First there was B.C. (you know – before Christ).
Then there was A.D. (not after death, it’s actually anno domini – meaning “in the year of our Lord”).
And now we have A.E.! (you know – the new movie with Will Smith and his Karate Kid).
After Earth takes place, well, 1000 years after earth has been obliterated by “cataclysmic events.” Apparently Earth Day did not succeed, and now our lovely planet has been turned into sort of a San Diego Zoo gone crazy. Most notable is Will Smith’s observation that all the species have evolved “specifically to kill humans”…
Do you think he means the humans who haven’t been there for 1000 years??? (Note: some black holes are in plot line as well).
At any rate, if a tree falls in the A.E. forest, not only does it make a sound, but it also has developed into a carnivorous carnivore hot on the trail of our Fresh Prince and his son in their pursuit of happiness.
Is it just me, or do we as a species hold an enduring fascination with watching flicks about our own demise? Is there something in human nature that is drawn to the mystery of how this beautiful world and specifically how our noble race is going to one day cash our collective chips?
For the Christian, though, there is no need to lay awake at night sweating in our sheets with visions of asteroids, aliens, nukes, and natural disasters catapulting us into an “after Earth” status. Why? Because 2000 years ago, one of Jesus’ best friends named John was granted a front row seat to witness how it really will go down in the future. The “clips” I am about to show you were not conceived from Scientology the mind of Will Smith or M. Night Shyamalan, rather they originate in the Truth of the Bible and the God who is outside of time and space:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:1-8, NLT).
The Bible teaches us that although there will be cataclysmic events, the Earth will never actually be destroyed. It is recreated and restored to its former beauty as it was in the Garden of Eden days – and did you notice that heaven itself comes down and becomes the centerpiece of civilization?!?
Not only that, but Jesus will be our Ruler, King, President, whatever you want to call Him. He wipes away all our tears, and the glory of His presence makes the sun look like a low wattage flashlight.
But don’t neglect the reality of the final scene for unbelievers as well. They will experience “the second death” – which means eternal separation from God. Now you know why there will be tears that need to be wiped away – right?
This vivid (and very real) picture of our destiny should both overwhelm us with joy and cause us to shudder in the core of our being. An incredible future awaits those who know Jesus, but don’t get so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good! Because of the certainty of these events, THE Cause of Christ should consume us, for Jesus has sent us on a search and rescue operation. And while no one knows the day and hour of Christ’s return, we DO know it is coming.
So if you’re so inclined, go enjoy the wonder of modern technology and the ability of 3-D Imax to transport you into a future apocalypse. But please keep in mind that while our planet is safe in the hands of its Creator, the eternal fate of individual humans comes into focus with these words:
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
In other words…if you are born once, you die twice. If you are born twice, you die once. This is how you prepare for After Earth! Get the word out!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Because of people’s fascination with end times, we have a great opportunity to share the Truth of the Bible with our friends and family who are worried about the future. Capitalize on the attention given to After Earth to point people towards the Beginning and the End!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, thank You that You hold the whole world in Your hands, including the future. Help us keep focused on the limited time we have before Jesus returns and makes things new. May everyone see the hope of the future you have planned for us in everything we do and say.
Read: 2 Peter 3:10
Youth Leader’s Discussion Questions
Not only do believers have no cause to worry about the future, we also should be focused on the new heaven and earth God promised by sharing the gospel and living for THE Cause of Christ.
- How do you think civilization will end?
- What will the new Earth be like?
- Why are we so fascinated with the end of the world stories?
- In what ways could you put this Soul Fuel into practice for THE Cause?