By John Larkins
The above headline should be an important question, seeing as how you’ve likely never been given a detailed answer. Think about what you have been told and let us explore the possibilities.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve would not have thought of this idea of salvation because they presumably were already saved. The issue of the three persons of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – had not yet been revealed. They were “with God,” which is the definition of Heaven. When Adam and Eve were influenced by Satan to disobey God’s order, they may not have understood at first what it meant to be separated from God. God soon told them what it meant, and they began an earthly life. We know when they died, Adam and Eve could not have gone to Heaven, because their sin closed the gates of Heaven to everyone.
Although a savior was promised to the Hebrews, as God’s plan for salvation proceeded to be revealed to His people, no explanation was given of HOW the Hebrews would be physically saved. God appointed Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. God revealed His rules and orders for establishing their relationship with God on earth, but no explanations were given to how the ultimate transition of their souls being sent to God’s Kingdom. In fact, little was said about how the final spiritual and eternal goal was to be reached. There was great focus on obeying commandments, but these requirements were expanded with rules for diet and dress, as well as conduct. No real acknowledgement of a final judgement or the possibility of an intermittent destination where souls were sanitized in a fiery process that still ended with salvation. As the Israelites lived out their days and were subjugated by other nations, a totally earthly concept of “Savior” is said to have developed that would restore the Israelites political, military and financial powers.
Thus, when God sent the Savior, as thoroughly documented and explained as Jesus was, only a few people understood. God delivered the child, Jesus Christ, showering all mankind – past, current and future – with wonderful love and bursts of power. Jesus’ mother Mary was first to know (see Luke 1: 26 -35). “The angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’” This “holy thing” was the Man-God – fully man and fully God – who agreed to provide the sacrifice of His body and blood to atone for the awful sin of Adam and Eve. All other sins – past, current and future – were paid for if these people converted, repented and confessed their guilt.
The New Testament do-cuments these facts. This body of literature was written by Catholics in the rather short period of 100 years from the birth of Jesus to the death of Peter, Paul and John. Jesus Christ’s Church was founded by Jesus, as He declared in Matt 16: 18-19: “And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
God gave his Church the power to forgive sin. John 20: 22-23 says, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 12, 47-48 says, “And if any man hears my words, and not believe, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receive not my words, hath one that judges him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
We are all saved by the Holy Sacraments of Jesus Christ’s Catholic Church.
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.