In one of his writings, Comac Burke said: Salvation does not just depend on our doing pious things or what we think is very good, but on our doing the will of God, and
obeying what God says we should do or not do.
What this means is that salvation is simply a gift that God gives to those He chooses to bless with it: We cannot merit it by the things we do that people see as good, but God gives it to us if we obey Him and do what pleases Him.
The Psalmist says: if you Lord should mark our guilt, who would survive. (Psalm 30:3). The word of God also says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and nothing unclean can ever enter the kingdom of God (Rev.21:27).
From what has been said so far, it follows that no one is
fit enough to go to heaven. God brings us into His kingdom of heaven, when He decides to close His eyes to our unworthiness and simply grant us this favour of salvation. He does this when He sees the efforts we are making to do what He says we should do or avoid doing, and because He is full of Love and compassion, He counts us among those to be blessed with this eternal salvation in His kingdom.
How do we know what God wants from us in order to attract Him and be favoured by His grace of eternal salvation? The answer lies in His book of Love and Life- the Holy Bible, and in the church He established to guide
and teach us, which had assembled this bible and distributed to us to read for speedy spread of the word of God to the whole world. This holy book which had all along been in the custody of the church was released to the world to read in the year 419 A.D after the second council of Carthage presided over by St. Augustine. This was during the reign of Pope Boniface, although it was Pope Siricius, (the 38th. Pope after St. Peter) that actually began this process of scrutiny to confirm the inspired and approved scripts of the Bible. This was at the first council of Carthage in 397 AD.
GOD DESIRES TO SEE US IN HEAVEN
After creating us in His own image and likeness, God created mansions in heaven for us. Our Lord, Jesus Christ revealed this to us when He said, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions” (John 14:2).
Next He sent His only begotten son, to come down here to teach us and show us the way to heaven and at the end to suffer and die in order to pay for our sins, set us free and reopen the gate of heaven closed after the sin of Adam and Eve. By shedding His blood and dying on the cross at Calvary, our Lord obtained pardon for our sins, such that by having faith in Him and believing in what He did for us, we are pardoned once we ask for it. However, there are some pre-requisites demanded before we qualify to benefit from what Christ did for us. Among these prerequisites are the Four “UNLESS” which Jesus spoke about in the bible.
In John 3:5, Jesus said: UNLESS you are born again with water and the Holy Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
To emphasize the importance of this exercise, Jesus subjected Himself to John the Baptist to receive His own baptism with water and the Holy Spirit.
John had earlier told his followers that he was baptizing them with water, but someone would come who would baptize with water and fire of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11).
So when Jesus came to John for his baptism, John
could not understand why He should desire baptism, and said to Him; “I ought to be baptized by you, yet you have come to me. “At this Jesus replied. “Let it be so for now; for in this way we shall do all that God requires” Mathew
3:13-15. Jesus knows that it is by doing what God requires us to do that we can go to heaven, and not only by considering whether something is good, necessary or sensible.
At every ritual of baptism during which we are born again, water is poured over the head and the following words which Jesus taught are pronounced: “I baptize you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, “As soon as this is done, the Holy Spirit immediately descends on the person and enters into the soul.
The Spirit is invisible, and so we do not see with our eyes when He descends during baptism. However, in the case of Jesus, God permitted that the Holy Spirit should descend in the form of a dove and rest on His head for all to
see and thus know what actually takes place whenever a person is baptized (Math 3:16-17).
Baptism is a sacrament that our Lord Jesus Christ
instituted to wash away that original sin of Adam and Eve which we all inherited and also wash away every other sin committed if a mature person is being baptized.
Having washed away these sins, God now accepts us as His children since we have now parted ways with Satan and rejected him, and have instead declared our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and personal savior. All these denouncements and declarations usually take place before this cleansing water of baptism is applied on the person.
In the case of little children, their parents reject Satan and accept Jesus on their behalf to avoid the risk of having to wait till the child grows old enough to answer for itself. This is done in the realization that death can come while the waiting goes on, and no unbaptized person not yet born again can enter the kingdom of heaven to see the face of God.
