Hebrews 10:10 (ESV)
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.Hebrews 10:14 (ESV)
For Christ also suffered[a] once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit1 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.Romans 6:10 (ESV)
Bottom line: the Roman Catholic Mass is blasphemous because it proclaims a dead Jesus over and over as a propitiatory sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. The sacrifice of the Roman Catholic Jesus is not sufficient. The Roman Catholic Church is under the curse of the Galatian heresy–that is those who would be justified by their works rather than by Christ’s finished work on the cross alone will be held accountable for it. The Roman Catholic Jesus is a false Jesus–a dead Jesus. But the Bible claims that Jesus is alive and his work is finished.
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