What does it mean to be a saint? The Catholics want to pronounce Mother Teresa to be a saint, but is that the reality of what the term saint means? No, rather every true Christian is a saint, which is a person called out of the masses of depraved humanity in order to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. As Paul said in Ephesians 1:1, “to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
Brethren, anybody has any idea what the Catholic church is doing on September 4th of this year? According to the Catholic News Service, Pope Francis will declare Blessed Theresa – that’s Mother Theresa of Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, a saint at the Vatican on September 4th. What do you think of that?
I’ll tell you this, John MacArthur, I came across a message of his way back, back in the seventies or early eighties, MacArthur took his whole family to Calcutta. They visited Mother Theresa. MacArthur said it was dark. Full of idols and darkness. And if anybody has read Mother Theresa’s own memoirs, her own autobiographical descriptions of herself, she says if she’s ever sainted, she will be the saint of darkness. She had no sense of God’s presence in her life. The Catholic church is going to canonize this woman on September 4th. I read a very pathetic email online this week. A 15-year-old Catholic student asking, “how can I become a living saint?”
Do you know what the Catholic church says? One, become a Catholic. Because everybody they make a saint, was a Roman Catholic in these days. Two, live an exemplary, virtuous, selfless, memorable, pious life. Being a priest or a nun is a good place to start. Perform at least two verifiable miracles. Technically, you can do them after you die. But if you do them after you die, people might not connect them to you. Then, you have to die, because canonization can’t begin for at least five years after you die. Get a group of people to show devotion to you and pray to you because of your perceived holiness. Have your local bishop initiate your cause with the Vatican. Get investigated by the church. Be recognized by the Pope as venerable, which means you’re heroic in virtue. Have your first miracle verified and get beatified by the Pope, then they can call you “Blessed.” That’s why they call her “Blessed Theresa.” Because she’s already had that done. Get your second miracle verified and then you get canonized. And then you have your own feast day, churches can be named after you, and people can venerate you. In fact, they are supposed to venerate you, and they can pray to you. And I’ll tell you this, we need to reject the abominable practices. And one of the problems is that many of us, you know, we live in San Antonio. Heavily Catholic. Maybe you’re not exposed so much to it. But I know some of you have Catholic families, you come out of Catholic backgrounds. This abominable idea of what a saint is… And I was exposed to it, I know that. I can remember my mother went to St. Augustine High School. And my grandfather had a little statue of St. Andrew that was glued to his dashboard. What is he? Is he like the saint of transportation or something? Maybe he is. I don’t know. Why would you have that there? We’ve got to get rid of that idea. And I think perhaps that’s one of the things that causes us hestitation. Brethren, I think the more we use the term, because terms really encapsulate reality. Call one another “saints.” And be saints.
I mean, live your life like people that are set aside for God, who are what? Who are called out of the rest of the masses of depraved humanity for the sake of proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called you out of the darkness into His glorious light. Proclaim His excellencies. Remember who you are, if you’re saints. Saints. Saints. Brethren, to the saints who are in Ephesus. To the saints… Who’s he talking to? To the people with the halos over their heads? Listen, brethren. When you go through Ephesians, he starts out by saying, “to the saints,” and as you go through, remember this? He says, “let the thieves no longer steal.” Who is he talking to? Who are the saints? People who used to be thieves, but have been taken out. They used to be Gentiles, but they’ve been taken out. They used to be alienated from God, but they’ve been taken out. They used to be far off, but they’ve been brought near by the blood of Christ. Who are they? Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands. Husbands, love your wives as Christ… They’re husbands and wives. Children, you’re to honor your parents. He’s speaking to children. He says, slaves… slaves need to submit to their masters. Masters… Who are the saints? Do you know what? They’re the common former thieves, husbands, and wives, and children, and slaves, and slave owners… They’re the people that made up the church. Many of which were slaves. You know what? They’re not people that the Roman Catholic Church has to recognize. God recognizes them. He knows them by name. All those slaves that Paul was talking to there. Slaves. God knows every one by name. And they are with Him. And they are beholding Christ face to face. And the Roman Catholic Church with all their abominations, need not remember any of them. They’re saints. They’re God’s. They’re different. That’s God’s mark: sainthood.