One of the stories that “go on repeating themselves”—perhaps the Great Story—is the story of the journey. From The Odyssey to The Pilgrim’s Progress to The Divine Comedy to The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings, an ordinary character leaves home to enter a strange, unknown world. The character faces dangers, toils, and snares; they die and are reborn; they are delivered; they are saved; they come home. This story, retold a thousand times, never grows old because it is our story.
Your soul is on a journey to God.
The Bible is a book of such journeys. Abraham leaves home to go to a place that God will show him. Joseph journeys down to Egypt; hundreds of years later Moses journeys from Egypt back home. Israel knows the strange, sad journey of exile. The center of the story is the great journey of the one to whom all heroes point: Jesus journeys from heaven to earth; he sets his face toward Jerusalem; he journeys to the cross, and hell itself, and then back to life and heaven, only now with the gift of salvation to give to all who desire it.
Salvation is a journey to God.
So it is time to turn from thinking about salvation to actually living it. Paul said, “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13). We don’t work for our salvation, but we do work out our salvation.
Ortberg, John. 2018. Eternity Is Now in Session: A Radical Rediscovery of What Jesus Really Taught about Salvation, Eternity, and Getting to the Good Place. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum.