Now she’s 18.
We were missionaries in Guatemala where they don’t really celebrate Halloween. One year our annual Bible conference coincided with Halloween, so Rebekah, then 10, got to go door-to-door trick-or-treating for the first time. It happened to be immediately upon arrival. She was young enough to not remember the previous years.
The next day, she asked, “Can we go door-to-door again and get more candy?”
Rebekah thought that everyday in the United States, kids go door-to-door and gather candy. It’s just a normal part of everyday American life. Because she couldn’t remember the previous year’s experiences, she didn’t realize we didn’t do that the year before.
We ought to come to church expecting candy every time. God has a treat for us if we want it. If you come to church miserable, you’ll probably go home empty-handed. God wants to delight you every time.
What do Christians have to do with the “devil’s day?” More than you might think.
First of all, the devil has no day. Every day belongs to Jesus.
Second, Christians are told to crucify their flesh, to live spiritual, not carnal lives. The sinner gives free reign to his flesh. There’s no death going on as you’re getting drunk with plastic vampire teeth in your mouth. The blood is fake.
But what Christians are doing is real. These verses sounds pretty Halloweeny:
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. — Ro. 6:4, 6, 11 NIV.
Do you think your party celebrating death-things is cool once a year? You should celebrate a real death 52 times a year (every Sunday).
… you should’ve seen the horror that every demon felt when Jesus rose from the dead.
It was over for them, and they knew it. If they couldn’t stop Jesus by killing Him, they couldn’t stop him anyway.
Personally, I don’t like horror movies. Even the picture I selected for this blog repels me. But there are people addicted to the adrenaline rush of scary.
Demons are supposed to be scary. But do you realize that they got scared the day their plan to eliminate Jesus collapsed? They had killed Him, but He resurrected. It was a devil’s day for the devil.
I guess I can’t say it scared the hell out of them, because they’re still hellish, and Hell’s their home eternally.
The unscary news is that YOU don’t have to go to Hell. You can go to Heaven. And pretty much all you have to do is ask for forgiveness for sins to Jesus. Receive Him in your heart. And start a new life with Him.
It’s more wonderful than scary movies.
If gruesomeness excites you for Halloween, look at this.
Jesus endured the whiplashes and the crucifixion to forgive you and me of our sins.
A different kind of zombie. This is the me, the man behind the Mustard Seed Budget.
Ummmm, I guess I shouldn’t loathe zombies so much.
In my generation, zombies were the bad guys. They were to be feared.
To my chagrin, when I come back 16 years after being on the mission field, and now zombies are good guys. Everybody is fascinated by them. They dress up like them for Halloween. Lots of movies and video games are about them.
So I’m trying to understand the cultural shift. And as I think about zombies, I realize they’re kind of Christian. I mean, what is Christianity about except coming back from the dead.
So… I’m going to be a zombie.
But unlike the zombies of popular culture, I’m not going to be bloodied and gored. In fact, I’m going to have the best most youthful version of my body, made of glorified matter, in Heaven.
As you celebrate Halloween, I invite you to think not on the fantasy but the reality of coming back from the dead. As you prepare for Halloween, why don’t you also prepare for the reality of the Judgement before Christ.
Accept Jesus into your heart today. Ask forgiveness of your sins. Begin to pursue God in your thoughts and actions. Be a real zombie.
We were zombies. That is all.
Now, we are Christians. We are NOT better, holier, smarter, prettier — none of that. Sometimes we strike you as judgmental, shrill, annoying, killjoys, prideful, hypocritical. We are an abysmal reflection of the Father’s love.
But we definitely don’t want to be exclusivists. We want to welcome you with open arms to this marvelous life we have discovered, many of us serendipitously. We walked around living dead. The life we lived we thought was life; we found true life in the Son. We don’t want to exclude you from the Light, above all else.
Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” — John 3:3 NIV. Being born-again means we were once dead, though alive. Now we have come to true life in Him! Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6 NIV. Jesus doesn’t say He’s a list of rules; He’s life. What’s more, He’s THE life. If you think you’re living life without Him, you still haven’t discovered the best life possible.
Start your life today! Love, joy and peace you never thought possible are yours for the taking right now. We are no longer zombies. You can join us.