“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:5-11
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Romans 6:46
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:16-17
God’s people longed for God’s judgment because it meant that God would set things right (Psalms 72:4). This saving judgment entailed God condemning their enemies but they thought little about what God required of them.
Some readers might need to reorient how they think about “being saved.” Salvation concerns both what we’re saved from and what we’re saved for. Many people think almost exclusively in terms of the former. We are saved from wrath, punishment, condemnation, and hell. Though a glorious truth, it is a partial truth.
Nothing is wrong with stressing the importance of being saved from something. Being saved from the penalty, power, and presence of sin is glorious! But…. and this is an important “but” … no one is saved merely from fear of penalty. Ultimately, salvation requires love for Christ and obedience to Christ by obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit that dwells within your spirit.
The goal of salvation is believers’ conformity to the Son of God—their participation in his rule over creation as God’s eschatological family and as renewed humanity—but only and always with the purpose of extending God’s hand of mercy, love, and care to his wider creation. This was humanity’s job in the beginning; it is the believer’s responsibility now and will be the believers’ responsibility and honor in the future, first during Jesus’ Millennial reign on this earth when He and the resurrected Saints will rule the nations with a rod of iron. This is a transitional era when Satan is bound but he is released at the end of the Millennium when he is still able to raise an army like the sand of the sea. He and his army will be defeated and this earth destroyed with fire. The second resurrection and the White Throne judgement follow, before the new earth and heaven where only the righteous dwell.
This vision is compelling and sustaining. It creates a far more robust biblical perspective on following Christ.
People know that the world has problems. Moreover, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and righteousness and He will guide and direct our steps to evangelize the lost. He will even give us the words to say so they know that we are being used by God. We just need to be obedient to the call of God on our lives regardless of the cost.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39