Here’s a movie review of God’s Not Dead. Let me share with you the important lessons, the negative points, and positive points from this movie.
I recently watched the film God’s Not Dead. I know this has been around since 2014, but it was just now I got the opportunity to watch it.
In this movie review, let me share with you why you should and why should not watch this movie.
(Disclaimer: though I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie, there are some elements from it that I don’t agree with. If you’re curious, you can read my fundamental beliefs here.)
The story revolves around Josh Wheaton, a college freshman, and his Philosophy professor. During their class, Josh, along with his classmates, was asked to write in a piece of paper three simple words, “God is dead” together with their signature.
As a devout and zealous Christian, Josh Wheaton refused to write the three-word statement. Since he doesn’t want to admit that God is dead, then he should prove to the class the antithesis – God is NOT dead.
His classmates serve as the jury while his professor is the prosecutor. If he fails to prove his point, he will get a failing grade. Josh risks it all to serve as a witness to his professor and classmates.
Why should you watch this movie?
There are some gold nuggets that you can obtain from this movie.
Why the good suffers and the unrighteous flourishes
Personally, I like the part when one of the characters asks his mother a thought-provoking question. The son is a non-believer while the mother has been a Christian all her life. The son asks why his life has been perfect while her mother is now suffering from dementia.
Her answer is a nice illustration of why the wicked flourishes while the righteous suffer. It is a good response to the question, “Why bad things happen to good people?”
She said that sometimes the devil gives people a comfortable life so that they won’t have a reason to look for God.
I think she made a good point there.
Of course, Jesus, whose real name is Yahshua, also said that God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” It explains why some of the wealthiest nations today aren’t religious and yet, they have physical blessings.
Every time we are struck with trials and challenges, we need to realize, that God puts more importance on our character development rather than our comfort. The main purpose of our life is not to live life comfortably and become couch potato Christians.
We are to grow and develop the godly, righteous character needed for us to reign with Jesus in the future.
Here’s a piece of article that discusses 5 Greatest Reasons Why God DOESN’T Intervene to Prevent Suffering. You might also want to read that.
While doing good may not always lead to a good life, it will always lead to eternal life. And that’s the most important lesson we must learn.
“So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16).
Standing up for your faith
I believe the best lesson we can get from this movie is to have the courage and faith to stand up for what is right. Josh, the main character, portrayed how we are to defend our faith when it is challenged.
I remember, when I was in college, I also have to defend my faith and risk my scholarship. I was either to keep the Sabbath or attend my classes on Saturdays. I was also challenged to compromise my belief and just go with the flow. But through God’s help and grace, I was able to go through all those trials.
The important thing is when your faith is being challenged, NEVER EVER COMPROMISE – not even an inch. Even if the whole world tells you to give up your faith, you should never give in.
You may lose your family, friends, career, wealth, or fame. But you should NEVER lose your faith.
We read, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Colleges or Universities can be a hostile ground for Christians. However, remember that you’re not alone. You’re with God and you will surely come up victorious through His help.
Why should you NOT watch this movie?
While the movie was great, it isn’t perfect. I admire the courage of those people who put together this movie. A movie like this would be viewed under the microscope and each flaw would be magnified.
Now, let me tell you off the bat that I really like the movie. I think it serves as a “teaching moment” for Christians and serves as a way for them to learn the basic premise of atheism and theism, though I won’t go as far as to say that the movie portrayed both sides perfectly. A two-hour movie can’t possibly cover all areas.
The biggest room is the room for improvement. So, I’ll just give some points which I personally believe would have been improved.
First, you can’t put God on trial.
At the start of Josh’s argument, he said, “We’re putting God on trial.” The truth is, we are the ones who are on trial.
We are the ones being judged, not God.
Whether we accept God’s existence or not, it doesn’t change a thing. God is eternal and He will still be God whether we like it or not.
Second, I wish the pastor in this movie could have done more.
I mean, here’s a college student genuinely would like to know how to defend his faith and yet, all the pastor did was just give a couple of scriptures.
As pastors or church leaders, you are put in a unique position to help those who need more understanding. You should be the teacher and the teacher should also KNOW what he is teaching.
If you don’t even know how to defend your faith, then how can you teach others how to defend their faith?
Third, singing songs to God is not a mere entertainment.
Church worship has become more of an entertainment rather than a way to praise God. I don’t question people’s sincerity when they sing those songs since I can’t look into their heart. Let’s leave that to God.
However, evidently, we have come to an age when we idolize Christian bands and singers. It is sad that some people are now more focused on who’s playing rather than whom we are worshiping.
(By the way, you might want to read a related article: Singing the Song of Fools: Questions Christians Should Ask When Choosing a Song.)
Another problem is that we have eliminated the solemnity of our worship through LOUD music. We are now too caught up with the music we produce rather than be focused on God whom we are worshiping.
I listened to the song sung at the end of the movie. The lyrics go like this:
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
I’m sorry, but what I know is that Satan is called the adversary who is “roaring like a lion” (I Peter 5:8). I hope they could have selected better lyrics for the song.
Fourth, the relationship between Josh and his girlfriend.
In the movie, Josh and her girlfriend are in a relationship for about six years. While most of us might think that they are really in love with staying boyfriend and girlfriend for so many years, I see things differently.
If you’re entering a romantic relationship, make sure that you are ready physically, emotionally, financially, and most importantly, spiritually. The problem with long-term relationships is that there’s a big chance that temptation can get too intense.
When both of you are getting too intimate, close, and familiar with each other, sexual temptation gets stronger and stronger. This might not be the case for some, but I’m sure it is a problem for a lot of Christians.
It will just start with holding hands and then hugging. Before you know it, kissing is a normal part of your relationship. Finally, you’ll get into premarital sex, which is a dangerous territory that you don’t want to get into.
So, before you get into a relationship, make sure you understand your purpose. Getting into a relationship is not simply because you want someone to hold or be with, but you should have marriage in mind. If that’s not what you intend with the relationship, then why get into it in the first place?
(Make sure to read my blog about The Problem With Finding Love Outside The Church.)
The fifth and final point, I don’t agree that the dying professor will get to heaven.
In the movie, the professor who challenged Josh’s faith got in an accident. As he was dying, a pastor asked him to accept Jesus into his life. In that very moment, he was declared by the pastor as “saved.”
Is that right? You can live your whole life as a commandment-breaker, sinner, and wicked person and just at the end of your life, all you have to do is accept Christ and you’ll be saved?
There’s a problem in this teaching.
Jesus Christ, Himself, said, “He that shall ENDURE unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). Certainly, the professor did not live a life of enduring for God.
The Bible reveals that he, together with all those people who lived and died who never knew God’s truth, shall be resurrected after the millennial reign. They will then be given their chance.
Should you watch God’s Not Dead?
I would say, YES.
I would recommend this movie. Though I don’t agree with some of the elements included in this film, God’s Not Dead is still a wonderful movie which you can use to learn how you can defend your faith.
I would also recommend that you read a free booklet entitled, “Life’s Ultimate Question: Does God Exist.” It gives a lot amazing and insightful proofs of God’s existence.
With that being said, I hope you will enjoy watching the movie. If you have already watched it, let me know what you think about the movie by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. 😊
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