Salvation Is Like an Action Movie

Salvation is a big spiritual word that can be hard to wrap your mind around. Perhaps an analogy can help visualize the basic idea—a Hero coming to our rescue.

Disclaimer: Most action movies don’t express Christian values—but you already knew that.

However, I do believe that there is a way that the idea of an action movie can help us understand a biblical word that can be hard to understand.

What do you mean, salvation?

What does a word like salvation really mean? We know it’s a good thing and something we should want.

But the meaning of some religious-sounding words like this can seem a little fuzzy or hard to explain. They can just flow through our ears and brains without really sparking understanding.

Soon, the Hero—Jesus Christ—will come with earth-shaking power to complete the rescue of humanity.Getting to the roots

The word salvation is easier to understand when you recognize it comes from the root word save. And that’s true not just in English and Latin, but in the Greek language of the New Testament.

God wants to save us. He saved Noah from the Flood (1 Peter 3:20). He saved Israel from Pharaoh and the Egyptian army (Exodus 14:13, 30). He saved David from Goliath. He saved Paul and 275 other people who were shipwrecked (Acts 27:37, 43-44).

Like action movies

And that’s why I think salvation is like an action movie. (At least the ones that pretend to have a plot!) Many action movies involve the hero or heroes rescuing someone. Like in these series (note: these are not meant to be movie recommendations!):

  • Star Wars: saving entire planets from the Death Star.
  • The Lord of the Rings: saving everyone from Sauron’s evil hordes.
  • Independence Day: saving the earth from aliens.
  • The Matrix: saving a deceived humanity from the virtual world of the Matrix.

An action movie has several essential parts. There are the evil villains doing dastardly things (usually involving machine guns, car chases and megaexplosions). And there are the heroes, saving the day with even more heart-racing action (often involving mixed martial arts and even bigger explosions).

Usually, in the end, the heroes and the people they rescue all come out alive.

The plot thickens

Of course, the Bible uses salvation to mean more than just saving people’s physical lives. God describes enemies much more ominous than Pharaoh or Goliath. The archvillain is Satan the devil. He has insidious weapons designed to destroy human beings—mentally and spiritually.

By deceiving people into believing his intricate system of lies, he can convince them that self-destruction is the way to go. Sin is fun, and obeying God is boring. Evil is good, and good is evil.

Most people swallow Satan’s lies hook, line and sinker (Revelation 12:9). Satan’s way of sin is a highway to pain, sorrow, destruction and death.

To the rescue

Thankfully, there is a Hero who can and will rescue us from Satan’s clutches and from slavery to sin.

The Bible describes dramatic battles between the forces of good and the forces of evil (Revelation 12:7-10).

But in this rescue, the darkest moment turns out to be the turning point. As Satan convinces his henchmen to torture and kill the Hero, an incredible plot twist unfolds. The Hero—Jesus Christ—willingly goes to His death, because by doing so He can pay the death penalty for billions of hapless humans. He can set them free from sin and death—if they will turn around and follow His way (Romans 5:8-10; 6:22-23).

Nothing can hold this action Hero down—not even death! God has raised Him back to life, with great power and a continuing passion for His mission to rescue human beings.

The action continues

Soon, the Hero—Jesus Christ—will come with earth-shaking power to complete the rescue of humanity. He will restrain Satan and his influence (Revelation 20:1-3). He will take all that Satan’s armies can throw at Him, and then wipe them out with a power moviemakers can’t even imagine (Revelation 19:19, 21).

Then He will bring peace and the opportunity for the permanent rescue of all—even those dead long ago will be given life again. He will show everyone the way to be saved from sin and death—the ultimate, spiritual salvation.

I know I haven’t been able to fully capture the pure excitement and thrilling power of the biblical plot. The plan of God as revealed in the Bible is too powerful to be fully expressed in one blog. But I hope I have whetted your appetite for discovering more about this rescue plan. Our booklets The Mystery of the Kingdom and Change Your Life! will give more details of God’s plan and the action steps you can take to be part of it. Download them now!

About the Author

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter (including World Watch Weekly). He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who have the privilege of answering questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.

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