While it would be wrong to paint with too broad a brush and say Catholics are not "saved", it is apparent that those following the "party line" are not going to make it to heaven. That is the concern, and the reason for witnessing to them. CARM.org has testimonies of former Roman Catholics as do other web sites. We encourage you to read them.
Why would we say many Catholics are not going to make it? Two reasons: One is a denial of the doctrine of propitiation and the finality of the cross; the other is the principle of negation stated in Romans 11:6. If one is saved by what WE do (beyond faith), it is a "works" situation and the verse says works nullify grace. We are CLEARLY told that we are saved by grace and not works in Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5 and other places, so we must be sure to DIVORCE works from the plan of salvation or we NULLIFY salvation. We are not saying we do not need to live for the Lord. We are saying our entrance into heaven is fully secured (100%) by the cross. We DO believe and teach that the RESULT of having been saved is a changed life.
1. Our motivation must be love, or they will sense it, if that is not true.
2. We must pray for them that God will open the closed minds to the truth of the gospel.
3. We must get them lost before we can get them saved. Not every Catholic is at the same level of confidence in the church, so we need to be sensitive to that.
They feel that their church is divinely guided and we are not because of the doctrinal diversity of non-Catholic churches. They may feel WE are the ones who are lost to some extent. The church interprets the Bible and determines true doctrine. There are a number of ways to show their church leaders and teachings are not trustworthy, but most involve the presentation of written information: the Inquisitions (dozens of popes responsible for the murder of millions who would not become Catholics), the Greek meaning of "rock", examples of popes contradicting one another, Catholic inventions (doctrines added one by one over the centuries), detailed studies relating to eucharist, confession, purgatory or Mariolatry. But there are some simple pieces of information one can pass on to help Catholics see that total trust in the "church" is unwarranted. We must take this step to avoid talking past one another. If we do not accept the church's declarations and they do not accept anything other than the church's teachings (including Bible verses?), we will not COMMUNICATE....unless we are talking to a Catholic who has already come to doubt things about the church.
Regarding the unity issue, it is a unity of the SPIRIT that we have in Christ (I Cor. 12:13), not agreement on all doctrinal details. There is an old saying worth repeating: "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, diversity; and in all things charity." We have much in common with Catholics, doctrinally -- the virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Christ, His second coming, our desire to live for Him. But this can be likened to an apple where the 90% good nutrition is negated by the 10% poison. Satan masquerades as a good guy (angel of light) and will tell the truth 8 times if those other two lies are DEADLY ones. The poison is in the plan of salvation. Giving them the true plan of salvation is point #4. Below are 3 different pieces of information that OUGHT to tell any THINKING Catholic that something is wrong in the church....opening their mind to receive the TRUE gospel.
A The catechism, paragraph 891 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful god, mankind's judge on the last day." (current catechism on-line)
As I write this, last week 120 plus French people were killed by Muslims. MERCIFUL??? The God of the Muslims (Allah) is NOT the God of the Bible because it is clearly taught (even in the Dome of the Rock inscriptions) that ALLAH HAS NO SON. They also teach that Jesus did not really die. Allah is identified in some places as the MASTER DECEIVER. Sounds more like Satan than the Biblical God. Why does the catechism say we worship the same God?
B The pope In May 2013 in Rome the Pope indicated that atheists can go to heaven. " The disciples, Pope Francis explained, "were a little intolerant," closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that 'those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.' This was wrong...Jesus broadens the horizon. Pope Francis said, the root of this possibility of doing good - that we all have - is in creation." Even them, everyone, we all have the duty to do good, Pope Francis said on Vatican Radio. "Just do good" was his challenge," and we'll find a meeting point." Francis explained himself, "The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil. All of us. 'But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.' Yes, he can..."The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! "Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone. We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there.
Has God redeemed atheists...men denying God exists, not believing in Christ, not seeking forgiveness for sin, not being baptized or becoming a part of any church? Is this what Catholics have believed down through the centuries?
C The exorcist In an interview with Gabrielle Amorth, exorcist for the Vatican, he stated that newly released Rite of Exorcism rules are a joke, limiting exorcists from doing their job. Years ago Paul VI warned about the smoke of Satan in the house of the Lord, and Father Amorth's statements suggest this is still the case. The interview can be seen at the following website: http://gloria.tv/media/WCgYm8iV2uE
D The prophecy This "study" to share is for the BRAVE person, who realizes the Catholic needs a BOLD wake-up call. Rev. 17 speaks of the judgment of the "great whore" of Babylon. Verse 9 says this woman sits on seven mountains. Rome is the city of 7 hills. Verse 18 says this woman is a CITY, that reigns over the kings of the earth. This is still true, and was more true during the dark ages... when the church-state alliances were numerous. This entity is described as a woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of martyrs of Jesus, and that was fulfilled in terms of multiplied millions during the dark ages and the Inquisitions (Halley's Bible Handbook estimates 50 million deaths). The crown worn by the pope has Roman numerals on it that do (coincidentally) add up to 666. The garments of the Vatican leaders are coincidentally the colors mentioned in verse 3, and the riches of the church are mentioned in verse 4. The fact that she is a woman can easily be tied to the Mariolatry. The instructions to people within her control are in 18:4 "Come out of her, my people, hat ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." The coincidences here are in my opinion far too numerous to be coincidences... What do you think?
4. Approaches to present the gospel. I have an article at this website called "Imputed Righteousness" which explains the gospel in a way that can reach to Catholics because they have NEVER HEARD of the gift of righteousness that God offers. One can bring up the subject of salvation by simply asking a Catholic if they died right now whether they would be in the presence of God. We have security in Christ (Romans 8, John 10:28, I John 5:13, John 5:24 - eternal life is our NOW and IS eternal). This is something no Catholic has. WE need to share it. One can learn what is presented in the article or simply give it to a Roman Catholic and ask for their response.
A part of whetting the appetite for grace is James 2:10 Even ONE broken rule is going to disqualify us. The level of perfection God asks for in the sermon on the mount can also be helpful...this is how the article begins. here it is Imputed Righteousness