This is a great weekend to buy popcorn and visit your local theatre.  Two movies with Christian content are opening and the reviews are interesting.  I am planning to see both.  The Good Lie is a movie based on the brutal civil war in the Sudan that began in 1983.  Reese Witherspoon will be playing the character of Carrie Davis, a social worker who helped place young Sudanese children into American homes.  Left Behind is a remake of a movie based on the New York Times bestseller by the same title.  Nicolas Cage will star in this version of the film, which details the events on earth during and following the time known as the Rapture.

The reviews on the movies are surprisingly positive.  Hollywood seems to be confused by the combination of quality and content.   Christian-themed movies have historically been produced with low budgets and lesser-known actors.  Both of these movies are well produced and feature an A-list movie star.  Nicolas Cage and Reese Witherspoon are the reason these two movies are creating the buzz.  Neither of these actors is known for their religious faith, yet each chose to play these roles.  This has confused movie-goers on both sides of the spectrum.

I am looking forward to these movies for several reasons.  First, I love a great story and both of these movies have interesting subject material.  I was a newlywed when I began hearing the news broadcasts about the Lost Boys of the Sudan.  I don’t think I ever fully understood the terrible atrocities that were inflicted on the people of that nation.  The son of a close friend was a missionary to that country and I remember praying often for his survival.  When he returned safely we praised God and were amazed at the stories he told of redemption and forgiveness in the Sudan.  The nation continues to struggle, but God is at work in that country.

{source}<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/O5mrvffezmM?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}The Good Lie tells the story of that conflict, but is mostly about the overwhelming adjustments that the young refugees were faced with when they came to the States.  Their stories are told with humor and many of the roles were cast with people who had first hand knowledge of the conflict.  One of the refugees in the movie is placed with a family that lives on a farm.  The movie details the fear of the refugee each time he was outdoors.  Later, the American family learned that the Sudanese boy feared a lion attack from the trees, and was constantly watchful.   The reviews I read said that the entire audience will laugh, cry and think about extreme differences in this country as opposed to most of this world.

Left Behind will be interesting to watch.  Science fiction seems to dominate the Hollywood screens these days.  I imagine many will attend the Left Behind movie with that same perspective.  I am hoping the movie will cause people to want to search out the truth from the book of Revelation.  The Rapture is one of the possible interpretations of the end times.  I have studied and taught Revelation and I can honestly say the only thing I know for certain about Christ’s return is that it is promised.  Jesus will return – how and when cannot be understood, only accepted.{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/YwHQfvY_s_Y?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}  

A good friend was speaking to me about her ministry and ours.  She said that she felt called and compelled to write as much as possible for the Internet.  She believes that Christ’s return is imminent and that the Church will be taken to heaven, leaving only unbelievers behind to survive in the chaos.  Imagine the sheer numbers of people who would be searching their computer screens for explanations and understanding.  Even if Christians are removed from the world, their words and beliefs would remain.  The iCloud takes on new meaning with that thought!

My prayer for these movies is that they will make people think.  I am sure I will disagree with some of what I see and hear in both films, but I hope God uses them to cause people to consider their spiritual lives and their earthly lives.  Everyone you see today is living with either the assurance of heaven or the need of that promise.  I’m glad that Hollywood is interested in the Holy Word.  Let’s do all we can to keep the conversations going.

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