It first helps to define salvation by what it saves us from. Salvation is as valuable as what it saves you from. The reason why many people don’t choose Christianity is because they don’t think they need to be saved. Overall, their lives are pretty good and the idea of needing salvation seems ridiculous. To someone who has not recognized the weight of their sin and the heat of God’s wrath and the joy of God’s presence, there’s no need for deliverance. Saved from what? they ask, as if we were telling them they needed to be saved from candy canes and lollipops. Life has treated them nicely so far, and no sense of need for salvation has ever risen to mind. And this is perhaps the saddest of all circumstances.
It’s sad because it does not matter how much one feels the need for salvation. Every human needs it. It’s as if an asteroid the size of Alaska is blazing toward the earth at sound barrier breaking speed and no one knows it. The entire world carries out the normal routines of life—not knowing that certain death awaits. They don’t feel their need for salvation. Perhaps you don’t feel your need for salvation. But regardless, you need to be saved. Everyone needs to be saved; there is a day when God will judge the living and the dead—and you will be in the throng of those awaiting the verdict of the gavel.
Why do you need to be saved? Because Romans 1:18 teaches that the God’s wrath is poured out against all the wickedness and ungodliness, and every human being is inherently wicked and ungodly. Every human being is thus in danger of being thrown into God’s wrath. This is what all mankind needs to be saved from. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” God’s wrath is on every human being. Unless one does something about it, namely, believes in the person and work of Jesus Christ, God’s wrath remains on him. It stays there, meaning it was there, it is there, and it will be there unless you get this salvation.
So to have salvation is to be saved from the wrath of God. It is not to be saved from the difficulty of life. It is not to be saved from poverty. It is not saved from an angry parent, or an unruly mob, or an incompetent or tyrannous nation. It is far bigger than that. It is to be saved from God’s settled anger. His wrath is on you because of your sin. You are in imminent danger. You can do nothing, you can say nothing, you can hope in nothing—except the one way of escape he provided—Jesus Christ. This wrath is removed by belief in the Son. That is, belief in Jesus saves from eternal wrath. The one who finds Jesus will be led to safety before the asteroid hits.
Do you need to be saved?