The Elect and the Damned
by Brian Murphy
Within Christianity throughout Europe, Canada and the USA, the true Gospel has been replaced in most places with a watered-down version that is more pleasing to the ears and more “politically correct”. This “sugar gospel” is full of sweet things such as “Jesus loves you; Jesus forgives you; Jesus will heal you; Jesus is present in the Eucharist; Jesus is merciful; Jesus will always help you and come to you when you are in need of assistance.” While all these statements are true, what is missing? Key elements that are missing are the declaration of sin, the call to repentance and the announcement of God’s Judgment.
Almost everyone is familiar with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that anyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” This is a compelling invitation. However, very few are familiar with the following written by the same author, in the same chapter of the same Gospel of John: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.” Jn 3:36. What does it mean to disobey the Son? Well, for starters, disobedience consists of indifference to him, failure to go to Church and failure to receive forgiveness of sins in the Church through his ministry of forgiveness in the Church. One could then cite disobedience of the Ten Commandments, which according to Jesus must be fulfilled in Spirit and Truth.
Since there is so much sugar gospel being proclaimed, it behooves us to seriously consider things that Jesus said that are not so pleasant to our ears. Here is a list, just from the Gospel of Matthew:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:20
“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna (hell).” Mt. 5:30
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” Mt. 7:13-14.
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Mt. 7:19
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven.” Mt. 7:21
“I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Mt. 12:36-37
“At the judgment, the queen of the south (queen of Sheba) will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here." Mt. 12:42
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from? He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “ Mt. 13:24-30
“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evil-doers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Mt. 13:41-42
“Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Mt. 13:49-50
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if you eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna (hell).” Mt. 18:6-9
“But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Mt. 24:48-51
"Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to
the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he
will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has
will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness
outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." Mt. 25:28-30
“Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs? He will answer them, ‘Amen I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Mt.25:44-46
God’s judgment applies to me as well as everyone. I take all of the above very seriously, constantly examining my life, seeking truth and righteousness in daily prayer. I long for many friends and family to join this pilgrimage. Wake up! Receive forgiveness of sins in the Church.
It is clear that the ministry of Christ was intended to cause division. It was intended to separate. While it was intended to rouse all mankind out of apathy, indifference, or the idea that there is some other easier path to heaven, many will not listen. Strong words are needed for stubborn people. Alas, too many seem content with the idea of “be good and mind my own business”, without any interest in the ministry of his Church that he founded. Then what can we say about the hordes of people who are steeped in the secular culture who advocate the evil of contraception, abortion, sterilization, cohabitation, divorce, sodomy, fornication, euthanasia and a host of other evils for which they refuse to repent? Clearly, the words of Christ tell us that there are the elect and the damned.
This truth is reiterated by St. John in the book of Revelation:
“The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and Sulphur, which is the second death.” Rev. 21:7-8
Are you still not convinced? Here are some more from Mark, Luke and John:
“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ Mk. 9:47-48
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mk. 16:15-16
“Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where [you] are from. Depart from me all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Lk. 13:27-30.
“Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.” Jn. 5:28-29
“Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Jn. 6:53
“Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.” Jn. 12:48-49
We can rejoice and be thankful that Jesus was not bashful, unclear or ambiguous. How can anyone refuse his offer? What a deal! To start, believe in him, and receive forgiveness of sins through the ministry of confession of sins and baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in his Church. Who are the elect? They are the ones who are baptized and who obey Christ. As the apostle Peter said, “But you are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises" of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9