Samantha had even set a date, March 21, only three weeks away. She was facing it the way most people do when a life altering decision needs to be made, with some fear and some excitement, but no matter the consequences, no matter the fear or repercussions, she had determined to face it.
She could already feel the animosity from some in the church, but it did not disturb her as much as it did just six months ago, she now knew the truth, she now truly knew the Savior, and she would not turn back. “Well, that’s an interesting subject, but perhaps right now is not the best time to discuss it, it is rather involved.” “Yes, I know Father, but you said that you would have some time to speak with me, and it’s only been five minutes.” “Yes, yes I know, but the subject matter requires a lot of attention, and I’m not sure you’re quite prepared for it yet.” The priest had given his apologies, stood up and abruptly left the room.
The debate had begun in Samantha’s mind almost two years ago, and although she was far from a rebellious woman, she had been treated as such since her first question. “Why do we go to church, but we never seem to even talk about it, not even at home?” Her parents had by-passed the question, saying that church was something that was required because the church said so. All the same routines repeated, all the traditions followed, for more than twenty years, but now at twenty-six years old, something inside of Samantha had begun to stir.
Two years ago she had needed a new Bible, hers gone, lost somewhere on the road between home and the church when she had inadvertently left it on the top of the car one day. Mistakenly at the Christian Book Store she had purchased a King James Version of the Scriptures, and truth began to be revealed to her, truth that at first was difficult to comprehend, not so much because of the truth itself, but because those who had been her teachers for so many years should have also known these truths.
Nowhere in this Bible, this Word of God as she knew it now, did it mention a place called purgatory, it said “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) It said that since she had accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of her life, she no longer needed a priest, He was her priest, she could go directly to the Throne of Grace, because “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5) The truths found within the Holy Bible she now cherished said that all her works were as filthy rags, (Isaiah 64:6) that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8)
“Honey, you can’t be serious, I knew you had been acting differently since you graduated and got your own place, but, well, you can’t just leave the church, that’s like leaving God.” “Mom, it’s God I’ve finally found, I finally know Jesus as Savior. I don’t want to seem rude, but you don’t even seem to want to listen. Mary was chosen above all women, but she wasn’t born without sin, the Bible is quite clear, ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “Samantha, don’t say such things, what if your father heard such things from you?” “He already has mom, and a lot more. There is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ alone. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) The Bible is quite clear, I don’t know why the church would lie to us all these years and try to tell us that there is no way to heaven except through the Roman Catholic Church, I don’t know why they won’t speak the truth that Mary had other children, that the pope is no more of a representative of God than I am, I don’t know why….” “Now that’s enough young lady, I don’t know where you got all these foolish ideas, but you are not going to speak like that in this house, and I do not want you speaking to your father or anyone else about these foolish notions either, what will people think of us.”
Samantha did not receive this kind of treatment from the people in the church, what she got instead was the cold shoulder, people in small groups looking at her from across the room, whispering to each other. When she tried to speak of grace, she heard platitudes, when she spoke of eternal salvation, how she was secure in the knowledge that now she would live and reign with Christ throughout all eternity, she was mocked and ridiculed.
“Samantha, if you do not stop this line of thought, I do not believe that there is any possibility of you ever reaching heaven, the church will not be able to help you, you will be lost forever to the abyss. These thoughts are dangerous, and you are being misled by a false doctrine, there is no salvation outside of the church of Rome, you must continue in the path it has set or you will be lost forever.”
“The priest actually said those things to you, you have got to be kidding me.” The class Samantha taught on Roman Catholic doctrines had grown from only ten people to over fifty in just a few weeks at the Calvary Church she now attended, God fearing folk who had a thirst for the truth. “No. I’m not kidding, but please remember that the purpose of this class is to inform all of you in the loving way to approach these lost souls that are trapped in this cult, none of this knowledge will do any of us any good if we don’t go out and try to reach them for Christ.” Solemn looks and nods all around met the young woman’s view, and a smile of love grew on her face.