When someone is “saved”, exactly what are they saved from? Every person’s salvation experience is unique, and I’m sure there are many deciding factors, but as a ten-year-old child, I wanted to be saved from Hell.
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21: 8 INV)
After a description like that, how could anyone not call to Jesus for salvation? If Hell was eternal death, I definitely wanted to go with the alternative: eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16 KJV)
For many years, that’s what I thought I was being saved from: Hell. I’m sure there are many others that feel or have thought the same way. Some believe we are saved from sin, but it’s basically the same thing: we are being saved from the punishment of sin.
“Even when we were dead because of our sins, He made us alive by what Christ did for us. You have been saved from the punishment of sin by His loving-favor.” (Ephesians 2: 5 NLV)
But as I have studied the scriptures, I realized that the punishment of sin is not just Hell, it’s also being separated from God/Jesus, which seems to me to be much scarier. After all, as long as we are with Him, we should fear nothing. Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were in the fiery furnace, but because God was with them (in some form; Daniel 3: 25), they remained completely unharmed. They didn’t even smell like smoke!
“And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” (Daniel 3: 27 ESV)
So, even if we were in Hell, as long as Jesus was with us, we would not experience the same torment as unbelievers. We would be safe…in His arms.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18: 2 NIV)
Myth or Real: REAL, but if you think about it, we are really being saved from eternal separation from God, our protector.