As the six thousand years of sin, conflict, and woe in this old world are about to be forever ended by the second coming of Jesus Christ, the prophet John declares a voice from heaven will call out in divine tones to the millions of this earth who are a part of the great Roman Catholic system, "Come out of her, My people." 1
Upon this Scriptural statement we would make two observations: First, God recognizes the fact that within the fold of the Roman Church are many true-hearted souls who eventually will be a part of the multitudes redeemed from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. He calls them "My people." Second, before the culmination of earthly history large numbers of the sincere Christians now following the Pontiff of Rome will make a mighty exodus from Roman Catholicism, and a repetition of the miracle of Pentecost will be experienced.
What are the factors that, some nearing day, will cause this exodus from the Roman Church?
WHY CATHOLICS WILL "COME OUT"
Many thousands of Catholics will come to realize that the spirit of the Papacy is not in conformity with the spirit of Jesus Christ. The Master said, "If any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not." 2 Into the life of Jesus upon earth there never entered the spirit of intolerance and compulsion that is characteristic of the Papacy. He invited all to follow Him, to take His yoke, to become His disciples; but when He was refused and repulsed, He turned away, not with anathemas upon those who dissented from Him, but with tears in His eyes and a heart filled with compassion for those who rejected Him. As the days go by, the intolerant spirit of the Roman Church will stand out in clearer and more unfavorable contrast to the gospel of Christ, which is based upon freedom of choice and noncompulsion in the things of religion. Many now within the Roman fold will sense this disparity, and will choose to follow Christ rather than a pope who places under interdict and damnation those who will not follow him. The tenderness, the winsomeness, and the love of the Master will win where papal intolerance and force will lose out.
Furthermore, multitudes will soon come to an appreciation of the beautiful simplicity of the religion of Jesus Christ in contrast to the pomp of Catholicism. Christ asked for no episcopal throne canopied with crimson velvet and royal purple. Sitting among the lowly on the mountain side, He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven;" "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." 3 He aborted every tendency of His followers to raise Him to lordship or kingly position, declaring, "I am among you as he that serveth." 4 He charged His disciples, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; ... but ye shall not be so." 5 This humble and unassuming attitude on the part of Christ will be seen to be the antithesis of that of the Pope, the cardinals, and all those who rule the Papacy.
FORMALISM CAN NOT SATISFY
Roman Catholicism is an endless round of forms and ceremonies, of the doing of penances and the gaining of indulgences; of the worship of the saints and relics; of the repetitive saying of prayers and the thumbing of beads and rosaries; of the observance of scores of holy days and festivals. In the trying times to come, these will not bring soul satisfaction to many, and they will seek the simple worship of God and the living heart service of the Master who died for them. It is ever the temptation of religious systems to drift into formalism, but formalism can not long satisfy the desire of the human heart for simple and direct access to God. Jesus said, "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." 6 And these will heed the call, "Come out of her, My people." Again, the time is approaching when many of those now Catholics will no longer acknowledge "the primacy of Peter" and "the vicegerency of the Pope." The claim that Christ ordained Peter and his successors to rule the church will be seen to be fallacious, and the claim that the Pope takes the place of God Almighty on earth will be seen to be baseless. The eternal verity of Paul's declaration, "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ," 7 will be acknowledged. It will be seen that the church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone," 8 rather than upon the erring and human Peter, who, instead of presumptuously claiming the chief position in the church, as those who say they are his successors have claimed, declared that there is laid "in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded." 9 Truehearted Christians within the Roman Church will some day sense the fact that the Pope and the hierarchy are but human beings prone to error and sin like the rest of us, and they will feel the need of a divine sovereign, a divine head to the church, even Jesus Christ Himself, "the author and finisher of our faith." In that day they will also see the insufficiency and the inefficacy of a mediatory system of priests, saints, and the virgin Mary, and they will cry out after the "one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."10 They will lay hold upon Jesus, not through a penumbra of human and priestly interposition, but as "a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man." 11
THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE SCRIPTURES
Furthermore, they will come to appreciate the fact that the Bible is the supreme authority for the Christian in all matters pertaining to doctrine, faith, and practice. It will be realized that the Scriptures contain a revelation of God's will sufficient for human needs without "tradition" being added thereto and, in many cases, superseding the Bible. It will be remembered that Christ rejected all the tradition and human interpretation of His day, and appealed directly and solely to the Scriptures as the norm in religion. All who take His name will do likewise. The Bible will stand forth in all its glory as the supreme guide for the Christian, and when those who are now Catholics, aided by the Spirit of God, delve into its pages unspoiled by the interpolations of the Church, the errors to which they now unwittingly subscribe will no longer hold them, and they will step out into the fullness of primitive and unadulterated Christianity. They will see that the Bible is naught but a revelation of a Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of men, who alone can grant forgiveness to the sinner and peace and assurance to troubled hearts.
The world to-day is in the closing hours of a great controversy between Christ and Satan, between truth and error, which has raged in the universe for millenniums. In this conflict there is no neutral zone and no noncombatants. Every man, woman, and child must soon make a decision whether he will follow the God of hosts to eternal life and everlasting salvation or human devisings and traditions to certain destruction. The dilemma presented is the commandments and will of God on the one side, and, on the other, the commandments and doctrines of men.
WE MUST HASTEN
In such a crisis, we must not long delay our decision. We must hasten the preparation of our souls for the manifestation of the Son of God in the clouds of heaven. We must make sure the perfection of a Christlike character that will meet every test of the judgment day. We must make certain that we are on the side of truth, for only truth shall abide in the day when God shall cleanse the world by fire prior to creating new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness shall dwell.
To-day is none too early, dear reader, be you Catholic or Protestant, to take an inventory of your relation to Jesus Christ and to conform in every particular to truth as revealed to men in His word, for the day is near when "every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 12
1) Revelation 18:4.
2) John 12:47.
3) Matthew 5:3, 5.
4) Luke 22:27.
5) Luke 22:25, 26.
6) John 4:23.
7) 1 Corinthians 3:11.
8) Ephesians 2:20.
9) 1 Peter 2:6.
10) 1 Timothy 2:5.
11) Hebrews 8:1, 2 A.R.V.
12) 1 Corinthians 3:13.
Source: The Pope King Again - Is the "deadly wound" healing?, by Alonzo L. Baker, Copyright 1929 by Pacific Press Publishing Association, Chapter XII, pages 123-127.