Matthew 23:13, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”
The Good News is so simple and available to those of us who place our faith in Jesus, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” Jesus seeks a personal relationship, not ritual.
The Roman Catholic Church “shuts up the kingdom of heaven against men” unless rituals such as confession are observed. In indulgences are sold, masses are set for the dead and holding the correct the correct icon…:
“Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular Shall not suffer eternal fire!
Our Lady of Mount Carmel to Simon Stock
July 16, 1251”
By encouraging their congregants into these rituals that have nothing to do with Jesus leads one into Matthew 23:15, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
And then we have the prosperity, name it and claim it tele-evangelists. Matthew 23:14, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”
These tele-evangelists use a hard-sell prosperity message if only you will support their ministries. Jesus traveled the earth for 3 1/2 years in sandals and homespun and made the comment, Matthew 8:20, “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Now we have a prosperity form of Christianity spread by televangelists who live in multi-million-dollar mansions and insist on having their private jets.
They promote false teachings, Matthew 23:16, “Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!”
There are several more woes in the 23 chapter of Matthew, subject for another time. Suffice to say that the woes enumerated by Jesus nearly 2000 years ago are relevant today.