Q. I was just reading The Revelation Story (The Bible thru the Eyes of its Writers)…about the Rapture ‘as promised to the Church at Philadelphia’. Does this suggest that only the Evangelical Church will be raptured, leaving behind the Catholic, Protestant and Liberal/New Age believers?
I often wonder about the differences in the various denominations and whether it will have an effect on who really is saved and who only thinks/believes they are. For example, I can’t understand how or why the Catholic Church believes they should pray through the virgin Mary in order to reach the Lord, when it’s made very clear that Jesus broke down all barriers when He died on the cross. Isn’t it a form of idolatry to pray to or through anyone but the Lord? I’m not saying that Catholics are bad or anything, but I do wonder whether their beliefs/acts may betray them in the end? Am I wrong? It would be nice to think I am…
A. If you read them carefully, you’ll find that in both the letters to Thyatira (Catholic Church) and Sardis (Main Line Protestants), believers are distinguished from unbelievers. Believers are promised Eternal life (rapture) and unbelievers are warned to repent before it’s too late. In the letter to Laodicea (Liberal/New Age), no such distinction is made, although the Lord is standing outside knocking, hoping that someone, anyone, will hear His voice and open the door.
Jesus did purchase free and unlimited direct access to God for all of us. Praying through Mary or one of the saints to reach Jesus is a form of idolatry, since you’re attributing power that is His alone to something else. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only intercessors identified in the New Testament. (Romans 8:26 & 34) If you pray directly to Mary or a saint, or give them credit for answered prayers, you’re committing blasphemy.