By John Larkins
This important question is simply and clearly answered in scripture. Jesus died for all humans, not mattering when they lived or will live. Although He either revealed the significant details Himself or delegated to His Church to proclaim them, many false teachers who began their careers thousands of years after His teaching period here on Earth refused or refuse to tell their congregations the truth. This is not hidden from those of us who read the Bible, both the New and Old Testaments.
Consider Acts 2; 29-36 when Peter says, “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, and as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him on the cross. But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. David said about [Jesus]: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my heart rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life: You will fill me with joy in your presence.’” Brothers, I can tell you confidently, that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But David was a prophet who knew that God promised him on an oath that He would place one of his descendants on His throne. Seeing what was ahead, He spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did His body decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses to the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David died and has not ascended to heaven, and yet he said, The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other Apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied,” Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them and pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation!’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
This, of course, means they joined Jesus Christ’s new Church. But, sadly, considering Jesus’ death, some will be saved but not all. Most of us will read this column on Good Friday, the day Jesus died. How can this day be called “Good?” Jesus’s birth, life of preaching conversion, training His new Church ministers, working miracles, suffering humiliation, torture and finally death had been for one purpose: establish a Way to Heaven that was previously closed to humans by the sin of Adam and Eve. Obviously, Christ can save whomever He wishes. His revealed Way is through baptism and the other graces dispensed by the Catholic Church through the sacraments. Jesus overcame Satan and rose to glory. He now has saved those who choose Him in His Way!
A local grammar school performed a wonderfully happy and sincere play this past week, one that focused on the joy of Easter. The children sang that Jesus died for “kids like us.” Yes, fervent and joyful spirits, focused on eternity with Jesus, our Savior. May we all be kids at heart, with our risen Savior!
For the past 17 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.