What’s the Primary Purpose of Salvation?
Adapted from “Discipleship Versus Evangelism” by Andrew Wommack
Most Christians believe that the primary purpose of salvation is to avoid hell.
That kind of thinking serves to inoculate people from the truth of the Gospel concerning salvation.
If we simply ceased to exist at death and if there was no hell, I still believe that Jesus would have come to earth and died for us.
Why? Because salvation is about having a relationship with God. God’s main reason for sending Jesus was to restore fellowship. It just so happens that as we restore our relationship with God through salvation, one of the perks—one of the great benefits—is that we miss hell and gain heaven.
Nowhere in the Scripture did Jesus tell us to go and make converts.
Let’s look at what is commonly referred to as the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:18-20. It says this:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ’All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.'"
Jesus told them to teach others to observe all the things that He had commanded. The Greek word for “teach” in this passage is literally the word that is translated “disciple.”
The New International Version translated this as “Go and make disciples.” The emphasis here is that the Lord commanded us to make disciples, not converts. Somewhere along the way, the church has changed the emphasis of this message from making disciples to getting people born again, leaving discipleship for the “mature.”
By making that the focus, the church is actually lowering the standards, leaving people with the misconception that all they need to do is just be born again and discipleship is optional. That is not what Jesus commanded.
Statistics say that 33 percent of all “born-again Christians” still support things like abortion and New Age thinking. That certainly does not reflect the attitude of a person who’s truly been born again.
I am not saying that being born again and living eternally with Jesus is not important—it’s essential!
Jesus said that we are to make disciples, followers of Christ. When we ask people to accept Jesus as their Savior, we need to teach them that this is a total commitment of one’s life to the Lord. It means becoming a disciple of Jesus.
What we ought to be preaching is that God calls us into discipleship, and it begins with making a commitment to the Lord. If we understood that and acted on it, we would have much greater success evangelizing the world!