The Salt & Light Council was privileged to attend a premier viewing of “God is Not Dead 2.” The air of anticipation in the movie theater resounded with, “Who’s the Man?” “JESUS!” There were bonding moments as movie-goers recognized characters from the first “God’s Not Dead” movie, and applause when the Gospel message hit its mark.
Yet, the film provides a dramatic edge by serving a wake-up call to the Church – well, let’s call that “a rude awakening.” The plot picks up as teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) answers a student’s question in class about Jesus. For responding honestly, teacher Grace is dragged into court and threatened with losing her job, her reputation, and all she owns.
As the name of Jesus is hotly contested, it is the Church that is ultimately on trial. The movie takes its theme from the news, as Christians nationwide currently face lawsuits and serious “legal” consequences for praying, speaking the name “Jesus Christ” in public, and following the Biblical faith in daily lives.
What does it look like when believers acquiesce, and withdraw our faith from the public square? The case is well-presented, and the actors do a fine job in showing us the world in which we increasingly live – where the word “Jesus Christ” and any reference to God is being scrubbed from our boardrooms, our school rooms, and, ultimately, our national conscience.
Ironically, the Good News of Jesus Christ, even when opposed by its harshest critics, only serves to draw attention to the message of salvation. Rather than being quenched, the flames of revival can be fanned. Through the much-publicized court case, people hear that God is not dead! This presents them with their own choice to believe or not. Believers in the audience and, ultimately, the Church, must take that message to heart; we must occupy until Jesus returns.
Teacher Grace provides the pivotal quote of the movie: “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God.” This is the wake-up call we need to heed.
In addition to Hart, cast members include Jesse Metcalfe, Producer David A.R. White, Robin Givens, Hayley Orrantia, and the Newsboys. Ray Wise makes a convincing prosecuting attorney, and Pat Boone offers grandfatherly wisdom and that winsome way of speaking truth that only comes with age.
Movie Information: God’s Not Dead 2 premiers nationally on April 1, 2016, opening in theaters the weekend after Easter (April 1-3). NOW is the time to start planning to maximize ministry impact. To get started, visit http://godsnotdead.com/
Tickets are now available in many theaters by clicking on the Theaters link (http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/theaters).
Scriptures to Ponder:
Matthew 5:13: “You are salt for the Land. But if salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except being thrown out for people to trample on.”
Is. 51:23: “We laid down like the ground to be walked over.”