alternate title "How a Blasphemous Movie Can Be a Call to Missions"

In my seeking out which good films I've missed while in PNG, a movie called 'Rapture Palooza' in 2013 came to my attention.  I was watching a film, and this preview came up, and as I was watching it I was getting more and more wide-eyed in total shock... then the name hit... and I was agog.

First you should know, I have watched and laughed at scenes and films that would offend many other Christians.  I can enjoy people poking fun at religion, at the church, at mistakenly revered traditions and institutions.  I can laugh at people poking fun at my beliefs even. 

But this is something different.  I don't even want to post a link to the trailer because I don't want to cause anyone else to even be curious about this film.

At first, I'll confess, as the preview went on, I chuckled.  I thought 'this must be how the non-believing world sees what they believe is a 'myth'.  I can appreciate how funny it might be.  Having a reality show called 'embarassing raptures' is a funny idea... seeing a man on a toilet disappear.... okay it's a funny idea... but... then:

Near the end of the preview, Christ is descending from heaven on a white horse.  Two young people mistakenly shoot him out of the sky and then engaged in a conversation with God in which they apologize.

I felt bad for having chuckled.  I'm not really one who goes in for taking a christian stance against film, because I believe that many times, the church has in fact popularized a film that would otherwise have just gone away on its own.  Too many times, turning a film political garners more attention than it ever would have had.

But a portion of Scripture really jumped out at me when I saw the scene of Christ getting laser beamed.

2 Peter 2:
But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. These false teachers will infiltrate your midst with destructive heresies, even to the point of denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring swift destruction on themselves. And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. Because of these false teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.

10:b "Brazen and insolent, they are not afraid to insult the glorious ones, 11 yet even angels, who are much more powerful, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these men, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed—do not understand whom they are insulting, and consequently in their destruction they will be destroyed,"

It is completely and totally true here.  In this case, everyone involved in this movie, is brazenly and insolently insulting the glorious ones.

Okay so how are we to react to that as believers?

2 Peter 3:
Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges and saying, "Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation."

We are in the last days... this film is blatantly scoffing the Lord's return.

So what kind of people should we be? How do we react?  Where do we picket!?

2 Peter 3: 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and b, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God?

14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.

Okay so we are to remain pure, and hasten the coming of God.  The word "hasten" there has two meanings.  To eagerly await, and to urge on.  To hasten something on, takes diligence, zeal, and motion.

How do we urge on a time that is supposed to come unexpectedly (like a thief in the night)?  How do we take action to expedite the Lord's return?

There are smarter people than I who have come to different conclusions, but the one that I believe in, and have devoted my life to is this one:

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

So what is my reaction when I see people blaspheming?  Yes I get full of righteous indignation, and anger.  I want to strike out and do something to stop it.  They are insulting the God whom I have devoted my everything to.  I get very upset.  I Peter says even the angels who are powerful don't harm these people.  It says the martyrs cry out for revenge.... God is not sending his wrath down on this earth yet, out of mercy.

These people don't understand what they are doing.  They don't get it.  They do not understand who they are insulting.  Even Christ, said it during his last moments on earth 'father forgive them,... they don't know what they're doing!'

So my reaction, in order to remain pure, is to love these people, and continue to spread the Gospel.  The same people who are mocking the return of God, saying 'oh yeah, why hasn't He come yet?'  are the same people God has delayed His return for.  To give them a chance.  He is merciful.

I hear it all the time 'God doesn't sound very merciful to me, all those plagues.'  Yeah, you see, He's all powerful, He's just... the mercy part,  you took that time to belittle Him, insult Him and make life hard for His followers.  That was mercy time.  Don't blow it.

Thus ends my sermon.  Sometimes I do get up on a soapbox... don't I?