Don't Limit Salvation to a Guarantee of Heaven
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Sadly, many people see salvation as nothing more than a golden ticket that will grant them entry into heaven when they die. Yes, we are immediately present with the Lord when we die. That’s our hope. However, don’t limit salvation to a guarantee of heaven. That’s only part of the story.
The good news is also about God finding a home in us. This is a story line that runs through the Bible. Think about the tabernacle Moses built and the temple Solomon built. When they were consecrated, God filled them with his presence, as evidenced by fire and smoke. These were striking and powerful images, but they were shadows of God’s real plan. As Paul said to the philosophers on Mars Hill, “God … does not live in temples built by human hands” (Acts 17:24). He had another location in mind–within his people. This is the story of Pentecost.
Luke tells the story in Acts 2. It takes place in Jerusalem during the annual celebration of Pentecost. Jews from every nation were gathered. The disciples were together in a house, waiting, just as Jesus told them to. “Wait for the gift my Father promised … John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4, 5).
When the day of Pentecost arrived, something strange happened. A loud sound like “the blowing of a violent wind” filled the house, and tongues of fire rested on each of the disciples. They began to speak about the glories of God, and everyone heard the message in their native language. Naturally, folks began to ask, “What does this mean?”
Peter stood to explain. What occurred that day was prophesied by Joel. God was pouring out his Spirit on humanity. A new temple was being dedicated. God was filling it with his presence.
Your personal Pentecost occurred the day you received Jesus Christ. At that moment, God filled your life with his presence. Salvation is Christ coming to live in you—“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Don’t overlook this truth. Take time and think through the ramifications. His presence in your life changes everything. The God of the universe is living in you. His love, grace, truth, and power are now coursing through your spiritual veins. Now all your hopes and expectations for life are pinned to him. Jesus showed up. He is on the scene. As a result, you can live with great expectations!