Our brother in Christ, Dave Wilkerson, was a mighty man of God. He is the very one who started Teen Challenge, wrote the book, The Cross and the Switchblade, and started the Times Square church, in Times Square, New York. He recently went to be with the Lord in 2011. He was a truly anointed man, very humble, who saw amazing miracles throughout the years of his ministry. He was especially known for his outreach to hardened gang members, drug addicts, criminals of every kind, and just sinners of all kinds.
I want to share with you one of the main ideas of his ministry that he was always trying to bring home to these toughened sinners who had given up on God a long time ago.
- Simply put, the idea is the new covenant, or agreement, or deal, that God has worked out to save us from sin and hell. The Heavenly Father and Jesus His Son agreed that Jesus would take all the responsibility for human kind, if the Father would agree to accept Jesus sinless life on earth as a human,and His suffering, and death on the cross as payment in full for any human being who would receive Him as their Lord and Savior, by faith. Of course, the Father and Jesus are of one mind, one Spirit, so they agreed, out of a heart yearning with love for mankind, on this plan to save the human race from the consequences of sin.
- Now here is the amazing miracle of it all. Here is the heart of God: there is no condemnation for whatever we’ve done…even whatever we continue to do… after we accept His free gift of salvation from eternal Hell! Does He expect us to live a clean life right away? NO! He doesn’t! He says to the Father, “I’m responsible for them. I’ll answer for them! I’ll take care of them! They’re mine now!”
- I pray that you do accept Jesus free love gift of eternal life even today! And don’t hesitate because of hidden sin that you think is too nasty, too dark, to filthy to come to God with. No! That’s the whole point! That’s what Dave Wilkerson spent his life teaching! There is no condemnation now to those who are in Christ! Jesus loves LGBT’s, drug addicts, drunks, dealers, witches, fornicators…and on and on! Come to His amazing heart of love just as you are, and you will find forgiveness, and cleansing! You’ll be washed in the blood of the innocent Lamb of God. And now His innocence will be your innocence before the Father! He is your atonement! He is the sacrifice given for you to justify you to our dear Father of love. Jesus yearns over you with a heart bursting with love for you! Believe it. Take it on blind faith! That is the message of all the Word of God! Come to Him all you who are weary and heavy laden, and He will give you rest!
- One final note: you are probably saying..What!!?? You can do all that sin, and Jesus will still love and accept you? My answer is absolutely YES! There is an amazing miracle that happens in the human heart who has experienced the unconditional love of the One who created him and died for him. You may find yourself loving Him back. You may find yourself feeling so content, so clean, so at peace that you just want more of Him! More and more and more! That’s how all of us who love Jesus so incredibly much got here! You fall madly in love with Him when you realize how much He loves you! And then it’s so easy to want to please Him. To want to make Him happy. And it grows and grows…
Are you searching for truth like I was as a Catholic? I want to share what I learned with you. There is a lot to it. I mean whether or not Catholicism is the truth. As an ex-Catholic, I know. I wasn’t about to leave my Catholic church behind unless I was absolutely convinced. I was raised in it from birth. All my relatives were Catholic, as well as most of my friends. So I needed strong evidence.
I’ll get right to the points that forever changed me, changed my mind and my heart. I was lead to go buy a Bible. I went to a Catholic book store and bought one. I was having doubts and questions about the Mass, confession, everything.
- My new Bible opened right to 1Timothy2:5. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Well, that answered the question about praying to saints, Mary, and going to a priest for answers. My one and only mediator was Christ.
