Who gets "saved" and what does "saved" really mean?
A goose that lays golden eggs. King Midas and the ability to turn things to gold through “the Midas Touch.” A winning Powerball Lottery ticket. Confessing Jesus as your Savior and inheriting an irrevocable one-way ticket to heaven. What do all of these things have in common? First of all, they all sound really good at the outset as they all provide a way to find some kind of wealth without work. It sounds like fun, though if you know the stories of the goose and King Midas, things didn’t work out so well. Secondly, they are all not based in reality, even Powerball. With odds of winning placed at over one in 175,000,000, this translates to “not gonna happen, so don’t hold your breath.” Wait a minute; did I just imply that a one-way ticket to heaven is not based in reality? Yes and no! Let’s look!
The concept of being “saved” is a tricky subject because the perception of what being “saved” means for the Christian varies widely depending on what denomination you are ascribing to. For me, the best way to get to the bottom line on the matter is to ask what seems to be some of the most basic questions – what are we being saved from and who is in line for saving?
To be saved means to be delivered. I think every Christian would agree that we need to be delivered from sin, so let’s go back to the time when sin introduced itself to humanity. What we find there is that there are actually three things that we need deliverance from. First, there is Satan. His usurpation of authority from the expressed will of God created an alternative path for mankind to follow. This alternative requires a shift in loyalty from God as the God of the world to accepting Satan as the god of the world. How do you make this shift? You listen to and obey Satan’s word over the word of God. Adam did this and we need deliverance from its results.
Second there is the choice of sin. Adam made a distinct choice to follow what Satan had said to Eve, and in so doing, he shifted the destiny of humanity from loyalty to God to follower of Satan. I know it sounds kinda rash, but that’s what sin is, that’s what we are born into – disloyalty to God. Adam’s choice to sin created the need for deliverance.
Third, there is the result of following Satan’s lead through the choice of sin - and that is death. Death comes to all of humanity and rightfully so, for God had plainly declared it to Adam. To be a part of God’s original design of life, we need to be delivered from death.
Enter Jesus who comes and fulfills the required justice by giving his life for the life of Adam. Saving – deliverance - is now possible, but for who? Some Bible texts say that there are a few who will be saved and other Bible texts say that EVERYONE will be saved. The cool thing is that both are correct. By the way, being saved/delivered is not an end result. It is actually the beginning of a growth process for those who are saved. Check out our November 14, 2016 podcast, “Once Saved are You Set for Life?” and see for yourself!
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