Gladly however, the church still gives everyone a chance to personally declare his/her rejection of Satan and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and savior on the Holy Saturday preceding Easter Sunday of every year. This ceremony is performed in all Catholic Churches throughout the world, so that we do not just get born again once at baptism and forget the whole thing. Rather the church helps us to repeat yearly what was done on our behalf by our parents when we were baptized as little children.
“Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will not have eternal life”. Those who are to have eternal life will be raised up by Jesus on the last day to live forever with Him in heaven. (John 6:53-58).
It is well known that God can do all things, and with
Him, nothing is impossible. When He instituted the sacrament of Holy Eucharist during which bread and wine are mystically changed into His flesh and Blood, Jesus spoke the exact words which must be repeated by a properly ordained priest of the church to effect this transmutation or trans-substantiation of bread and wine into His body and blood. Once the words are properly spoken, using His infinite power as God, He immediately turns the bread and wine into His body and blood, even though they still retain the taste of bread and wine.
God is still able to make the bread and wine turn physically into raw human flesh and raw blood which we can see and appreciate, but how many of us will be ready and willing to accept and chew raw human flesh and drink raw human blood with relish in our churches during the sacrifice of the holy mass? Is it not likely that many would be reluctant to come forward for Holy Communion because of the distasteful nature of raw human flesh and blood? After all, it was this same Jesus who was able to change ordinary water into very delicious wine at Cana in Galilee, changing both the colour and taste of the water, and turned all the waters of Egypt into pure blood, (John
2:1-10, Exodus 7:20).
Those who drank the new wine at Cana never knew nor saw it as water anymore, for it did not retain its taste and colour as He chose to do with the bread and wine in order to make it easy for us to chew and drink at mass. So Jesus in His wisdom chose to let His body and blood taste like bread and wine while retaining the tremendous supernatural power of the body and blood of Himself who is God.
No one should ever dare to introduce into his body this holy body or blood of God when such a person knows that he or she is not in a state grace.
Being in a state of grace means that such a person has no mortal sin, and has not willfully gone against any of the commandments of God or those of His church. St. Paul warns that those who do this, bring judgment unto themselves and are guilty of sin against the Lord’s body and blood. He went further to reveal that such a sinful act
is why many are weak and ill and several have died. (1
“Unless you repent, you will all like-wise perish (Luke
13:5). This was the answer Jesus gave when He was asked whether those on whom the tower fell at Siloam were punished for the sins they had committed. They drew their conclusion from the bible which teaches that the wages of sin is death.’ (Rom 6:23).
Repentance is essential for attainment of eternal life in
the kingdom of heaven. We must be sorry and have contrition for the sins we have committed and repent for having committed them before we are considered fit for heaven. Where this has not taken place, the person is either thrown into hell, if guilty of mortal or deadly sin, or sent to a place of purification, known as purgatory, since the bible states that not all sins are deadly or mortal
John 5:16-17), and nothing unclean can ever enter heaven.(Rev. 21:27).
Unless No. 4
“Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3).
It is common knowledge that the essential qualities
for which children are known include LOVE, HUMILITY and OBEDIENCE. For us to qualify to go to heaven, we must be humble, obedient and love God and our neighbor.
Little children harbor no enemies and love everyone with their hearts, not minding the person’s race, religion, sex, tribe or political leaning. They are humble and never feel big or too important to render any service, or shy to do anything they consider good and proper. They accept whatever condition or situation they find themselves and do not bear grudges against anyone because they believe that they are in the hands and proper care of their parents,
just like we all are expected to accept that we are in the hands and proper care of God who created us.
Little children are obedient and do whatever their parents tell them to do. In the same way, we are expected to be obedient to all legitimate authorities under which God-controlled circumstances have placed us. This entails being obedient to our husbands, parents, masters in places of work and to the church in our places of worship.
Above all these is to obey God by keeping all His commandments. Keeping God’s commandments is one way of showing Him that we love Him; for Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).
