Put yourself in the disciples shoes for a minute. If someone tells you that a person who you saw die was alive your first reaction would be — yeah, right, shake your head and walk away thinking they were insane.
The Gospel According to Mark
First the women tell the men and they don’t believe. We saw that after the women discovered the empty tomb.
Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them.
Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead.
Some early manuscripts add:
And they excused themselves, saying, “This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not permit God’s truth and power to conquer the evil [unclean] spirits. Therefore, reveal your justice now.” This is what they said to Christ. And Christ replied to them, “The period of years of Satan’s power has been fulfilled, but other dreadful things will happen soon. And I was handed over to death for those who have sinned, so that they may return to the truth and sin no more, and so they may inherit the spiritual, incorruptible, and righteous glory in heaven.”
And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”Mark 16: 12-16
Jesus appeared to two of the disciples who were walking in the country. The two believed, but when when they tell the others, they get the same reaction — disbelief. (This story is told in-depth by Luke. We’ll dig into that one next time.)
Jesus ultimately gives them the same instructions as we read in Matthew’s version — The Great Commission to “go into the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Do not discriminate. Everybody is to know the good news of God’s love, of salvation and that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
The Truth about Salvation
“Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned”Mark 16:16
Jesus told them…
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”John 14:1-4
Do the words “my Father’s home” sound anything like “Purgatory?” No. Jesus is coming back for His believers to take them directly to Heaven — and I believe it’s sometime very soon. There is no such place or state as Purgatory! Jesus said…
And you know the way to where I am going.”Jesus
There is only one way to get there and it’s not through a church or a priest or by doing good works and getting grace points.
If you want the assurance of a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
Pray this prayer humbly and wholeheartedly…
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Heaven or condemnation. It’s your choice.
Soli Deo Gloria — to God Alone be the Glory!