Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
What can we say to Catholics who are stubbornly happy with their religion? How should we respond when they say, "I was born a Catholic and I will die a Catholic?" Is there a way we can warn our loved ones of their pending peril without harming our relationships? Yes, we must speak the truth in love, with compassion, and pray for our Sovereign Lord to open their hearts (Acts 16:14). We must warn them that sin has separated them from God (Isa. 59:2). As ambassadors for Christ, we must beg them on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).
Following are some biblical and persuasive heart-to-heart conversations we can have with our Catholic friends and loved ones.
What if Our Roles Were Reversed?
If our roles were reversed, I would want you to pursue me with the truth until I repented and believed God's Word. Never would I want you to give up on me, because so much is at stake. I love you too much to let you march proudly down the wide road to destruction without warning you. There is a reason why the Lord Jesus said very few find the narrow way that leads to life (Mat. 7:14). It is because the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Cor. 4:4). One of Satan's most powerful tools to blind unbelievers is religious pride and indoctrination. The only way this veil of blindness can be removed is when you turn to Christ (2 Cor. 3:14-16). This means you must turn away from your priests, who are false mediators, and turn to Christ, who is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). As God's perfect man and man's perfect God, He is worthy of all your undivided trust and faith!
Only the Gospel Can Transform Sinners into Saints
Please understand that we were all conceived in sin and born sinners (Psalm 51:5). There is more bad news because there is no human cure for sin. Sacraments, penance, indulgences, the Mass, and good works can never cancel the punishment for sin, which is an eternity in hell away from the presence of God (Rev. 20:13-15). However, there is good news! God's love and mercy provided the one way to be saved! A divine cure is available free for the asking because of a love story written in blood on a wooden cross 2000 years ago. The Lord Jesus Christ died as a sinless substitute for sinners who would repent and trust Him alone for the forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God (1 Pet. 3:18). He died once for all sin, for all time; there are no more offerings for sin (Hebrews 10:10-18). Three days later, God raised Him from the dead for our justification and to show that divine justice was satisfied (Rom. 4:25). This is the greatest news a condemned sinner on death row could ever hear!
There Is Only One Infallible Source for Truth
Did you know that the nature of deception is that people never know they are deceived until they are confronted with the truth? Many Catholics first found out they were deceived when they began reading the Bible. Once in bondage to religious deception, they were set free by the truth (John 8:31-32). I plead with you to trust Jesus, who is the personification of truth (John 14:6). He came to testify to the truth and everyone who is of the truth hears His voice (John 18:37). His Word must become your supreme authority for truth because it is the only infallible source to protect us from the lies and deception of false teachers (John 17:17).
Test the Uninspired Words of Men with the Inspired Word of God
Please understand the crucial difference between the Bible and religion. The Bible is what God says, while religion is what man says God says. You can go directly to the source for truth and test the uninspired words of men with the inspired Word of God (Acts 17:11). We know that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). That means Scripture is our divine authority for exposing what is false and correcting the errors. God has left us with His Word so that we can avoid being deceived by false teachers. Did you know that the Catholic teaching on venial sin is a perpetuation of the first lie of Satan in the garden? The serpent told Eve "You surely will not die" if you disobey God (Gen. 3:4). The lie of venial sin is reproved by Scripture, which declares all sins are punished by death (Rom. 6:23).
The Promise of the Gospel Is Eternal Life
Please know that Catholicism withholds the Gospel's promise of eternal life from its people. Instead, it offers "conditional life" by teaching you must attain salvation by what you DO instead of what Christ has DONE. This makes your eternal destiny conditional because you will never know in this life if you have done enough to merit the glory of heaven. The Catholic Church deceives you by distorting the Gospel and denying the sufficiency and finished work of Jesus (John 19:30; Gal. 1:6-9). You have been misled into believing the work of redemption must continue on Catholic altars. Please reject this false and fatal gospel and put all your faith in what Christ has already DONE. When you do, God will give you the assurance of eternal life (1 John 5:13). There is no greater joy and peace than to know the moment you take your last breath you will be in the presence of your Lord and Savior forever!
Members of the True Church Will Never Perish
Your priests have indoctrinated you with a false security that you belong to the one true church founded by Christ. Yet, the Catholic Church looks nothing like the first-century church. It drifted into apostasy when it was no longer submitted to the supreme authority of Scripture. The apostles warned that apostates would depart from the faith of the apostles and follow doctrines of demons, including forbidding the clergy to marry (1 Tim. 4:1-3). Jesus said there would be many, not few, false Christians who called Him Lord but will not enter into heaven (Mat. 7:21-23).
The true Church is built upon the one foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). It upholds the doctrines they preached and warns about traditions of men that invalidate the Word of God (Mark 7:13). This is the only Church in which no one member can perish or be cast away (John 6:37-40). This is the Church to which the Lord Jesus promised, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The Lord Jesus purchased this church with His own blood and He is its only Head (Acts 20:28). It is the Church which man enters as he is born of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). If anyone does not belong to the one true church at the end of their days, it will have been much better if they had never been born.
Religion Cannot Save Anyone
I recognize that you are proud of your religion and are committed to it, but religion cannot save you. If anyone had reason to boast in his religion, it was the apostle Paul. He was passionately religious, zealous for good deeds, and blameless and righteous according to the law. Yet, he counted it all loss for the sake of Christ. Paul realized his righteousness fell short of the perfect righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. He exchanged his religion for an eternal relationship with Christ (Phil. 3:3-9). It is my heart's desire that you do the same. One day you will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and He will either be a merciful Savior or a sin-avenging judge. If you have not believed His Gospel, you will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thes. 1:8-9). God's Gospel is a message to believe, an invitation to accept, and a command to obey. I plead with you to come to Jesus, with empty hands of faith, before it is too late.