Over the past several years I have come to know quite a few of the residents at the nursing home where my father resides. I have also been blessed by having the opportunity to share the Gospel with many of them. I have known one particular woman since 2001. She has come to our church services and is always happy to see us. Recently her health has been failing and, as a result, has been in and out of the hospital. Years ago I gave her a Bible and in addition to hearing the Word preached at the church services over the years, I have also witnessed to her privately. She tells me she loves to hear what I say. There have been times when she has heard me witness to others and told me later that she loved listening. She likes to hear my husband preach also. What more can I say? I really thought she was coming along. Can you imagine my disappointment when I recently saw her wearing the brown scapular around her neck? It was the brown scapular that I am very familiar with.
The Brown Scapular
Mary’s promise to those who wear the scapular …
whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire
it shall be a sign of salvation,
a protection in danger
and a pledge of peace
The Brown Scapular of O.L. of Mount Carmel
I said to my nursing home friend “you know that I talk to you like I would talk to my own mother, and you know how much I loved my mother.” She gave me a big smile and said “yes I know.” Then I asked her about the scapular she was wearing. She said “if I am wearing this scapular when I die I will go to heaven.” She told me her daughter had given it to her. I told her that although her daughter meant well, and although the promise associated with scapular was something that we had grown up believing, it was a false hope to put our trust in Mary and scapulars. I reminded her that Jesus was our only hope, encouraged her to seek the Lord and His truth, and then I prayed for her.
As born again Christians, when we are with Roman Catholics, we must always look beneath the surface even when a Catholic professes love for Jesus. If we do that, then we will know their true spiritual condition, and know how to witness, and how to pray for these souls. A long time ago I overheard a Christian say “God would not send my grandmother to hell just because she prayed to Mary.” The real issue is that if someone knows the Lord they would not be praying to Mary. They would be repulsed at the very thought. The said truth is (though many a Christian may dispute it) “Mary” is the mediator for most Roman Catholics.
See … SALVATION