Threefold Salvation: Past, Present, and Future
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them. – Psalm 107:13
It seems that the American church is consumed with initial salvation. We love to count the number of hands raised, the number of checks in the “yes” box, or the number of people who come forward to the altar. I think all that is great, but at best, those things represent a seed being received and planted. Jesus Himself says you simply need to watch what happens to the seed. Some will be scorched quickly, weeds will choke others out, and some will actually produce at different levels (Matthew 13). I liken it to the first step of a marathon; Just because you took the first step 20 years ago, does not mean you are anywhere near the finish line.
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present age. – Galatians 1:4
Here is the thing: No matter how long you have been saved, you are still presently being saved. I am calling things sin in my life right now that if you had told me was a sin at the starting gate, I might have just said no to it all. I would have thought that salvation is impossible, so why even try? I didn’t know back then that the only step I needed to be conscious of was the one right in front of me.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved. – Matthew 24:13
Jesus says times will get tougher and tougher for the believer. As time goes on, being a Christian is becoming more and more difficult (not that it was ever easy). Many are pointing fingers at us, calling us names, and seeing us as the primary cause of the world’s problems. We are now known to many of the unbelieving world as xenophobes, misogynists, and bigots simply for believing the Bible. These labels have already cost many their livelihood here in the US. Christians in the Middle East and other countries aren’t as fortunate; they are dying brutal deaths for their faith in Jesus Christ. (See http://www.persecution.com)
Thank God when I am weak, He proves Himself strong. I have doubted Him and chickened out on Him so many times over the course of my life. Sometimes I can despair about this, but time and time again He proves that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I’m not going to say I’ve never thought about quitting because I have. But, every time I think about it, Peter’s question comes to mind: “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:68)
What religion, belief system, or non-belief system would I possibly trade Him for?
He has proven Himself faithful to me over and over for the past 25 years. His presence is the absolute greatest joy in my life. How could I possibly abandon the one person who has never failed me and never wronged me?
Lord, help me stay strong. Help me endure to the end.