It is pretty well established that the Orthodox view of salvation and the protestant view are quite different. If you were asked by a protestant to give a synopsis of what salvation means to Orthodoxy, what would your answer be? What is a good way to explain the difference between asking the Theotokos to save us and God's saving grace?
God's Saving Grace - is an ongoing process. We constantly fall, but, through repentance/penance struggle back up to our feet, only to stumble again. It is through this state of repentance that we grow in humility, in kindness, in faith. God has paved the road to salvation, but, it is up to us to walk upon that path.
Mother of God's Salvation - We ask for her intercessions. She is the mother of Christ. One of the God's Commandments is to respect your mother, as such, Christ often "listens" to her requests. Think of the wedding at Cana. He said it was not yet His time, however, upon her persistence he acquiesced and did her bidding. In this same sense, we ask her to intercede on our behalf's before her Son....so, that we can avail of God's Saving Grace.
Is it possible at any point of one's life to say with confidence that if I died right now, I have lived my faith and I will go to heaven based on the promises in Scripture?
How can we ever be "worthy"? Even in last week's Gospel Reading (Matthew 19:18) where the man asked Christ what he needed to do to gain salvation, Christ answered:
“‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
The man answered that he done all this.....and pushes it, "what else must I do to be guaranteed salvation?"
Christ instructed him to sell all his goods and give the proceeds to the needy.
There's always something more that we can do. We should never sit back on our laurels and think we have achieved salvation, lest we become like the man with all the bursting barns filled with grain, and become complacent....and thereby, lose the very salvation we yearn.