Reflections by Jeremy Alger

“This is not a salvation issue…” I have said that a number of times in sermons. When I speak about something that scripture seems to be calling us to but it is not something as cut and dry as sin. There is a way of thinking about things eternally that put everything on a razor edge between heaven and hell. If you do this you can go to heaven, if don’t then you can’t get in.
The truth of scripture is that the razor’s edge is not something that we ever have to worry about. We will never be good enough to fall on the good side. We can only make it to heaven through the grace of Jesus. So the razor’s edge is simply: do you admit your need for Jesus; accept his forgiveness for your sins; and trust that he had paid the price for you to enter into heaven?
Once you answer “yes” to that three part question the issues of scripture are still important for your life, but they are not a salvation issue because Jesus has already settled that matter for you.
This idea of a salvation issue is comparable to fire able offenses at your job. Do you do your job just well enough to not get fired? Perhaps that is exactly how you do your job. I’ve had jobs like that before. But I bet if that describes you then you aren’t in a job that you love. You certainly aren’t in your dream job.
Imagine if you were hired to do your dream job. Would you do just enough to keep it? Or would you dig in and dive in? Would you work hard, arrive early and stay late? I bet that you would strive to learn all that you could to be better and better at whatever your job was. That is what we do when we find work that we are passionate about.
I think that many people who are in churches today are banking on going to heaven but aren’t digging in to the further calling and blessings of being a follower of Jesus. Our Christian walk should not be simply about getting into heaven.
As important as getting into heaven is to each of us; we need to realize that getting into heaven is just as important to all people. But many people cannot say “yes” to that three part question. Do they admit that they need Jesus? Do they accept His forgiveness for their sins? And do they trust that Jesus has paid the price for them to enter into heaven?
How can people learn those questions, let alone answer rightly? They must be presented with the good news of Jesus Christ. They must be ministered to by people who already know Jesus and are following him with their lives. Jesus calls us to repent and follow him. Then he calls us to go and make disciples. He calls us to serve those around us. He calls us to work as his hands and feet.
This evangelistic work isn’t a salvation issue for us, but it is a salvation issue for those who don’t already know Jesus! In fact, it is their only hope!
Jeremy Alger is the pastor of the New Cumberland Church of the Nazarene. For more information please visit