ABC’s of Effective Witnessing to Catholics


Staff member
ABC’s of Effective Witnessing to Catholics
By Mike Gendron

Many of the 70 million Catholics in America were born into their religion and have never examined their faith through the lens of Scripture. From infancy they are taught that salvation comes through their church as they merit saving grace through the sacraments and perform religious rituals and good works to be justified and re-justified.

Roman Catholicism is often called the plus religion because of what it has added to the Gospel of grace. Catholic salvation is based on Jesus plus Mary, faith plus works, grace plus merit, Scripture plus tradition and the blood of Jesus plus purgatory.

Catholics do not know that any addition to the Gospel is a denial of the sufficiency of Christ (Heb. 7:25). Any addition to the Gospel also nullifies the saving grace of God, which is the only means by which God saves sinners (Romans 11:6). Catholics, who are victims of this deception, need to be evangelized with the true Gospel of grace.

As we witness to Catholics we must persevere with patience to untangle the sticky web of religious indoctrination that holds them captive (Col. 2:8). We must follow the instructions of Paul and “not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, and correcting opponents with gentleness.”

We must pray for God to “grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, who holds them captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

The two most important biblical principles to remember as you witness are to: 1) establish Scripture as the supreme authority for truth (2 Tim. 3:15-17) and 2) proclaim the Lord Jesus as the all-sufficient Savior (Heb. 7:25; Acts 4:12).

Following are some other important biblical principles as you witness to Catholics:

Proclaim Jesus and His Word as the most trustworthy source for truth (John 14:6; 17:17; 18:37).

Discuss how sin has condemned every man under God’s righteous judgment (Rom. 3:10-18; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:14).

Show that the Scriptures are sufficient for knowing and understanding how to be saved (2 Tim. 3:15).

Define the Gospel and its divine power to save (Romans 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:1-10).

Warn of the fatal consequences for anyone who teaches or believes a different gospel (Gal. 1:6- 9).

Show that no man or pope is infallible. Peter (who Catholics believe was their first pope) admitted he was wrong (Gal. 2:11-14).

Warn of the danger of following non-apostolic traditions (Mark 7:7-8, 13; Col. 2:8).

Explain the need to repent from what they have been doing to save themselves including the sacraments, the sacrifice of the mass, purgatory, indulgences, other mediators, good works and infant baptism. These nullify God’s grace and deny the finished and all-sufficient work of Christ.

Stay focused on the Gospel, avoid going off on tangents that are unrelated to salvation (1 Cor. 2:2).

Sow the imperishable seed of God’s Word with Gospel tracts (1 Pet 1:23).

Pray for their salvation (Rom. 10:1-4).

Remember that every sinner must repent and believe the Gospel to be saved (Mark 1:15). The only way to heaven is through Christ, and the only way to come to Christ is God’s way – with repentance and empty hands of faith.