All roads lead to Rome, but only one road leads to Heavenly Father. A comparison with more truth than expected. Is there another or even more path to God than just through Jesus Christ? The theology of the Protestant churches today, which has sunk into banality, provides different answers than the Gospel. And this begins with baptism.
Inhalt / Content
- 1 An answer that is no longer self-evident
- 2 Just baptism and everything is fine?
- 3 Supposed baptism – banality
- 4 Supposed baptism – only preliminary stage
- 5 Infantilization of people
- 6 Faith in many ways
- 7 Not quite that easy
- 8 Baptism is a stopover
- 9 Another way of salvation in the Old Testament?
- 10 Don’t forget God’s eternal justice!
- 11 The Bible gives numerous examples
- 12 The first step is the Bible
An answer that is no longer self-evident
As simple as the question may sound, the right answer is essential.
“Is Jesus Christ actually necessary to obtain eternal life through salvation?”
In principle, the answer is quickly found. Yes, sure!
Unfortunately, this easy-to-find answer no longer meets with universal acceptance, because the clear message of the Gospel has been pushed to the sidelines to such an extent that a lot of space has been created for new theses. “Ingenious theologians” have filled the resulting vacuum with such “diversity” that today there is something for every taste and every personally felt need.
Just baptism and everything is fine?
It’s also too practical if you basically have the ticket to the kingdom of heaven in your hands when you’re baptized. Let the water drip briefly onto the head, possibly combined with a very strangely worded baptismal motto (Info), and the thing is done. This principle is explained by the Evangelical Churches in Germany (EKD), especially chairwoman Annette Kurschus.
The “theologian” sees baptism as the connection of one’s own life with Jesus Christ. With baptism, people are finally and irrevocably promised (literally “once and for all”) that nothing can take them out of God’s hand. Life moves towards life – “even through death” (Source)
Supposed baptism – banality
Elsewhere, EKD Council Chairwoman Kurschus explained that baptism gives the security of now belonging to Christ, “that man on the cross.” Through baptism, man’s path is firmly connected to the path of Jesus (more on this). With such a philosophy it is also easy to treat baptism in the same way as the distribution of welcome gifts after joining a club (Info).
The icing on the cake is that so-called baptism, as practiced by the Protestant and Catholic churches, is a ritual of “unknown origin,” but not baptism according to the Gospel (Info).
Supposed baptism – only preliminary stage
In the Roman Catholic Church, baptism is considered a little more complicated. Sprinkling of the head opens the way to salvation only in the sense that the gates are opened for man with baptism to gain access to the sacraments defined by the Church of Rome. This must be strictly adhered to for the involuntary Catholic as an infant.
Finally, with baptism, man became a human person subject to the canon law of this Church, with all rights and obligations. One of these obligations is to participate in the “Holy Mass” of every church service. A church law that is no longer enforced is that any worshiper who leaves the church without taking communion is threatened with excommunication.
Infantilization of people
The former Protestant churches trivialize baptism and the mother organization in Rome clings to its own confused mess that only looks similar to the Gospel. Both variants lead somewhere, but not to the hoped-for salvation and thus to eternal life. The daily prayer suggestions published on social media for the start of the day or the coming night prove how far the Protestant churches are from the gospel’s messages of salvation. “God bless your toes! Can you fold them in prayer?” or “God, please let me try something brave today, like diving backwards” are just two examples of the “prayer suggestions” that are routinely released to the public. And these are not contributions for the entertainment of a toddler group. The intended infantilization of people cannot be overlooked. Welfare that was obviously misunderstood by the EKD.
Faith in many ways
As easy as the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is to understand, it is now difficult for most people, even those who have ever heard of Jesus Christ, to understand the real gravity of their situation. Because outside of Christianity according to the Gospel there are many other heresies that take people further away from their hoped-for salvation than they can imagine. At the forefront is the New Age philosophy. A teaching that is very close to Roman Catholic doctrines. According to Catholicism, man is not only created in the image of God, but the “divine spark” also lies dormant in man and still needs to be developed. Visions that should not be foreign to the New Ager. In this case the bishop speaks of “one” God and the New Ager speaks of the energy of the universe.
Not quite that easy
The Gospel contains a single verse that alone answers the question of whether Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for human salvation. John 14:6:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.“
This is plain text. In order to understand the reason for this, people must first become aware of their absolutely hopeless situation without Jesus Christ. Here are the answers.
