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Summary: While we have often heard the very basics of gWhat must I do to be saved?h, I think what perhaps is lending to some deal of confusion is a lack of understanding of the full Gospel -- and I donft mean the Pentecostal experience.

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In the Melanesian islands of the South Pacific during WWII, the natives watched closely as the American and British engineers came in and built airstrips. The islanders were amazed to see that when the airstrips were completed, planes began to arrive filled with cargo: food, building materials, machinery, even vehicles. This, they decided, was something they wanted in on.The Melanesians deduced, that if they built airstrips, then planes would come to them, too, likewise bringing cargo. They accordingly hacked makeshift runways out of the jungle and built mock-up control towers out of grass and mud. They put fires along the sides of the runways, and put a man in the grass-hut control tower, with two coconut halves on his head for headphones–he’s the controller–they rigged antennas out of bamboo and then they waited for the airplanes to land. As far as they could see they were doing everything right. The form was perfect. It looked exactly the way it was supposed to. But it didn’t work. No airplanes ever came. Nevertheless many “cargo cults” have sprung up across the islands and exist to this day.

Are we making the mistake of the Melanesians and building an imitation grace? While we have often heard the very basics of “What must I do to be saved?”, I think what perhaps is lending to some deal of confusion is a lack of understanding of the full Gospel — and I don’t mean the Pentecostal experience. Indeed once a person is convinced he or she is in peril from some great, future disaster, those people will generally accept that they need a Savior. This absolute focus on the initial act of accepting the need and the remedy has, however, created a very dangerous quasi religion within a religion, making the Truth a lie (Romans 1:25). –It is probably best to establish here at the beginning that it is not Christ who needs to be accepted by us but we who need to be accepted by the Father. While we may accept the good news (2 Corinthians 11:4) or truth (1 Timothy 1:15), it becomes rather arrogant to presume that Jesus should become acceptable to us. I know it is only semantics, but an unhealthy trend is becoming wide-spread because of a lack of specifics. Some use this as a loophole to say that all that is required to be saved is accepting the person of Jesus Christ, when the reality is that being saved includes repentance. It’s like saying I’m going to go to the gate at the airport where my flight is leaving. Aren’t you boarding for the flight? Oh no! I’m just going through the gate!“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13)

Salvation is not a destination to abide within, but a journey to be traveled.

In the Old Testament, “save” is from the Hebrew [2421] chayah and means to be liberated or to be victorious. In the New Testament, the Greek word is [4982] sozo meaning to rescue from penalty, danger or destruction. The redemption of the jailer and his family in Acts 16 exemplifies both the Christian’s need to make the lost aware of the destruction that lies ahead of them and the redemption available to them in Christ.


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