Salvation Is Not Meant To Be Sold
SALVATION is free. It should not be sold or bought by money. Many have been sold the dummy that they can easily bribe their way to God. The story of man’s relationship with the spiritual is a very interesting one. It is one that would never cease to amaze even the most fanatical student of comparative religion owing to its depth and complexity. The more he delves into the murky waters of supernatural knowledge, the more confused he becomes. This is simply because the human mind is very limited in its comprehension of spiritual matters. It is like one trying to swim across the Atlantic Ocean without any form of life support. If he does not die of exhaustion before long, he would, sooner than later, fall prey to monstrous sea creatures.
But should one discourage the man who is desirous of acquiring spiritual knowledge? Far from it! But caution must be applied here. Why? The average man is easily fascinated by things that appear extraordinary, or beyond the ordinary. This is a natural trait that often propels him to go to any length to seek answers concerning the source of his existence. In his quest for answers, he realises that there are forces that are beyond his control. Even though, over time, he has tried through science and technology to proffer solutions to many of life’s challenges, he still discovers that there are many more issues that are beyond his limited human understanding. Welcome to the spiritual!
Religion came as a seeming answer to man’s yearning to discover himself and his place in this universe. Knowing his limitation, he desires to offer worship to a powerful force(s) he reckoned must be in control of all of nature. By worshipping this force (s) and seeking His favour, he wished, therefore, to be protected from all bodily harm and to have access to abundance of resources needed for his comfort and survival. In the time past, for instance, he was so overwhelmed by the glory of the rising sun and its domineering power over nature that he readily concluded that the sun must be the most powerful force in the whole of creation and so, deserves to be worshipped. Of course, that idea has since been punctured. But even then, we still have people who worship the things created rather than the Creator Himself.
Fast forward to the present! Civilisation comes with its huge price. In some of the advanced countries of this world, science and technology have now taken a centre stage in the lives of the people, while religion has gradually been relegated to the background.
Also all forms of entertainment such as music concerts and major sporting activities such as football are now being deified as they gradually top the chart of priorities of their followers. Does this mean that religion is no more relevant? Not so. It’s part of the grand design of the spiritual rulers of the present age to dumb the heart of man, and make him to be estranged from his Creator.
Alas! Religion is now a big business venture. Millions of people are falling prey to the antics of some wonder prophets, who sell ‘salvation’ to the highest bidder. They claim to have the power to see the future and to solve all your life’s problems. They promise you instant material success once you become a registered and tithe paying member of their church. They keep you loaded and so occupied with church activities that you can barely have time for any other activity, not even your family. Before you know it, the pastor takes full charge of your life. No one can fault him. Your total life style becomes patterned after that of your pastor instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are ready to do all it takes to be in the good book of your pastor, even if he orders you to leave your husband or wife. Is this story familiar to you?
The Bible warns us to be careful of wolfs who come in sheep clothing.
Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.