It has been over 20 years since I watched the movie Ghost; starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. That’s a great movie even now, but it’s interesting how 20 years can change a person. How, and praise God for it, eyes can be opened.
There were a couple things that stuck out to me in that movie and one of them in-particular got my attention even 20 years ago.
First; there’s a moment in the movie where Oda May, a psychic helping the recently murdered Sam protect his lover who is in danger, has a check for $4 million dollars; the blood money Sam was killed for. She has in her hands something that will change her life forever. She has suffered and stolen most of her life because she has always lived in squalor, but this check, this money will set her up.
All will be better now and Oda May is elated, her mind reeling with all of the things she will be able to do. But Sam, knowing the murderer will look for the money, tells her she needs to get rid of it and tells her to give it to the church. It’s in Oda May’s response where I see myself:
Isn’t it just like Oda May, when God asks us to give back to Him through our tithe and offerings, that we grasp that check, that money we need for bills or food, perhaps a salon visit or new shoes and not want to let go.
We hold on white knuckled, “I deserve that money!” we cry.
“I earned that money!” We declare, while clenching our teeth and digging in our heels.
If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know my view of tithing and the results of following that command. (See my post on tithe.)
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
But so many enter the throne room and place an offering in the plate to save face; showing others how generous they are, or out of duty; to make sure they get it checked off their “hafta’ do” list. I even remember agreeing with that common belief when Sam says to Oda May:
“Just think of it this way; you’ll go to heaven.”
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
But the part that stuck with me all of these 20 years is the interpretation of death presented in the movie. No, people don’t hang out on this earth waiting for their eternity to be decided or seek revenge upon people that wronged them while they were alive. The Bible is clear about that.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;'” Matthew 25:32-34,41
It’s the view of how the bad guys get caught up in death that stuck with me.
It’s a dark and scary interpretation that might very well be accurate. Death and eternity will be a very scary place for a person who doesn’t know Christ and the Bible reveals the truth of that.
“and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:50
Are you a sheep or goat?
What does the Bible say about Purgatory? (http://carm.org/)
Question: What does the Bible say about purgatory? (http://www.gotquestions.org/)
What Will Hell be Like? (http://www.godandscience.org/)