Who Can Be Saved?

August 25, 2019

I think this question at times haunts us.  At times it crashes in and invites us to reflect on how deeply we believe in all that Jesus did to save us.   At times I have been asked by the loved ones of someone who has died, “Do you think he will ever get to heaven?”  I answer quite plainly, all things—all judgments are left to God, yet my relationship with a loving Savior who died for our sins allows me to believe that in God all things are possible.

In the novel written many years ago which eventually became a series of novels, the author of Left Behind invited the world to imagine what would happen after the great rapture.  All of a sudden some are left and others are taken, just like the Scripture account where two will be milling grain, one will be taken, one will be left.  I read the first book with great openness because I thought it was not only clever, but it also invited the reader to think about where they would be and ask the critical question, would I have been taken or would I have been left behind?  And if I was left behind, what would I do?  Where would I go?  How would I survive in a world where the perfectly saved are gone and everyone left wasn’t in the state of grace to be taken up in the rapture?

Ultimately it always has been about God.  God does the judging; God does the saving.  But are we doing enough on our part?   Are we living a life drawing us closer to unity with God for all eternity?  While I do not believe fear is a good motivator, we do have to rise to the challenge of living a life of faith.  We have to rise to a place of life where faith is seen in our actions, a life integrated with the Word of God.

It is a good question and yet more personally, everyone at some point asks, will I be good enough to be saved?  Am I doing enough?  I think those are great questions to bring to prayer and reflection.  I think they should lead us to an even greater question, am I doing everything possible to live a life filled with grace?

If we found ourselves left behind, where would we go?  What would we change?  I know our Savior died and rose for us; I know that His love has Him pursue the lost and abandoned.  He told the story of the Good Shepherd going after the lost sheep.  I would have to believe, even the left behind would not be abandoned forever.  May we take each day and make it the best day we can offer God.  That is the only thing of which we have control.  God will provide the rest.

Reverend  John J. Ouper