The Path to Sainthood
The Roman Catholic Church has begun the process of ordaining the late John Paul II to sainthood. On May 1, John Paul will be beatified according to a panel of cardinals, bishops, doctors and theologians who have determined a miracle was performed upon a French nun. Sainthood would be granted only after a second miracle is established. Following the beatification John Paul can be publicly venerated and after becoming a saint can be directly prayed to. All of this is couched within the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. Sadly none of it comes from the Bible.
The evidence of miracles abounds in scripture yet is contained to only four distinct periods of time (Moses, the Prophets, Babylonian exile and the apostolic period including the ministry of Christ). Many believe that Biblical miracles are still being done today yet the Bible declares their end in 1 Corinthians 12 & 13.
Biblical miracles were indisputable. There was never any doubt about the miracle and never did those who witness the miracle challenge the miracle. They would challenge the person or the teaching but never the miracle. The council in Acts 4 could not deny the healing of the lame man (lame since birth): “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it” (Acts 4:16). There was no council of theologians that needed to study the event – it was proof by itself. The man who had a withered hand in Matthew 12:9-29 clearly shows the power of immediate healing. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (which no one has tried to do today) in John 11 no one doubted the miracle; only the man Jesus.
Miracles never made a person a saint. Not one example, inference, suggestion or hint of scripture led to the process of a person becoming a saint through the act of miracles. The purpose of miracles was to confirm the word. “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20). Miracles served as the authentication of what was being preached but the importance was not the miracle but the word (1 Corinthians 14:1-5).
The Roman Catholic Church has failed to understand what the Bible teaches about a saint. In Matthew 27:52 the bodies of the “saints” were raised from the dead after the resurrection of Jesus. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the “saints” in Jerusalem (Acts 9:13) and many of the “saints” Saul put into prison (Acts 26:10). A saint is beloved of God (Romans 1:7); the sanctified (1 Corinthians 1:2); and the faithful (Ephesians 1:1).
Anyone who is a Christian is a saint. “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ.” (Colossians 1:2) “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” (Philippians 1:1; see also 4:22) There are no special inquiries needed or miracle performed to become a saint. How does one become a saint? “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
No one has the right to change the word of God. I do not have that right; you do not have that right; and the Roman Catholic Church does not have that right (1 Peter 4:11). Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. Does it matter what I believe? Consider Matthew 7:21-23; John 12:47-48; Revelation 22:18-19.
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