Question:

I was wondering that many people who accepted Jesus and decided to follow him joined the priesthood. My question is: Is becoming a priest the only way to follow Jesus and go to Heaven? Why do people choose the priesthood when they want to follow Jesus? And what is the difference between becoming a priest or a good Christian husband? Can a husband become a priest as well?


Answer:

"Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ... But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (I Peter 2:4-5, 9-10).

Under the Law of Moses, there was a separate priesthood from the common people, but under the Law of Christ there is no separate priesthood. All Christians are priests; that is, they have the right and privilege to approach God with their prayers directly without another man coming between them and God. Since there is no other way to God, but through Jesus Christ (John 14:6), in this age it is only by being a follower of Christ -- a Christian -- that a person can go to heaven.

All Christians are allowed to marry. "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband" (I Corinthians 7:2).

The concept of a celibate priesthood is a product of the Roman Catholic Church. It is man-made and not God given. Their priesthood results in some men being considered greater than others, instead of the Christian view that all are equal. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). The idea of required celibacy contradicts what Paul stated: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth" (I Timothy 4:1-3).

Thank you, Jeffrey.