Isn’t wanting salvation for ourselves a bit selfish?

Is Christianity all about getting oneself saved and going to heaven? And isn’t that the Christian purpose too, to get people saved before they die, so they go to heaven and not to hell? And isn’t it our greatest concern as Christians for our family and friends to get them to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation from their sins? And isn’t that why Jesus died in the first place, to save people? So what’s wrong with wanting salvation so much?

Because the focus of Christianity isn’t about getting oneself, or anyone else, saved. And the reason for that is – the salvation of humanity has already been taken care of. The focus of the Christian message, therefore, is not to get people saved, it’s to tell people they’ve already been saved. We explain how it was done, by Jesus taking our sins upon himself two thousand years ago, rescuing everyone from the both the penalty and power of sin, so that nothing we’ve ever said, done, thought or imagined is held against us by God (2 Corinthians 5:19). We have no worries, then, about anyone not being saved. Everyone has been saved.

The focus of a Christian, therefore, is not selfishly wanting salvation, or getting in a knot of worry about friends and family being saved, or not. The focus, rather, is what we’ve (already) been saved for. It’s great news knowing we’ve been rescued, but rescued for what purpose?

It’s to fit in with what God created humans for in the first place. He made us in his image so we could rule his creation. We messed that up by seeking our own ends instead, but Jesus died to put that in the past, and now through his resurrected life he remakes us in God’s image through his Spirit. That’s why he saved us from our selfishness, to put us on the right path again, our minds and hearts focused on what God created us for, and tuning in to what he’s remaking us into. Our focus, therefore, is totally on our Father’s purpose for us, and on pleasing him. It’s totally unselfish.

Our desire to do good and be good people, therefore, is not to get ourselves saved, it’s to please God, who loves it when we catch on to what he saved us for. He assures us in Romans 2:7 that when we seek the glory, honour and immortality he intended for us humans in the first place, by pleasing God and obeying him, “he will give eternal life” to us. He removes all selfish worry about our future, so we can get on with living what he made possible through Jesus.

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