Hi Loggers! Felt inspired to share this with yall. I actually ended up writing a lot more about how I reached these conclusions but it was too long and out of topic. And so this is just the latest random thoughts about salvation from a recent ado, hope it makes sense!
Some foreword, these are personal opinions and are probably works in progress, somehow Truth keeps evolving. Or perhaps another way is that we grow more and more in tune with the Truth.
What happens when we die? When I was much younger, I imagined that upon death, you would be hauled into a heavenly court, complete with heavenly laws, angels for guards and God as the ultimate judge. Perhaps a scale of divine justice would be brought forth, and your goodness and evil measured up. And if you were worthy, your name would be added into the Book of Life. Very old testament I know.
Growing up, the notion of pearly white heavenly gates and email jokes about how St Peter mocks or wittily rejects heaven wannabes reinforced this concept of heaven.
I wanted to go to Heaven, or at least avoid going to Hell. I kinda figured that much like elite schools or some atas country club, they are entry requirements. And so I asked, how do we get to Heaven? How do I enroll myself into the Book of Life?
Somehow the parable of “The Workers in the Vineyard “(Mt 20:1-16) stuck with me. Its the one where the landowner walks the streets and hires workers at noon, three and five o’clock. And everyone regardless of when they started got paid the same wage. My personal translation? Everyone still got to heaven in the end.
So then why not wait till five o’clock? The idea of a last minute decision to follow God is enticing. I’ll live life however I wish and have a deathbed conversion in time for heaven. He is after-all rich in mercy and forgiveness no? God loves everyone!! (:
As I grew up some more (sigh), and especially after taking faith more seriously and learning and experiencing, I guess my understanding of heaven, faith and salvation evolved too.
Today I believe that His love and mercy, His dying on the Cross and the many many other things that our Father does for us, they open up the previously impassable road to salvation, splitting the veil of the old temple and assisting us tremendously with grace and helps. But these do not equate to or guarantee salvation.
In short, salvation is given, not earned. And tying in nicely with free will, I believe that salvation is a personal choice. In some sense I now envision Judgement day very differently, more in a cause and effect manner as opposed to a law-giver and judge scenario.
What if the afterlife was like a swimming pool, and those who floated up basked in glorious light and breathed sweet air? Whilst those that sunk, plunged into murky darkness and crushing depths.
Did the sunshine and fresh air condemn those who could not float? Were they turned away, rejected and spurned? I say no.
But why did some float and some sink? Who does not want to go to heaven?! Did they actually choose to sink? In some sense they did, though not as direct as choosing to dive into the deeps.
Translation: Being heinous to the core and rejecting God all the way to the end.
Again if you cannot earn your salvation, then the inverse is also true, you cannot discredit your own salvation. Salvation is given to everyone, but some float to it, and some sink away from it.
In other words: God looks at the heart and not the exterior, He notices your desires rather than your deeds.
And so if all your life, you have been collecting bubbles in your heart, fragile, flimsy and seemingly useless things, and again if all your life you have been building for yourself a stony wall or amassing stones as ammunition, then it becomes clear why some float and some sink, and perhaps we should live life being close to God as His children, and let Jesus take care of the salvation bit.