After all of this, Rob began to ask, "How do we proclaim this then?"
People come to Jesus in all sorts of ways. When we start boxing it in to a certain way, we are keeping people from coming to Jesus.
So how do we proclaim this?
We need to proclaim that salvation is holistic in nature. Jesus wants to save us from anger, bitterness, selfishness, sexual sin, etc...from basically every part of our lives.
He mentioned 2 views we can approach salvation with:
1. Destination--the "in or out" or "arrived" view. Jesus seems to be much more concerned with what type of person we are becoming in his teachings, not what place we're going to after we die.
2. Journey--it's possible to be "born again" and be indifferent to the things God cares about. There are moments of "arrival" along the way in our journey. It's an ongoing way of life that we enter into continually.
Rob then goes into the term "life in the age to come." Many interpret this as that other life after we die, but interestingly the Jewish people did not talk about forever that much, and when they did, they treated it with such reverence because only God could comprehend such things. The term they used for this was olam haba, or "harmony with God." In Matthew 19:16, one asks Jesus how to get olam haba, and Jesus says, "keep the commandments."
Rob then goes on talking about the term "the renewal of all things." He's taught on this many time at Mars Hill. So I won't go too much into them. Here's some references: Matt. 19:28--Jesus, Acts 3:19-21--Peter, Col. 1:15-20--Paul. It's talking about all of creation being reclaimed here and now.
Rob says that the cross is not just about personal salvation. "If we shrink the whole gospel down to individual souls, it is NOT the true gospel. Jesus is always warning to be careful when you have discussion of who's in or out and vice versa. Ironically enough, he seems to insist that those who think they're in may be out and those who think they're out may be in.
Rob then quotes a Newsweek article about Billy Graham from August 14, 2006. They asked Billy if he believed in absolutes. This is what he said:
"I believe the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his Son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody, regardless of what label they have."
Rob says that "we invite people to trust Jesus wherever they are on their journey." At Mars Hill we call it the theology of the "clicks." Where is the next click for you? Our salvation is continuing to be worked out as we grow closer to Jesus.
Rob then quoted Richard Rohr regarding salvation:
"My simple definition of salvation would be when one begins to live in conscious union with God. This, of course, grows and develops and Jesus makes it plain that this has to begin with our bodies, in our human lives, in our experience in this world, now and forever that Jesus is surely necessary for salvation. It is not a formula or a mere affirmation, but a change in identity."
Salvation is holistic in nature. Quite honestly if you think about it, this is life-giving to so many people. Jesus is continually saving us. The cross is much bigger than we thought. The amazing thing is, this life now becomes much more important.
Jesus is not thinking about destination, orienting your way of life around this is inviting a gospel of despair, but He is asking about the kind of person you are becoming in the here and now, and in Him there is hope for that. Jesus wants to save us TODAY, to live a certain way of life, the way of shalom.