Apostolic Succession

Pope Benedict XVI in July of 2007 made various outlandish and unfounded statements exalting Roman Catholicism over all others sects and even saying that other Christian denominations are NOT true Churches and do not have the “means of salvation.” Apostolic succession was focused in upon and cited as the chief reason:Pope Benedict XVI

The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession – the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles…. (Associated Press, July 10, 2007, Pope: Other Christian Denominations Not True Churches)

Just as the rosary is a Catholic distinctive, apostolic succession is a Roman Catholic distinctive. It is built upon Peter’s Primacy with him being the first pope from the Roman Catholic misinterpretation of Mt. 16:18. So if the Apostle Peter was never a pope, then it is impossible for there to be any apostolic succession of a pope afterwards, which also destroys Papal infallibility. The Biblical evidence is overwhelming that Peter was not the chief apostle, nor was he given supreme authority. Just on the basis that Peter’s teaching on forgiveness and salvation were so different from Catholicism, he couldn’t correctly be joined with it. For example, Peter taught:

All the prophets testify about him [Jesus] that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)

Peter magnified faith in JESUS for forgiveness with no mention of Mother Mary, water baptism, etc. The next several verses show that Cornelius and his household instantly believed unto salvation and were filled with the Holy Spirit, before they were Christian baptized in water! Furthermore, infant baptism was excluded because infants can’t believe in Jesus. Peter stated Cornelius and his household were filled with the Holy Spirit the same way the 120 were in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 10:44 cf. Acts 11:15). So Peter taught a different plan of salvation than the popes, which brought about true forgiveness and salvation. His teaching was truth, unlike the Roman Catholic church with its empty boast of apostolic succession!

NOTE: Though the word repent is not mentioned in Acts 10:43 it is understood to be included, for we must repent or we will perish (Luke 13:3,5; 2 Pet. 3:9; etc.), and we must have repentance to have forgiveness of sins (Lk. 24:47). There is much more evidence that Peter was never any kind of pope, but the aforementioned teaching of his should suffice.

Furthermore, even though the Roman Catholic church points to apostolic succession as the basis for their church authority, there also is not even one scintilla of such evidence in the Scriptures! NONE! 2 Tim. 3:16,17 states all Christian doctrine is to come from Scripture (the Bible) to be valid. Therefore, since there is no Biblical evidence of apostolic succession, it is totally fallacious and must be discounted, added to the fact Peter was never a pope!

It has often been said that error begats error. That is certainly true here. First it is an error to believe that Peter was the first pope, then that error has led to the error of apostolic succession. Hundreds of millions of Catholics remain deceived and without true forgiveness because of such. (Will you help us reach them?)

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