He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 2:14 (NLT)
I’m a bit of a nerd. I know that shocks a lot of you! Ok, maybe not. But, it’s true. In fact, I would wager that most pastors are nerds. Let me explain that a bit further. A nerd is someone who is generally a consumer of information – written information in particular. They have a well-worn library card, or simply have bookshelves overflowing with books. Their e-reader app may have hundreds, if not thousands of titles within its digital footprint. Nerds love to read. Now, there are nerds who love to read fiction, others who read non-fiction. And some who even love both.
I have tons of books (literal tons) lining my bookshelves at my home and in my office. My e-reader app has hundreds of titles (and growing). And, of course, my desk is littered with books that I’m intending to read next. I love to consume information, to gain knowledge, to gain wisdom. The topics vary, but mostly my books focus in on theology, church dynamics, and the post-modern generations. I’m trying to keep up with not only the greatest theological minds on the planet, but also how to relay that information to those who are not.
Here’s the thing. Being educated on a topic doesn’t make us an expert. And, when it comes to our salvation in Christ, sometimes we try to over-educate ourselves. Let me explain.
As our verse today states, we receive salvation from Jesus when we hear (and accept) the good news about His life, death, and resurrection. When we hear about the price He paid for the forgiveness of our sins and how He wants an eternal relationship with us. It’s simple. It’s clean. It’s counter-intuitive.
You see, we always think we need to know more. There must be a catch. I need to get my seminary degree before I can understand enough to have salvation. I need to know the intricacies of Daniel and Revelation before I can be assured of being in Heaven. But, that’s just not true. Salvation comes in the moment you believe. It’s not an academic exercise. It’s a relationship with the King of the Universe. In that moment, you pass from death to life; from stranger to royalty. In that very moment, you become part of God’s family.