If you're saved, what does that mean?
Last night I got wrapped up in tweeting way more tweets about that topic than I planned on originally. Clearly this is a non-exhaustive list, but they are a good start down the road to understanding what salvation is, and how it will change your life.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are SAVED. You are in the hands of the Father, and no one can snatch you away.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are God's forever. You don't get to lose your salvation, because you didn't earn it to begin with.
- #BeingSavedMeans that your life is radically, forever changed. Your former life has been killed, and your new life has begun.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you were once dead in sin but now you are alive in Christ.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you have an incredible reason to celebrate. So get to it!
- #BeingSavedMeans your life has new purpose. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength & love your neighbor as yourself!
- #BeingSavedMeans that your will and desires are now being honed to be in line with God's will and desires. .
- #BeingSavedMeans that the world will hate & despise you...but that you are simultaneously loved by the only One who matters.
- #BeingSavedMeans that Jesus' sacrifice paid the debt of your sin and awakened you to your need for Him.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you can never go back to your old life...and that you won't want to, either.
- #BeingSavedMeans that your focus is no longer to live for yourself, but for God.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you don't get to blend into the world anymore. You'll stick out like a sore thumb if you live for God.
- #BeingSavedMeans that Jesus paid it all, and all to him you owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; he washed it white as snow.
- #BeingSavedMeans Satan has no power or control in your life. Rebuke and flee from him.
- #BeingSavedMeans that Jesus has become your greatest joy and most important love.
- #BeingSavedMeans keeping your eyes on the prize and running the race with perseverance
- #BeingSavedMeans that the Bible will now become your most important possession.
- #BeingSavedMeans that Jesus showed you that he is the way, the truth, and the life and you believed it.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are now led by the power of the Spirit, and not the desire to merely gratify the flesh.
- #BeingSavedMeans dying to self.
- #BeingSavedMeans picking up your cross...daily.
- #BeingSavedMeans your Judge has become your Savior.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are now in a relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
- #BeingSavedMeans that although narrow is the way that leads to salvation, Jesus lit the path and showed you the way.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are on a journey of sanctification that, though painful, is unbelievably worth it.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you will one day see Jesus face to face.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are a mirror. God is meant to see himself when he looks at you.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you are a mirror: you are meant to reflect the glory of God to the world.
- #BeingSavedMeans sin can no longer conquer you.
- #BeingSavedMeans that death is only a gateway to eternity with God.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you will be persecuted, but that you will also be blessed by God for enduring to the end.
- #BeingSavedMeans marching to the beat of a different drum...the heartbeat of God.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you must not be ashamed of the Gospel...for it is life!
- #BeingSavedMeans that you're a sheep and not a goat, that you're wheat and not chaff.
- #BeingSavedMeans bearing good fruit, the Fruit of the Spirit.
- #BeingSavedMeans that, categorically, you will no longer fit in.
- #BeingSavedMeans that God considers you a son or daughter.
- #BeingSavedMeans you are laying up for yourself treasures in heaven
- #BeingSavedMeans that you have found the pearl of great worth.
- #BeingSavedMeans that you have sold all you've got and bought the field full of treasure.
- #BeingSavedMeans losing friends and the world, but gaining your soul and eternity with God!
- #BeingSavedMeans that the Gospel has taken full effect and that you will never be the same!
- #BeingSavedMeans EVERYTHING.
The Gospel is a topic that we could spend lifetimes studying and meditating on. That's one of the reasons I believe that we will be with God for eternity. We'll need eternity to grasp the magnitude of Jesus, the cross, and the repercussions of his sacrifice for us. Whether you joined in this trending topic on Twitter or not, what are some other things that come to mind when you think about what #BeingSavedMeans? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and let's start talking! And don't forget to subscribe
to receive new blog posts in your email inbox! It takes 15 seconds...
Help spread the word about my blog if you enjoy it. Just use the buttons above and "Like" it, "Tweet" it, print it off for your small group to discuss, and more!
It is interesting that our culture is so obsessed with money and overall prosperity that the largest church in the country heralds the belief that God wants us all to be happy, rich and healthy. Over 43,500 people flock each week to the country's largest megachurch, Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas. The primary driving force behind the theological (can we call it that?) movement there heavily involves a complete buy-in to what is known as the "prosperity gospel.
Just to give you a quick (and probably a bit incomplete) definition, prosperity theology (prosperity gospel) claims that if we have faith, give financially to Christian ministries, and think and speak positively, God will reward us with health, wealth, overall healing of all our mental and physical issues and our relationships with others.
I'm not going to even touch on the complete lack of biblical evidence to support the prosperity gospel. There isn't any. I challenge anyone to find some while doing justice to the whole Bible, not taking things out of context, and while maintaining a good hermeneutic approach. Frankly, what is left is a clear logical problem with our ability to preach this "gospel" everywhere.
Sure, preach that in America or in other rich parts of the world. But take that "gospel" to a third world country, impoverished by oppression, starvation, disease and lack of clean water. I'd be incredibly interested to know how we could spin prosperity theology to those people. Prosperity theology isn't just theologically tenable, it is also clearly just not the way things work.
Our motivation for serving God is not to acquire wealth, health, or prosperity. Although, I guess that's how it worked back in the New Testament and the early church...oh wait...Paul, the Christian of Christians in many ways, an Apostle who knew the truth and lived it out, spoke of how his life went in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. If anyone would know the blessings of God in this life, it would be Him:
- "Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?"
The early Church had extreme persecution as well, and though persecution isn't quite the same for us in America (though it exists...just try to preach in grade schools), persecution continues to actively seek out believers all around the world. Again, the prosperity gospel does nothing to help the person running for his life after watching his wife and children shot to death in his house church.The real Gospel, however, is empowering and motivating, leading us through life's easy times and hard times alike.
The Gospel says, "God created the world to love and obey Him and to live in close, loving relationships with Him and to each other. However, mankind disobeyed God and did not submit their lives perfectly to Him, destroying the loving community in which we were meant to live. This disobedience, which we call sin, is inherently found in each person on earth from birth. There is no escape from our sin. We can never shake it or make up for it. We are slaves to it, and we must be punished by not only earthly death but eternal separation from God, who must punish humankind for its failure to live to His expectations of perfectly loving, serving and submitting to Him. Fortunately, God also still loved His creation and didn't want all people to be condemned to hell. Though He is also just had still had to punish, He extended His loving grace by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our places, taking the wrath that was against us on His shoulders so that it remains no more against those whom God calls to His side and respond in faith and trust in Him.
Once saved by the faith given to us by God, we are to live our lives as slaves of Christ, no longer slaves to sin. We were bought out of our slavery to sin and serve a new Master now. He changes our lives from the inside, and though our external circumstances may not change, inside we are completely different. We want to live our lives for Him. We want to tell others of the joy that we have inside, regardless of circumstances. We want to show His love by living as Christ would to the world: loving, healing, preaching the truth and caring for others. We see that the world that we live in now is not the end but only a passing challenge and difficulty which will one day be redeemed wholly by God and turned into the "heaven-on-earth" that He promises. We are on route. We will be there soon. That place will have no crying, no pain, no disease, no suffering, no misfortune, no relationships gone awry, no poverty. That place will be completely filled with the presence of God, and in His presence we will worship, live and serve for eternity. We will live in the presence of the One who loves us more than we will ever know. This is not the end. This is the only the beginning.THAT, is a Gospel that empowers, motivates and gives hope to those who have none on earth.
Thought-provoker: Have you come in contact with anyone who has been influenced by the prosperity gospel? How have you seen it play out in their lives?