Teresa of Calcutta may have followed another Jesus…..we must not exalt human beings like Teresa of Calcutta, and give to her a free pass to heaven because of a work done amongst the poor. She was a sinner who needed true shepherds to guide her to Jesus Christ as the sole and sufficient Saviour of the lost. I am told that John MacArthur had opportunity to present the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to Teresa of Calcutta, and she rejected it. To accept Christ she would have had to renounce the whole Roman Catholic deception and the pride of her own spiritual works, and this she was unwilling to do.
For us the lessons are at least two: One: we need to ask ourselves whether we who know Christ as Lord and Saviour are as dedicated to his cause, and as sacrificial, as a Teresa of Calcutta who knew not the truth of God in Christ. And two: does not her sad ‘angst’ of soul cause us to see that we still have a work to do in witnessing to our Catholic neighbours? For clearly their bondage is great, and they need the light of Scripture to know God’s forgiveness and to have the assurance that their souls are safe in Christ.
Pastor Joe Guglielmo
Sermon Note 1098 : The Death Of ………..
Back in August of 1988, pastor and teacher John MacArthur visited Teresa of Calcutta, and had a chance to ask her some questions. He reported the following: “We asked her questions that might reveal her spiritual state. Her answers were troubling: ‘I love and respect all religions’ – an unthinkable remark in light of the hellishness of India’s dominant religions. ‘All people die beautiful deaths,’ she told me. I am convinced Teresa of Calcutta is providing false comfort to the dying.”
Now I don’t know her heart, nor am I her judge, only God knows her heart and only He will judge her. All I can do is look at her actions and her words, and they are contrary to what the Lord has said. Yes we should do good, and Teresa of Calcutta did far more than most people would ever do. But good works do not save us, in fact they are counted as nothing outside of Christ. For if we are not in Christ, then we are still dead in our trespasses and sins. But just because good works don’t save us, doesn’t mean they should not flow from our lives. Good works naturally flow from someone in love with Jesus. But God again wants more than just good works, He wants obedience. In I Samuel 15 we see Samuel come against king Saul for disobeying the Words, the commands of God. He said “Then Samuel said: ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.’ Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.'” I Samuel 15:22-24
Being poor does not get you into heaven just as by being rich you can’t buy your way into heaven, nor does good works get you into heaven. Paul, in Ephesians chapter 2, makes this point very clear when he says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Not of WORKS! But through faith in CHRIST!
Teresa of Calcutta believed a salvation by works, and pain and suffering which will help one achieve salvation. Listen to this example and I think you will see what I mean.
“[G]iven use of a three-story convent with many large rooms…the sisters …removed the benches…pulled up all the carpeting in the rooms and hallways. They pushed thick mattresses out the windows and removed all the sofas, chairs and curtains…People from the neighborhood stood on the sidewalk and watched in amazement.”
“The beautifully constructed house was made to conform to a way of life intended to help the sisters become holy. Large sitting rooms were turned into dormitories where beds were crowded together…The heat remained off all winter in this exceedingly damp house. Several sisters got TB during the time I lived there.”
Now don’t think that it was a lack of money that they lived this way. “Bear in mind that Teresa of Calcutta’s global income is more than enough to outfit several first-class clinics in Bengal. The decision not to do so, and indeed to run instead a haphazard and cranky institution…is a deliberate one. The point is not the honest relief of suffering but the promulgation of a cult based on death and suffering and subjection.”
The problem with that kind of theology is it is wrong. Living like that doesn’t make you any holier than living in riches. By living a life of self poverty and suffering does not open the gates of heaven for you. Peter tells us in I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” Who opened the door and restored fellowship with God? Jesus Christ, and thus, it is only through Him that we can enter into eternal life.
“Teresa of Calcutta…..described a person who was in the last agonies of cancer and suffering unbearable pain. With a smile, Teresa of Calcutta told the camera what she told the terminal patient: ‘You are suffering like Christ on the cross. So Jesus must be kissing you.‘”
Now Teresa of Calcutta spoke a lot about Jesus. In 1989 she said “There are so many religions, and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ: Jesus is my God/Jesus is my Spouse/Jesus is my Life/Jesus is my only Love/Jesus is my All in All/Jesus is my Everything. Because of this I am never afraid.”
Now in reading that she sounds like she is saved, but as much as her desire to follow Jesus goes, she sees many ways to follow God through the many religions that are out there. And yet Jesus Himself said in John 14:6 “…’I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.‘” You see, there is no other way, Jesus is the only truth and in Him is the only life. Outside of Christ is nothing but lies that lead down a path to hell.
Again, listen to her confusing statements, this time from 1979. She said “Prayer is needed for children. Whatever religion we are, we must pray together. Children need to learn to pray, and they need to have their parents pray with them. If we don’t do this, it will be difficult to become holy, to carry on, to strengthen ourselves in faith.”
It does matter who we pray to, and our prayers should be directed to our heavenly Father. Jesus, in Matthew 6:9-15 said this in regards to the way we should pray. He said “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Time Magazine asked Teresa of Calcutta a number of questions back in November of 1989. Listen to what she had to say in regards to these questions and I think you will see where she is coming from.
