…but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:24-25 NIV)

As I watched the interview of Megadeath’s Dave Mustaine, the 30-year veteran of rock music’s “Death Metal”, a tear formed in the corner of my eye. It touched my heart as he spoke of the personal change since he “was saved”. He credits Fox News’ host, Bill O’Reilly (The O’Reilly Factor) for a back-and-forth on social media that created his openness to previously dismissed ideas. Mustaine indicated he has now embraced his role of modelling sobriety and encouraging decency among his fellow Death Metal musicians and their fans. From what I was hearing, Dave Mustaine demonstrated what John the Baptist referred to as the fruit of repentance.

Rock star Mustaine inspired some thoughts on the most important topic known to humankind, “salvation”. No one cannot afford to misunderstand what being saved means or misinformed about where we spend eternity.

In speaking of Christ, The Hebrews writer says “he (Jesus) is able to save completely [my emphasis] those who come to God through him,” what do we suppose this means? It implies there is “incomplete salvation” as opposed to “save completely”. A journey started but not concluded would be incomplete. “Undone” as in a half-baked cake or “unfinished” as in a half-built house where the owner quit because he did not fully count the cost, are synonyms. There is no glory in just making the team or lacking follow through.

The new birth occurs at a moment in time when the Spirit enters and God-life begins. As precious as newborn believers are, they are not complete. Ask a parent who loses an infant. Conception is life, but there is far more to life itself than birth. Salvation is life, but there is much to be added if we are to be completely saved. Conversion is necessary, but it is also incomplete. I could cite examples, including the friend who led me to Christ, but most know someone who prayed the prayer, yet never walked the walk.

Discipleship is the process by which babies in the faith are nurtured to maturity. Jesus commanded followers to go into the world and make disciples, not converts. Conversion is an experience; salvation is on a continuum as in a path. It is only complete when we finish our race and stand before the Lord to hear “well done”.

King James Version translators of Hebrews 7:25, used interesting terms. They wrote Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Don’t be so fast: There is a height, breadth and depth to salvation many Christians will never explore.

We have a role in salvation to the uttermost. If our maturing is ultimately on us, so too is salvation in its “completed” form (i.e. 2 Peter 1:11). Do not tune this verse or its context out! Meditate on Peter’s teaching in 2 Peter 1:3-11 and take it to heart. It affirms the Lord does his 100 per cent, but then we must do ours and make every effort. If we do not, we will never realize God’s good purpose. Do we want to miss Jesus’ gift? (Jude 24)

Next time, we will highlight the one thing keeping God’s people from completeness.