In the New Testament, we see Jesus preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and the Apostle Paul preaching the Gospel of Salvation. Unfortunately, most never look any deeper into the context, and adhere to the literalist teaching that these two are different simply because they have different names. However, The two are the same. Jesus told us to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The Apostles preached the Gospel of Salvation to the Kingdom of Heaven. If I were to separate the two out from each other, it would be by a line so thin that one might say I am legalistically splitting hairs here. Simply put, Salvation is participating in the Kingdom of Heaven in your life. However, that’s not The Gospel of Salvation or the Gospel of the Kingdom. That is the response to the Gospel. What, in my own words, is the Gospel? Well, that’s very easy to answer.
Jesus is Lord. He came to embody the Love and Forgiveness of the Father. He died, filled death up with Himself, and Rose again, overcoming Death. He is the Eternal King who is ruling and reigning now. He loves you so much, that He wants you at His table, partaking in the Divine Nature of God, seeing and believing the truth that God is Good, and then fully becoming Sons and Daughters of God.
Unfortunately, most of modern era Christianity has relegated Salvation to getting a ticket to your premier afterlife destination of Paradise, and avoiding God’s Eternal Auscwitz. Simply put, that’s not likely to be how it works. But no one knows for sure. The Scriptures barely touch on the afterlife, the time between Death and Resurrection. I don’t know. You don’t know. And neither does anyone else. And those who claim they know are full of dung. Every time Jesus taught, He focused everything back on this world and life.
“So, Paul, I’ve had my born again experience. Now what?”
I’m so glad you asked. Cause I plan to cover that here, as I attempt to outline what I believe Salvation is, having spoken what the Gospel is, and what Salvation is not.
Salvation: Greek, Sozo. To save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):–heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
Hebrew: Yesha. Deliverance, rescue, salvation, safety, welfare.
These can be expanded to include more, but this covers most of what I was looking at and studying out.
A long way to say this, would be that Salvation is not a simple afterlife decision, but a present life decision. One that when you choose to walk in, changes everything, in the most literal way possible, starting with you. It is a lifestyle, where you carry something beautiful, a lifestyle where you carry the gift of salvation that can be spread to infect others.
There are two primary paths, that one has the option of choosing to walk in; Kingdom lifestyle in solitude, and Kingdom in Community. They are both necessary and come naturally as breathing when you walk in the revelation of God’s unconditional love and grace. But, along came religion. And it forces the two together with a list of rules, and hierarchy that everyone must be accountable to. Dictating how people have to live, and how people have to believe.
It is better to spend time alone with Jesus, since He lives in you, each day, before attempting to be part of the kingdom community each day. Everything should flow from your relationship with Him. Get to know Him. He already knows you, but do you truly know Him, Bride? Or are you still in the shy or apathetic stage of the courtship process where He wants to woo you with His love?
In summation, Salvation isn’t a golden ticket. It’s a lifestyle of the Spirit transforming you into the likeness of God, through the example of Christ. It is about your life here on this earth, in this present moment, in communion with Holy Spirit.