man on journey alone

 

 

SALVATION: A DESTINATION OR A JOURNEY?

By: Harold Moreland

 

Has Western Christianity turned salvation into a destination instead of a journey? A destination is a place where you “have arrived” after a journey. I’m sure you have heard people say “I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved if I endure till the end”. In the Apostle Paul’s letters he often conveyed the fact that we are all on a journey. There are many scriptures that can be mentioned, but for time’s sake I will just list a few;

 

1.       “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 Cor. 1:18

 

2.       “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  Phil 3:13

 

3.       “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.  1 Cor. 9:24-27

 

4.       “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end”.  Hebrews 3:14

 

Salvation is not a ticket to heaven that can be purchased, it is not a product that can be obtained, and it is not a one-time decision that overrules any future decisions. Salvation begins with an answer to a call from heaven and continues through life as a journey in partnership with God, and it cannot be duplicated or manipulated by man. There is no prayer you can repeat, no task you can perform, nor any organization you can join that will save your soul. There is no “formula” for salvation. It is always a personal encounter between God’s Spirit and a man or woman. God’s call to each individual is different, because we as humans are different. To question someone’s salvation based on your own experience or doctrinal beliefs is not only theologically incorrect, but it’s judgmental and dangerous. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is quoted as saying, “Judgement and forgiveness are always in the hands of God. He closes and He opens”. There is no one doctrine among today’s Christian denominations that divide us more than the “doctrine of salvation”. From the far left to the far right. Some say it’s obtained by simply repeating a “sinners prayer” while others say it’s subjecting yourself to a long list of rules.

 

I believe salvation is a journey, with a hope and quest to obtain the ultimate destination, which is living with Christ for eternity as He quickens this mortal body through resurrection. There is nothing within a humans means whereby it can be attained, purchased, worked for, or earned apart from God’s calling. It comes down to a simple “Yes”. Faith in His grace and forgiveness, that is where the journey begins. Many have and will turn back or give up on this journey. Many have and will try to manipulate and/or fabricate alternatives to salvation itself and/or its journey. But mans heart always knows where he/she stand with their creator. Beloved, do not allow your hearts conscience to be clouded by westernized doctrines. Follow your heart, because it’s there that the battle is won or lost.

 

“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.”  Rom 11:22

 

Wow, we are challenged to “continue in His kindness”. Beloved, this is a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light, but one that must be taken seriously.

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