By John Larkins
Solid planning calls for an alternate course of action if one’s primary Plan A is rejected.
This week, we’ll discuss and recommend a readily available course of action aimed at gaining salvation for our immortal souls that will be applied upon our deaths. Individual salvation is obtaining Christ’s approval to enter his Father’s kingdom (Heaven) after our earthly death or in the improbably circumstance that we are alive when God the Father ends the entire world.
God created us to spend eternity with Him in Paradise, but our first parents disobeyed Him and He drove them from Eden and subjected Adam and Eve to a shorter lifetime.
At the conclusion of this life, we will be judged by the Son of God, who also exists as the Son of Man. Our plan is to avoid the alternate fate of being given up to Satan for his amusement in Hell. If you have already decided to opt for Hell as your eternal home, you need not read any further.
For those who are still reading this column, we have only the Bible to authentically guide us in these deliberations, and it is open to interpretation. The Bible is a text believed to have been written about 3,500 years ago by Moses, a man born in Egypt of people who would later be called Israelites. Translated into Greek, this text was completed about 200 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God born a human being to Mary and The Holy Spirit in about 6 AD.
Over the next 200 years, a continuation of the Old Testament was written by Catholics and authenticated by significant review, study and discussion until the New Testament was finalized by the Church founded by Jesus Christ.
These two books (actually, one story) provide the basis for each of us to develop our personal Plan A for salvation. Many of us accept the whole of the Bible as God’s holy, accurate and unchangeable direction to us to qualify for salvation, or acceptance into Heaven. The greatest challenge is in the exact interpretation of the Bible’s direction. There can be little doubt that God intends for our lives to be in accordance with His written directions.
The Old Testament is fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The action is exactly that. Jesus demands a conversion from the worship system of the Old Testament, called Jewish or Hebrew or Israelite to Christianity, as taught by Jesus Christ from 7 A.D. to 33 A.D. Jews authenticated their entry into their religion by male circumcision. Christians were taught to perform a sacrament called Baptism. Conversion by Jews to become Christians required Baptism, even though they had been circumcised earlier. Jesus himself was baptized even though He had been circumcised as a Jewish child.
The most important gift of Christianity was the Sacrament of Confession, or the forgiveness of sins.
This act had been missing in God’s plan for humans ever since Adam and Eve were forced out of Eden. No Jew had ever been eligible for entry into Heaven, even though they followed that religion faithfully. Jesus pointed out that one cannot put new wine in an old wineskin. Jesus empowered his new Church to forgive sins under sacramental circumstances.
In later years, a religious heretic formulated an idea that Jesus forgave all sins, immediately and for all time, with no further individual responsibility. This was conceptualized as some sort of Get Out of Jail Free Card and was always false. Jesus absolutely did provide a Way for salvation – by conversion to The Way! He insisted He was the truth, the life and the way.
The problem for us is that in direct and brutal contradiction to Jesus Christ, 35,000 rival ways have been invented to negate Jesus Christ’s One Way, or Plan A. These ways have been created by men and women who have no authority or connection to God for their wildly divergent worship systems.
What will be our way? Plan A or Plan B?
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