Summary: Is salvation too good to be true or is it for real?
“An Interview With God”
IS SALVATION FOR REAL?
May 18, 2002
One objection that I hear concerning salvation is that it seems too good to be true. You know the old saying, “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.” Here is the situation. If you are going to give your life over to God and follow His Son Jesus and trust that He can save you, then you want to be sure that the salvation that the Bible speaks of is for real, that it’s the truth. You want to make sure that it’s not too good to be true.
I remember first thinking about the idea of cloning. Before cloning actually became a reality, there was a movie made in the mid 90’s about it. The movie was called “Multiplicity”. Michael Keaton plays the main character in this movie. Through circumstances I can’t really remember right now, he is able to be cloned. He thinks that this is going to be a great idea. He never has enough time to get everything done that he needs to get done. He wishes that there was more of him to go around. Through the miracles of cloning, there is. This is too good to be true, it’s unbelievable. He is going to be able to accomplish twice the work he’s doing now without any extra effort. But things turn badly because although his clones look exactly like him physically, none of their personalities match his and this causes big problems. He ends us spending the majority of his time trying to making sure that his clones don’t destroy his life. It turns out that cloning was too good to be true. But is salvation?
We continue with our series, “An Interview With God” tonight asking God the question, “Is salvation for real?” The truth is that every single person on this earth is need of salvation, whether they recognize that need or not. The greatest need of mankind is the salvation of our souls.
In order to answer the question, “Is salvation for real?” we must first answer a few questions:
I. WHAT IS SALVATION?
Sometimes we get a little confused about salvation. We hear about salvation in many different terms, “being saved, being born again, becoming a new creation, having a relationship with God” etc. If our greatest need is salvation, then we need to know exactly what salvation is all about.
In studying the word “salvation” in the New Testament, we find that salvation involves five specific things:
1. Deliverance from impending death.
It’s as if we have been stricken with an incurable disease, our death is imminent. We have no hope of beating this disease. There’s nothing we can do to stop it. We’re helpless. Salvation is our cure, beating that incurable disease and delivering us from the impending death that was looming over us.
2. Saving of the whole person.
This means that we are not just saved in a physical sense. We are saved in a spiritual sense. Our very souls are saved. Our whole being is saved by God.
3. Forgiveness of sins.
Forgiveness literally means to be “freed or released”. We are freed from the debt and consequences of our sin.
4. Deliverance from the hands of our Enemy.
Outside of Christ, we are easily manipulated and controlled by our enemy, Satan. God’s salvation frees us from the hands of Satan. He no longer has reign over us. We have the power to resist and defeat Him because Jesus has already defeated Him by conquering death and raising from the dead three days after being nailed to the cross.
5. Sparing of the coming Judgment and wrath of God.
The Bible tells us that all will have to face the final Judgment of God (Romans 14:10), but God’s salvation gives us freedom from worry about that day. We will be found “not guilty” of our sins in the eyes of God and thus will not have to face the wrath of God that will be poured out on the wicked and unrighteous.
One verse in particular really sticks out in mind as a vivid description of salvation. Colossians 1:13, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Salvation is about God rescuing us and bringing us out of the hands of our Enemy in the dominion of darkness and giving us citizenship in the kingdom of His Son, redeeming us or releasing us from our sin by forgiving our sins.
II. WHY IS SALVATION NEEDED?
Very simply, salvation is needed because we have a sin problem. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Our nature is one that seeks out rebellion. We tend to love the rebel. The rebel is dangerous, he’s cool, he does things his own way. Our sin is open rebellion against God. We are doing the opposite of what he wants us to do. But there are consequences to our sin: