What’s the Catch?

“…He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16)

Lately, my wife and I have been on the look out for condominium units that are for sale. Working on a tight budget, I decided to surf the internet to find a unit that would fit my capacity to pay. After almost two hours of surfing, I chanced upon an announcement featuring a condominium unit for sale with an exceptionally low selling price. The specifications were perfect for my needs, and the price suited me well. Really, it was too good to be true!

Immediately, I scribbled the name and number of the contact person and started dialing the number. A pleasant sounding woman answered the phone and introduced herself as the condo unit owner. She described to me the unit with all its added features and amenities. I was impressed. “This might be it!”, I though to myself. Just to be sure, I confirmed the selling price and true to its ad, it was really sold almost 40% less than the regular price of most condos with the same size. The answer to my last question however, doused my fire. 

“So, ” I began, “When can we move in?” 

“Next year.” she answered.

“What?”, I almost screamed from the other end of the line. “How come?”, I asked.

“Sir,” she giggled, “this is a pre-selling promo. The units are not yet there. You start paying your monthly amortization now and we will build your unit in time for March next year.”

That’s the catch!

Look, I have nothing against a pre-selling scheme for condo units. And I know that pre-sold condos are usually cheaper. Fine. But some ads ought to say these things so as not to deceive the buyer. Had I known that the condos were not yet built, then I would not have wasted my time calling up the seller. I thought the ad was too good to be true, and I guess I was right! 

God, on the other hand, did not engage in such a scheme when he said,

“…He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16)

Reading through this verse makes one think of salvation as cheap. You ask, “Is that all I need to do?”. Believe and be baptized? There must be some catch there somewhere.

Friend, there is no catch. Jesus meant every word he said. No tricks up his sleeve. No hidden clauses on the contract. 

Believe. With your heart, mind, mouth and life. The way you live your life must reflect that belief. Live righteously. Work with integrity. Speak with honesty. Serve diligently. And love unconditionally. Live what you believe.

Baptize. Salvation isn’t self-willed. You need God to bring you to heaven. You need Him in the person of the Holy Spirit. Baptism allows you to achieve what you cannot attain on your own.

But while salvation is pure grace, it isn’t flat-out cheap. It is expensive. Too expensive, in fact, that you could not afford it. That’s why it’s good that it has already been paid for.

No wonder Jesus had the guts to say what he said in the above quote. He was the one who bought salvation, that ‘s why he can give it freely to anyone he wishes. Including you.

Go ahead, claim that promise. Receive that mercy today. Dial God now through a short prayer of commitment. Inquire with your parish priest, pastor or community leader about this great bargain. Do not be afraid, dear friend.

There is no catch.

Have a blessed day!

 I remain, your friend in Christ,

 Bobby Q. 


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