What is Salvation?
Outline: Dialogue. Without God, there is death, frustration, emptiness and no purpose to life. Human achievements bring frustrations. Salvation is all God does for us, transforming and freeing us so we can fulfill His plan for our life. God is love.
Script Number: 366
Theme: Death; Creation; Salvation; Peace with God; Assurance; Family, relationships
Audience: General; Western
Genre: Messages and Fiction
Bible Quotation: None
Scripts are basic guidelines for translation and recording into other languages. They should be adapted as necessary to make them understandable and relevant for each different culture and language. Some terms and concepts used may need more explanation or even be replaced or omitted completely.
1 - I often hear you talking about salvation, but I don't understand what it means to be saved.
2 - Well, above all, it means being saved from present and eternal perdition, which is the result of our separation from God. God is the ultimate source of life, and when we are apart from Him, there is only death and frustration.
1 - What I don't understand is why it has to be like that.
2 - The Bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory. SIN is what creates a great separation between us and GOD. Sin is basically not taking God into account for anything in our lives, and that brings about a blockage between ourselves and the Source of all good, which is GOD, and so everything we do is characterized by signs of frustration, failure and transgression of the Law of our Supreme Creator.
1- Well, on the whole, I don't see so much of this frustration in people's lives.
2- I do, and I notice it both in human experience and in what I read in the BIBLE. We see that human activity is vain, empty and frustrating. There is a whole book in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, which is dedicated to describing this frustration. In this book, the author, who is a wise king, had at his disposal every kind of pleasure imaginable; all the wisdom of his time; great power; everything a person could ever want, but what conclusion did he come to? That all is vanity and vanity of vanities, because you can get fed up with everything in the end, and never find a purpose in life apart from God. This wise man advises us at the end of the book to turn to God as soon as possible, in our youth, because everything else is empty and purposeless.
The experience of this wise man is common to all of us, and we realize this, if we really think seriously about the matter. Man has made great technical advances, but in the long run his own inventions turn against him. If he constructs planes and cars, there are hundreds of road accidents every weekend; if he doesn't, communications are bad. If there is no progress in medical science, we die from epidemics; but advances in this sphere fill the hospitals with patients who are resistant to certain medicines, and new kinds of illnesses threaten the man of today. If we do not make technical progress, we shall go hungry as our resources will run out; but if we do make technical progress, there are rich countries abusing the poor, and people living in poverty in the centre of the rich part of the city. Both progress and the lack of it hold the seeds of their own destruction and end in death, which is the greatest frustration of all, and where all types of achievements end abruptly.
1 - But that's a terribly black picture you're painting. I accept that it's realistic, but if we all came to an agreement, if we achieved a just distribution of wealth, if we established a world government to coordinate the world's resources, if we got the best intellects to work on these problems, then many of the things you've mentioned would simply disappear. Life would be more pleasant and worth living. In fact, we could even get to the point of defeating death by organ transplants and other kinds of advanced medicine.
2- You have used the word "if" a lot.... _if_ we come to an agreement, _if_ there is a just distribution of wealth, _if_ we can coordinate resources, _if_ we use our intellects for the benefit of mankind. Firstly, these conditions, which have never been fulfilled in all the history of mankind, would have to come about. Secondly, it is still doubtful that even then, we would at last be really happy. Many countries which have been pioneers of these ideas, have high suicide rates, and there is no proof that they have reached the happiness they dreamed of. Then there is still the problem of death. If we have no relationship with the eternal, then we can only face death and its predecessor, illness, with anguish. But if now in this present life we have peace with God, and we are already following His will for us, we will have found the secret of happiness for this life and for eternity.
1 - And this is what you call salvation?
2 - Yes, because we are in a dangerous situation. In danger of being swallowed up by evil in all its forms, danger of experiencing demoralizing frustration, danger of spending eternity separated from God, danger of losing all sense of purpose in the things we do, danger of leading senseless lives, because the only person who can give meaning to life is He Who holds all absolute meaning - God. He is the only One Who knows the secret of each person and thing. He knows the why and the wherefore of everything. United to Him, we know the direction we should take, everything we do is meaningful and has an aim. He can give us power, through His Spirit, to be fulfilled in what we do, and to follow the plan He has traced for us individually. Only in following this plan, designed by God for each one, can we be saved from nothingness, and the frustration which makes our lives useless.
Salvation is, to sum up, all that God does by His grace, to free us from the dangers which threaten us, taking us just as we are, and giving us the assurance of eternal life, while at the same time transforming us to the image of Jesus Christ, so that freed from sin and frustration, the plan He has for each one can be worked out in our lives - a saving plan.
1- But I don't know if I should like the plan God has for me.
2- If God is the source of all the forms of life known to us and those unknown to us, if it is He Who has made the worlds so wonderfully, if it is He Who has designed this marvel of the human body, the laws that govern it and all the things we enjoy, in spite of being spoilt by sin, then what must the New Creation, which He gives to all who come to Him for salvation, be like? God has designed this marvel of the human body, the laws that govern it and all the things we enjoy, in spite of being spoilt by sin, then what must the New Creation, which He gives to all who come to Him for salvation, be like? God is love, the Bible says, and everything that comes from Him is for the good of His creatures. GOD is love and only Supreme Good comes from Him. If we come close to Him, we will receive good from His untiring actions of grace toward us.