You may have heard about the Christian movie "War Room" which is shocking Hollywood by making millions of dollars and far exceeding box office expectations. It's about the power of intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare done in Jesus' name, and it's certainly making waves.
But there are two other extremely powerful faith-themed movies coming out, and I noticed something curiously interesting in both of them -- an interesting coincidence.
In fact, I'm convinced that God is using these two movies to send a message of grace to America -- a call to turn our hearts to Him.
Let me explain.
Last night I watched the new faith-themed movie "90 Minutes in Heaven," starring two very talented actors (who did an incredible job in this movie): Hayden Christensen (Star Wars prequels) and Kate Bosworth ("Blue Crush," "Superman Returns," "Still Alice"). Before the movie begins, a verse appears on-screen, a verse from Romans. It is Rom. 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Earlier this week, on Wednesday night, I screened the faith-themed film “Captive," which comes out next weekend (Sept 18). It stars David Oyelowo (who played MLK, Jr. in "Selma" and who is a devout Christian) and Kate Mara. (In fact, I interviewed Mr. Oyelowo this morning and had a truly amazing and inspirational conversation about faith and God's grace. Look for my interview to post Sunday night.)
That movie -- "Captivity" -- also has a verse from Romans appear on-screen before the movie starts: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more" (Rom. 5:20).
Two completely separate movies, filmmakers, and studios, and they both have a verse from Romans on the title screen before the movie begins. And the two verses go hand-in-hand. They are perfectly complementary. Together they could form a complete sentence: Where sin abounded, grace abounded more, so be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
There are other similarities between the films: both are based on true stories about stories of God's power and grace:
- “Captive” is based on the true story of an incident from 2005. A woman named Ashley Smith was taken hostage by an escaped prisoner who had killed four people the day of his escape. She reads a Christian book to him while she is held hostage, and the situation takes an unexpected and remarkable turn.
- "90 Minutes in Heaven" tells the true story of a Baptist preacher named Don Piper who died in a car accident, spent 90 minutes in Heaven, and then came back to life miraculously after a passerby saw the accident and prayed for him.
And the movies are releasing back-to-back, the first one, “90 Minutes in Heaven,” releasing today (which, by the way, is on the 14th anniversary of 9/11). The second one (Captive) next week.
All of that, to me, is profoundly encouraging. I can't help but wonder if God is sending a message of His grace to America, and He is artfully using two movies to say one thing: “where sin abounds, grace abounds more” so, because of that grace, “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.”
What a powerful and timely message for America.