What have we become? What have we made the message of Christ in this nation? We have taken the Gospel and mutated it into a message about us. We have taken the power of Christ’s atonement and made it a point to be punched on our ticket to heaven. We have minimized the resurrection to be power for your “Best Life Now”.
Salvation is not a ticket to heaven, but this is essentially what we teach. Jesus died so you can be forgiven and henceforth, upon death or rapture, you receive a mansion on the hilltop, or more contemporaneous to the Jefferson’s “A DE-LUX apartment in the SKY-Y-Y”.
Salvation is not about primarily our entrance into heaven, or seeing your dearly departed loved ones (as great as that will be). The message of the cross is the power of God unto salvation, because you are saved to enjoy the presence of the One who is SALVATION: Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Messiah). This is to take place in the NOW! Salvation is not about “Move’in on Up”, but about being in His presence forever, after He lives in us until we see Him face to face.
Why have we done this? Because it is more readily accepted by people, who want a free ride to heaven with minimal discomfort here and now; like the discomfort of repentance, or the discomfort of being set apart from the world, the flesh and the devil. Or the discomfort of denying ourselves for the will of God, taking up our cross and living for Him, rather than ourselves.
To be saved is not a past tense accomplishment, but a present reality. Through faith in Christ’s atonement, we are forgiven that we may be reconciled to God. To be be saved is to literally be born again with a new nature, in order to grow in righteousness (II Corinthians 5:17-21), love and boldness; for proclaiming the praises of the One who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9-10). Salvation means the chains and addictions of our past are severed forever (Isaiah 61:1-3), allowing us to freely obey the word of God, as lead by the Holy Spirit.
To be a saved person means I willingly grow in living the truth, “my life is not my own, I was bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). To be saved means I am joined to others, who have followed Jesus Christ, and for whom I willingly lay aside my needs to meet theirs (I Corinthians 12:12-20; Romans 15:1-2; Philippians 2:1-4).
Ultimately, to be saved means I have the potential, to not only meet with God, in all His manifest presence, but to be filled with the fullness of who He is (Ephesians 3:14-19). In this truth, I understand that I am part of the body of Christ as a living stone and with all the other living stones we present a living representation of Christ to the lost world around us (I Peter 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:19-22).
Therefore, let us consider with great grief, what is passing for “being saved” in our day. In our geography is the Savior being proclaimed and seen as He truly is or as a cheapened and unholy caricature, because of false conversions and a lukewarm and compromising church?
Let us awake and trust Christ to give us light (Ephesians 5:13-21)! Let us recapture the joy of being saved and fixate on the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)! Let us take the counsel of Christ and buy gold (faith) refined in the fire, the garment of Christ’s holiness and seek to have our vision healed (Revelation 3:18). And before His return, let us once again discover and commit to obeying His last great command “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Let us remember Jesus is returning for His Bride, the church, who is supposed to be ready for Him in a very particular way…
Ephesians 5:26-27 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Let the question be asked, from the Old Hymn…
“When the Bride Groom cometh, will your robes be white? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Remember dear friends salvation is not about what we profess, but rather what Christ declares concerning us…
Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’