This idea challenged me, so I tried to discover it myself. Being born with Christian parents, I went to church with them, just “following” them, especially because my father who was a public school teacher (a principal) was a very strict disciplinarian. He stands by the military principle “obey first before you complain”. During World War II, he was a guerrilla lieutenant. In those days, to be an army officer, even just a lieutenant, was a very high rank in our Philippine society. The word of my father was a law in our home that everyone of us, his children, must obey or suffer punishment. I thank God for my very strict father. I am what I am because of the strict discipline he imposed upon me.
From elementary to high school, though I was literally “compelled” by my father to attend Sunday school, I never discovered how the death of Jesus Christ in the cross of Calvary can save sinners from going to hell. I never saw or understood any connection between the crucifixion of Jesus and my being saved from eternal death because of my sins. The numerous teachers I had never explained the matter. Even after becoming a lawyer, I did not know and discover the answer to that $64 question in my mind.
In my earnest quest for the answer to that $64 question lingering in my mind and heart, upon the encouragement of my Sunday School teacher, I attended Sunday School class in our church. The teacher was so good and brilliant that every lesson was so interesting that I can’t wait for Sunday to come. And I was not satisfied with just a Sunday school class which my teacher must have observed that she recommended that I enroll in Bible College. I enrolled and found studying the Bible very interesting. I also discovered that the Philippine human laws that I studied are also found in the Bible. By God’s grace, I finished the three-year ministerial course, and I became a Sunday School teacher myself.
From the Bible and my Bible School instructions, I have learned that because of the LOVE of God for his human creation after his likeness and image, he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that everyone who receives and accepts him as such, shall have eternal life (John 3:16). I have learned that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (or remission) of sin” (Heb. 9:22). Jesus Christ made that supreme sacrifice of voluntarily shedding his blood in the cross of Calvary. This was the means by which He purchased or redeemed us from our sin or eternal death, by shedding his own precious blood (1 Pet 1:19). This is what the Word of God exactly says, “Forasmuch as ye knew that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you” (1 Pet 18-20 KJV).
The Bible tells us also, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 KJV).
My friends, my point is: There is no other way to be saved from the second and eternal death, except by knowing intimately and accepting in our heart, soul and spirit Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord, and confessing to him our sins in which he said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us from ALL our unrighteousness”. Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:16 KJV).
(FGBMFI Davao City Chapter Weekly Bulletin, December 22, 2012)