What is salvation without heaven?

I’ve been quiet here for the last week for two main reasons. First, I finished the books that I needed to review and posted those reviews the previous week. Secondly, I was focused on spending time together with the family and finishing my first work project.

But there was a lot of news made this past week in the deaths of four well-known celebrities – Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays. Also last week, I re-tweeted a question by a pastor that I follow. @fuelshane asked,

If heaven wasn’t part of the plan, and you were saved for God’s glory alone – would you still want salvation?

My re-tweet posted to my Facebook status, and a few people made some great comments about God’s love and glory.

But I want to go a little further.

Too often what we call “evangelism” is focused more on Heaven than anything else. Think about it:

  • “If you died right now, do you know for sure that you would go to Heaven?”
  • “When you stand at the Pearly Gates, and God asks, ‘Why should I let you in?’, what would you say?”
  • “If you ask Jesus into your heart, you will go to Heaven when you die.”

My question is: since when is salvation all about Heaven?

Frankly, the three people mentioned above pretty much had Heaven on earth. Other than the sicknesses that killed them (and debt caused by some of their foolish decisions), McMahon, Fawcett, and Jackson lived above the rest of us for the majority of their lives. They had money, friends, and fame. Michael Jackson was even called “the King of Pop” and lived like royalty.

If someone had tried to “witness” to them using the Heaven approach, would it have accomplished anything? I sincerely doubt it. They had heaven. They needed salvation.

I’ll finish this in another post, but for now, let’s talk about this.

Heaven is good incentive, but it’s not salvation. Without using Heaven as a hook, if I were not a believer, how would you approach me with your faith?

Don’t promise me something in the future. Give me something now. What does your faith have to offer me?

7 thoughts on “What is salvation without heaven?”

  1. My relationship with our Father has blessed and continues to bless me in so many ways. I have peace in the storm of Life. I'm singing in a room full of sickness, and I have the Spirit inside me to help me stay on track. I cannot prove, other than by being an example, that God exists. If it isn't obvious enough for everyone, then they don't want to believe. I believe most people are searching for God, and that they DO want to believe, but have to argue with everything I'd tell them. Therefore, I'm not really cut out for missions work, am I?

  2. Daniel Goepfrich

    I think that's a great way to help lead the conversation. One of the biggest problems in helping people come to Christ is that they don't know they need him at all. Trying to take someone to a place they don't want or feel they need to go is difficult.

  3. I know I'm late in this conversation, but hears my two cents. As others have stated a personal relationship with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit is worth it. He will be with me as I face life. He has comforted and sustained me in the darkest times of my life. For example when you hear that your loved one has only God as a chance to survive the next few days, so prepare the funeral. A personal relationship with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit is a great trump card in my book.

  4. Daniel Goepfrich

    So if there was no promise of heaven, and your salvation was purely so that God would be worshiped, you wouldn't want to be saved?

    That's how I understand your answer. My problem isn't so much with heaven (looking forward to it, actually), but rather that it is used for the "hook". Is heaven the point of salvation, or is salvation something bigger?

    My response post coming soon…

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