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3 Ways We Can Miss the Point of Salvation

Praying the sinner’s prayer

During my elementary school years I regularly attended a church camp at Green Oak Boys Ranch.

The last night of the camp was a campfire where we were all urged to give our lives to Christ.

That was probably the first time I prayed the sinner’s prayer.

Missing the point

But those early times praying the sinner’s prayer did nothing for me — because I was missing the point of salvation.

Maybe it was the way the Gospel was explained, or maybe it was just my hard heart.

But whatever the reason — I was not getting the point of salvation — in at least three ways.

So I want to share these with you —

  • in case you have also missed the point of salvation
  • to strengthen you in your experience of salvation
  • so you can more effectively lead others to salvation
  • so today you can more deeply enjoy your salvation

So here goes — three ways we can miss the point of salvation —

Thinking the point is being forgiven so I can avoid hell.

That is an essential point.  But it’s not the MAIN point.

The MAIN point is being forgiven so I can receive the infinite prize of the Universe — God Himself.

Salvation means the deepest longings of my 4th-grade or 56-year old heart can be fully satisfied in knowing God, fellowshiping with God, worshiping God (Psa 16:11).

Like Peter said — Christ died “that He might bring us to God” (1Pet 3:18).

And Paul — Christ died so that whether we are alive or in heaven — “we might live with Him” (1Th 5:9-10).

That’s the point of salvation — that through faith I can receive the heart-filling joy of knowing God-in-Christ — now and forever.

Thinking faith is just agreeing that Jesus died to save me.

This is crucial to believe.  If I don’t believe Jesus’ death can pay for my guilt — I can’t be saved.

But saving faith is more.

Saving faith includes repentance — turning from something.

It means turning from my idols — other things I have trusted to satisfy my heart — and turning to Christ — trusting Him to satisfy my heart.

That’s what Paul did — “whatever gain I had, I counted as loss … in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil 3:7-8).

And the Thessalonians, who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1Th 1:9).

True, saving faith means turning from what I used to trust to satisfy me, and trusting Jesus Christ to satisfy me.

Thinking conversion is just a decision I make or a prayer I pray.

Conversion does involve deciding something.  And praying something.

But it also involves feeling something — the heart-satisfaction of knowing Jesus Christ.

This is described as

  • living water for thirsty souls (John 4:10).
  • the light of Jesus’ glory shining into our hearts (2Cor 4:6).
  • the love of God poured into our hearts by the Spirit (Rom 5:5).

So why do I believe this happens at the point of conversion?

One reason is because this is the point of salvation.  Salvation MEANS receiving Christ as our all-satisfying Treasure.

Can you receive an all-satisfying Treasure — and feel nothing?

The other reason is because it’s taught in Scripture —

  • All who come to Jesus have their heart-hungers satisfied (John 6:35).
  • All who believe in Jesus drink Living Water (John 7:37-38).
  • When God saves us He shines the light of Jesus’ glory into our hearts (2Cor 4:6).

Of course, there are dangers in emphasizing feelings and experiences (more on that another time).

But there are also dangers in not emphasizing what God’s Word promises.

A lottery ticket

Think of someone buying a ticket for the recent Mega-Millions Lottery.

Imagine them finding out it’s the winning ticket — but not understanding that they get $600+ million — and never cashing the ticket in for the winnings.

They missed the point.

The point of salvation…

… is the full and lasting joy of knowing God in the person of Jesus Christ.

Don’t miss the point.

Comments?  Feedback?  Pushback?

I’d love to hear them — feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks!

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(Picture is by ilco on stockxchng.)

Category: Finding Peace and Joy, God's Promises, Strengthening Your Faith


One Response

  1. Pst Elijah Maluti says:

    this are good teaching well studied .where are you brother can hear the cry in Africa Kenya
    God bless
    Pst Maluti

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