By John Larkins
Some wonderful people have died of various causes in Etowah County, just as some did naturally and inevitably before the virus. These ordinary life events will continue to occur after we develop a vaccine for this disease, as we have done for other maladies in the past. For example, I remember the great joy I had as a teenager when polio shots were invented.
Jesus Christ is still our source of saving grace and always will be with us. To add to the stress of these days, the false teachers so often mentioned in the Bible, especially in the Acts of the Apostles and earlier in Matthew’s gospel, seem more prevalent today. Perhaps their sponsors (certainly Satan, but many rich sinners as well) are more desperate to convert us to socialism. Why this particular heresy? Because socialists grant all authority to the current leader, declaring that it is a crime to worship God, thus diminishing the glory demanded by the Leader. Thus, our freedoms do not come from God, but from, for example, Joe. This revolutionary movement has captured many people in the communications activities, although obviously not all, or you would not be reading this.
The most prevalent heresy is that it makes no difference what religion you believe. According to Satan, they are all the same. Of course, what he means is that he hates them all, especially any associated with Jesus. Now, stop and think for a minute about how many Gods there are. When God revealed Himself to Abraham, He said, “I am the Almighty God.” Does this sound like a God who would somehow sponsor the 35,000 religious organizations we have today? There are over 100 churches here in Gadsden, and they have widely differing beliefs. How could they all produce the same saving results when some do not even recognize Jesus Christ as God?
Speaking of Jesus, Adam and Eve’s sinful disobedience to God was so severe that only the sacrifice of God’s son, born as the Son of Man by the act of the Holy Spirit, could reopen the gates of Heaven for worthy souls. God caused this event to happen about 33 A.D., some 2,000 years ago. Jesus is quoted as saying He would build His Church on the Apostle Peter. Where is this Church today? We are grateful.
Jesus decided to open the gates of heaven permanently and control entry by the dispensation of His saving grace, given by His Father after the Son’s death and resurrection as the Son of God. So Jesus delegated the power His Father gave Him, collectively and eternally, to Peter and the other bishops of His new and everlasting covenant, His only Church.
Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
John 20:23 reveals the most wonderful gift to us sinners: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, if you retain them, they are retained.” This sacrament opens the way to actually eating the body and blood of Jesus to save our souls to heaven, the communion. Jesus said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life within you.” In following tradition of the Master delegating authority, Matthew 16:19 says, “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you shall lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Could this be the Church that all people seek?
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. His formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals, and church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.