Friday, March 29, 2013

Rome is Where the Heart is: The One True Church (Built on a Rock)


What is it that sets the Catholic Church apart from any other church? Why not just go to the Baptist church up the road or the non-denominational church a few blocks away? Why the Catholic Church in particular? The answer is very simple: no other church in the world can claim that their founder was God, Jesus Christ himself: 

“’And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’" - Matthew 16:18-19 

When Christ uttered these words to St. Peter (our first pope), “… on this rock I will build my church…” he declared with divine authority that it would be the Catholic Church that would teach all nations the good news and bring the hope of salvation to all and that the Church would be a visible sign to the world that Christ remains with the world until the end of the age. When the Catholic Church teaches and speaks, it teaches and speaks with the authority of Jesus Christ. 

Christ bestowed upon St. Peter the authority to lead the visible church and the authority to "bind" and "loose" (Matthew 16:19), which refers to teaching authority. 

"’He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.’" - Luke 10:16 

“… if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 

The Church is known as the "pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Timothy 3:15) because the Holy Spirit guides it in divine truth (John 14:26; John 16:13), and when the Church teaches it does so because the Holy Spirit has enabled it to. 

So why should you consider returning to the Catholic Church and not some other church? The Catholic Church is built on a rock-solid foundation and Christ himself promised, “… the powers of death shall not prevail against it”. 

"Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.’ And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” - Matthew 7:21-29

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