The most crucial problem with the Roman Catholic Church is its belief that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The Bible clearly and consistently states that receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, grants salvation (John 1:12; 3:16,18,36; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10,13; Ephesians 2:8-9). The Roman Catholic Church rejects this. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that a person must believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND not die with any mortal sins AND etc., etc., etc. Catholic divergence from the Bible on this most crucial of issues, salvation, means that yes, Catholicism is a false religion. If a person believes what the Catholic Church officially teaches, he/she will not be saved. Any claim that works or rituals must be added to faith in order for salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus’ death was not sufficient to fully purchase our salvation. While salvation by faith is the most crucial issue, in comparing Roman Catholicism with the Word of God, there are many other differences and contradictions as well. The Roman Catholic Church teaches many doctrines that are in disagreement with what the Bible declares. These include apostolic succession, worship of saints or Mary, prayer to saints or Mary, the pope / papacy, infant baptism, transubstantiation, plenary indulgences, the sacramental system, and purgatory. While Catholics claim Scriptural support for these concepts, none of these teachings have any solid foundation in the clear teaching of Scripture. These concepts are based on Catholic tradition, not the Word of God. In fact, they all clearly contradict Biblical principles. In regards to the question “Are Catholics saved?”, this is a more difficult question to answer. It is impossible to give a universal statement on the salvation of all members of any denomination of Christianity. Not ALL Baptists are saved. Not ALL Presbyterians are saved. Not ALL Lutherans are saved. Salvation is determined by personal faith in Jesus alone for salvation, not by titles or denominational identification. Despite the unbiblical beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, there are genuine believers who attend Roman Catholic churches. There are many Roman Catholics who have genuinely placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. However, these Catholic Christians are believers despite what the Catholic Church teaches, not because of what it teaches. To varying degrees, the Catholic Church teaches from the Bible and points people to Jesus Christ as the Savior. As a result, people are sometimes saved in Catholic churches. The Bible has an impact whenever it is proclaimed (Isaiah 55:11). Catholic Christians remain in the Catholic Church out of ignorance of what the Catholic Church truly stands for, out of family tradition and peer pressure, or out of a desire to reach other Catholics for Christ. At the same time, the Catholic Church also leads many people away from a genuine faith relationship with Christ. The unbiblical beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church have often given the enemies of Christ opportunity to blaspheme. The Roman Catholic Church is not the church that Jesus Christ established. It is not a church that is based on the teachings of the Apostles (as described in the Book of Acts and the New Testament epistles). While Jesus’ words in Mark 7:9 were directed towards the Pharisees, they accurately describe the Roman Catholic Church, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” ...more reading and understanding The Catechism pronounces that, as the one true church, those who are baptized into the Catholic church are assured of heaven: "The Church does not know of any other means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude..." Pg. 320, #1257 In the United States, that means 25 percent of the population, or over 60 million people, are headed for heaven. In many other countries, ninety percent or more of the population is Catholic, meaning nine out of every ten people will pass through the pearly gates. Worldwide, Catholicism claims nearly one billion members. You may not believe that nearly a billion people could be wrong, but look what Jesus said: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14 According to Jesus, the masses willingly accept false religious systems that lead to destruction, while few find true salvation that leads to heaven. Could 60 million Americans be considered "few?" Would anyone say that one billion people world-wide is a "few?" When Jesus walked the earth, a small minority followed Him. Most rejected his teachings and remained in the well established, socially accepted religions. In other words, they rejected the truth so they could keep their religious traditions. Jesus spoke the following words to those who did this: "...Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:9 While Jesus was preaching, one listener who began to comprehend this truth asked Jesus: "Lord, are there few that be saved? And he (Jesus) said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." Luke 13:23-24 When Jesus taught his disciples to go out and preach the gospel, he said: "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;" Matthew 9:37 In other words, most people are lost and need a Savior, but few have the truth to go and tell them. Conclusion Throughout this book, every Catholic doctrine has violated God's Word. Yet millions of Catholics ignore God's instructions and continue following the traditions of men, claiming to be right because they are in a religious majority. Jesus warns: "...whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man... And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man..." Matthew 7:24, 26 Does God consider you a wise or foolish person? If you believe you can ignore God's commands because you are in a religious majority, you need to read Matthew 7:24-26 again. Jesus gives another warning to the majority who have disregarded God's Word and are counting on earning their salvation through good works: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-23 How is it that so many Catholics can call Jesus their Lord, yet totally disregard His instructions? Jesus asked that very same question in His Word: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46 You can ignore this question now, but what will you say when Jesus asks you the same question in person when you die and stand before Him for judgment?