Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the third sermon is the Legends series. It is about Jesus being the only way to God and heaven.


Many Paths

Good morning. Well here we are again and we’re going to spend some time today back in the series that we’ve been going through. We’ve been talking about Urban Legends and more specifically we’ve been talking about Spiritual Legends.

But before we get too far along. I was told last week that I needed to tell a story of something that occurred in my life. I asked last week if any of you had ever heard of the legend of Bloody Mary. Well, it goes something like this. If you wait until it’s dark and you stand in front of mirror and say “Bloody Mary” three times and turn around that her spirit will appear in the mirror.

When I was very young about second or third grade, I had this friend named Timmy Rayford. We used to spend the night at each other’s houses, as kids tend to do. Well, one night Timmy and I decided we wanted to see a ghost and we’d been hearing the legend of Bloody Mary at school. So it was late and we were at his parents’ house. We snuck into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror. “Bloody Mary,” we said timidly. Then we got a little braver. “Bloody Mary.” Our excitement and fear must have gotten the best of us because we were probably a little loud as we repeated it the third time. “Bloody Mary.” We closed our eyes, like you’re supposed to do and turned around. When we got all the way around we opened our eyes.

There standing in the mirror was something that sent fear down both our spines. It was Timmy’s mother. She looked at us and said, “What do you boys think you’re doing?”

We both screamed and went running for his room. Never again did we try that.

Well, today I’d like to share another Spiritual Legend with you. And maybe you have heard this legend before. It goes something like this.

I don’t need a relationship with Jesus to get to God.

And sometimes it says something like, I don’t need a relationship with God or Jesus to get to heaven.

Honestly, it’s a very common thought process. And so over the last few years I’ve had this great opportunity to get to know quite a few different people.

In particular we’ve been talking about my friend Mark. And Mark believes that there isn’t a God. He and I spoke recently and he doesn’t believe that there is a heaven or a hell either. So at the end of his life he just expects there to be a blackness and the inside of a coffin which he won’t be getting out of.

I’ve got another friend named Keith. And Keith, like Mark, grew up in a Christian home. But somewhere along the way some difficult times hit Keith and he no longer believes in God or Jesus. He looks at Christianity like it’s just a crutch. Instead, he believes in Karma. So he thinks that the good things that happen to him happen because somewhere along the way he’s done something good and the bad things that happen to him happen because he has done something bad. At this point he’s hoping that at the end of his life the good things will outweigh the bad things and that will get him into heaven.

I have this other friend named Shiva and Shiva is a practicing Muslim. Now he’s not one of those vigilanty types. He doesn’t think that he needs to go out and start some kind of Jyhad or something. Instead, he believes that the things he does will get him closer to Allah. And so Shiva prays five times a day facing Mecca and he follows many of the other teachings of the Koran.

I have another person I’ve got the pleasure of associating with in recent years and he’s head of a Hindu sect here in the area. Now the Hindu beliefs are kind of odd. They think along the lines of you start out as part of this greater being called the Atman Brahman. (Please don’t send me emails if I don’t quite get all of this. I’m trying to simplify it all.) And you can be recreated over and over and over again as your existences continue. The ultimate goal is that you will come back eventually to the point where you can go and join this great being or existence.

The sad part about the beliefs of this individual is that despite being a head in the sect he is currently with he doesn’t believe that is going to happen for him this time. When I asked him why, he told me that he hadn’t yet attained that level of his religion yet.

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