The Tenses of Our Salvation

All religions1 and cults2 of Christianity teach that salvation cannot be known while one is still alive on earth. Some of them believe that salvation will be revealed in the future when they face God as a judge. Others are unsure whether they will go to heaven or hell. The fact is that the Bible teaches that salvation is past, present, and future. Once a person receives Jesus Christ then his salvation is secured. His name is in the Lamb’s book of life. In fact, Paul himself knows that the names of his fellow workers in the gospel are in the book of life. 

Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. – Philippians 4:3 

This is how sure he was. Even Jesus Christ Himself assured us that if we believed in Him being the Lord, God, and Savior then we will not perished but have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

The Apostle Paul and Silas assured the Philippian jailer that they will surely be saved if the believed in Jesus Christ. 

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31 

The question is, have you trusted Jesus Christ? Do you believe He died for you and rose from the dead? Do you believe He alone saved you, rather than water baptism, church membership, religion, good works, self-righteousness, or the sacraments? If you do then you are already saved. 

Consider yourself in the middle of the ocean, clinging to the only thing that can save you from drowning. The same is true of Jesus Christ. It’s no surprise that Paul had to rebuke the Jewish believers in Ephesus who still wanted circumcision as well as faith in Jesus for salvation.

For by grace you HAVE BEEN SAVED (past tense) through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

And, as God’s workmanship, Paul made it clear that we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works after we were saved.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10

After receiving, believing, and trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord, God, and Savior, this becomes salvation in the past. This gives a believer assurance in his or her salvation through Christ. The present salvation is concerned with our personal walk with Christ as we are saved in this decaying world. It is no surprise that the Holy Spirit and the Bible assist us in separating ourselves from the wicked ways of this world for obedience to Jesus Christ. This is referred to in the Bible as sanctification.

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. – 1 Peter 1:2

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. – John 17:17

It is no wonder that we are being saved in this decaying world where we are walking as wanderers, sojourners, aliens, and foreigners.

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are BEING SAVED (present tense) and among those who are perishing, – 2 Corinthians 2:15

And we will be saved in the sense that our physical bodies will be restored when Jesus Christ returns.

But we believe that WE WILL BE SAVED (future tense) through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” – Acts 15:11

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. – Philippians 3:20-21

It is no wonder that Paul wrote that the believers spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless when Jesus Christ comes. 

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

The religions and cults of Christianity offers people installment salvation, which is not salvation at all. They are unaware of the Jesus of the Bible, who provides the complete package of salvation and can assure them of eternal life when He returns. As Timothy said,

… for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. – 2 Timothy 1:12

So, how about you? Do you know the Jesus of the Scriptures who is able to guard you until the judgement day?

Footnotes:

1 World religions include major religious groups such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Confucianism, and Shintoism, among others.

2 Cults of Christianity refers to every religious group that deviated from the orthodox teachings of Christianity like Seventh-day Adventist, Iglesia Ni Cristo, The Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name, Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (4th Watch), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), Members Church of God International (Ang Dating Daan), The Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses), and others.

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