In religion, salvation is about saving mankind from the impending spiritual death or eternal damnation through the gift of eternal life. Only the One true God can grant that salvation. The religions of the world is united in saying that mankind needs salvation, considering its present condition. But, they differ in belief as to how God will save mankind, and how will people attain salvation and what are the things needed to be saved.
Some religions believe that salvation can be attained through personal works like meditations, self discipline, acquisition of knowledge, rituals and good deeds. Some preach that salvation can be attained only through the grace of God. On the other hand, some believe that salvation can be attained if we become free from sins and have the right relationship with God.
The Elements of Salvation
There are elements of salvation discussed in the Bible. The New Testament preaches how Christians and those who are willing can be saved from the impending perils of this earth. To attain salvation, of course we need a savior. The Bible says God is our salvation. Psa 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death. According to Paul, Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of thegreat God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Christians are waiting for the great God and savior, that is Jesus Christ.
Paul’s letter gives proof to what is said in Luke 2: 10-11 (And the angel said, Have no fear; for truly, I give you good news of great joy which will be for all the people: For on this day, in the town of David, a Saviour has come to birth, who is Christ the Lord.)
Act 4:12 And in no other is there salvation: for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, through which we may have salvation.
In the Old Testament, the Prophets say that there is only one Lord and Savior – God. If the one true God is the only Lord and savior, how come Jesus Christ became our Lord and savior? Many say that Jesus is only a SON, only a PROPHET, SON of MAN and a MESSENGER. All these are true. Jesus became a SON, because He does the will of His Father. Anyone who does the will of the Father, which is God becomes a SON. Jesus left us an example on how to be a child of God.
Jesus was a PROPHET an a MESSENGER too. Jesus said that whoever believes in Him believes also in the Father, and anyone who sees Him sees also the one who sends Him (Father). The mystery of godliness is great, God manifests Himself in the flesh. And this is His own decision for Himself. (Ephesians 1: 9 – Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:)
Another element needed for salvation is the body of Christ. Christ body as we have all known is His church. In the Old Testament, remissions of sins can be done through sacrificial lambs. In the New Testament, Jesus built His church to be an instrument of salvation. Anyone who was baptized on the church of God receives the forgiveness of their sins.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Why do we need salvation? Why do we need to be part of that salvation? The Bible says that God wants us to know the truth and receive salvation. There is an end for everything in this earth. All the wicked things will come to an end. Even the earth and the heaven that we see will come to an end. And God wants us to be saved from this impending damnation. (2Pe 3:6 – 7) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. In other words, this is where God will save us from. He wants to save us from the fires of hell.
The earth and the heaven that we see is destined for destruction in the day of judgment. The earth will become the place for everlasting punishment. And the devil along with the demons and the people who were cheated will all be part of that eternal punishment. Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Jesus mentioned this place of torment in Mark 9: 48 -49,
Mar 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Where will God put us to save us from the fires of hell?
If there is a place of eternal punishment, there is also a place for people who will be saved. God will bring all the people who had triumphed over evil and all who had become worthy to a place which will save them from the eternal fires of hell. This place is the place that Jesus is telling in John 14: 1-3, the kingdom of God in heaven.
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
What happened to earth? And how did the Bible describe the heaven?
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
The Apostles knew about the return of Jesus. And when He returns, He will take all His people to save them from the eternal fires of hell. The Apostles also know how we can be saved. They know about the way.
Joh 14:4 And you all have knowledge of where I am going, and of the way to it.Therefore, Christ taught the way leading to heaven. He is the way, the truth and the life as mentioned in John 14: 6. He is the door of salvation (John 10: 9), referring to His body, which is the church of God. Anyone who becomes a part of the church will have a great chance of His salvation.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Being part of the church of God is only one of the steps to attain salvation. The other steps must therefore be done to be saved, that is to show that we walk according to His will, renewing the spirit of our minds, and having a perfect relationship with God.
Paul adds that we need to stand by the words of God in order to be saved.
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.