The subject of the return to earth of Jesus Christ, from heaven after two thousand years, has gained traction in church circles in recent years as the world declines – mainly among those Christians who believe what the Bible says, holding it as the revealed word of God – where many turn to verses that point to Jesus Christ’s return during testing times.
A year’s worth of short film reviews from films released in Great Britain between July 1 1981 and June 30 1982. If one is expecting films from 1983, the 1983 in the book’s title is misleading, but convenient for publishing purposes as the 1983 coincides more or less with its publishing date.
They’d say the time is high nigh for taking out books on end of the world scenarios but in the first months of the latest worldwide catastrophe that would have been unthinkable as people were wanting uplifting positive stories. And this is still the case in many places. I remember watching the Care Bears Movie during lockdown, one, because I was strangely curious, and two, it sounded quite a pleasant movie to watch during the time. I didn’t mind seeing those teddies spread their love and care around to those in need. It even had one of those ‘this is why he’s like this’ scenarios and the care bears tried to help him on that, as unlikely as this whole reason for being sort of thing might be for children’s movies, given it is something adults may understand more than kids, yet kids may learn something about being understanding….
A few weeks earlier I was called by a relative and gave my view on the pandemic in the ‘heat of the moment’, as I was trying to piece together a complicated jigsaw from various pieces of information, and wondered aloud if we were in the ‘end times’. It’s something that occurs to me often when a plague occurs, probably because the impression I get in times like these is built on what I hear and believe about out of control events. But as we moved out of lockdown I calmly realized life was getting back back to normal and I had feared what could have happened if we had been getting closer to the end in sudden fashion, due to perhaps paying attention to all those last times preachers.
The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”, referring to the author’s statement that those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will suffer torment with the fallen angels in hell, quoting the book of Revelation from the Bible. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: a shot to the heart. Yet, The Road to Hell is other things as well. Challenging one out of complacent thinking and living so to avoid the dangers of hell as well as comforting one with thoughts of heaven and grace. Pawson is adamant, however. Getting to heaven is not by ‘cheap grace’ where one can do as they please while still being under God’s grace, but by continuing in the faith in Jesus, not disowning him, and renouncing one’s sins. Hell is a step away with complacency, but Pawson in his gentle manner encourages due diligence in the faith, although a small few of his statements may seem blunt if not preachy, however, one gets the impression in that there are not as many words to always deliver eloquently such an urgent message to Christians and non-believers.
Salvation is one of the perennial themes of my life especially ripe so many years ago when I should have read David Pawson’s Once Saved, Always Saved? (note the question mark) but it had not been written yet. Such a dread and fear of hell led to me to find out if I was indeed saved from hell when I die so a book directing my thoughts towards the subject in a productive way were welcome.
Anyhow, the theme of being saved or salvation has stayed with me that recently my reading has encompassed books with titles The Road to Hell and Once Saved Always Saved? both by David Pawson, who was a Bible teacher. I absorbed much of these books that I barely could fault them. Pawson, in Once Saved Always Saved? clarified much of my thinking, which had been lying dormant there, but that Pawson brought out in his gentle wordsmithing as I read and kept on saying, yeah, I agree! Not that those earlier issues I had over being saved from hell were not dealt to, or else I would have been a cot-case for a good on twenty years. As I am doing Pawson’s short Bible reflections in The Road to Hell, I find I am recapturing much of what I originally believed about some Bible verses and dare I say am wondering why Pawson did not see it the way I did, but on a technicality though.