Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Hope of Salvation

If a Christian, you may have been asked, when were you saved? I think this is a valid question, because I believe there is an initial point that we accept Jesus into our lives and we live having a relationship with Him. However, this should just be the beginning.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9, Paul says "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." Therefore, becoming a Christian means we accept Christ and become a part of a process where we are more and more changed.
I believe this is important because people sometimes have unrealistic expectations for themselves as Christians or for others calling themselves Christians. For those calling themselves Christians, they may get discouraged when they at times fall to temptation or see non-Christians that appear better than they are. Also, non Christians can use mistakes by Christians as reasons for rejecting this faith. However, a better viewpoint is to see mature Christians as having a hope for salvation. They are looking for becoming better and better and can rejoice at their improvement from where they were before.
Rather than just a single event, salvation can be seen as a long- term process. For me personally, I see myself going through stages, each one moving me up some in maturity. I first asked Christ to come into my life as a teenager at a Billy Graham Crusade. However, my faith was not strong. It improved after getting to know men Christians while attending army reserves training camps. They answered many of my questions. I then had another boost when I found a church that was a good fit for me. Finally, as I got more involved with this church through service such as in the Men's Ministry and Children's Ministry, my faith became even stronger.
Therefore, I would encourage those in considering the Christian faith in themselves and others to ask the following questions:
* Where was the person before launching out as a Christian?
* What has the person done to nourish his or her faith and put it into action?
A person calling himself/herself a Christian has a hope of salvation which he should attempt to fulfill on a daily basis.

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