I’ve been re-reading Who Will Be Saved by Bishop William H. Willimon in preparation for this coming Sunday’s sermon. He makes a point that has been made before, but deserves to be made again:
Most Christians think of salvation as related exclusively to the afterlife. Salvation is when we die and get to go to heaven. To be sure, Scripture is concerned with our eternal fate. What has been obscured is Scripture’s stress on salvation as invitation to share in a particular God’s life here, now, so that we might do so forever. Salvation isn’t just a destination; it is our vocation. Salvation isn’t just a question of who is saved and who is damned, who will get to heaven and how, but also how we are swept up into participation in the mystery of God who is Jesus Christ.
— William H. Willimon, Who Will Be Saved?
I think that one of the biggest shortcomings of contemporary American Christianity is that our view of Salvation is neither broad nor deep enough.