But anyone who, as a carefree Protestant, believes the explanations of Annette Kurschus about how people have already achieved life through baptism will hardly feel any motivation to want to delve deeper into the matter after sprinkling on the head. The promised “universal reconciliation” has already been completed.
Baptism is a stopover
Baptism alone is a public confession that one has now taken the path to Jesus Christ. This includes, first of all, understanding one’s own sinfulness. This is followed by repentance, confession of sins in prayer (not to the priest. That is none of his business!) and acceptance of Jesus Christ by surrendering one’s own life to Him. That sounds like a lot more than just showing up at a “pop-up baptism” after the ice cream parlor in the summer to secure your ticket to heaven. It was just the right time before we went to the nightclub.
If you want to stick with the image of a supposed ticket to heaven after baptism, then you still need a stamping machine that stamps this ticket for legitimate entry into the “heavenly train”. If this stamp is missing, the doors remain closed, despite the ticket being in hand.
It is easy to understand that the greatest sinner, specifically a robber, thief, murderer, fraudster, fornicator, etc., does not receive any indicia as long as he willfully persists in his sins.
The “first package” including baptism
In short: Anyone who truly confesses Jesus Christ, repents of their sins, prays for forgiveness, refrains from committing these sins in the future, and publicly confesses their own surrender to Jesus Christ through baptism is not just setting out on a possible path, but on the only right path .
As you can see from the order, baptism is just one part, not the beginning and certainly not the end.
God takes care of it and this also applies to reaching the goal along the new path. The “work” behind it cannot be done by oneself; people are not capable of doing that. It is God who supports the returned person in all his ways and also cuts off all the rough edges of the possibly completely wrong character. Man only has to invite God and His Holy Spirit and ask for it.
Another way of salvation in the Old Testament?
The New Testament roughly deals with the birth of Jesus Christ, describes the work of the apostles and ends with the prophecy of Revelation about the time of the end and even beyond. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the people, rose again on the third day and ascended to heaven after another 40 days. There Jesus Christ took over the office of High Priest. He is our advocate before the Father.
This perhaps raises the question of what happens to all the people before the birth of Jesus Christ. They did not have a Savior who took up their sins and even paid for them with His blood and life.
Anyone who is of the opinion that the Old Testament is no longer valid because it has been replaced by the New Testament will have some difficulties in answering the question about the salvation of people in the Old Testament.
Don’t forget God’s eternal justice!
But the thesis that Jesus Christ simply threw the old covenant overboard with His new covenant and with it the laws given on Mount Sinai is wrong, and hugely so.
Such theories also undermine the fact of God’s eternal justice. He was, is and always will be the same. Would it be fair if the people after Jesus Christ got away “simply” through the grace of Jesus through faith, while the people before Jesus Christ lived under completely different conditions?
What applies to the New Testament was also valid to the Old Testament, even before Jesus Christ walked as a human being in this world. Jesus Christ did not just come into being with His birth. He is the Word of God (John 1) and, like the Father, has no beginning. Jesus Christ has therefore existed from eternity, as has His Father.
The salvation of people in the Old Testament was just as possible through their faith as it was for people after the completed work of salvation of Jesus Christ. The Son of God took on sins for all(!) people. This is true from Adam to the present time. What Jesus Christ accomplished was symbolized during the Old Testament period with the sacrifices (sacrificial lamb). Belief that God’s promises will come true could lead to justification, just as belief in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation does for us. The sacrificial ceremonies (Covenant with Moses – Info) and festivals were the symbols and Jesus Christ was the realization.
The Bible gives numerous examples
In Hebrews 11 gives some examples of how people were justified by faith far more than a thousand years before the birth of Christ.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Up to this point it affected people who lived or were born before the flood, i.e. in the “old world”.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
The same applies to Sarah, Abraham’s wife, to Moses and also to the people of Israel.
The principle is described in Hebrews 11:6:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.“
The first step is the Bible
Baptism alone does not automatically lead to the hoped-for salvation. It involves the sanctification of man. Sprinkling your head with a few shot glasses full of water without any faith, without repentance, without confession and repentance of your sins, and without surrendering your life to Jesus Christ so that the Holy Spirit can lend a hand, leads to absolutely nothing.
This all sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t. The first path is to recognize the truthfulness of God’s Word and studying the Bible is also an invitation to the Holy Spirit so that He can begin His holy work. Man soon realizes that there is no alternative path to the Father than the path through Jesus Christ.
Bible verses from King James Version