Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by John D. Clark, Sr.
“Our salvation is nearer now than it was when we believed.”
Paul, in Romans 13:11
The most puzzling development among believers in the 20th century is the confusion of conversion with salvation. Conversion is an experience we receive in this life, and salvation is an experience we receive after this life is over. Peter called salvation “the end of your faith” (1Pet. 1:9); conversion is the beginning of it. Salvation is the reward that faithful children of God will receive at the end of their journey, while conversion is the blessing that sinners receive when they repent of their sins and believe the gospel of Jesus. Some in this world have been converted, but no one here has yet received God’s salvation.
Salvation is glorification, and glorification means to receive the new, glorified body which is promised to faithful believers. Conversion, on the other hand, is sanctification, and sanctification means to be made holy by the holy Spirit of God. Because salvation is received at the end of our lives, every day we live, we draw nearer to it, and that is why Paul could write, “Our salvation is nearer now than it was when we believed.” When Jesus said, “He who endures to the end, the same shall be saved” (Mt. 10:22; 24:13), he was not saying, “He who endures to the end, the same shall be converted.” Rather, he was saying, “He who endures to the end, the same shall be glorified.”
Consider how Paul must have understood salvation when he wrote this to the saints in ancient Thessalonica: “Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on a breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Thess. 5:8–9). In these scriptures, Paul was not claiming that he and other believers already had salvation, was he? Salvation is the hope which converted people have, and only they. Unbelievers do not have this hope because having Christ in your heart is what gives you hope for the coming salvation (Col. 1:27).
Dear friends, if you have been converted, then you have hope of the salvation that Jesus will bring to us when he comes again, and if you are faithful and obedient to him here in this life, you will receive it.
by George C. Clark
What is salvation, my fellow creature?
I’ve heard the word from many a preacher.
It’s God’s reward for the faithful few
who stand the test and make it through.
It’s a crown of life placed on our head
when we are raised up from the dead.
It’s not conversion, as some would say;
it’s a crown of life on Judgment Day.
No soul on earth can have this crown
until he’s raised up from the ground.
The hope of salvation, by Paul is said
To be a helmet on our head.
We’re not appointed to wrath, says he,
but to obtain salvation if we stay free.
It’s good to hope and quietly wait
for salvation to come if you’re living straight.
Salvation is nearer than it was when
we first believed and were born again.
God’s dearly beloved, whom He holds near,
work out salvation with trembling and fear.
To have salvation granted, my friend,
be filled with the Spirit and endure to the end.
Mt. 24:13; 2Thess. 2:13
How shall we escape if we fail and neglect
this great salvation we’re expecting to get?
The angels now have administration
for the saints who are the heirs of salvation.
Our faith must reach its final end
before salvation will come to men.
We know salvation is awaiting us
who live for God and in Him trust.
Don’t call salvation your religion.
That’s just another vain tradition.