Q: Some questions …
OK i have heard, on judgement day we will be judged, but then i have also heard we have already been forgiven and we wont be judged we will be judges and God will ask us to participate in judgement i dont understand, im trying to but im confused and two, do you have to be baptized, because in one of the verses it says that you should be baptized, by water no one will enter the kingdom of heaven if he is not reborn i need help understanding this. And tell me about the rapture.
A: There is no divine judgment for sins that have already been duly forgiven by God.
And while God may forgive those who apologize to him and who repent of their sins, the only Christians who absolutely know for sure that they’ve been forgiven (while still alive, here on earth) are Catholics, since Jesus gave the Catholic Church alone the power to forgive sins when he instituted the sacrament of reconciliation, as his very first official act, after he raised himself up from the dead.
That this was obviously on his mind as Jesus departed his tomb should give you an indication of how much Jesus wanted us all to have the grace and the peace of mind that absolute forgiveness of sins can truly provide.
Unfortunately, non-Catholics will have to wait until Judgment Day to find out if they’ve been forgiven (or not) and that typically means that they will indeed be judged.
Regarding baptism … It was absolutely clear, for the first 1500 years of Christianity that baptism was typically required for salvation, and that baptism was “the door” to the church, and to all that the church had to offer, for the care of souls.
And while the protestant reformers had some valid disputes with the Catholic church and the way the clerics were running things (just as we still do today) nothing has ever successfully challenged the truth and the consistency of Catholic doctrine, since it comes directly from Jesus and the apostles, and so cannot be refuted.
The bottom line on baptism is this: Why would anyone take a chance with their own salvation by forgoing baptism, when it’s so easy and so simple to get baptized … especially when we have Jesus’ personal example in the matter .. as well as his great commission … neither of which leaves room for any doubt about the critical necessity of baptism?
As for the rapture: Until about 200 years ago, absolutely no one even mentioned the possibilty of a “rapture” that might pluck Christians out of the world, prior to the return of Jesus Christ.
Catholics and most other Christians still think the idea of the “rapture” is pure bunk … since God has always demonstrated his ability to save his people, while they remain planted firmly here on earth.
The critical thing to understand about the end times is that the antichrist comes first, claiming to be God, and deceiving the world, then 7 years or so of trouble follows, culminating in the return of the real Jesus, with all the angels and all the saints, who finally put Satan and all his minions in hell, leaving the rest of us to get on with eternity, in the presence of God.
I hope this has been helpful.