By John Larkins
God promised the Jews a Savior, indicating that although Moses gave the Jews a structured organization for learning about and worshipping the one true God, this was not yet a path to salvation.
First, In the case of Adam and Eve, they spoiled salvation by sin after assuming eternal life with God. From that point on, God gave men, through their individual actions during the earthly life, the choice to demonstrate for God if they wished to be saved or spend eternity in Hell.
Second, and perhaps of supreme importance, the great insult to God due to man’s sin had to be answered for. Adam and Eve were exiled and began the human population, all of whom were in the same predicament of awaiting ransom from Satan after death, unless they had committed no sins in their lives. Jesus lovingly agreed to pay the ransom by becoming a human being. This tremendous act of love resulted in a rebellion in Heaven among angels who refused to worship Jesus if He agreed to also become a man, which was of lower status than they were. Tradition has it that this issue caused, perhaps a third of the angles, led by Satan, to fall to earth to become Hell.
At that time, there was no Church in which humans could be taught to worship the one true God and prepare themselves for judgement. Once He had reached maturity at age 30, one of the first things Jesus did was to select, recruit and instruct teachers and organizers for His Church. We later would find out that the future Church would dispense the grace needed for men to be saved. The “change of command” in Matthew 28, 19-20 notes, “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.”
After Jesus went back to Heaven, Acts 1, 14 says, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brethren.” Jesus’s public teaching, much recorded in the gospels, was enhanced in private to the apostles. This was because Jesus knew that when He identified Himself as the Son of God, the Jewish authorities would try to get Him arrested and perhaps kill Him before His teaching mission was complete. So, when He instructed the apostles, He said to teach what He had taught them. Among the significant issues Jesus taught were:
1. Conversion of the Jews meant that they must give up the law of Moses. Jesus said, “You cannot put new wine in an old wineskin.” Today, conversion means turning from another religion to the Catholic faith.
2. Circumcision, the key act of submission to God’s authority, was replaced by sacramental baptism.
3. Sins were forgiven by the empowered apostles within the Church.
4. The sacrament of brea-king of bread and wine, the communion that is sanctified in the Church, becomes the true body and blood of Jesus. Jesus said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life within you.”
5. As the first head of the earthly Church, Peter was told, “Whatever you say on earth, is heard in heaven.”
6. Also said to Peter was, “Whatever you loosen on earth is loosed in Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven.” Jesus remains, in spirit, within the Church.
Since Jesus was resurrected and appointed the apostles to run His Church 1,500 years ago, where do the 35,000 modern religions obtain their power? They are not biblical.
John Larkins’ 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 in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.