Last week I began reading Rob Bell’s new book. The book caught my attention several weeks ago as I began reading reviews and comments online. With the amount of controversy that has surrounded the book, I could not help but want to pick it up (ok, I didn’t actually ‘pick up’ the book…I bought and downloaded it on my iPad). The small group that I am a part of has decided to read the book together and use it as fuel to drive us toward a clearer understanding of what we believe about Heaven and Hell. As we read the book we will hold up Rob Bell’s questions and comments to the light of God’s Word.
This week we read chapter one. Our discussion this week centered on the question How do you know you are saved/going to Heaven? In his book, Rob Bell asks the following questions:
Is it what you say?
Is it who you are?
Is it what you do?
Is it what you say you’re going to do?
As I read the chapter, I was reminded of the steps to salvation that I was taught as I grew up in the church. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, and Be Baptized. I can’t help but ask similar questions. If I follow these 5 steps am I saved? Is salvation really a matter of what I am taught followed by a series of things that I do? These five steps are a general description of the process, but I think we need to be careful that we don’t make them the entire process and use them as a checklist. I think this is Rob Bell’s point in chapter one of his book. Salvation is not the result of saying or doing the right things. Salvation is the result of believing in Jesus as the risen Son of God and choosing to follow Him.
What do you think? Are you sure you are saved and going to Heaven? How do you know?