The 2 Salvation Stories

There's only one way to be saved.  Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6. 

However, the stories that get us to Jesus can all look vastly different.  For most Christians, there's no debating that.  We get it.  Everyone has a unique testimony in how they come to Christ.  However, the stories of our salvation are usually put into two broad categories--"I Was a Rebel" or "I Was Saved at an Early Age".

If you've spent any time in the church, you know that there is a fascination with the testimony of the "rebel".  To hear how God takes the most defiant of individuals and radically transforms them into  Spirit-filled believers fills us with consummate awe and profound appreciation.

Obviously, we know that the testimony of those saved earlier in life is equally as triumphant.  However, there's an implicit idea that the story of the "rebel" is the more valuable one to share.  Its the headline grabber.  Its the story that changes lives.

BUT!  That's not true.  The story itself doesn't change lives.  Jesus changes lives.  The story is a vessel used to direct the spotlight onto the Savior. 

The reality is that both types of testimonies include salvation.  We often look at the stories, and rightly so, with the understanding of what Jesus saves us from and to.  Jesus saves us from our sin, from a life in bondage, from an eternity separated from God.  Jesus saves us to life with God, to a joyous eternity, to a Spirit-filled existence.  Those things are worth celebrating!

But, the difference in the 2 stories is that the "rebel" has a whole laundry list of additional items, that are often quite relatable, things that Jesus has saved them from.  The "early birds" don't have a big list.  In other words, its like comparing being rescued from a blazing house fire to being rescued by getting a preemptive flu shot.  The natural fixation will be on the story filled with more tragedy, turns, drama, and heartache. 

Okay, so that's understood, but what do we need to do about that?  One, be thankful for your story, no matter what category it falls into.  Having a relationship with Jesus is the ultimate of blessings.  Your story matters, because it is your testimony to share!

Secondly, and this is what I am most encouraged to share with you--Don't let the category of your story impact your idea about whether or not it is worth sharing.  No matter the twists and turns, or lack thereof, your story is a story of salvation.

 If I received a million dollars, I'd be most excited about the actual cash in my possession.  Sure, there would be a story of how I acquired the money.  But, no matter how astonishing or boring a tale, I'd feel pretty good about having a million dollars in the bank.

In Christ, we have much more than that.  The amazing part, if you have a testimony, is that YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED.

Besides, the salvation is only more seen in the story of the "rebel" because of the tangible, earthly things that the rebel had to leave behind or overcome.  The salvation event in the life of the "early bird" leaves us with many unseen what-ifs.  The reality is that had Jesus not stepped in, the "early bird" would have been caught into the same web of potential vile things that "rebels" navigated.

If a man pushes a child out of the way of a speeding car--we physically see how God used the man to help rescue the child.  However, when God decides to allow you to misplace your keys so that you will run late and miss being caught up in a fatal car accident--we don't physically see it.  It doesn't make the rescue event any less significant.  Its just a different story.

My hope is that we will never see our salvation story as having any insignificance.  My hope is that we see our story, praise God for it, and share it with all we come in contact with!