Q. Here in Calcutta, have you created a real change?
A. [We’ve] created a worldwide awareness of the poor.
Q. Beyond showing the poor to the world, have you conveyed any message about how to work with the poor?
A. You must make them feel loved and wanted. They are Jesus for me…in disguise.
Q. What do you think of Hinduism?
A. I love all religions…
We are not to love all religions, we are to love Christ and we are to love the sinner, but not what they believe in. We don’t encourage people to believe lies that lead them to Hell! In Isaiah chapter 44, listen to what God has to say regarding our embracing of all religions, all gods. Starting in verse 6 we read “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them. Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’ Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mold an image That profits him nothing?” Isaiah 44:6-10.
Let me ask you this, according to Teresa of Calcutta’s theology, “How poor must one be in order to become ‘Jesus in disguise?'” Or “How much money or possessions must one acquire to cease being Jesus?” She is hiding a false gospel under emotional slogans that only confuse people and leads them astray. Yes it is wrong to preach about a future life in heaven while neglecting to help those who suffer in this present life. Yet, it is even more devastating and destructive to not prepare souls for heaven while caring for their physical needs. If you do this, you will end up giving them a false message of hope that only leads to eternal death and separation from God.
The common person lives right in the middle, they are not rich or poor, and they see themselves as basically good people. They may see those in the upper class as corrupt and the poor as suffering for something they did wrong or being lazy and not striving to make it in this life. Thus, they see themselves as better than most.
So for the common person, who die every day, they feel their entry into heaven is based upon the fact that they are basically good people when compared with others. The only problem with that is God says just the opposite. In Romans chapter 3 we read “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.‘” Romans 3:10-18.
You see, if you are living outside of God’s path for your life, if you love evil and hate good, you are on your way to destruction. But if you have given your life to Christ, then your goodness, your righteousness has been given to you by Christ, in fact it is His righteousness that has been imputed to you. Thus, Paul says in Romans 6:23, 8:1 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord…There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Folks, the bottom line is this, it doesn’t matter if you are the wealthiest man or woman in the world, or the poorest. It does not matter how much good you do or how good you think you are. God is not a respecter of persons. We are ALL sinners separated from God outside of Christ. But as we come to Christ our sins are forgiven, and we are adopted into the family of God.
In Psalm 49:11-12 we read “Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish.” With the death of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, their names will live on in buildings, streets, organizations and-so-on that have been named after them. But what are we to leave behind as Christians? Is it our name? Is it our good works? Is it the things we have accumulated in this life? Of course that is not what we are to leave behind. We are to leave behind something that is more valuable than money and that will last forever. We are to leave behind our witness of Christ. Paul put it this way in Philippians 1:19-20. He said “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
I love the way that Patrick Henry put it in regards to what we leave behind as Christians. He very simply said “I have now disposed all of my property to my family. There is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that is the Christian religion. If they had that, and I had not given them one shilling, they would have been rich, and if they had not that, and I had given them all the world, they would be poor.”
As I bring this study to a close this morning, let me leave you with this story called APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH, which was a sermon illustration used by Peter Marshall and Retold by Alice Gray:
“There is an old legend about a rich merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to the market. While he was at the marketplace, he was jostled by someone in the crowd. When he turned around he saw a woman in a long black cloak and knew it was Death. The servant ran home to his master and in a trembling voice told him about the encounter and how Death had looked at him and made a threatening gesture.”
“The servant begged his master to loan him a horse so he could ride to Samarra and hide so Death would not find him. The master agreed and the servant galloped away.”
“Later the merchant went down to the marketplace and saw Death standing nearby. The merchant asked, ‘Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant and frighten him?’ ‘That was not a threatening gesture’ Death replied. ‘It was just that I was startled to see him in Baghdad because I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra!'”
None of us know when our time is up, when death will come upon our lives. Thus, are we ready to encounter death, or are we just fooling ourselves thinking it won’t happen to us, at least not yet. For Princess Diana, she was only 36, for Mother Teresa she was 87, and for the thousands and thousands of others, they were younger and older. And as they come before God there is only one question that they will be asked, there will not be time to make excuses, for the question is simple, “Who is Jesus to you?” And you see, you won’t even have to answer that question because in your life, you already answered it. If you have rejected Jesus Christ in your life, then He will give you the desire of your heart, eternity separated from Him, living in the outer darkness. If He is your Lord and Savior, you will enter into eternity with Him.
The day of reckoning will come for us all, a day of judgment. And if you don’t deal with the issues of eternal life here and now, then you will have eternity to think about what a fool you are! As Jesus said in John 5:22-24 “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” Don’t put off till tomorrow what God wants you to deal with today, it could be the biggest mistake of your life!
If you want to know more on why the Roman Catholic religion is not Biblical, listen, read or download this whole series done by John MacArthur.
Explaining the Heresy of Catholicism – John MacArthur , Pastor , Teacher.
Praying to Mary, celebrating the Mass, venerating the Pope—you won’t find those doctrines in the Bible. And yet more than one billion Roman Catholics throughout the world follow such practices in line with the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.
With that many Catholics around the globe, it’s likely you know some of them as relatives, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Find out what they don’t know—the origin and error of Catholic doctrine—so you can help the Catholics you know out of the darkness and into the light.