Are you saved? “Of course! I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 7 years old in Vacation Bible School. I know I’m going to heaven because the Bible tells me so. I believed and that settles it!” Almost all Christians think of salvation exclusively in terms of the past. When they do this, they miss the primary motivation to live a godly life.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Scriptures Present A Future Salvation
New Testament writers usually envision salvation as a future reality.
Jesus taught: And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10.22, see 24.13, too).
Salvation is promised not to those who have been saved or show evidence of being saved, but to those who persevere.
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Romans 13.11).
Then St. Paul spells out how we are to live as people whose salvation is near – not because we are already saved but because salvation is close ahead of us.
Much more then, having now been justified by [in] His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath (of God) through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by [in] His life (Romans 5.9-10).
St. Paul teaches us that “now…we were…having been” justified and reconciled, there is “much more” saving to come.
But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5.8-9).
Salvation is a future gift described as a) hope, and b) to be obtained or acquired on the day of judgment instead of wrath.
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Hebrews 9.28).
No question salvation is future here. At His second coming He will bring salvation to all who wait for him.
There are many more scripture passages I could point you to. I may do some more in my next post.
A Future Salvation Motivates
My point is this, understanding salvation as future provides necessary motivation to live out our past and present salvation.
Revisit the passages above. Each one emphasizes living the Christian life in light of a future salvation. Persevere. Wake up. Live in Christ. Be self-controlled (sober) in your right mind. Put on faith, love and hope. Live attentive to Christ’s second coming. You’re not saved yet. Keep at it! (Philippians 2.12-13)
If you believe you’re “good to go,” motivation is diminished or distorted. If you’re deeply concerned and convinced that salvation awaits as you persevere in being Christian (by God’s grace), you have reason to keep pressing ahead.
Now, don’t think that I’ve forgotten Ephesians 2.8-9. Yes. Salvation is also past and present. Yet, salvation is primarily presented as future in scripture. Many of you have not given that much thought, I imagine, let alone allowed that reality to motivate you to live in Christ. Give this some thought. You’re not saved…yet.
Let the reality of a future salvation motivate you to live as a Christian today.
How does the reality of a future salvation affect you now? Share your thoughts below.