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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Salvation Only in Jesus (On Evangelization and Mission Part 129)

Today’s reading: Acts 4:8-12

The salvation we proclaim is Jesus Christ, who by his death on the cross and his resurrection, won for us our salvation. Jesus is the only Savior. “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (v.12).

Tragically, this very basic truth of our faith is being undermined even within the Church by some of those in authority. How?

First, there are those who say that the different religions are willed by God, and that all of them may be ways to the divine. This is religious indifferentism. What God wills is that all men be saved. If this happens only in and through Jesus, then how can God will other religions? In fact, other religions, which are false, lead people to worship other gods and even demons. Jesus himself says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6b).

Second, there are those who condemn proselytism, which is simply the act of trying to make converts of others. They try to redefine proselytism to mean using coercion or false claims or material inducements to get one to convert. If this is the case, then it is wrong. But even today when you check out proselytism in the dictionary or in Wikipedia, proselytism is not defined that way. What really is behind this is related to the first point above, that one should not try to convert others because other religions are just as valid. But the command of Jesus is clear, to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).

Third, there are those who confuse redemption with justification. Redemption or salvation is the saving act of Jesus on the cross. Jesus died for all and won for all their salvation. But they go on to say that because of this, all men are justified, that is, they are absolved of sin, accepted by God and considered righteous. But we are justified by faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26,28). The truth is that people need to accept the salvation won for us by Jesus on the cross, and they do this by repentance and putting their faith in him. Those who do not do this and remain in sin are not saved. The error of equating redemption with justification is universalism, the belief that all humankind will eventually be saved. In truth, Jesus himself asks, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8b).

Fourth, there are those who say that there is no hell, or that if there is hell, hardly anyone goes there. Not even Judas the betrayer of Jesus. That there is eternal punishment in the fires of hell is stated in many places in the gospels (the judgment of the nations in Matthew 25:41,46; parable of rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:24; the vine and the branches in John 15:6), and is an age-old teaching of our Church . A variant of this false teaching is that those who do not repent of sin and cannot therefore be forgiven just disappear when they die. They just go “poof” into nothingness.

Fifth, there are those who equate social justice issues with issues of faith in Jesus which necessitate responses of morality and righteousness. They put abortion of the same level as immigration and climate change. They excuse those who are pro-abortion and pro-LGBT because they are for unrestricted immigration and promote climate change alarmism. For them, in effect, salvation is what we do for others and for the earth, rather than faith in Jesus.

Sixth, there are those who, for the sake of political correctness, just accept, accompany and embrace grave sinners but without talking of their sin because it is offensive and we should be nice to others. This is false mercy, as it does not help bring people out of their sin but in fact affirms them in their sin.

Jesus is the only Savior. Thus he needs to be proclaimed, as this is the good news of salvation.

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