1. Perhaps the most common meaning is to live-on after physical death
in a much better state of mind, in a much better place, and with a much
clearer understanding and appreciation of our loving God. The better place
is often called “Heaven” and is also known by other names
such as “Paradise”, or “God’s Kingdom”.
Heaven is widely thought of as a place of inexpressible beauty, peace,
love, purpose, and meaning. It reflects the glory of God. His loving presence
fills heaven in a way that is very tangible and enjoyable, or so I am
told by Scripture, which by the way, I have found to be reliable in hundreds
of other respects, so why not this.
2. Getting saved also means being set free in this life from many of the
burdens that we humans experience. God can set us free from guilt, shame,
loneliness, and hopelessness, to name just a few. He saves us from ourselves
and many of the unwise choices we would make without Him. He saves us
from behaviors that hurt us and that bring negativity into our lives.
3. Not only does Jesus save us FROM many unwanted circumstances, but He
saves us TO a better life with Him in the picture during this lifetime.
We experience many blessings after He saves us. Maybe not all at once,
but just wait. You will see when you get to know Jesus a little better
that new clarity is blooming about a lot of things.
4. Getting saved means being adopted by God spiritually as a son or daughter.
He is generous and loving to His children. As we give Him that place of
loving Father in our lives, it is amazing what good it produces in our
hearts, and experiences.
5. Getting saved means being infused with life of a godly nature that
grows within you and makes you a better person progressively through your
stay here on earth.
6. Getting saved is starting a new relationship with Jesus.
7. Receiving salvation means you receive forgiveness for sins.
8. Being saved leads to many other new rights and benefits that come with
the salvation “package”.
As you can see, the promise of heaven is only one part of being saved.
In some ways, we can start our experience of heaven here on earth, at
least in part. Heaven is a kingdom. “Kingdom” means the rule
and reign of a king. When the king is good and loving to His people, the
word “Kingdom” also means the wonderful experiences and benefits
that the King brings upon those who live under His reign. Jesus is the
highest King of all. He brings His kingdom to earth in our lives and hearts
when we are saved and afterward.
The brilliance of His kingdom that we experience later, will far exceed
the glimpses in our earthly lives, but these glimpses are nonetheless
breathtakingly beautiful to our souls here in this life. They are foretastes
of a future that believers will experience in His kingdom someday. Believers
are said to be “partakers of the good things of the age to come”.
These glimpses might not come to us all the time, but even when they are
infrequent, they are blessings nonetheless.
The apostle Peter stated something as one of the central reasons to believe
in Jesus. He addressed the crowd after healing a lame man in Solomon’s
porch of the Temple. He proclaimed the message of the good news of Jesus.
Shouting so the crowd could hear, he said, “turn back, that your
sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence
of the Lord.” In a sense these times of refreshing are God’s
kingdom love, presence, and power appearing for us to experience.
My prayer is that you will receive and enjoy periods of refreshing from
Jesus for years to come in this lifetime. I have found that refreshing
comes more often and tangibly to my heart the more I spend time with God
in prayer, praise, and worship. Refreshing also comes when I serve others
and God. These activities deepen my love and trust for Him. The more we
deeply express our love to Jesus, the more our emotions will follow suit.
We will find ourselves loving Him more. The more we love Him, the more
we will recognize the many blessings He puts into our lives.