“I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
Dear Friend, the Bible says that it is appointed for us to die once, and after this the judgment. Soon our brief life will be over. Yet death is not the end, for we must stand before the judgment seat of God. One of two destinies awaits us – either everlasting punishment in hell or everlasting life and joy in heaven.
Many people ignore this sober reality because they are preoccupied with their business and entertainments. Others think they are ‘good enough’ and therefore have nothing to worry about; while others feel that God will not send anyone to hell because he is a loving God.
All these futile excuses will be useless when we stand before the Judge of the world. Are we prepared for that day? It all depends on whether we believe or reject the true gospel of Christ.
The True Gospel and the Counterfeit
The apostle Paul was evidently in great distress and anguish when he penned his letter to the Galatians. The glory of God and the salvation of many people were at stake. False teachers had followed him and distorted the gospel he had preached. They did not openly deny faith in Christ or the grace of God. They simply added the rite of circumcision and obedience to the Mosaic Law as the basis for acceptance with God. The apostle Paul considered their teaching ‘another gospel.’ He writes:
‘I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed’ (Galatians 1:6-8).
If the apostle Paul considered that the addition of works to faith invalidated the gospel, what is the biblical verdict on the message of some Denominations including that of the Papal see?
The ‘gospel’ of Churches under the Papal see is faith plus works, grace plus merit, Christ plus the church, baptismal regeneration, penance, the sacrifice of the Mass, the rosary, indulgences, Mary, the pains of Purgatory, and so on. The apostle warns those who, in addition to faith in the Lord, seek to be justified by ritual or works, that they are alienated from Christ, and that he could be of no avail to them (cf. Galatians 5:2-4).
Repent and Believe the Gospel
We appeal to you, our dear friend, and implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. Reckon yourself an unworthy sinner and a rebel against the Sovereign God. Plead guilty before the Judge of the Earth; confess that you deserve the everlasting fire of hell; admit that nothing you do can ever pay for your sins.
Yet do not despair, look to the God of all grace and mercy. Stop relying on yourself, your works and your merit. Salvation is of the work of the Lord. Do not rely on a church, Mary, the saints, human priests, the sacrifice of the Mass, or in an imaginary purgatory.
Rather, trust wholly in Christ alone, the Son of God, who is the only mediator, the only high priest, who gave himself as the all-sufficient sacrifice for the payment of the sins of his people. To those who believe in Christ, the Bible says: ‘In him we have redemption (freedom from sin) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace’ (Ephesians 1:7).
May the Lord be merciful and grant you the grace of repentance to turn away from a distorted religion to embrace the gospel of Christ. May God grant you the gift of faith, to rest on Christ, his beloved Son, and to serve him all the days of your life while we anticipate his return to take us home with him forever.