I'm one sorry dude very much in need of salvation.
BTW, I "got saved" in March of 1982.
But, y'see, if you and I could sit down together with our Bibles, I could prove to you in a just a few quick minutes that there is undeniably more than one kind of "getting saved" in the Bible.
Even now, a number of you will be nodding your heads, remembering those early lessons from Hermeneutics class on how the same words "saved," and "salvation," in both English AND Greek, are used in SEVERAL different ways in the New Testament (see Romans 5:9-10; 13:11; Philippians 1:19 (KJV) 2:12, for just a few examples).
We KNOW this!
And yet, isn't it true that, even though we KNOW this very well, we still automatically take it as A GIVEN that any time we see "salvation" or "saved" in our Bibles, it just MUST be referring to deliverance from eternity in Hell and that blessed assurance of Heaven as our everlasting abode?
You know what happens when we "assume," doncha? (No, I don't either; but it's something about you and me and a donkey, I think).
We need God to SAVE US, PLEASE, from such a claustrophiliac, tunnel vision view of the word, "SAVED!" This one hermeneutical blunder has caused untold confusion, fatal misinterpretation and unnecessary quarreling in the Body of Christ!
Salvation, the noun, is used 7x by the author in the book of Hebrews. Two more times, we find it in the verb form, "save." I’m convinced that not even once out of those nine times is it intended to mean saved from an eternity in Hell.
Hebrews was written to people who were ALREADY saved in that way and were in no danger atoll of not making it to Heaven (Hebrews 3:1; 6:9-10; 10:10-18, 32-34).
In fact, in God's eyes, they were ALREADY THERE (Hebrews 6:18-20; 10:19-22; 12:22-24)!
Although 100% certain of Heaven, they WERE in grave danger of not being "saved to the uttermost."
The salvation focused on in Hebrews is a FUTURE salvation for BELIEVERS who have already been "saved" for a number of years (Hebrews 5:11-14; 6:10; 10:32-34; 13:7).
The clearest and most definitive of the seven times "salvation" appears in this incredible book is Hebrews 9:28:
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many (THIS is speaking of our Justification, or "Salvation, phase One") . . .
. . . And unto them that look for Him shall He appear THE SECOND TIME without sin (or, totally apart from the need to deal with sin) . . . UNTO SALVATION."
Here we have a "salvation" that is yet FUTURE, being eagerly awaited by those who are already SAVED! For their sins have already been borne by the one time offering of Christ at His FIRST APPEARING (Hebrews 9:12, 15, 26; 10:10-22).
"Them that look for him" HAS to be referring to believers (see Romans 3:11). They are already "saved" from Eternity in Hell. Christ has already washed away their sins (Hebrews 9:26; 10:10, 22; I John 2:2; I Peter 3:18), and they eagerly await His "Second Appearing," when He will REAPPEAR from Heaven and receive them unto Himself and the FUTURE SALVATION that is totally apart from the consideration of sin (Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:4; I John 3:1-2).
It is also a salvation that centers around a conditional inheritance (Hebrews 1:14; 6:12; 9:15) and future reward (Hebrews 10:35; 11:6, 26).
It's a salvation that has Jesus as its "Captain;" the unfailing trailblazer, file leader and heroic pioneer of faith, Who, having already vanquished sin and death on the Cross, is now focusing His divine energies on "bringing many SONS unto glory" (a glory that is not Heaven, but is defined by the context of Hebrews 1-2, and is ONLY possible for those who are already "SONS").
It's a "salvation to the uttermost" that involves BELIEVERS running "the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith."
And I'm one saved dude who is not ashamed to affirm I desperately need to be "saved to the uttermost" by Him.
Because instead of "running the race," I sometimes feel like I'm barely limping along on my own pathetic little treadmill.
Not quite finished. More later!