Sure, I know; that’s the line of almost every televangelist worth his or her salt.
And it’s a question that I don’t like as much as the one posed by S.M. Lockridge: “Do you know Him?”
But it’s the question that anonymous posed on my blog in response to the post A Universal Appeal. Actually, it was phrased: “So, are you saved, or are you condemned?”
Does anonymous visit your blog often? I occasionally get visits from anonymous, but rarely answer. This time, I did:
anonymous, I don’t generally make it a practice to answer folks who aren’t courageous enough to leave a name with their comments.
But yours is a fair question and deserves a fair answer.
My salvation is ongoing – a process that began when I turned my life over to the Lord. It isn’t just what happens to me when I die.
Tell me what you think of Paul quoting Isaiah in II Corinthians 6:2. Do you get a different picture?
It’s not a perfect answer, of course. I’d be making a lot more money and doing a different job if I could dispense perfect answers. And, of course, I can’t discern motives people have for asking such questions. That ability would lead to more lucrative employment, too, I’m sure.
Since my post does address the point of view that confidently affirms God’s universal salvation of all mankind, it’s possible that anonymous felt that someone who disagrees with it – like me – might have no good answer to the question. Perhaps just a shruggy, “Well, I hope so!” or “That’s up to God!” or “We’ll soon see, won’t we?” And all of those are acceptable answers …
… to the wrong question.
There is a sense in which salvation is still ahead. In Romans 13:11, Paul urges Christians to behave in love because “our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
Two chapters earlier, the apostle describes it as something already sent (past tense) to the Gentiles.
In Ephesians 1:13, the addressees were “included in Christ” (past tense) when they heard the word of truth – perhaps because their acceptance of it and obedience to it was immediate. (And perhaps not.)
And in Philippians 2:12, he expresses it as an ongoing process that we are to “work out … with fear and trembling.”
So those are more of the reasons behind my answer. Like the whole subject of eschatology and the triumph of God’s kingdom, salvation seems to be one of those “already-and-not-yet” blessings. He works it out with us; and we with Him.
Maybe the better question would be “Are you about your Father’s business of salvation?”
– That is, if you know Him.