In fact, it would be impossible to share the gospel with someone without mentioning it. In our culture, most people – even non-Christians – have a vague idea of what “being saved” means.
We like the idea of heaven; we like the idea of being spared from hell. But though all these things may sound nice, they merely constitute a shallow understanding of a much deeper picture. So what, exactly, is eternal salvation?
What is Eternal Salvation?
Before we can understand the meaning of salvation, we must first understand what we are saved from. Being saved implies that we are in some kind of danger – and that can be difficult for nonbelievers to wrap their minds around.
We may think we’re safe; we may reflect on our lives and be tempted to say “that’s good enough.” But the truth is that we’re simply ignoring the biggest problem in all of humanity: sin.
No one is perfect. Taking a look at our fallen world, who could dispute that fact? Ever since Adam and Eve took that first step of disobedience, every human has been born with a bent toward evil. Our default state is rebellion against our infinitely good Creator. He is so holy, and yet we are so unworthy.
Therefore, from the moment we are born, all of us are headed straight for hell. This is not God being cruel; this is God being just. So how could we ever escape the punishment we rightfully deserve?
Thankfully, Romans 8:1 goes on to say:
Out of His great love for us, God sent His Son to die in our place, to bear the wrath that we had earned. Because of Christ, we can be eternally saved from our sin. Even better, we can spend our eternity with Him in heaven.
The only thing we must do is repent, and put our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Who has eternal salvation?
But though salvation is a free gift, it is not automatically transferred to everyone. In order to receive salvation, we have to accept it. We have to admit that we are deserving of hell, believe that Jesus paid our debt, and strive to live for Him.
So often, people mistakenly believe that being a “good person” is enough to secure their place in heaven. By the standards of God, however, no one is “good.” We must learn to swallow our pride and confess our righteousness, or else we cannot be saved.
Other than the requirement of belief, there are absolutely no qualifications that must be met in order to be saved. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what gender you are, how much money you have, or how religious your family is. What truly matters is your heart.
In John 5:24, Jesus says:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
That is what it means to receive eternal salvation in Jesus Christ.