Some Christians may see sanctification, justification and glorification as either too trivial or too complicated to bother with. I’d argue that overlooking or ignoring what these definitions mean would be a big mistake. In the typical evangelical alter call, you will hear an emotional plea to invite Jesus into your heart. I have no doubt that the speaker has the intention of wanting people to accept Jesus as their savior. This is usually done near the end of the service with music lightly playing in the background to add to the emotional impact. While it’s probably true that the Holy Spirit brought many people to this service through a series of events in their life and they He may have been revealing Himself over time. Even so, what Justification is usually is not explained. When we accept Christ, it means we accept the price He paid for our sins and we are now His.
The decision that is made by individuals may not be followed up on and these people may not have the opportunity to be discipled properly. Justification needs to be explained as the start of a journey of walking with Jesus, not the completion of a journey of walking without Jesus.
Once this journey begins, sanctification plays it’s part. Sanctification is a day by day – decision by decision choice that we make to become closer to God or still have one foot in the world. Sanctification is God working to make us a new creature in the present tense.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Our sinful nature wants to be conformed to the world as the world has something to satisfy any desire that we can think of. God doesn’t want this for us, He wants us to be set apart. Each time we have a choice to watch a movie, listen to music or hang out with a certain crowd, we have to keep in mind whether that’s what God wants for us. We need to be a witness to sinners and that can’t happen if we’re doing the same things that they are.
Glorification is yet future, it is where we receive our glorified bodies and will be judged according to our works at the Bema Seat Judgment.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2 Cor 5:10 (KJV)
We need to pay attention to the letter to the overcomers that Jesus wrote to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3.