How to reach Roman Catholics with the Gospel (Part 1)


Recently I was invited to teach on this subject at a conference and I thought I would share my thoughts here on a series of posts.

Please understand (and I will deal with that as well) that sharing the Gospel with someone is never to be done with an attitude of superiority. A correct understanding of the grace of God will protect you from developing such an  attitude. Sharing the love of God expressed through Christ should never be done against someone. I have very many friends and family members that are Roman Catholic, and sincerely so. To see them understand that, through faith in Jesus, they can know for sure that their sins are forgiven and that they are going to heaven is my sincere desire. Nothing, nevertheless, will ever be accomplished through confrontation and abrasiveness. All of us (Jews, Roman Catholics, Muslim, born-again Christians) need Jesus in the same way and none of us is better than anyone else.

I was born into a Roman Catholic family. We took our religion very seriously and I grew up as a very devout religious child. I remember taking part in many processions, crying at the sight of the statue of Mary, asking her for world peace. In school we would say our prayers every day and, in the month of May, we would put up an altar to Mary, praying the rosary at the end of the school day. And yes, this was a public school. When I was in 6th grade, I announced to my parents at the dinner table, that I was thinking about becoming a priest (I will never again forget the look in my dad’s face). My plan was to go the following year to one of the other islands, to a seminary that was a boarding school and do grades 7th through 9th there, before heading to the main seminary. I remember going to our priest with this plan. I was surprised when he advised me wait three more years and think about it. If I still wanted to go, then I would go after I finished 9th grade. I am so thankful for his advice. During the time that I was supposed to be thinking about it, someone told me about Jesus, how what He did on the cross was sufficient, that our works do not buy our way into heaven, that I couldn’t save myself. It took a few months, but one day I knelt by my bed and received Jesus as my personal Savior.

I believe that one thing abut religion is that there is the danger of people using it to feel better about themselves. I remember learning a prayer for protection during the night. I remember praying that little prayer two times every night. It made me feel better. I honestly think that the reason I wanted to be a priest was because I was looking for self fulfillment. Religion is people trying to feel that they have done enough to reach God. Precisely because we can’t do anything to reach God, God reached out to us and sent us His Son.

Even though I was a selfish person, trying to feel good about myself, still God loved me. God made sure I had everything I needed to find Him (the Bible says something about no excuses). When I was 7 or 8, I found a Bible in the house and started reading it. When, years later, I met the missionary that told me about Jesus, I had already read most of the Bible. What those years of Bible reading did for me is that the Bible became the authority. If I could see it in the Bible, I would believe it. If we are in a position to share the Gospel with a Roman Catholic person, we are not there by accident, we need to be showing the love God has for that person. It is never the will of God that we present Jesus in a hateful way.

God loves our Roman Catholic friends and you could be just the one He uses to reach them and reconcile them to Himself.

[Check out Part 2 of this study by clicking here]