As an Evangelical Christian, I believe that our opportunity for salvation is given to us in this earthly life. According to Scripture, particularly the New Testament, the decision to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior must be made before we die. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” which suggests that after death, one faces judgment based on the decisions made in life, including the all-important decision regarding one’s relationship with Christ.
The concept of salvation in Evangelical Christianity is intrinsically linked to the belief in Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, which provides the means for our redemption. John 3:16-18 clearly presents the urgency of belief in Jesus for salvation, stating that those who believe in Him are not condemned, but those who do not believe are already condemned because they have not believed in the name of God’s only Son. This implies that the choice to trust in Jesus for salvation must occur during one’s lifetime.
The Evangelical view also holds that the message of the gospel is to be shared with all, as it says in Matthew 28:19-20, the Great Commission, where Jesus commands His followers to go and make disciples of all nations. This underscores the importance of evangelism and the belief that individuals must hear the gospel and respond to it positively to be saved.
Any notion of salvation after death is not supported by mainstream Evangelical teaching. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 further illustrates this point, showing that after death, the rich man had no opportunity to cross over to Abraham’s side where Lazarus was comforted. This is interpreted as a clear indication that after death, there are no more chances for salvation.
Therefore, Evangelical Christians are generally unified in the belief that the decision for accepting Christ’s gift of salvation is one that must be made before passing from this life. The urgency and the importance of this decision are why evangelism and living a life reflective of one’s faith are central to Evangelical practice and belief.