Jesus Chose Us
You see, the controlling force in our lives is the love of the Anointed One. And our confession is this: One died for all; therefore, all have died. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own (2 Corinthians 5:14; The Voice & The Message mixed)
The truth is this: Jesus died and sprang back to life taking us with him in both his death and resurrection. Everyone, yes, everyone, was included in the death and resurrection life of Christ. The Hebrew word for all, which is pas, means just what it means in English: all. Everyone. Everything. The whole kit -n- kaboodle. All.
When Jesus went to the cross, he didn’t just go for the elect who would one day choose him. Jesus chose us! So many in the church would like to believe that they had a hand in their own salvation. They like to say that one day they were not saved and then one day inspiration struck them like a mac truck and they asked Jesus to come and save them.
Obviously, we all have a “salvation story.” I was a teenager, lost and bewildered, and then asked Jesus into my life at a large conference geared toward teenagers at the Sundome in Tampa, Florida. However, what I didn’t realize at the time, and what many pew warmers on Sunday morning don’t realize, is that Jesus had already chosen me.
We see clearly in Romans 6 that because Christ died, we died with him. The one who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:5-7).
Back in 10th grade, kneeling on the astroturf of the Sundome, I was taught that Jesus died a long time ago so that I could make a choice and choose him. I was taught afterwards that even though Jesus died, some could make decisions for salvation while others would choose not to get saved.
But that’s just not what scripture says. We see in the canon of scripture that when Christ died, he died for all. “One died for all; therefore, all have died.” Salvation was figured out for us over two thousand years ago.
Am I saying that everyone on earth has salvation?
YES! EVERYONE ON EARTH HAS SALVATION.
Am I saying that all have received their salvation?
NO! NOT ALL HAVE RECEIVED THEIR SALVATION.
While it’s true that the price of salvation has been paid by the death and resurrection of Jesus, scripture is not saying that everyone has realized their salvation.
“Getting saved” has less to do with praying a prayer and more to do with having a revelation of the truth of salvation.
Mystical Union and Universalism
We are included in Christ and have a mystical union with Jesus. Church mystics for ages have been teaching this. Christ lives within us, his home is in a guarded, secret place on the inside. We know that our insides are bigger than our outsides. Song of Songs 4:12 tells us that we are a garden locked up. We know that it is within that garden that Christ dwells with us in union and it’s a place only meant for us and him. Not even our spouses have access to that secret place.
The gospel message is a universalist message, but it’s not universalism. The late Robert Capon, in his book Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace, writes this:
“I am and I am not a universalist. I am one if you are talking about what God in Christ has done to save the world. The Lamb of God has not taken away the sins of some — of only the good, or the cooperative, or the select few who can manage to get their act together and die as perfect peaches. He has taken away the sins of the world — of every last being in it — and he has dropped them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. On the cross, he has shut up forever on the subject of guilt: “There is therefore now no condemnation. . . .” All human beings, at all times and places, are home free whether they know it or not, feel it or not, believe it or not.
“But I am not a universalist if you are talking about what people may do about accepting that happy-go-lucky gift of God’s grace. I take with utter seriousness everything that Jesus had to say about hell, including the eternal torment that such a foolish non-acceptance of his already-given acceptance must entail. All theologians who hold Scripture to be the Word of God must inevitably include in their work a tractate on hell. But I will not — because Jesus did not — locate hell outside the realm of grace. Grace is forever sovereign, even in Jesus’ parables of judgment. No one is ever kicked out at the end of those parables who wasn’t included in at the beginning.”
All people were thought of, everyone was considered, each one was perfectly loved and accepted on the cross. This gospel is not some bless me club, get rich quick, white privilege gospel. This gospel is for all people everywhere. And salvation came at Calvary.
Do people need to come to the revelation of grace and salvation? Do people need to act like they are saved? Do good works matter? The answer to all is a resounding YES!
However, no one is saved on their own account. I heard Winnie Banov say it best: The saints were home before they started.
Jesus gave salvation to all people at the Cross. It is still necessary to come to the revelation of this salvation though. I’m not trying to take away Christians spreading the gospel. It’s important and necessary to tell people about Jesus; however, changing the semantics from salvation coming at the asking to salvation already here, alive and kicking, changes the way we spread this gospel.
We don’t have an issue of saved or unsaved anymore.
We have an issue of believer and non-believer.
When you are talking to a non-believer, you are talking to your brother or sister in Christ! Yes, they still belong to Christ even if they don’t believe in him.
You are telling them about Jesus so that they go from being a non-believer to a believer who has realized their salvation!
This is why the gospel has always been called the Good News! It’s good news that all are saved. It’s good news that we no longer have to live according to our sinful nature. We are prisoners of Christ. We are love slaves. From the pastor’s kid to the axe murderer sitting on death row, salvation and grace are extended to all and was extended at the cross.
Do both and pastor’s kid and the axe murderer have to come to the revelation of their salvation and put their faith in Jesus? Yes!
Will someone tell them about the union we have with Christ and the gospel message? I sure hope so. They probably won’t get it on their own.
But are they saved the minute they pray the one-minute prayer asking Jesus into their heart? No. Salvation was already there. The witness just activated faith inside the non-believer making the non-believer a believer.
Remember: faith is a person. His name is Jesus.
We cannot make even faith a work. There is no way that we could possibly have enough faith to believe in Jesus. It takes Jesus to believe in Jesus.
Chew on this. Let me know your thoughts.
I love you all. Godbless you. Stay whacked!