Years ago, Bay and I began a movie we never finished.
I, conveniently, don't remember the title.
I've no idea why we didn't finish it - language, maybe (we're not fans of intentionally inviting words into our home that we wouldn't choose to use, or that - at the time - we'd want our children to grow up to use)...
...but, maybe, it was the extreme hopelessness that snaked it's way through the little bits and pieces we watched.
The setting was in NY.
A significant event occurred (🤷♀️), which had the entire city in total, absolute anarchy (I actually asked google for an image of NY in chaos and what is below came up, it might even be related to the film).
Black and white, with no smidgens of color, lended an atmosphere of darkness and depression (undoubtedly the point - and, it worked).
However, it was the people portrayed in the movie, the bulk of the city (minus the heroes, of course), that left me speechless.
They were living-caricatures of 2 Timothy 3:2-5.
I know, because I just re-read these verses and, as a result, this creepy movie popped into my head.
As I observed those few initial scenes, I recall thinking, "There's no way people could ever be this out of control, or evil..."
Today's anarchy isn't just in one city.
It's across our nation...
And, it's in living color...
On the nightly news...
The sad part is that it's not fiction...
It's real life...
...and, while I can turn off the news, the down-to-earth-everyday-folks-like-me who live in those cities, in those neighborhoods, and on those streets, can't turn off the destruction around them.
Newsflash to my naive little brain: people really can be this out of control and evil...
Paul warned us.
He was right.
Here's what he said to Timothy:
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty (Gadarene-Demoniac-Difficult, remember?). For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power...
I wish I had time to break down each concept from Greek to English, and, while you'd be appalled (I think), this is enough.
It makes me angry, and frustrated, at those behind the scenes who instigate such hatred and violence, as well as those who promote, condone, and justify.
Do corrections need to be made?
But, like this?
And, these...these are the same ones who, then, turn around and cry, "Silence is violence!"
Uh....I'm not following this line of reasoning...as if, those using an out-loud-voice with violence negate the word violence?
Someone recently said the following in a meme (WHAT A SAD INDICTMENT for a "Christian" nation)...
But, recently I realized, I am one...
Apparently it's contagious...
I could go on...
Argue my thoughts.
Justify my reasoning.
But, anger is anger...
...And, anger that is not rightly motivated is sin.
I confess that sin in my own heart.
I've been convicted.
That conviction ran deep within me two mornings ago in my quiet time.
I happened to be in 2 Corinthians, where Paul writes this (4:3-6)
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Here's what I recognized, and what has given me a heart-change:
1) The gospel can/will make a difference in people's hearts...it, alone, can change behavior for the better!
2) However, the gospel is veiled, hindering the knowledge that can set men free from all that ensnares them.
3) They are blinded by the god-of-this-world, our very REAL and EXISTING enemy, the devil.
4) These people are perishing (lost, and on their way to eternal destruction).
5) So, those of us who own the gospel, must continue to shine a light in the darkness, that His glory will be revealed.
Anger and frustration only cover that light as under a bushel...
In the midst of the dark-and-depressed world we live in today, filled with one New York after another New York of anarchy and chaos, followers of Jesus, we must shine our lights.
Let's all clean off the filthy film that has covered our souls from sin...
...be a beacon of love that is pure and reflects the Savior of the World, who died for each and every one of us.
As I read Paul's words, I recognized how deeply saddened I was that these folks are on their way to eternal damnation, while their eyes are veiled.
What part am I playing to show the immense blessings of the gospel-story?
An incredible story of love and sacrifice.
A story that ends with peace, joy, love, hope, and HEAVEN!
How much am I praying that those veils be removed?
Those who claim the name little-Christ (Christian):
If we can live love,
live the gospel,
perhaps a few will receive the "light of the knowledge of the glory of God that is in the face of Christ Jesus" who is in us.
And, we will help the Lord rescue those who are perishing!
Let's pray, pray, pray, pray, pray!
Shine Jesus-follower, Shine!
More and more I am convinced we are headed toward the last of the last days...and, in the twinkling of an eye, all could change... Here's a wonderful series, being taught at Gateway Church in South Lake, TX. So worth taking the time to listen....
Tipping Point Series, Pastor Jimmy Evans, Gateway Church.
Until then - do all you can to shine Jesus!