Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We've always done it this way!!

Many times I have heard that exclamation. Both in the church life and work life. Probably even the home life as well. Does that make it right, however?  Does it make it even worth a look? A caller in today's broadcast mentioned an elderly relative wanting to leave her church, due to the fact that the denomination has started to change the way things are done. This particular relative grew up where women were pretty well not allowed to be a visual participant of any church activity. I can relate. Women were to be seen and not heard. We were supposed to show up at every quilting bee, and we could talk there--but heaven forbid that we actually do anything beyond sing and smile on Sunday morning. So thankful am I, that Jesus was the first women's libber! But--that's for another time.

I have to admit, I was impressed with the response given by the talk show host. The thing is, this relative wasn't looking for the key issue. The bottom line is, what is salvation? If the marked is miss on this very crucial issue, then the other matters are simply a dog and pony show.
So, exactly what IS salvation? What is "being saved"? Or.. "Born again"... and all those other words we associate with salvation? The way the Bible breaks it down, is eternal life.  Ironically, this also tied into another question on the same broadcast, but a little later in the show. Can we lose eternal life? Well... if it's possible for people to lose their salvation, then nobody would be saved. I mean, let's face it... Adam and Eve were in a land of perfection, total communion with God, and even they failed at it. If they, who were created perfect, placed in the perfect Garden of Eden, talked on a daily basis with the Perfect Creator, and still fouled up, what chance to we, imperfect people in an imperfect world have in keeping our salvation? This is a valid argument that I dare say I haven't given much thought to, until this afternoon.
Eternal life is such, because of what Jesus did, not what we do. If good works can't save us, how can bad works un-save us? Eternal life is given to those that were dead. If our bad works take away life, then our bad works kill us? Of course, we repent, ask forgiveness, and commit again, thereby gaining eternal life again--well, until the next time someone cuts us off on the freeway, then we let out a string of profanity, and lose our eternal life--again. This would be a religion for the Twilight characters I suppose--vampire salvation. Thankfully, that's not the salvation, or Eternal Life, that God gave us. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. We didn't seal ourselves, and we don't  unseal ourselves. Isn't it a wonderful Gospel to know that we don't have to muster up Eternal Life (which is ONLY found in Christ Jesus) from somewhere within ourselves?

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