It is Easter, so what better time to talk about salvation… There are so many misconceptions, and misunderstandings about the Bible, and so many misused verses. They have become so ingrained in us, that even when we see the answer or explanation in God’s word we don’t take note, because that is not what we were told or taught to believe originally.
Salvation is a touchy subject. Everyone has their own thoughts, ideas and opinions, but what does the Bible say about the matter? Shouldn’t God’s word be the only thing we trust and test our beliefs and thoughts against? God and his word should be our only measuring stick. As it says in Isaiah 2:22, “Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he?” We have to have noble hearts like the Bereans, who received the message with great eagerness and then examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true – they checked everything according to God’s word (Acts 17:11).
So what should we understand about salvation? Hebrews 9:28 says,
“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
At the first coming Jesus was sacrificed to take away the sins of many people, but only when he appears a second time, at the time of the second coming, does he bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
The blood of Jesus comes into full effect at the time of his return, when his blood is used to purchase people for God’s kingdom and priests (Rv 5:9-10), and his blood is what we have to wash our robes in to make them white (Rv 7:14; Rv 22:14). Having the correct ‘clothing’ is a requirement to be part of the wedding banquet of the Lamb (Mt 22:1-13), and be the true and ready bride of Christ (Rv 19:7-8).
In Revelation 12:10 it says, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Here we can see that only after the accuser has been hurled down does salvation come, along with the power and kingdom of God. There is a time and a specific order of events that has to be fulfilled first.
Philippians 2:12 says,
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
Why fear and trembling? Well, there’s the man who made it to the wedding banquet only to be kicked out because he was not wearing the correct wedding clothes (Mt 22:11-13). And how about the weeds and the wheat? They both grow in the same field, but the wheat gets harvested while the weeds are tied in bundles and burned (Mt 13:29-30). And then there is the parable of the net, with the good and bad fish. The good ones are kept, but the bad are thrown away (Mt 13:47-49). In each of these parables we can see that there are those who are kept or harvested, and those who are thrown away, burned, or removed. They all started off in the same place (the field, the sea etc), but only some actually ‘make the cut’ – only some have the correct clothes, are the wheat, or are the good fish. In fact Matthew 22:14 even says, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
We have to make sure that we are doing what is required of us so that we can not only be one of the many who are invited, but also one of the few who are chosen.
How do you and your family spend Easter Sunday?