- Salvation. The Catholic Church never talked about it. I never heard much about how to get to heaven. It was sort of assumed that you’d get there somehow, someday. You’d probably have to burn in Purgatory for awhile to purge your sins away. After all no one is perfect and sinless, right? If you die after having just gone to confession to a priest, you would go straight to heaven of course. Or if you had just said one of those prayers, or string of prayers the church attached a plenary indulgence to. That means you got a free ticket out of Purgatory! (BTW Purgatory is just like hell, except temporary) They don’t teach this stuff too much anymore because it’s not very popular. However it is definitely the doctrine of the Catholic church. What about salvation? Isn’t that pretty important??? Well, in my new Bible I found out that Jesus main message everywhere He went was teaching people that they needed SALVATION! Salvation means ‘saving.’ Saving from what?? From HELL! Yeah, I’d say that should be the number one message of the true church. As a Catholic, the topic of ‘where would you go when you die?’ didn’t really come up. You figured you’d make it if you were a ‘good person’ and obeyed the rules as best you could. It wasn’t the main issue. Well, come to find out it was the main issue for Jesus Christ!
- As a Catholic I never heard that I had to be ‘Born Again’ in order to go to heaven! What? Really? They never thought that needed to be shouted from the rooftops? Jesus is the One who first said those words ‘born again’ to Nicodemus! Nicodemus came to Him quietly, didn’t want anyone to know about it. He asked Jesus how he could be sure to get to Heaven. Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3
- As a Catholic I was still hung up on two things. From childhood I had believed that only a Catholic priest could administer the sacrament of absolution. That is, he is the only one who could hear your sins and then pronounce that you were forgiven of those sins. Of course, when you did a few more sins, you had to go back and get another confession/absolution from a Catholic priest. It always felt to me like putting my soul through a spiritual car wash. You had to get a wash every week or so. There wasn’t any other way to do it. Or was there?? Then I was lead to this verse which blew me away: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Wow! Combine that with the verse in my first point above, and it was now obvious I didn’t need to go to the Catholic car wash any more! I could go right to God! I could keep it private between Him and me. That felt so right, so good. I had never felt right about telling my most intimate sins to a man. It was embarrassing! I now know that our loving Father never meant for us to do that. It’s between Him and me.
- The last thing to go was Transubstantiation. That’s the Catholic teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are actually and really, materially, turned into Jesus’ body and blood. The Catholic church goes on to say that if anyone denies that, they are anathema, which means damned to hell! Well, I had believed this teaching from as far back as I could remember. At the last supper, didn’t Jesus bless the bread and wine and tell His disciples that this bread is My body, and this wine is My blood? I prayed and asked God to show me. I struggled so hard with this one. If it turned out that this core teaching of the Roman Catholic church wasn’t true, then I was out of there. That was it for me! I read the scriptures over and over again that spoke about this. I bought all the Catholic doctrinal books I could find regarding the teachings put forth by the Popes, who by the way, are supposed to be Christ’s representative on earth, completely holy and sanctified. So I took a second look and saw that Jesus was sitting there with His apostles saying, ‘Take eat; this is my body.” Did the apostles think they were chewing on Jesus as He sat there? No, of course not! It was symbolic. Then He said, “Drink, all of you” regarding the cup of wine. He goes on to say, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” There are several things here. He is sitting there passing the cup of wine to His disciples. Did they think they were draining His arteries of real blood? Then, this was huge for me, AFTER He calls the wine His blood (which the Catholic church says is the moment when He institutes the sacrament of transubstantiation) He then calls it the FRUIT OF THE VINE again! It wouldn’t be the fruit of the vine anymore, would it?? No. This, too, is obviously symbolic. In Luke 22:19, Jesus says, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” It is to be a beautiful, holy remembrance of Our Lord Jesus until that day that we will eat and drink with Jesus again in the Father’s kingdom. Will we be chewing on flesh and drinking real blood in Heaven? What do you think?
If you are a Catholic seeking the truth, look no further than your own Catholic Bible. The teachings of the Roman Catholic church do not lead us to heaven. They do not teach what Jesus taught. They do not teach that by GRACE are you saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:5. And again: Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law.”
Read the gospels and the New Testament as if you had never heard any of this before. If you had just met Jesus when He walked the earth, and listened to Him talk, what conclusion would you come to?
Today I am thrilled to be a Born Again follower of Jesus Christ through His Holy Word, the Bible. The Truth will set you free!