Open Book
Light Bulb


Salvation in the Bible is about more than getting to heaven. Salvation includes God redeeming all creation from its current polluted condition and reincorporating it into His kingdom of heaven. Perhaps the best salvation story in the Bible was when Jesus invited Himself to dinner at the home of an oppressor. His name was Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector for the evil empire. The locals called him a sinner.
Four things happen in Zacchaeus’ home that paint a richer picture of salvation.

First, Zacchaeus’ welcomed Jesus. Too often, consumer-Christianity looks more like voting for God than real repentance—more like joining a club than gaining a Kingdom
vocation. Good News has degenerated into fake news: Make a confession for Jesus and go on with your life with minimal disruption. That’s not how it was for Zacchaeus. When he welcomed Jesus into his life, how he did life changed radically.

Second, Zacchaeus promised to give. Without coercion, he committed to give 50% of his possessions to the poor. Consumer-Christianity is often pitched as the path to divine favor. And, it is true that becoming a Christ-follower will make life better, but probably not more comfortable. Charity cost Zacchaeus comfort and security. Instead of asking for God’s blessing he sacrificed to become a blessing to others.

Third, Zacchaeus offered justice. He voluntarily committed to make restitution to anyone he had cheated, repaying four-times any loss suffered at his hands. It’s worth noting that he wasn’t talking about seeking justice from government, religion or business. Seeking justice is popular today, doing justice—not so much. But all anyone can honestly offer is to take responsibility for their own failings. Yet if each person did only that, our world would be far more just.

Finally, Zacchaeus entered the Kingdom. Jesus said: “Today salvation has come to this house… . For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Zacchaeus’ confession made him a child of God, a citizen of the God’s Kingdom, and an ambassador of Christ. Jesus announced that he was saved. While our culture dismisses the need for salvation, Jesus died to offer salvation. Who do you trust?

Dan Nygaard