Every human being created on this planet has been given the Free WILL to choose to do good or to do evil by the creator of the Universe-Our God and most loving Father. He does not in any way interfere with this WILL to choose what to do. This is why it is called FREE WILL. He allows us to choose between doing what is acceptable and pleasing to Him, and what is sinful and hated by Him. Whichever one we choose determines our fate on judgment day.
If we are condemned on judgment day, we have no one to blame but ourselves, because we chose to do evil rather than good, and was not compelled or forced by Him to so behave. This is because our WILL is entirely free from His interference or manipulation. If on the other hand we are saved, we owe this salvation entirely to God who, seeing the direction of our FREE WILL desiring to do good, and that we also believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in Him, decides to show us His mercy and grant us salvation. St. Paul says that he desires to do good, but sometimes finds himself doing the opposite of what he desires to do. This made him cry out to God for His help, and the reply he got from God was “My Grace is enough for you”-2Cor. 12:9.
The Bible makes our miserable situation very clear when it states in Romans 3:23- “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” And in Isaiah 46:6, it states that “Our holiness is like filthy rags before the Lord” and warns in revelation 21:27 that “nothing unclean can ever enter the kingdom of God
Our most loving and merciful Father had to give St. Paul that response because He is always so pleased with us when we direct our free will towards doing good that He actually helps us by giving us, Grace or Virtue.
This is the power that strengthens us and encourages us to do the good we have desired to do, though we sometimes fail to achieve it.
On the other hand, “the devil is always roaming about like a wild lion seeking for whom to devour” – 1 Peter 5:8.
We are, therefore “contending against the devil and his principalities and powers” in our struggles in life-Ephesians 6:12
Jealous of the redemption which Jesus has won for us with His suffering and death, the devil’s main preoccupation is to make us lose our salvation by continually tempting us to sin.
Salvation, therefore, is a gift from God and is not merited by us because we are like filthy rags before the Lord. He generously gives it to us when He looks into our souls and sees the efforts we are making through our prayers and good works, and the degree of sorrow and repentance we have for our sins, and how we struggle to obey His commandments.
Where this sorrow or contrition for our sins is not perfect and borne out of love for Jesus whom we have hurt again after he had suffered and died for us, and we have not done enough prayers and good works to atone for them, he sends us first to purgatory to clean-up what filth of sin that is left in us, before admitting us into His kingdom of Heaven. He thus closes His eyes to our filthiness and unworthiness but rather focuses on the prize our lord and savior Jesus Christ paid with His sacrifice and his blood and thus accepts us into His kingdom and this is how we are saved.
It is important to have faith and believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal savior and reject the devil and his entire works. This is what we assert and profess each year in our churches every Holy Saturday after the first one done at baptism.
We must note that even the devils also believe in Jesus and did call Him, “Holy messenger of the Highest God.” (Mark 1:24).
To this faith we must add good works; for the Bible states in James 2:26 that “faith without good actions is dead” and a dead faith cannot lead to the eternal life of heaven because it is already dead.
Works that must be added to faith are good works like showing love and mercy and charitable works like feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, clothing the naked, etc (Matt. 25:34-46).
MARY AND HER ROSARY
This is another way to achieve Salvation. St. Louis Mariae de Montfort in his book- “True Devotion to Mary” says that God treats the intercessory prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as “commandments which He must have to obey and loves to obey”.
This is clearly shown in the story of the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, in which He changed water into wine,-John 2:1-11
Jesus had fixed a time to begin working His miracles and this time had not yet reached, but Mary requested for a miracle there and then. Since her requests and prayers must be treated as commandments which He must obey, Jesus, after complaining to her that the time he had fixed to commence performing miracles had not yet arrived, had no choice than to obey and go against His own schedule by granting that request of His beloved Mother.
So one sure way to achieve Salvation is to ask this holy woman to pray for us, and She does not refuse any good request from anybody.
And the very best way to ask for this is to pray her ROSARY every day. This is a prayer described by the church as the most powerful prayer anybody can offer to God, next to the Holy Mass. This is because “it is the only prayer in the whole world jointly composed by the three persons in the Holy Trinity-Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, and not made by any human instrument” as also explained by St. Louis Mariae de Montfort, and it only takes twenty minutes to pray it.
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