What Is Salvation?
Let’s Explore the Answer
Have you ever heard someone referred to as saved? What does being saved or salvation even mean? Maybe someone’s recently asked you if you were saved and you weren’t sure how to respond. Or maybe you heard someone on TV talk about the need for salvation and you weren’t sure what they meant.
At its core, salvation is easy to understand. A person who’s drowning is in desperate need of help which they’re not able to provide themselves. They’re saved when another person reaches out and pulls them out of danger. In the same way, Christianity establishes that something in this world and within us is broken; this brokenness pulls every soul down into darkness like drowning. Jesus came to earth to offer us a hand to pull us from the darkness; to save us.
Skeptics, Atheists, and the Bible have very different views of salvation.
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What Skeptics & Atheists Say
In order to believe that salvation is necessary, one would first have to believe that there’s a brokenness in the world and innately within people. Atheists and skeptics might not believe that there’s anything inherently good or bad within us. They might believe instead that people are just people and that each determines their own path. They feel that the path each person chooses is neither wrong nor righteous so long as he or she’s acting authentically.
Atheists and skeptics might accept concepts of right and wrong as being socially constructed for an orderly and just society, but reject the concepts beyond them. If there’s nothing inherently wrong with people, then there’s no need for salvation.
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What The Bible Says
Human brokenness begins in the first pages of the Bible. The first humans, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Their poor choice caused personal imperfections which unfortunately resulted in separation from God’s perfection. These imperfections seeped deep into the soul of man and were passed like a genetic disease to every future generation.
The Bible calls this problem, “sin” and it impacts every single human being who’s ever lived. In fact, Christians believe this natural inclination towards self-centered choices are a human condition we’re born into as a result of Adam and Eve’s original actions.
This means that humans, like a person drowning, need help. We can’t “fix” our problem called sin. Like a shattered mirror, no matter how hard we try, we could never perfectly put back all the shards and fragments of our splintered soul.
The good news is God wants to help! In fact, God sent his son Jesus to fix our problem. The Bible says, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need to be be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to that the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” (John 3:16-17).
This is salvation. It’s God’s great gift to all who believe. We can’t earn it or pay for it. All we can do is accept that Jesus came to earth to put things right again. He came to restore the brokenness within our soul. He came to restore our relationship with God so that we will never be separated again, either here on Earth or in eternity.
Once someone makes the decision to believe, they’re made completely right in God’s eyes. All of their past, current, and future sins are forgiven. This isn’t through any penance paid or steps taken, but simply the gift of grace that comes with the choice to follow Jesus. The Bible teaches that no matter what background someone comes from, all they need to do for this salvation from the sinful nature of humanity is to believe.
Have you ever felt like something wasn’t right with the world; like something was broken? Have you ever wished there was a solution to the past and hope for the future? What if the answer is actually salvation – believing that Jesus really did come to fix all that was broken?
What would happen if you embraced the possibility that the God of the Bible really did create the world and really does care for you?
In the seventeenth century, a famous philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, encouraged people to make a wager when it came to belief in God. If a person chose to believe in God and God did exist, that person would gain everything (eternal life). If a person chose to believe in God and God did not exist, that person would lose nothing. On the other hand, if a person chose not to believe in God and he was right, he would lose nothing. But if that person did not believe in God and he was wrong- he would lose everything (lose eternal life).
This wager can be said another way:
Based on this logic, Pascal suggested the rational person would choose to believe in God as believing offers a person everything (eternal life) while losing nothing. Wherever you are in your faith journey, would you consider taking Pascal’s wager? If the good God of the Bible exists, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing in Him today.
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Life can feel truly overwhelming for everyone at times, which is why people so often use prayer - or simply put, a conversation with God - to ask for hope, strength, guidance, or circumstantial change in difficult times. "Putting it in God’s hands" when we’re facing any number of obstacles can provide great comfort and peace in a world that we know is out of our own control.
The Bible teaches us that prayer is powerful and effective, both in communicating with God and in bringing peace to those who pray. We consider it an honor to be able to talk personally with the God who created us, with confidence that He listens and cares. No matter your faith background, and whatever the challenges you’re facing, we’re eager to pray for you, your family members, or any of your loved ones. There’s nothing we’d love more than to present your requests to God and pray with you.