For years I thought going to church was just a ritual. Something we did every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. Sing for 30 minutes, next the offering, then a long, boring sermon – counting the minutes until it was over. We did learn some very critical, eternal spiritual truths that I am thankful for today. I learned that Jesus died for us and rose again. And I learned that if I accepted him, Jesus would live in my heart and I’d go to heaven when I died.
Honestly, I believed that accepting Christ’s salvation just meant I had my ticket to heaven.
And a long list of do’s and don’ts, with no power to do the “do’s”.
When I prayed the sinner’s prayer, I had my slate wiped clean and my sins forgiven. But the way I understood it, after that – I was basically on my own to live up to God’s standards from then on. If I could keep the 10 commandments, go to church every Sunday, and stay on God’s good side then I would be blessed. But if I sinned, something bad would happen to me and I’d have to start over.
It felt like a vicious circle, one day I felt I had God’s approval and my prayers would get through – the next day I knew I was one the outside, or maybe just “grounded.” I felt I had to get right with God again before my prayers would get through. But then at the end of my life – after I died, I’d show my ticket at the pearly gates, walk into the bright light of heaven and spend eternity singing the hallelujah chorus.
Does that sound at all like the message you heard too?
That’s how I felt, ok – maybe I am over simplifying but it’s close.
However, over in the last 30 years I have had a desire to really get to know God for myself. I enjoyed digging into the Word of God. I wanted to learn what it said. Not just accept the religious traditions I had learned growing up.
What I’ve found has turned my world upside down.
It’s made the Christian life super exciting. It’s also uncovered a lot of false religious teachings that I learned in the denominational church I grew up in. It has caused me to be passionate about sharing these truths with everyone I can.
I learned about God’s GRACE. (a topic for another blog)
I also learned that there is a lot more to “Salvation” than just giving me a ticket to heaven!
John 10:10 is the dividing line of the Bible. It tells us what the devil is up to in the earth – (no good) – and what Jesus came for – to give us an abundant life!
The devil comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. Jesus came to give us life. And to give it to us abundantly.
The plan of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – wasn’t to send Jesus to earth to endure the horrendous torture of the cross, just to forgive us of our sins, rescue us from hell and get us into heaven someday.
It was a “Rescue and Restore Mission!”
The Father’s plan was to restore the BLESSING on the earth. To restore us to the dream life that the Father had planned for us before the fall of Adam and Eve. He wants us to live in the Garden of Eden now.
He wants those, who accept Jesus as their Savior – to live an abundant life now. Salvation is for life now – not just in the “sweet bye and bye.”
Here’s the definition of Abundant:
More than enough, uncommon, super abundant, excellent beyond measure, well supplied, over-sufficient, luxuriant, bountiful, lavish, generous.
The Hebrew word for salvation is “soterion” (so-tay-ree-on)
Forgiveness, Healing, Prosperity, Deliverance, Safety, Rescue, Liberation, Restoration
Most people only take the Father up on the forgiveness aspect. But there is so much more!
Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation is a complete package of wholeness: spirit, soul and body.
The Father doesn’t do anything half way – the plan is for total and complete rescue, restoration and wholeness!
In Luke 4:18 Jesus begins his ministry by announcing in the synagogue the reason He came:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
At the cross Jesus declared, “It is finished.” He meant he had completed the purpose he declared at his first synagogue service! Everything that satan had stolen from us was bought back at the cross. Every curse was broken.
Jesus made the great exchange for us.
He became poor so that we could be rich. He took all the curses so that we could have all the blessings. He was separated from the Father so that we never would be. He took all the Father’s wrath for sin on Himself, so that we could receive all God’s love and acceptance.
I don’t want to let one drop of Jesus’ precious blood that was paid for my complete wholeness go to waste. Do you?
So, what do you need from your heavenly Father today?
You can receive every gift of salvation that you need – the same way you originally received forgiveness for your sins.
Remember, Romans 10:10 gives the method to receive everything from the Father. 1)You believe it in your heart and 2) speak it out of your mouth.
There is a promise from your Father for whatever you need today. He is the Good Shepherd, He takes very good care of His sheep! I can vouch for that!
Need provision? Simply believe in your heart that Jesus is your Provision.
So you declare-
“Jesus, you are my Provision!”
Need protection? Believe in your heart that Jesus is your protection. So you declare-
“Jesus, thank you that You are my Protector”
Need restoration in a relationship? Believe in your heart that Jesus is the One who restores.
So you declare –
“Jesus, you are the Restorer.”
Need healing in your body? Believe in your heart that Jesus bought your healing at the cross. “By the stripes of Jesus you are healed.” (Is. 53:5)
So you declare –
“Jesus, You are my Healer!”
What a wonderful way to live life abundantly!
Someone you know probably needs to hear this today. Share it with them!