The word salvation implies rescue from dire circumstance. When a person speaks of being saved, he is describing an event of helpless deliverance. When the Bible speaks of those on their way to Heaven, the most oft used term is the saved.
A good number of denominations and churches are of the opinion that in order to gain eternal life, go to heaven or reach God one must do something to deserve that privilege. It can be described as an overall goodness of life's choices or it may depend upon a ceremonial act such as baptism. In simpler terms, they believe that some form of works is heaven's requirement. Most of these christian organizations will place Jesus somewhere in the mix. This relationship or position is tenable upon the recipient's ability to hold out or maintainence of such position. Stay faithful, avoid any discrediting sin, and simply don't give up.
Salvation is offered by a Holy God to the unrighteous sinner as a gift through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the sin debt of the whole world by shedding His own blood on the cross of calvary. As many as receive Him, to them he gives eternal life. Eternal could never be described, "only as long." Salvation is more than a free ticket. It is a miraculous work of God. A dead soul is made alive again. Old things are passed away, behold all things become new. This is called regeneration. When a person has been truly regenerated, he is no longer his own, but has been bought with a price.
Christianity is confused. Many people believe they are Christians because they have their name on some church roll, or have had some life changing experience that they attribute to God, or because they maintain a lifestyle similar to other members of their church. Many Baptists think they are saved because they repeated some little prayer. In actuality, they do not love God, they do not have a true communication with God and they do church stuff because they are expected to by their peers.
True salvation is where God makes a new creature and moves in to stay!!!!