We’re a month into this new year of 2014. The old man is out and the new baby is in.
I was thinking about salvation and how new spiritual life is like a new baby. So often we’re told that salvation is more than just getting saved from hell. Salvation allows us to have a relationship with the Almighty. (But if I hear “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion,” I’m going to throw something.)
In fact, evangelism seems like it has largely stopped talking about being saved from hell. Naturally, we don’t want to reduce God to a simple “get out of Hell free” card like this is cosmic Monopoly game. But hey! That’s a pretty good extra about being saved…no hell!
What made me think of this was pondering the relationship of a mother with her child. The baby cries when he needs fed, or changed, or he just wants to be held. The mother finds her joy in answering these cries and lavishing love on her newborn. However, a relationship where the two become friends takes years while the child grows into an adult.
Just as a new baby cries out to be fed and rocked to sleep, people can be saved by calling on Christ as their savior from hell and death. As they grow, the relationship with God the Father will overshadow the desire to just have basic needs met.
So, as you evangelize your friends, neighbors, and relatives in 2014, remember that though we have a message of hope and peace and community with God to give them, don’t be surprised if salvation is a get out of hell free card to them at first. They’re young. They’ll learn.