"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."
Jesus said this when speaking to His disciples about the end of the age and the sign of His coming. I talk a little more about "enduring" in my blog, More on Jesus' End of Age Warning: Persecution, so I wanted to say something here about the word "saved." According to Strong's Concordance, this word "saved" in the Greek is sozo which means saved, healed, preserved and rescued. What an awesome God we have who takes care of His people in this way! I like that He preserves us. It reminds me of Jesus saying that we are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13. Salt not only adds flavor, but it preserves. So we have the Lord preserving us, and us preserving the earth.
The reason our life is saved is not because we are so great. It's not because we've done great deeds, or lived a perfect, holy life, but so God has a people in the earth. We are the salt of the earth--the flavor and preservative. If we were not here, the preserving power would not be here. God has a people here in the earth so He has a presence in the earth--His ways continue, His kingdom is built, His Gospel is preached and His love is released. It's not about our life being preserved so we can go on and live according to our own pleasures. As His disciples we are to die to ourselves daily--taking up our cross and following Him. Luke 9:23. Whether we live or die, it's all for Him.
I thank God for safety, healing, provision and all of His blessings, but I want to remember that the goal is not the preservation of my life, but the advancement of His kingdom--for His will to be done in the earth. God is looking for those who recognize that we need His righteous judgement. We need His rule in the earth. We need His mercy and His presence. We can't fix our lives, or our earth, with our own wisdom or in our own power. We need His kingdom to come, and His will to be done in earth as it is in Heaven! Matthew 6:10.
The same goal is true of the nations. I pray for the salvation of America, not because we are such a great nation, but because we have a purpose. God established this nation for a reason and we want to fulfill that purpose! Remember when Jesus healed the centurion's servant? A centurion is a commander in the Roman military, yet the Jewish elders asked Jesus to heal his servant. They said to Him, "He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue." Here's a guy who loved Israel to the point where he even built a synagogue for the Jewish people. Yet he showed great humility toward Jesus, and a recognition of His authority to the extent that Jesus said He had not found such great faith, even in Israel. Luke 7:1-10. The man recognized Jesus' authority in the earth. He could see that Israel was God's people. It takes faith to see God's plans and purposes. It takes faith to see what God is doing and agree with Him instead of going about our business.
All nations need to recognize the authority of the Lord, and support what He is doing in the earth. God's way is the only way that will work. His judgments are true. We don't need to pray for God to forgive us, save us, heal, preserve or rescue us just so we can continue on in the way we have been. We need to ask the Lord to help us fix where we've gone wrong and be restored to the point where we will fulfill the purpose for which He created us. God, open our eyes to the purpose of our preservation!