Would you rather live in this world or the world of Hunger Games?
Tough question, I believe, because on the one hand, living here seems so much better than the dark and desperate Districts in that world, wouldn’t you agree?
But on the other hand, there is something so stark and real about Panem (which is post-apocalyptic America) that concurrently attracts you and disgusts you. I’m not sure I would ever want to live there, but the development of this story is so fascinating, it makes it tempting.
When I reflect on the arc of the Hunger Games narrative as it draws to a close, it occurred to me that while it is not a Christian story per se, it illustrates two very key Biblical principles upon which we would be wise to focus.
Principle #1: We are all fallen creatures.
Panem is a vivid picture of what truly lies behind the façade of the lights and glitter of our world, which is the absolute and utter fallenness and sinfulness of humanity. Here’s the way the Bible put it:
The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil (Genesis 6:5).
The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers. Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice (Micah 7:2-3).
Doesn’t this sound exactly like Panem? But God is describing OUR world. True, we don’t have Hunger Games where children kill other children, but we do sell our young ones for the slave trade, and they are kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers, so I’m kinda wondering—which is worse?
And lest we become quick to judge, remember that “fallen humanity” includes both you and me as participants!
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth…If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts (1 John 1:8,10).
Bottom line is that both Panem and Planet Earth are depraved, deceitful and death-dealing on a regular basis. But remember, there is a second principle!
Principle #2: We all have a risen Savior.
In Panem, Katniss is a “savior” of sorts, but even if she completely succeeds in her mission to overthrow the Capital and assassinate President Snow, I suspect that the victory will inevitably be corrupted by another power seeker. Another dictator will arise who will again enslave, and there will need to be another rebellion with another Mockingjay, and that cycle will never end.
But in our world, we have a Savior who conquered all sin and death on the cross, then came back from the dead to prove that this victory will last for eternity! Here is the amazing news from the Bible:
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross (Colossians 2:13-15).
It is no small thing that even though our world is fallen and evil routinely rears its ugly head, we have a Redeemer who sacrificed His own life to bring an end to the tyranny of Satan and his demonic forces. Jesus shed His blood so we can be empowered to make a difference against injustice not only now, but for eternity! The evil kingdoms of this world which produce tyrants and slavery, and wars will come and go like the passing of seasons. But all that we do for the Kingdom of Christ spills over into a new heaven and a new earth that will never pass away.
So while we walk this dark world, the odds may not be in our favor from a human standpoint. But when we rise to our calling and stand against evil—like Katniss has done in Panem—our efforts will make a difference now and forever!
And the odds of that happening are definitely in our favor!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Where is the injustice in your world? It is definitely time for us to rise to the occasion and take the gospel and our efforts to the “Panem-type” places God calls us!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, You have called us into the places of darkness to be a light for You. Give us courage and strength to help free the captives and share the gospel with those trapped in spiritual slavery.
Read: Luke 4:18.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free.”
Get: Firestarter. This book is a fictional story of what can happen when just one teen is passionate about the mission of Jesus to reach the lost. Jared is an atheist with an attitude. Kailey is a new believer with a temper. Sparks fly as the uncontainable message of the gospel spreads across their high school campus. Through Jared and Kailey’s story, Firestarter will encourage and motivate you to share the gospel with your own friends.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Do you see injustice in your world? The odds definitely aren’t in our favor, but they can be if we rise to this one calling…Read more in this week’s Soul Fuel: http://hubs.ly/H01pF1j0”
Big Idea: Like Panem, we live in a fallen world. Unlike Panem, we have an eternal Savior.
Key Scripture: Colossians 2:13-15
- What is your opinion of The Hunger Games series?
- If you could be any character from Hunger Games, who would it be?
- How can you take on the “Panem-like” conditions in your world?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to the THE Cause?