Summary: There are many misconceptions about salvation. Many people are confused with the how and who of salvation.
Clearing the Air: Common Misconceptions About Salvation
I heard about an 83 year old man the other day who had lived his entire life as a bachelor. One day this man gathered his four nephews and announced that he was planning to be married. His nephews were in shock. One spoke up and said, "Uncle are you getting married because this woman is beautiful?" He said, "No." Another nephew asked, "Uncle are you getting married because this woman is a great cook?" Again he said, "No." The third nephew questioned, "Are you marrying this woman because she is rich?" "Of course not," was his reply. The final nephew said, "Uncle if your not marrying this woman because she is beautiful, or because she is a great cook, or because she is rich, then why are you marrying her?" With a wink he said, "I’m marrying her because she can drive at night !"
I like a man who knows what he needs. Many people are confused about what they need. Many people are confused about what they really need. Some people think they need more money, others think they need more friends, and others think they need more accomplishments. All those things are all well and good, but our greatest need is salvation.
Some of the common misconceptions that we hear of are over issues that are not altogether that important. On the other hand I have noticed that some of the common misconceptions about spiritual things are on some of the most important issues possible. I guess the Devil in his subtle way wants people to be confused on issues that are essential for people to understand. One of the areas where there are misconceptions galore is regarding salvation. There is no subject more important that the salvation of mankind, and yet within that subject there are some many different ideas and beliefs and many of them are common misconceptions held onto by a majority of people.
Text: Titus 2:11-14
I. Misconception 1: You Can Be Saved Outside of Jesus
There are many people who reject the idea that Jesus is the only way to God. In fact if you were to tell people that you believed that Jesus is the only path to God they may consider you narrow minded and bigoted. In fact, as we discussed last week many people believe that Jesus is just one path to God, and in the end all religions will lead one to Heaven. According to a Barna poll from 2000, about one out of four born-again Christians believes that it doesn’t matter what faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.
Of course they fail to accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, but is they would they would see that the Bible does not teach this many paths to God theory. In fact the Bible plainly teaches there is one way to the Father and that is through Jesus. Many would view that as a condemning message, but in reality it is an invitation for any that would come to the Father through Jesus the Son.
Perhaps it seems a little bold and some may say arrogant to teach that you cannot be saved outside of Jesus, but it is what the Bible teaches. Whenever salvation is mentioned in the Bible it always is in the context of being in Christ. If we equate all other religions as being on equal ground and say that you can be saved outside of Jesus we absolutely undermine the death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus died for a purpose and that purpose is that salvation would be available to all people.
One cannot be saved outside of Jesus. The Bible teaches plainly that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is that sin that separates man from a holy God. Because God is holy anything unholy or anything sinful cannot enter his presence. That is why God could not just overlook our sin, it had to be dealt with and the wrath of God had to be settled for our sin. The Bible teaches constantly that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. What Jesus did on the cross what he died as a sacrifice for our sins, he bore our sins, and furthermore he took the wrath of God that we were due upon himself. People that are not Christians cannot claim that sacrifice. When we die we all are going to stand before God and give an account of our lives.
Those that believe that people will be saved outside of Christ make the death of Jesus absolutely pointless. Jesus died for a purpose. If it wasn’t for the death of Jesus then there would be no hope of salvation for man.