O God of Our Salvation
The turbulence of our times just seems to mount. While we have yet to reach the level of chaos they must have felt in Egypt during the plagues, it seems as if wave after wave of various kinds of upheaval have been thrust upon us. There is little evidence of a return to normal heading our way any time soon. We are also facing a rather divisive election, with sharply contrasting ideas of what vision and policies will bring us out of this morass. This seems destined to stir the pot even more. There is a general longing for someone to come along and hit some kind of “reset” switch to take us back to our relatively peaceful existence before these last few years.
It is this kind of yearning for peace and stability that will eventually give rise to the elevation of the Antichrist. People desire stability and prosperity so much that they will be open to anyone who appears able to deliver. In the past we have seen that when people are afraid, they are often quite willing to trade their freedoms for security. They then find that when the crisis has passed those freedoms are not willingly returned to them. Yet, time and again people voluntarily give up hard-won (often blood-bought) freedoms in order to feel secure.
However, the reality is there is no man who will bring us this kind of salvation we crave. No political party or philosophy will deliver us or insure peace and security for us in this world. History is marching step by step toward the end described in the book of Revelation. Any lulls in that march will be temporary at best. Our enemy isn’t a virus, an economic downturn, institutional racism, anarchists, or the opposing political party. Our enemy is the enemy of God. Our foes include all of the powers and authorities this enemy has set up in opposition to God and His beloved children. With that vast array of power opposing mankind, what person or human authority could ever hope to save us?
If that sounds a bit depressing, it is so only as much as we focus on the enemy and not our Ally. What we constantly need to remind ourselves is that we have a God of our salvation—or better yet, He has us! He has saved us. He is saving us. He will save us. He has promised this and we can rest secure in His faithfulness, power, goodness, and love to deliver us from every fear or foe. In the God of our salvation alone is there peace. Keeping our eyes there will bring us peace no matter what the turbulence is swirling around us.
Recently, I read John MacArthur’s book, Because the Time IS Near, which explains the book of Revelation. One of the things that struck me was how much salvation is celebrated in heaven. This is salvation acclaimed in the fullest understanding of the word, because it not only encompasses the wonder of our own redemption (something about which we should be growing in personal joy), but also the redemption of the whole created order which, too, was cursed when mankind sinned. All of creation is groaning, longing for the day when God creates a new heaven and new earth, free from the stain of our sin and its corresponding curses.
The joy of those redeemed surrounding the throne of God is overflowing with ecstasy and wonder. At this point then have obtained a heavenly perspective and understanding of the cost of sin and the dazzling wealth of grace, and are beside themselves with adoration for the One who saved them and all He has accomplished. The angels who have watched the wisdom and grace of God unfold over the history of mankind are in rapturous awe of all God has done in salvation. They all know there is more yet to come, as they anticipate the culmination of new heaven and new earth, and the wedding feast of the Lamb. The salvation of God is on full display, dazzling everyone who looks upon it, and eliciting from them shouts of praise.
Even on this side of the veil we need to turn our eyes and tune our hearts to worship the God of our salvation. Hebrews 2:1-4 warns us about the danger of neglecting our great salvation. It is far too easy to get a been-there-done-that attitude about it. We can think of it as something that happened in our past—an event, a date and time, like other milestones in our lives—important but not a source of daily gratitude or worship. If that has become our attitude, we would be wise to reexamine our thinking and our experience. If heaven never gets over praising God for salvation, then neither should we! In fact, we need to grow in our appreciation for and our expression of gratitude for what He has done for us.
A good place to start is a worship song like this one which reminds us that salvation is not just a what but a Who—a Triune God who loves us, redeemed us at unfathomable cost to Himself, and constantly draws us into fellowship with Himself. We need to know more and more about this God of Our Salvation, that we may worship Him deeper, wider, higher, and fuller, in this world and in the next.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries