Salvation (noun): 1) preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.
2) deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
When someone says that they are "saved", what does that mean? Why God? Why salvation? What is the point?
Understanding that eternal life has two options Heaven, God's home, and Hell created specifically for Satan and those angels who followed his rebellion, to accept salvation is to be saved from eternal damnation (Hell).
Accepting salvation is only relevant if you believe these truths:
-The Bible is infallible (incapable of making mistakes or being wrong; never failing; always effective)
-The Creation and Fall found in Genesis 1-3 is true, not a metaphor, not a Christian fairytale but a fact of faith
-Jesus Christ is God sent from Heaven to reconcile our souls so that we can spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
This is important because everything we do in faith is to prepare our souls to be able to spend eternity with Christ. Because we are born into sin, our souls have to be purified to holiness so that we can spend eternity with a holy God.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Sin can not go to Heaven.
This is why John 3:16 is the most famous scripture of the Christian faith:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Why did Christ have to die in order for reconciliation to be possible?
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Before Christ and the cross, a priest would have to live perfectly so that he could enter into God's presence and sacrifice an offering on behalf of the nation for their sins (See Leviticus 1:4-17). And when I say that the priest had to live perfectly, whichever priest that went into God's presence to perform the sacrifice had to wear a bell around his ankle and if those in the sanctuary no longer heard the bell they would know that he died. (Exodus 28:35) They would then drag him out by a rope attached to the bell, because sin can not exist in God's presence and if you hadn't been properly prepared to enter in, you could not be in God's presence.
God knowing that this was not a sustainable model, sent Himself in the flesh to be the last and only perfect sacrifice.
Because we were created to be loved by God forever, it's our sin that makes that impossible.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
God always wants us to be with Him, but He won't force any of us to acknowledge or love Him. In order to get the full benefits of salvation, we have to choose Him.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Alternatively, the sole goal of Satan is to convince us otherwise.
Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
Isaiah 5:13, 14
So while Hell was not created for us, it makes room for everyone who denies Christ, not because God wants us to go to Hell, but because sin can not exist in Heaven. God also knew that we wouldn't be able to reach the level of holiness required to enter Heaven on our own, so He gave us a piece of Him, the Holy Spirit, to help us to purify us to holiness so that we can spend eternity with Him.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Listen, I say all of this to say, if you occasionally read Scriptures because they sometimes motivate you, and you listen to sermons because they feel good, I just want you to know that you've barely skimmed the surface of who God is. If all you want is to get through this life according to your own peace, honestly, a deeper salvation isn't necessary.
But, if you're trying to make Heaven your eternal home, if you desire not just to find your purpose here, but to walk in the calling God has custom fit for you to live your best life here and in eternity, salvation is so much more than Sunday morning worship. It's a deep personal relationship with the Creator of the universe and I would implore you to explore what that means for you.
If I haven't told you anything new today, I hope this served as a refresher course to why we do this, feel free to share today's blog with anyone you want to share the gift of salvation.