Home > God, Grace, Jesus, Mormonism, Salvation > The “Fire Escape” Approach to Salvation

The “Fire Escape” Approach to Salvation

Having grown up in the suburbs of Fort Worth for most of my life, I cannot say that I have ever actually had any experience with a fire escape…I won’t let that stop me from using it to illustrate a point.

When I think of a fire escape I picture a New York alley with a zigzagging network of steel stairs winding its way past windows till it reaches the roof. Consider it a “stairway to heaven” if you will (queue Led Zeppelin).

Earth is the ground and heaven is the roof.

As we stand at the foot of this stairway looking up, we take notice of a few obstacles of getting to the top. First, the amount of steps seems almost un-climbable and all the twists and turns are dizzying. Second, the ladder does not reach all the way to the ground.

It is with this perspective that I want to approach the topic of salvation. Every human on earth is in the same position, standing at the bottom of this stairway and looking for the way to the top. Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

There are two ways of approaching the predicament that we find ourselves in. One is trying to move our way up the stairs by our works. The other is having faith that Jesus will get us all the way to the top by what He has done.

I will use Mormonism as my example of the works-based solution because I am familiar with it. To them, the sacrifice of Jesus has limited importance. He stands next to us with his hands clasped and cupped waist high, ready to give us a boost so we can reach the bottom rung of the ladder that hovers over our heads, giving us access to the very bottom of the stairway. Once He gets us to that first rung, it is up to us to work our way to the top.

I spent the first 30 years of my life trying to climb my way up that ladder and it was exhausting. Each step was a rule that had to be kept or some action I had to take. Forget or fail to do something and back down you went. It felt like I would take one step up then 2 steps down. I never got any closer and there was never any hope of doing so.

Contrast that with the other method, relying on the finished work of Jesus on the cross and trusting in his grace to get you to the top. While the “works-based” Jesus can only push us up from the bottom, the “faith/grace based” Jesus is reaching down from the very top and effortlessly hoisting us up with his powerful, right arm. All we have to do is reach up and receive His unbreakable grasp…He does the rest.


Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is “cheap grace”. The cost of this grace was my no means cheap. In fact, it cost a price so high that only God could pay.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” 1 Peter 1:18-20

At this very moment, God’s hand is reaching out to you. He is stretching it toward you from heaven. Trust God, take hold of it, acknowledge the hopelessness of trying to climb your way up that “stairway to heaven” and receive the hope of salvation only found in Jesus Christ.

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Categories: God, Grace, Jesus, Mormonism, Salvation
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