Would you rather…
…Face an apocalypse with slow but very intelligent zombies?
…Face an apocalypse with fast but very stupid zombies?
Or would you be happy just to be a participant in the zombie apocalypse?
Apparently Brad Pitt is. He’s just spent the last seven years of his life directing and acting out a role that many folks would kill for – right?
World War Z is out, boasting a $200 million dollar budget and a storyline that people are dying to see. (Z = zombie – in case you aren’t one of the fast ones.) If you were looking for a new twist on an old theme, don’t get your hopes up. World War Z follows the standard zombie flick formula that is as rigid as the storyline from a Taylor Swift tune:
Cannibalistic zombies arise, and, boy, are they hungry!
Frightened humans hide, and, man, are they scared!
Insert various subplots about consumerism, politics, and whether or not we actually like the zombies better than the survivors, and you have…
Once relegated to a rather narrow horror niche, zombie themes are now very much alive and sweeping through popular culture – but why?
Perhaps it’s our fascination with “end times,” or more likely it represents the general lemmings approach we take with memes so we don’t feel left out – but I believe there is a deeper and more gnawing question that movies like World War Z reveal:
What is at the core of our being?
When Starbucks is open and the internet is easily accessible, we all play nice. But if you were holed up in an abandoned airport with total strangers and zombies were chasing you down, would you transform into something worse than the walking dead?
To be honest, I know I have that potential within me…and so do you. Don’t believe me? Let me hold up God’s mirror to your soul for a second:
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 human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9).
You were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world (Ephesians 2:1-2).
Do you get the picture here? You and I were like zombies before we trusted Christ, and even though we have been raised to a new life following Jesus, never forget that your zombie tendencies still lurk about in your spirit (the Bible refers to it as your “old nature”), just waiting for an opportunity to damage and destroy what God is graciously building.
In other words, you don’t need to worry or wait for a World War Z on planet earth…there is one happening inside of you every day! Your inner zombie wants to mindlessly consume entertainment and cannibalize people by using them for your own selfish gains – and when you live this lifestyle, you really do end up being worse than the walking dead.
Now here’s the good news:
But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you. God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven. God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That’s why he sent Christ to make us what we are (Ephesians 2:4-5;9-10).
When you trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your soul. When you daily yield to His leading and power, not only is your inner zombie defeated, but you can fulfill the very real mission of sharing the life saving message of the gospel and living for THE Cause of Christ.
So if you were trapped in the zombie apocalypse with the cure, would you save your friends who had been “bitten”? Of course you would! So why do we listen to our old, dead self and hide in the shadows of fear and indifference when we have the healing message that raises “dead” people from their sins and gives them a new and glorious life?
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let’s keep in mind that we walk in a world filled with the undead. Be bold and fight the World War Z battle in your soul. Reach out to those around you who need to hear about the new life Jesus offers!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
This week, go to the mall and sit for 15-30 minutes without your phone, and simply observe people walking by. Imagine a sign above their heads that reads “walking dead.” I’ve done this and it vividly reminds me of how important THE Cause is and how urgently I need to get out and share the gospel!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, thank You for raising Jesus from the dead so we could be brought back to life as well. Spirit, please empower us to defeat our sin nature and live the life of loving and sharing the gospel with our friends who need the life found only in Jesus.
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:17. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Discussion Questions for Leaders:
Big Idea: We all are a part of World War Z in the sense that we daily battle our sin nature and we carry the cure for the death that sin has brought to this world.
Key Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-5; 9-10
- How is the battle going with your inner zombie?
- How does looking at the world as a “zombie battle” change your perspective on life?
- Do you really believe that the gospel can save lives for eternity? Why or why not?
- In what ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to living out THE Cause of Christ?