If your motivation for becoming saved is/was to get into heaven, then you have COMPLETELY missed the mark. Contrary to what the churches falsely teach, salvation is motivated AND INITIATED by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our personal desires are pushed aside, and the Holy Spirit comes to the forefront and shows us a “New Thing…” one that gives us saving faith in the power of the crucifixion, cross, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…NOTHING about YOU like the Institutional Church teaches. In the IC, it’s all about man, works, and MAN’S desire to get what HE wants out of the deal. When it’s the REAL DEAL, you are out of the picture, and Jesus Christ is the center.
I don’t know about you, but growing up in church, I was often taught that going to heaven was a major motivation to wanting to be “saved.” I had absolutely NO DESIRE for God, nor did I really understand what the cross TRULY meant, and what the resurrection of Jesus Christ really was. All I wanted was to avoid being damned to hell. And so I did all these works to try to attain salvation and maintain salvation.
In most churches today, the preacher’s focus during the altar call is on the individual desiring a better life or situation for himself, or perhaps the individual being so hopeless and guilty about his lifestyle that he is heavily encouraged to “make a decision for Christ” before it’s too late. What a self-centered approach to salvation!
I also would like to point out that my Pastor, Pam Sheppard, had NO desire for God when he began his work in her and rebirthed her spirit. She was not seeking for ways to “get saved.” And Paul was a persecutor of Christians, yet the Lord saved him. Neither Paul nor Pam were worried about “getting into heaven,” or avoiding hell. Neither was feeling so guilty and helpless that they did works to try to save themselves from hell. So desiring God and doing works to avoid ending up in hell certainly can’t be prerequisites to becoming born again.
As for me, when I TRULY got born again, the thought of heaven or hell never even entered my mind when I heard the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was way too caught up in what happened to Jesus Christ, whereas beforehand when I was part of the IC, my MAIN motivation for trying to be “right with God” was because I wanted to get to heaven in the end…no concern for the cross and resurrection, and no change occurred in me. I wanted what I wanted for MYSELF, and certainly didn’t care about Jesus. I just wanted to do all the works it took in order to be saved…when we all know that we are saved by GRACE, and NOT by WORKS. There is NOTHING we can do to get saved. Our human works are not enough. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to quicken our spirits, give us FAITH in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, cause us to repent, and make us new, born again creatures. WE DON’T HAVE THE POWER TO DO THAT. WE CANNOT SAVE OURSELVES FROM OUR OWN WICKEDNESS. WE ARE POWERLESS. This is why the ENTIRE salvation gospel preached in the IC is COMPLETELY FALSE. The ENTIRE point of the Gospel is COMPLETELY ignored and missed!!! The IC tried to do a “shortcut” to the real deal by stepping in and attempting to do the Holy Spirit’s job, and then calling that salvation…which is not possible. I dare say that if your salvation experience occurred in a church service within the IC, you are probably NOT born again, and you most likely have a False Conversion…no matter how GOOD it felt. THINK DEEPLY ON THIS.
Need to think on this further? Pam’s latest book, The Church of the Endtime Zombies, will give you more clarity on your questions regarding salvation. She also has written other similar books that may cater to your spiritual needs.
Her books can be found at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/pam_s911
Need further help? You can contact Pastor Pam at 888-818-1117. Or, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .