Reading Scott Hahn's Reasons to Believe, I recently came across a sentence that struck me as oddly summing up contemporary western society:
"Many people today think that salvation is something that God owes us."
For generations we've told our children that they can be whatever they want, achieve whatever they want and have whatever they want; so long as they work hard for it. This has been the case, until recently; those who have worked hard have reaped the benefits of their efforts. In fact, we've worked so hard and done so well, there is little more for us to achieve in this world. With our material needs being more than satisfied, it has been my experience as an educator, that the youth of today (and to some extent their parents) that the world owes them their creature comforts and luxuries.
According to Scott Hahn, this sense of entitlement has flowed over into our spiritual life.
Although God wants nothing more than our salvation, He wants us to want our salvation as much as He does. "For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing." (Rom 2:6-7)
In fact, there is no guarantee that God will grant us his salvation; He may in fact deny it unless we profess the Kingdom of God to the world:
So every one who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before me, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Mt. 10:32-33)
Like any thing in life, we cannot take the Lord's salvation for granted. The same way a parent wants to give their child an allowance, they want their child to work for it so that it will be that much more appreciated. The money will always be there, just like the parent's love; and the child will learn not to take either for granted. So it is with God. His love and salvation will always be offered to us; but by working for it, His saving touch will be all the more sweeter.