Christianity isn’t just a religion. It’s much more than that. Many Christians understand their religion as something more like a relationship with a personal God. We see it as something that is much more meaningful than some rigid philosophy or theological system of belief.
To follow Christ–to place one’s faith and trust in him–is a significant ongoing relationship with he who crafted our souls, with precision and passion; with careful intent and purpose; with concern for not only its initial condition, but also for its condition throughout the passage of time.
It is easy to see how our relationship with God is fluid. It is not static. It ebbs and flows as the tragedy of life reaches its climax and it’s ultimate end. Yet, for one reason or another, many believers have a difficult time understanding that unbelievers experience a similar ebb and flow which precedes a reconciliation of their own.
What was Jesus’ purpose, according the the biblical account? To seek and to save that which was lost? To die for the sins of the world? Of course. In the same vein that many of us put more of an emphasis on relationship than on religion, we must also consider how Jesus’ emphasis on relationship applies to those outside of the faith.
If we believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, why do we reject the notion that his purpose was to, ultimately, save the entire world? Although many die before they have any real chance to know what a reconciled relationship with our heavenly Father looks like, Jesus’ purpose remains the same. He came to restore everyone’s relationship with the Father. On the cross, Jesus did just that. He is the conciliator. The ball is now in our court. Reconciliation waits on we who are forgiven. The Father anticipates each of our return.
Jesus defeated sin and death. In him, we are healed. Through him, our relationship with the Father is made perfect. The gates to heaven never close; neither does his invitation—to come home.