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Extreme Unction

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Definition  The sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Extreme unction is also known as “last rites” when it is administered to the dying. The sacrament provides spiritual aid to the sick, possible healing, and the remission of sins for the accomplishment of salvation. The sacrament is administered by anointing with special oil that has been consecrated. The sacrament encourages the recipient to continue in the hope of God’s mercy.

Discussion: The Bible recommends that sick Christians ask their elders to pray for them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord (James 5:14). The restoration of the individual’s spiritual and physical health is sought. However, the Bible is clear that salvation has been accomplished by Jesus and has already been applied to the believer. It is an error to think that last rites somehow can prevent a person from dying and going to hell. The grave error of Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy is the concept of progressive salvation and the sacramental infusion of righteousness.

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