Summary: The proof that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
Great Mysteries of the Faith:
Is Jesus the Only Savior?
Recently, a man made a reappearance into the minds of all Americans after a more than 30 year absence from the limelight. Chances are, every one of you have heard of him, and some of you have even wanted to be him at one time in your lives. Who is this individual? I am talking about the rebirth of Superman.
The opening weekend of the Superman movie grossed well over 100 million dollars at the box office showing that there is still a market for the superhero movie market. As a matter of fact, there have been over 39 different superheroes portrayed on the big screen between the last two superman movies. The X-men series, the two Spiderman movies, and the Incredible Hulk, and the Batman series have been blockbusters that people flocked to in record numbers. Others such as Daredevil, Catwoman, and the like have pulled in respectable numbers of people as well. It turns out that people still have a fascination with superheroes. How else can you explain a near-mint copy of the first issue of the X-men comic recently selling for over $45,000?
Leo Partible tells of his own fascination with comic book heroes in the forward of the H. Michael Brewer book, Who Needs a Superhero?
When I was twelve years old, I was a paperboy for one reason: I needed money to buy comic books. I loved those pamphlet-sized, 35- to 70-cent, four color wonders printed on cheap newsprint.
I especially identified with Spider-Man, who was a superhero, yes, but also a young adult trying to cope with underachievement and disappointment. If I was having a bad day, Spider-Man’s was even worse. If I got a low grade, Peter Park could best me by losing his job at the Daily Bugle for turning in blurred pictures of Spider-Man’s skirmish with Doc Ock, catching the blame of New York City for the latest round of power outages, and failing every course at Empire University because he missed too many classes.
The comics also awakened my first spiritual stirrings. As I told syndicated columnist Terry Mattingly in a recent interview, people are always looking for answers to the big questions, like “What am I doing here?” I was no exception, only comic books did a better job of giving me answers than many of the sermons I heard from priests and preachers. Comics hooked me with living color and fast-paced action, framing a fantastical world of good and evil where I could witness how courage, the exercising of one’s unique gifts, and divine intervention could save the day.
Could it be that our fascination with superheroes comes from a longing down inside of each of us that we need someone to save us? After all, that is what comic book heroes do. Superman is the saving son from above. Spiderman shows us our duty to serve for the good of mankind. X-Men show us how we need to be in the world but not of it. Does this sound familiar to anyone? All of these superheroes are showing us a glimpse of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and people are reaching out to these heroes because they emulate the characteristics of the Savior we all desperately need.
Ever since the beginning of time, we have been searching for one to save us. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God in the garden but lost it after sinning. Thus, there became a God-shaped hole in all of thus that only a relationship with God can fill. God promised that relationship would be restored by making a covenant with Abraham and his children to save them. But, this was not a literal covenant just pertaining to those in Abraham’s lineage. Anyone who becomes a Christian is said to be a child of Abraham. How do we do that? We do it by perfectly following the law laid out in the Old Testament. But, we all have that sin problem to get over first. God made a way that is laid out in Romans 3:21-24. Follow along with me in your sermon notes.
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.
So, God made a way for us, but is it the only way? Is Jesus the only Savior? What about other religions? What about those who have never heard the gospel? This morning we are going to answer these questions and find out what these answers mean to our personal walk with the Lord. Before we do, let’s look to the Lord for wisdom, understanding, and guidance.