Every popular religion on planet Earth has developed its own “language,” a form of “shop talk” by which its members communicate their faith. As referred to in an earlier post, the term “guru” means a person who disburses darkness according to Advayataraka Upanishad (thanks for this tidbit Mike). This Sanskrit term in popular language means “teacher,” but to a Hindu it more specifically represents a “counselor”, who helps mold values, shares experiential knowledge as much as literal knowledge, an exemplar in life, an inspirational source and who helps in the spiritual evolution of a student.” (Wikipedia, Pertz). Buddhism’s Buddha means, in its simplest form, “awakened one” or “one who has achieved enlightenment” (Wikipedia). In the Hebraic/Jewish world we find the promise of the Messiah which “is a title for a savior and liberator” (Wikipedia). And the Christian’s Christ, which the the Apostle John and the early church founders said was synonymous with the Hebrew Messiah (John 1:21 & 4:25), is defined by them as “The Anointed One” (Wikipedia). These prime examples are but just samples of the world religions’ “shop talk” which, combined with Islam, Confucius and numerous less well known religions, show that the Babel effect of language still survives within faiths. And thus the confusion, bitterness and conflict between these people of faith continue. This is the main reason for my book where I’ve put The Prophetic Dictionary.
The fact that a religious faith does have its own language or vocabulary of words specific to its own message of hope and vision becomes especially important to an evangelical type of faith like Christianity. The believers of such a faith speak to one another in terms which they know and understand quite easily, for if they have not grown up hearing these terms on a daily basis then they have heard them from the pulpits and in daily conversations through their daily lives since a time before they committed themselves to following their faith’s lifestyle.
But to the outsider, the coded words used within any faith sound much as just unfamiliar gibberish which seem to carry only hidden or perhaps no meaning. Thus the question as seen in the title of this article becomes quite relevant for many who are outside the Christian faith: “Saved? Saved from what?”
What is meant when believers in Jesus, the Christ, says one must be “saved”? This proclamation has been made by the Christian believer ever since the time when Jesus was witnessed to have been resurrected from his grave by apostles, prophets, evangelists, Christian teachers and preachers and others. Obviously the followers of Jesus seem to know what they mean, but how is such a proclamation relevant in today’s world to believers and followers of this faith who live in what seems to be relatively safe areas of the world? To understand the answer to this question we must know more about the faith message than the history books have recorded.
In the Old Testament, the Hebraic historical records show that when they spoke of salvation it was from Earthly, physical enemies; providing for the Hebrews freedom from bondage to those who would imprison or enslave them. But the New Testament seems to make the message of salvation more etheric, less on the physical realm. Let’s look at what Paul of the New Testament said one is saved from::
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (ROM 5:9-NIV)
Oh, so Christians are saying that faith in Jesus, the Christ, gives the assurance of escaping God’s wrath. But wait a moment. How can it be that such salvation from God’s wrath is necessary. Have I not shown before that the Christian/Hebraic God is pure love — agape? Yes, that is true. But the very fact that the Supreme Creator is of pure logical love places upon that being the added limitations of not being able to condone nor even be in the presence of impurity (viz.: “sin”). And how does a pure god of perfect love express extreme anger or wrath? Perhaps through a worldwide flood as Moses recorded Noah experienced (GEN Ch 6 &7-NIV) when he had placed limitations upon the life span of mankind declaring, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” The record in Genesis is quite clear about why the flood occurred with the record showing the Creator saying this as the reason for having the flood, “…for I regret that I have made them.” But Jesus stated it more precisely when he stated that the fallen angels and unbelievers would be cast into “outer darkness,” (KJV) where they would no longer be in the presence of God and eventually experience utter destruction. When the centurion went to Jesus asking that he heal his servant, Jesus said this:
“I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (MAT 8: 11-12 – NIV)
Well, while not the common description of the commonly preached Christian Hell, this is not a desirable picture to say the least, and one which most people would want to be “saved” from to say the least. To be cast from the presence of God, the source of all life, by the command of God himself?
So what determines who will be saved? The great judgment which determines who will be saved and who will not is allegorically pictured as being at the end of time when everyone is gathered at the “Great White Throne” to be judged. (REV 20:11) While this has a place in the prophetic historical account, the judgments actually occurs much before that and the one being judged is not the individual (ourselves) but instead it is Jesus. Thus, however we judge Jesus, the Christ, is how we will be judged. (MAT 7:1-2) If we accept him as our Savior against the wrath and total separation from God then we will be saved, but if we judge him as a myth or evil or even unbelievable then so shall we receive such judgement and sent to outer darkness awaiting our destruction. (MAT 10:32) Therefore the judgement is not so much our being judged by God, but Christ being judged by us. The question? Do we accept Christ’s act of salvation, or not?
So, “Saved from what?”
Christians believe we are saved from:
- Darkness of an unbelieving world.
- Confusion caused by innumerable teachers, faiths and theories.
- Loneliness due to a soul which is disconnected from its Creator.
- Absolute FEAR of everlasting separation from life (a death sentence) forever.
These are all spiritual types of conditions which must be understood spiritually, but here perhaps a parable is in order:
A person is abducted during a robbery and placed in a locked room with a few other people who had been abducted during other robberies. These people talked with one another and could see no way out of their situation. One of the thieves came in and made high promises of a form of freedom to anyone who would join the robbers on their ventures, then left to give them time to think about the offer. Later another man came into the room and said, “If you will trust me I can get you out of here and give you true freedom.”
However, while he was there, one of the thieves came in and heard what he was saying and dragged the man out of the room and killed him. But upon being dragged out, this one had dropped a key. A few days later some of the people said they heard a voice which sounded like this one offering freedom saying, “I am still with you. Use the key.” But it seemed that only one person was willing to believe he could hear the voice, the rest were too afraid to listen for someone they thought dead.
So the one man reached under the bed where the key had been pushed and picked up the key, and in the middle of the night he walked out of that prison, free. But the others stayed in the unlocked room awaiting the next day. The following morning they heard a loud speaker announce the presence of the police outside of the building. A shoot-out began between the police and the gang of robbers where the robbers were killed, and since the prisoners were found in an unlocked room they were counted with the robbers and placed in jail to await trial.
At the trial the robbers’ prisoners found they had no proof that they were, indeed, not involved in the robberies and the fact that their fear kept them from leaving through the unlocked door where the police had found them. They were judged as guilty with the robbers gang because they did not accept the way of escape offered and were cast into the outer darkness with the robbers, which ends in their eventual death.
So what are we saved from? Eternal separation from our God. That is enough.