In order to go to heaven, therefore, we must be as
humble as a little child. We must obey like a slave or a child in all matters not sinful if obeyed, even if such matters bring us some inconvenience, discomfort or even pain. This is in line with what our Lord Jesus Christ taught, and urged us to carry our own crosses and follow Him. He obeyed God, His father even unto death on the cross. He could have refused to obey, since He knew all the pains He was to suffer, yet He obeyed, and even obeyed the soldiers He created when they ordered Him to carry the cross to Golgotha. He had the power to command and all those soldiers would fall down and die. He had the power to command and all those nails would be incapable of piercing His hands and feet, but He refused to do anything to stop this suffering. This was just because of the love He has for us.
This love, which is another attribute of little children is the final key of all the UNLESS which opens the gate of heaven. After we must have used all the others keys to
open the doors that lead to the kingdom of heaven, this final key (LOVE) will be demanded from us at last on the day of our judgment.
The last judgment which will take place at the end of this
age will be the first and only judgment for all those who will remain alive in this world to witness that last day after the trumpet to be sounded by the angles, when all heavens will burn and all the angels and saints will come down for this judgment. (Matt 24:32).
For those who have previously died before this end,
that judgment will be their second and a repeat of the first judgment they had soon after death.
PROFILE OF DENNIS MARY CHIKATA:
Dennis Mary Chikata is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Poultry Husbandry Expert who takes pleasure in writing books on a variety of topics.
His Alma Mater, The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, graduates students and awards degrees to those considered worthy in CHARACTER AND LEARNING. Prizes are awarded to the overall BEST Graduating Student in Learning or Academics AND overall BEST Graduating student in Character, called the NUPEMCO AWARD. The Nupemco Award for 1977 went to this Author- Dennis Chikata- who was adjudged to be the Overall Best Student in Character (the Gentleman of the Year)
His books cover SUSPENSE, MYSTERY, BUSINESS, HOW-TO, SPIRITUALITY, and EDUCATION.
One of his books (a fiction) titled-CONQUEST OF THE TUNNEL OF NO RETURN, was among the books in the Amazon’s 2017 Storyteller contest .
The Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Nigeria , Most Rev. Dr. A.J.V. Obinna, after reading one of his books on Disobedience ...., publicly praised him during a Sunday Mass at Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri, and pleaded with all present that anyone who knew Dr. Chikata should thank him for writing such a fantastic book which he said that he found very interesting to read.
The Archbishop later directed the Administrator of the Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Andrew Nkwocha, to contact this Author and obtain more copies of the book to enable him give them out to his fellow Bishops in Nigeria to read and discover its very rich contents.
On another of his books on the Rosary, Chidi Okeke sent him an e-mail from Lagos , stating as follows: “Your book is the best book I have ever read on the Rosary. It has motivated me to say my Rosary more often. Thank you for such a great book”
He has also written a book on Poultry titled : THE SECRET OF SUCCESS IN TROPICAL POULTRY HUSBANDRY.
His other book titles include: ORIGIN OF THE FIRST ROSARY, HOW AND WHY PEOPLE ARE RICH AND TO AVOID POVERTY, THE STORY OF THE MOST WONDERFUL AND MYSTERIOUS MAN ON EARTH, DISOBEDIENCE AND THE SECRET OF LONG LIFE AND HAPPINESS, SECRET FACTS ABOUT VIRGIN MARY THE ROSARY ETERNAL LIFE, AFRICAN MOONLIGHT AND AWESOME LIVE STORIES, and VISITORS FROM PURGATORY (Eye-witnesses’ Accounts).
He is the Author of that book on Purgatory that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, was reported to be holding in Her hand when She appeared at Idu Karmo, Nigeria on the 25th of March 2017 (Feast Day of the Annunciation of our Lord) and directed that all should look for this book to read , and that She feels very sad that many people are dying and going to Purgatory and Hell. Those who heard about this apparition and bothered to investigate, found out that everything happened as was reported. This is the second time in history that the Blessed Virgin appeared with a book in Her hand. The first was in July 1208 AD at Tolluisse, France.
Rev. Fr. Chijioke Majella of St. Theresa’s Parish, Abuja has since taken charge of activities at the apparition site which has become a holy Pilgrimage centre where prayers go on frequently under the supervision of this priest.
Dr. Chikata is married to Roseline, who holds a doctorate degree in Education Management and Planning ,and they are blessed with six children.