God in the Movies
Riding on the cusp of revival breaking out in Colleges and Universities across America comes the Jesus Revolution movie. The timing couldn’t be better and who, but God, could have orchestrated the sequence of events? Is America at the forefront of revival?
The main event began on Feb. 8, 2023, when students at Asbury College in Kentucky remained in the chapel to pray and worship. Roughly two weeks later, an estimated 50,000 students and visitors had converged on the small town and the campus to pray. “The outpouring attracted students from more than 260 colleges and universities”.[i]
Now, taking the lead in this new awakening is a movie hitting the big screens. When big screens have certainly not completely recovered from the COVID shutdowns, it may seem a risk to offer the message in this genre. But after the first week The Jesus Revolution soared to No. 3 at the box office and surprised and delighted the producer, Kevin Downes. Some theaters have reported spontaneous worship services breaking out. The movie tells a true story about a Jesus-loving hippie in the 1960’s/70’s. He partners with a typical conservative pastor who embraces the possibility that change may be necessary to revive the church. The movie grossed $15.8 million in its first weekend. That is double what was expected for it to make. More theaters were added the next weekend.[ii]
People are coming to Christ after viewing the movie. Most of the appeal of the movie is to the Christian community, but it does provide an excellent opportunity for believers to invite friends and neighbors to join them. It was reported that during an early viewing before the movie was released, people on the crew were weeping and moved by the footage. These were people of all walks of life, with different belief systems.[iii]
A Barna Institute study reports that Generation Z, those born between 1999 and 2015 are the first truly “post-Christian” generation.[iv] This makes them a ripe generation for revival. Dr. Corne Bekker, dean, and professor of the Regent University School of Divinity believes that this could be the “moment where God is getting a hold of their hearts. Their eyes are opening. The time is now.”[v]
Pastors and leaders, be alert to the awakening. Souls are hungry for the message and God is making Himself known through diverse avenues.
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[i] https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2023/03/02/asbury-revival-comes-close [ii] https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/moviegoers-are-coming-to-christ-after-watching-jesus-revolution-producer.html [iii] https://www.movieguide.org/news-articles/jesus-revolution-screenings-move-non-christians-to-tears.html [iv] https://www.barna.com/research/atheism-doubles-among-generation-z/ [v] https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2023/february/did-asbury-spark-the-next-great-awakening-the-time-is-now-the-kingdom-of-god-is-here