The Incredibles Gospel Story – Why Can’t the World Stay Saved?

The Incredibles Gospel Story – Why Can’t the World Stay Saved?

Last week we started a series on the movie The Incredibles.

And we discerned that Super Heroes have reasons for their secret identities.  They need them to remain anonymous in the world – they need them for their sanity.

But we also learned last week, though we try, none of us can have a secret identity – God knows everything about me – He knows every detail of my life, even my thoughts and my motives.

Yet in God’s eyes, we are Super’s, if we will simply quit trying to hide from Him and others.

What God wants from us is this:  To humbly admit to our sins, to repent and walk away from them, and then to share when it will help others to overcome.  And when we live in the open, when we expose what’s on the inside, we become the Super Hero that God desires.

Now this week, Mr. Incredible expresses some frustration to the interviewer.  He told the interviewer “He wished the world could sometimes stay saved – just for a little bit.”  Though he expressed himself jokingly, you could hear the urgency in his voice.  You could hear that he needed a break from having to save the world all the time.  It was as if he were saying, “World, just let me have a day off!  Would you stop messing up, just for a day?  Please, I am tired of cleaning up your mess!”

Sometimes he wished he could just have the simple life, relax a little, and settle down.

Well, as I watched that part of the clip, I heard God speaking.  I heard God saying, “You know what JD?  I have the same feelings as Mr. Incredible.  I wish I could have a break from saving this messed up world – just for a little bit.  I am tired of cleaning up their messes.  Just when I think I’ve got it cleaned up, they go and mess it up again.  UGGHH!”

But just as Mr. Incredible continues to rescue and clean up the messes of the world despite his feelings, so does God.  And this is the good news we want to look at today.

Let’s go back in time and set the stage for God’s Super Hero interventions.

First, there’s Noah.  After Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, things didn’t get any better.  Their oldest son Cain killed his younger brother Abel; giving mankind its first murder.  As time went on, things got worse.  So worse, that every inclination of mankind’s thoughts was only evil all of the time.  In other words, there was total depravity.

How did the Lord feel about this?

Genesis 6: 6-8 states, “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain.  So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.’  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

Now remember God’s intent in creating man and woman in His likeness was to have relationship with them and to have them choose what is right.  And the fact that His creation was totally rebellious helps you to see why His heart grieved so badly – why it caused Him so much pain. So God intervenes and prunes his creation using Noah as the instrument of regeneration for the earth.

Second, there’s the Tower of Babel.  It didn’t take long for Noah’s offspring to revert back to the depravity the people displayed before the flood.  In fact it didn’t take long before Noah, after building an altar and sacrificing burnt offerings to God, was found drunk and lying naked in his tent by his three sons.

So Noah’s descendants became proud and egotistical over time.  How many people were on the earth at this time?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that the people were unified and decided that they would build a tower from the earth to the heavens to show their dominance over God’s creation – to show their dominance over the God who had saved them.

So what did God do about it?
Genesis 11: 5-8 says, “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.  The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.’  So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.”

I can only imagine what God (in three) must have been feeling.  I think I could hear God saying just like Mr. Incredible, “I wish the world could just stay saved!  For a little bit.”  

But God knew this was only the beginning and that He must come up with another redemptive way to save the world.

Well, that’s where the Israelites come into the picture.  Abraham, their father, was given a covenant from God: 1)  He will have a son, 2)  His descendants will be as numerous as the stars and they’ll become a great nation, 3)  His descendant will possess a land of milk and honey, and 4)  All the peoples on earth will be blessed through him.

But before any of this could take place, the Israelites had to spend 400 years in Egypt where they would be enslaved and mistreated.

They just left Egypt and were wandering in the desert for 40 years.  They had seen it all.  They had seen God part the Red Sea so they could cross on dry ground. They had seen God lead and protect them as a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day.  They had seen water come from rocks to quench their thirst. They had seen God provide them manna and quail to eat.  And they were still wearing the same sandals that were on their feet when they left Egypt.

They had seen miracle, after miracle, after miracle, yet they still complained, still murmured against the Lord (“we would have been better off to remain in Egypt as slaves than to wander in this wilderness and die”).  And worse yet, they built an idol, a golden calf, to worship as the god that had done all these things for them.

How fed up was God with their actions?
Deuteronomy 9: 13-14 declares, “And the Lord said to me (Moses), ‘I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed!  Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven.  And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.'”

Fortunately for the Israelites, Moses didn’t take God up on His test.  No, Moses passed the test by interceding on their behalf for forty days and nights asking God not to destroy His people.

But I can hear God asking himself in frustration, “What in the world do I need to do to get these people to believe in me?  When are they going to stop relying upon themselves?……..  What if I send them my son?

Now Jesus comes into the picture to redeem the House of Israel. He preaches with authority.  He heals the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the sick. He removes the demons from people’s lives so that their spiritual sickness and torment could be healed.  He forgives sins and tells the sinner to go and sin no more.  He teaches love, not hate.  He teaches peace, not vengeance.  He teaches mercy, not cruelty.  But many still didn’t believe.  He was not their picture of what a Messiah should be.

So Jesus, in sorrow, says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  Look, your house is left to you desolate.  I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”  Luke 13: 34-35

Jesus knew that many Jews then, and into the future, were missing their opportunity at salvation, and it hurt his soul.  These were His people.  They were His blood.  You can hear Him saying to Himself as He weeps for His beloved Jerusalem, “Why won’t they believe Me?  Why won’t they accept Me as their salvation?”

So if there is one Big Idea to take from this, it is:  God Continues to Save.

But God will not and cannot save those who don’t want to be saved.  In order to be saved you have to grab hold of the Lifeline He offers – His Son Jesus.

You know, Mr. Incredible asked a great question, “Why can’t the world stay saved?” And the answer is as simple as the lie humankind bought into thousands of years ago –
1)      You can be like God;
2)      You can be self-sufficient;
3)      You don’t need to be saved.


But the good news is still as true as this thought:  Just as Mr. Incredible continued to save the people of his world when they were in trouble, so does God.

Thank God, He doesn’t want the simple life; that He doesn’t want to relax or take a break from this messed up world we have created.  And most importantly, thank God that in His frustration with you and me, He doesn’t stop loving us and continues to save us from ourselves.

Hear the good news, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!  Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5: 8-11

God continues to save – save in many different ways!  If you haven’t grabbed onto the Lifeline, Jesus, for eternal salvation, or you haven’t grabbed onto the Lifeline, Jesus, for strength to overcome the struggles of this life that are trying to pull you under, today is the day to grab hold.  After all, who wants to drown?

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