Revelation Chapters 19-22

I finished my series on the book of Revelation last night, not without some bit of sadness. Certainly I feel the accomplishment of having made it through such a challenging study, but I also feel like my involvement with The House ministry is wrapping up too. In any case, I’ve enjoyed preparing for these studies and I’ve learned a TON. I feel like my knowledge of scripture and of God’s plan has been profoundly affected by the book of Revelation. Continue reading “Revelation Chapters 19-22” »

Revelation Chapters 14-18

My friend Jason Leonard gave me a break last week and led the discussion on Revelation 14-16 on the topic of judgement, which is so clearly a theme of Revelation. I think our knee-jerk reaction to the judgements described in the Bible is to put ourselves in the place of the people being judged and thinking, how unfair! The reality is that God is fair, and that judgement is delayed as long as possible so that people may come to repentance (see 2 Peter 3:9). The question for us is whether we trust and believe God to be “just and true” as the angels in Revelation put it. You can see Jason’s notes here. Continue reading “Revelation Chapters 14-18” »

The Mist of Despair

Just watched a movie called The Mist last night, and aside from what I’ve said earlier about how Hollywood characterizes Christians (since there’s a crazy Christian in this movie) I have some thoughts about the movie. Be forewarned, that my thoughts mostly concern the ending of the movie so I will be dishing out *spoilers*, though I don’t necessarily recommend the movie for viewing.

The premise of the movie is that scientists have opened up a portal to another dimension, unleashing blood-thirsty creatures that hide in a spooky mist on an unwitting town in Maine. The story follows the plight of a group of people holed up in a grocery store as they fight the creatures off, as well as deal with conflicts among themselves (mostly caused by the aforementioned crazy Christian). In the end, the hero and a few others decide to make a break for it and manage to get in a car and drive as far south as they can to try and make it out of the mist. They eventually run out of gas and, surrounded by the sounds of foul beasts in the mist, the contemplate suicide instead of the inevitable fate of being ripped apart, as had been the fate of so many of their friends. The protagonist, equipped with a gun with only four bullets (when there are five people in the car) does the “noble” thing and shoots them all, including his own son. In despair, since he can’t end his own life after such a horrific act, he steps outside the vehicle into the mist and dares the creatures to kill him. As he stands, waiting for the creatures to become visible, instead a tank laden with soldiers rumbles through the mist. Astonished, he stands watching as the army rolls by. The movie ends with him, a broken man on his knees as the mist recedes and survivors proceed past him to safety.

What a horrible ending! I could deal with the sight of disgusting monsters attacking people, because that’s all make-believe. But the hopelessness that pushed him to such a horrific act was all too real.

I have lately been studying Revelation, and it’s clear to me as a Christian that hope in the goodness and justice of our ultimate end is one of the main themes John deals with in that book. Not only that, but hope is described in 1 Corinthians 13 as a pillar of our spiritual walk, along with faith and love. I have to believe, that if the hero of that story had been a solid Christian (not a crazy one), he would have understood that God is good, and held out for deliverance one way or another. Instead, devoid of any thought for the sovereignty of God or His goodness despite the difficult circumstances, he gave into despair and made the worst possible decision. That, unfortunately, is an all too real situation for far too many people.