My beautiful Bride and I got to talking yesterday, and subject came up of salvation. Now usually we in the Christian subculture hear this word in the context of “winning souls” and, I’m afraid to say, the concept of salvation has become very individualistic and other-worldly. (If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of someone else’s soul-winning campaign, t’ain’t so much fun.)
But a true Biblical understanding of salvation goes far, far deeper than a mere “go-to-heaven-when-you-die” religious slogan. If you study and research the nuances of the Hebraic mind in the timeframes in which the Bible was written, you’ll discover that salvation encompasses all aspects of life: physical, emotional, relational, and of course spiritual.
Not only that, but salvation is hardly just for an individual here and there, but for a whole family, a tribe, a town, a county, a country. The whole world. Families are saved when its members learn to love and honor one another by following the example of Jesus Christ. Relationships in the public square are saved when people start to deal fairly and honestly with each other and serve their community in sacrificial and meaningful ways. Governments are saved when politicians abhor corruption, fight for justice and the rights of the oppressed, and put the needs of the people above the needs of the state.
So, it is with this understand that my Bride and I were talking about the salvation of our city. We started dreaming of what it would look like. We began to have greater clarity on what God is doing in our midst. Our hearts began to soften and yearn to see evil confronted and goodness restored in our land. We had an increasing awareness of the cracks in our local society where maybe, just maybe, we could make a loving and meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Now don’t get me wrong: I absolutely believe in the power of saving grace when an individual places their life under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and receives the Holy Spirit. But I also think our western Protestant heritage has taken Christianity into a different mindset than the one found in the proper reading of Scripture when it comes to salvation. It’s time to reclaim our destiny as Christians and realize that God didn’t keep us here to wait for an escape hatch from an evil world, He placed us here for the purpose of loving on others and bringing light into the darkest places. We are part of His plan for salvation. Are you listening?