I just finished watching the sixth (and final?) installment in the Rocky movie series. This movie is being billed as a Christian movie, and even their website offers ways to use this as an evangelism tool. While I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Stallone in that he has come full circle to his christian (Catholic) roots, I'm not sure that the movie exactly portrays the biblical gospel.
I don't think the movie is bad. In fact, I really enjoyed it. But, the gospel message that I think Stallone has for himself, and for moviegoers, is that faith is where your true strength comes from. While not technically wrong, I don't think that is the gospel.
It reminds me of conversations I've had with my mother in law who cites the fact that they had eight children even though work was not steady as an example of the amount of "faith" they have. While I agree that stepping out and committing to having children takes a lot of faith, is that the saving faith that the Bible is talking about? Do we get into heaven simply because we muster up enough faith to do so?
I suggest you watch the movie, as it is actually one that you can watch with your kids. But, before you do, make sure you know what the gospel is. It is not the amount or intensity of our faith that saves us. It is the object of our faith, Jesus Christ. We must first realize our own iniquities, our willful disobedience to God's Law. Then we must realize that a just and holy God will not let sin go unpunished. Jesus is a visible example of God's wrath against sin. Then we realize that a merciful and gracious God doesn't want to see us punished. So, he offered His own Son up as payment to satisfy that wrath on our behalf. Jesus is a visible example of that grace.
Saving faith is one that recognizes our own inability to save ourselves from the wrath of a just God for our sins, and the willingness to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as a ransom for complete remission of those very same sins.