When I was growing up, there were several movies around that I think were designed with the sole purpose of scaring the daylights out of young people. These weren’t creations of Wes Craven, Stephen King or any of the well-known masters of the horror movie genre. Rather, these were Christian filmmakers and organizations producing movies depicting the end times as they interpreted them from the book of Revelation. Films like “A Thief in the Night”, “A Distant Thunder” and “A Burning Hell” (apparently all Christian movies of this genre had to begin with the letter ‘A’). The scenes in these films ranged from creepy to utterly disgusting. The shock value, however, fulfilled the purpose of the producers to scare many young adults (and quite a few not so young adults) into repentance and surrendering their lives to Christ. I wonder what happened to all those who gave their lives to Jesus? If a large number of my generation truly committed their lives to Him, why have we seen so little progress in spreading the truth of Christ in the years that have followed?
The election season is in full swing in America. You can’t turn on the radio or television without being bombarded by advertisements and news stories about the various candidates. Each person running for office is doing all they can to persuade you to vote for them over someone else. As people who desire to be followers of Jesus, we face these same choices every day. As we go throughout our lives, we are accosted by temptations that plead with us to vote for them. We must decide where we will place our trust: will it be in Jesus or on the pleasures of this world?
You might look at the title of this post and wonder how I could ask such an obvious question. I think we all have a concept of what it means to believe something. The dictionary defines ‘believe’ as “to accept something as true”. So if we accept that Jesus is the Son of God then it could be said that we believe in Him. But the more I study and learn about what the Bible teaches, I think the word “believe” means so much more. In the pages of Scripture, belief is always accompanied by action as if one could not be separated from the other.
In my previous post (see “Think on These Things, Part 1”) we discussed the importance of what we allowed into our minds. I’d like to continue that discussion today. If you recall, we focused our attention on Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (HCSB). So what does this look like as we apply it in our daily lives?
I recently had a conversation with a friend about a message preached at the faith fellowship I attend. My friend’s comment was that he was feeling beat up by the sermon and that his son even asked why the preacher was mad. He then contrasted this with another sermon he had recently heard that was much less confrontational. He thoroughly enjoyed the latter message but ended up walking out on the former. As I reflected on our conversation, I could not help but be reminded of 2 Timothy 4:2-4 where it states that people will seek teaching that will soothe their ears.