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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Salvation and Heaven (Modernism Part 77)

May 27, 2024

Today’s readings:

1 Peter 1:3-9

Psalm 111:1-2,5-6,9-10

Mark 10:17-27


     The goal of Christian faith is salvation, and ultimately to make it to heaven. Peter exhorts us to “attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pt 1:9). God, by His mercy, sent His own Son to suffer, die and live again, enabling us to have new birth and the hope of resurrection. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pt 1:3). This new birth gives us hope in “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pt 1:4). Jesus has already reserved a place for us in heaven. We will get there as we put our faith in Jesus, to us “who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.” (1 Pt 1:5).

      What are the important elements here? These are faith (through new birth), salvation (by the hope of resurrection), and heaven (which is our inheritance).

       These are often missing from the narrative of modernists and humanists in the Church today, who often just speak about saving the planet, being nice to all, and the necessity of COVID vaccines. Modernists, with their focus on man, look to ecological paradise, to the international fraternity of all peoples, and to perfect health through vaccines. There is hardly talk of supernatural faith, nor salvation, nor making it to heaven. The focus is on man and not God. There is great concern about climate change (and polar bears), political correctness (love the sinner but don’t talk about the sin), and personal (physical and material) well-being, while neglecting the righteousness of God. They look to the culture of the age (the zeitgeist) rather than the supernatural workings of the Spirit. But what good is human well-being if one suffers the loss of his soul and does not make it to heaven?

       Jesus tells the story of the rich man, who wanted to inherit eternal life. He was told to keep the commandments, and that if he wanted to be perfect, then to sell all he had, to follow him, and thus assure his place in heaven (Mk 10:17-21). But he could not let go. Then Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk 10:23). Modernists are all about human wealth—whether ecological, material, relational or medical. But in striving for these things, they are often led away from God. One cannot serve God and mammon. One cannot just love the sinner but not hate the sin. One cannot be in truly right fraternal relations with others unless they are motivated by Christ.

     The disciples were amazed that it is hard to enter the kingdom of God (Mk 10:24). Modernists are made to think that it is just about being nice and good, and looking to the marginalized and green energy. But unless Christ is at the center, then indeed “who can be saved?” (Mk 10:26). On our own we cannot make it. Modernists proclaim a gospel of false mercy and salvation. It is reliant on human goodwill. But “for human beings it is impossible” (Mk 10:27a). What makes it possible is only God. “All things are possible for God.” (Mk 10:27b).

      But we cannot just be focused on spiritual things as we need to be concerned about human needs in this world, right? We need to eat, and manna is no longer just falling from heaven, right? We need to get along with others in day-to-day life and not just long for our eternal time with God, right? We must do what is right and good in this world, but never neglect the righteousness of God. As to human needs, God does provide. “He gives food to those who fear him” (Ps 111:5a). Fear Him, worship Him (Ps 111:1), study His works (Ps 111:2) especially the scriptures, be faithful to His covenant with us (Ps 111:5b), then He will show “his powerful deeds to his people, giving them the inheritance of the nations.” (Ps 111:6). Only God, and not powerful human elites or modernists prelates, can do this.

      Return to Christ and focus on making it to heaven by the power of the Spirit. Fear the Lord, as that “is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10a).

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