In a previous post, I mentioned there that everything that Jesus did during his ministry was for our salvation. Jesus never did anything unnecessary and one of the most important things he did was the founding of one singular Church (Matthew 16:18). His Church is essential to our salvation because she is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Let us see if this Church is really the Catholic Church.
In English grammar, the word will is a modal. According to the British Council, we use modals to show if we believe something is certain or possible. We also use them to talk about ability, ask permission, and make requests and offers. Will is used to talk about what is going to happen in the future, especially things that you are certain about or things that are planned (Cambridge dictionary). And as per Collins dictionary, we use will in order to make statements about official arrangements in the future.
So, when Jesus said he will build his church, he was very serious about it. He was certain that Peter can lead his church as he planned. He was officially arranging a construction of his church upon Peter! Here is the full text of the story in Matthew 16:13-19:
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (“petrus”) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Many of the people claim to know Jesus Christ but only Peter-through God’s revelation-really knew who he was. Nowadays, many churches claim to know Jesus Christ but only the Catholic Church-through the Holy Spirit’s guidance-knows him best.
The Catholic Church by definition is the society of all baptized persons united in the one true faith under the authority of the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter. The Catholic Church is the only Church that God built in fulfillment to Jesus’s promise “I will build my Church”. Here are some reasons why:
- The Catholic Church’s first leader after Jesus is Peter. For me this is not debatable because the Holy Bible and the world history can prove this fact. There is an unbroken link between our current leader, Pope Francis, and Peter.
- The Catholic Church is the only bride of Christ. The letters of Saint Paul and the book of Revelation puts the Church as the bride of Christ (Eph 5:23, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7, 21:2, 21:9, 22:17). There is no mention of a plural brides of Christ. That only bride in no doubt is the Catholic Church. It is nonsensical for other churches to claim that theirs is the bride of Christ, even worse, that theirs is another bride of Christ.
- The Catholic Church is the only Church who continues the full mission of Jesus. Jesus started his mission of salvation and his mystical body (the Church) continues his mission. Through the Catholic Church; Jesus continues to forgive sin through the Confession, cast out demons though the Exorcism ministry, baptizes through the Sacrament of Baptism, heals and cures the sick through the Church’s charitable institutions, appoints priests to minister his flocks, etc.
- The Catholic Church is the only Church who enjoys the binding and loosing authority. This is obvious because the other churches do not have Peter. Jesus delegated his authority to Peter, then that authority was delegated to the next popes. It is the same authority that our current supreme pontiff possesses. If Peter can exercise his authority to settle the issues about circumcision of non-Jews in Jerusalem, Pope Francis can also exercise his authority to make death penalty inadmissible.
- The Catholic Church has the surest way to heaven. The Sacraments are a big deal for our souls. The sacraments sanctify our souls so that we become ready for when the Lord comes or if we die prematurely. Without the sacraments we will have unhealthy souls. We all know that only those who washed their robes (Revelation 22:14) enter the gates. That means we should have healthy souls without any stain of sin upon entering the gates of heaven.
- The Catholic Church’s doctrine of Purgatory. Since nobody can enter with unwashed robes, the Catholic Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory as final purification of the elect based on the Sacred Tradition of the Church and reference to certain texts of Scripture that speaks of a cleansing fire (CCC 1031, 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7), which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.
- The Catholic Church is a visible Church with marks. Many non-Catholic churches claim that a real church should be an unseen group of saved people studying the Bible privately and that a visible Church with a hierarchy is not necessary. The Catholic Church is a visible Church with a hierarchy following Jesus’s examples. He, the master, chose twelve apostles and other disciples to proclaim the gospel to all nations. One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic are the marks of the Church not because she earned them by herself but because her founder, Jesus, is one, holy, universal, and an apostle (meaning “sent”) by God.
The Catholic Church, being the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15) is necessary for our salvation. Let us then make efforts and pray that Jesus’s Gospel be made known to the whole world. “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:3-4)
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!