One of my friends recently told me how excite he was to have visited Rumania. "Rumania?" I asked! "Why
on earth did you go to Rumania?" He explained that it was a pilgrimage to a place in Rumania where visions of the "Holy Mother" (Mary) and a certain saint were reported. He spoke with
great fervor about qualifications for sainthood, while I wondered how a rational person as he could believe this although God himself taught differently in the Holy Bible. He also spoke about
his patron saint very eagerly. I rejoiced at my friend's zeal for his patron saint, but my heart sank just as much because he was missing out on knowing God
Himself. We exchanged some ideas from the Bible for a while, and I prayed that Almighty God would arouse his hunger for His Word. This reminded me
of myself: how devout I was as a Hindu, and how sincerely I was worshipping God, but then God showed me that He was not the Hindu gods. Indeed,
sincerity does not make one's belief correct; I was sincerely and tragically wrong. This happens everyday as people are misled into sincerely believing a lie. Wonderfully, God gave us His Word so that Satan cannot deceive us if we read and accept His Truth, the Holy Bible! As you, Dear Reader, read this tract, please know that God's Word does not offend but it corrects our
path so that it leads us to God and away from fancy human ideas and ceremonies which are far from the truth.
So how does God define the word "Saint"?
Throughout the Bible, this word refers to someone who is set apart (holy or consecrated) by God for His work. In the Old Testament, Aaron was called a saint because he was set
apart to mediate between God and the congregation (Psalms 106:16), while others were called saints because of their dedication to other callings. A saint
has certain characteristics: they are pure, God-centered, compassionate, a servant to others, pointing always to God, and not materialistic. God's angels
are also called saints. The New Testament defines it the same way, but with one difference: all God's people are called saints
, and for many reasons: (1) we are all given the same calling like Aaron's, to lead the lost to God (Matthew 28:19-20); (2)
we are all appointed by God to be priests (1 Peter 2:5) who offer themselves as spiritual sacrifices; (3) 1 Peter 2:9 says we are a "royal priesthood, a peculiar people" who are set apart for God's service; (4)
we are all called to present our "bodies a living sacrifice", away from materialistic living. This is the full Biblical definition.
Note also that saints were called such while they were yet alive because they
were functioning as saints. Certain religious sects award sainthood to persons after death, based upon their own criteria. But when one is brought into God's
family through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God himself immediately recognizes one as a saint who is set apart for His kingdom!. What a great but
undeserved honor God confers upon us! Then He empowers us to do the "saintly" things He desires of us. In Matthew 28:18-20, the Lord Jesus says:
"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore ... and lo, I am with you always, unto the end of the world." Only God knows the heart
of man, and only He can truly confer sainthood.
Trusting God or Saints?
My friend said that his patron saint had been good to him ever since he began
to call upon her. (He forgot that he had lost two important elections, though). He was surprised by
what God said about his fortune: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father ..."
(James 1:25). His good fortune did not mean that he was a child of God, because
God "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). Even the vilest criminal enjoys
certain good things because God's people preserve the earth. Then my friend said: "Well, I ask my patron saint just as I ask Mother Mary for favors,
because they have special privileges with God, and they ask God on my behalf". That sounded reasonable, but it is not so to God! In fact, God said
that we are doing ourselves a disservice by doing this. He said that his children must go directly to Him because there is no other way to Him. Jesus said: "I am the way, the Truth, and
the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). My friend was also surprised that Mary had no special privileges; she was
favored by God for one purpose, that is, to present God incarnate upon earth. Beyond that favor, she was just another human being who needed
salvation from her sins. The Bible says God is not a respecter of persons. This partly explains why the Lord Jesus addressed her simply as "woman" (John
2:4; 19:26). When Christ Jesus was told that his mother was searching for him, he answered:
"Who is my mother? ... whosoever shall do the will of my Father ..., the same is my ... mother" (Matthew 12:47-50).
This may be a great surprise to you, and it may trouble your spirit because you have been taught differently. You were also taught to obey your religious leader. However, God is the ultimate teacher, and He is the only authority to submit to. We must count it a blessing that God shared His wisdom with us
through His Word, the Bible. But a danger in not reading His Word for ourselves is that
we can be misled into thinking that we must follow both God and religious leaders . God says "No man can serve two masters" (Matthew
6:24). By adding man-made teachings to our lives in addition to parts of the Bible we are saying that God's Word is inadequate. The Bible warns against this sin in Revelation 22:18-19, saying "If any man shall add unto these things (written in Bible), God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this
book (the Bible); and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life ..." In other words, God wants us to obey his entire Word, nothing more or nothing less!
Fear God and Live Forevermore
Dear reader, if you truly seek to please God, the first step is to accept His Word as the whole Truth. Thank Him for the opportunity He has given you to
see the truth. Ask Him to teach you as you read the Bible only for the answers to life's questions. You will find that you, like every human being,
inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve, and you are separated from God. Being sinful by nature, no man can cleanse himself or anyone else from
sin. So the only way of restoring fellowship with God is through an perfect Mediator. Only God fits that description; so He came as a man and paid the
price for your freedom. Ask Him, the Lord Jesus, to forgive your sins, because only He can forgive sins. Remember John 14:6 above?
"No man cometh unto the Father but by me". Only the Lord Jesus is the propitiation for
sins: 1 John 2:1-2 states "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins ..." He
is waiting for you to ask Him to cleanse you and make you His very own child and saint, and assure you of a home in heaven. Please do this today by calling
upon Him now, because "now is the accepted time" (2 Corinthians 6:2). You do not know what will happen in the next minute of your life, and it is too late
to decide after physical death! After death comes the judgment of God. Seek Him in prayer, even simply as: "Almighty God and Heavenly Father, have
mercy upon me, a sinner. Wash me clean in the blood of the Lord Jesus who died for me, and make me your child. Give me grace to live for you, and
prepare for me a home with you in heaven. Teach me your Truth as I read the Bible. I ask you this in Jesus' Name." God promised that whosoever calls
upon His Name shall be saved! If you prayed like this, God has heard and honored your prayer. Faithfully read His Word, and seek to worship with
those who are saved by God's grace also. Look eagerly for His return for His children, His saints! This is the blessed hope that only true Christians can have. Christ Jesus is coming soon; you need to be ready
If you have questions, we shall be pleased to give you more literature. God will bless you with His peace as you live for Him.