By John Larkins
Soon after Adam and Eve lost their status of eternal life in Paradise, God sends us messages in holy scripture that yet-to-be-born humans are not condemned and may still be saved. This announcement is vague in details of exactly what the Redeemer was going to do and what we had to do to receive His gift of grace. It is a false teaching to say that Jesus did it all; we must respond.
Before we delve into some of the ongoing evidence of Jesus’s love for us let us speed ahead many thousands of years to 33 A.D. This might be a suitable time to consult your history books and/or the internet resources to wrap our minds around just how long ago Jesus’s time on earth was. In short, what does the date 33 A.D. mean to us as far as a calendar goes? That is the year Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, was killed and resurrected Himself to save our souls through His Church. So that means, given this year is 2021 minus 33 equals 1,988 years ago, that our Savior commissioned His 11 remaining apostles, empowering them by His own authority to convert the world to His Church. Jesus told them that, “as My Father sent me, now I am sending you.” The first of the churches not established by Jesus was started in 1517, or 1,484 years too late. The 35,000 religious organizations we have today came even later.
As He was raised back into heaven, Jesus said to His new bishops that “I will be with you (in My Church) until the end of time.” The Bible record of what Jesus’ new Church did is only about this salvation-preaching Church, first in Jerusalem and later throughout the world. Today, this Church has about 1.2 billion members. Today, all of us await the return of Jesus as the Son of Man, referring to His dual nature, but specifically to His role as the judge of us to determine who chooses to spend eternity in His Father’s kingdom and who chooses Satan. We all will witness God’s justice in conducting this process.
We can be assured that whatever the outcome of our lives, God loves us dearly. Although He established rules codified in the Ten Commandments, He established His Church to teach us and reinforce that teaching so we could prosper. He gave this Church the unique and vital power to forgive sins and to recreate His body and blood for the transfer of grace. Thus, repentant sinners may be saved. His teachings not only bring salvation but form guidelines for our human living. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep My Commandments.” But His teachings are the basis for civilized human behavior, in cases reflected in a nation’s legal and governmental systems. Jesus’ teachings are also shown in rules for behaving toward one another.
So, Jesus’s mission to save us is expressed in many ways. In the Bible, we see Jesus treat people with consideration and care. He taught that the first Commandment is to honor, love and obey God. The second is to love one another. If you can imagine applying His Commandments consistently, by all of us, peace and human happiness would prevail. Sometimes we expect money, power, bodily pleasures and human praise to make us happy. Those moments pass, and we find ourselves still searching for happiness. We should review our Savior’s commandments again.
God created us and knows exactly what we should do to be happy on earth and in eternity. We can and must embrace Him, for He is all we need.
For the past 15 years, John Larkins has evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.