“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27 ESV
After 10 years, we finally decided to keep up with the Joneses. We recently upgraded our 40″ flat screen to a 65″ Smart TV. I must admit that now I enjoy rewatching some of my favorite movies more than ever before. The last one I recently saw again was Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
If you ask my wife or are well acquainted with me, you’ll know that I always look for some spiritual analogy in secular movies. They are actually not that difficult to find. In fact, almost every big screen production has them. That’s because most movie scripts include either a battle between good and evil or relatable dialogues that stir up God-given human emotions.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has several scenes that can prompt spiritual conversations or writings, hence this post. For those who are unfamiliar with Jumanji, it is actually a remake of the original 1995 film starring Robin Williams. The movie is about a fantastic adventure that begins by playing a magical board game (original version) or a video game (2017 version).
Most video games are designed with levels and extra lives. In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the characters (Four real life kids who get sucked into a virtual word) each have three lives, which are represented by vertical bars on their forearms. The only way they can escape Jumanji is to work together to finish the game. However, every time one of them dies, they return to the scene with one less bar. If all bars are erased, it’s “game over” for them. That means that they die forever (in the game) and are not able to return to the real world.
The one particular scene that inspired this post was where Dr. Smolder Bravestone has to face yet another death-defying challenge. Only that this time, he has just one life bar left since he has already died twice before.
“- Dr. Smolder Bravestone: It’s a lot easier to be brave when you’ve got lives to spare. It’s a lot harder when you only have one life.
– Moose Finbar: We always only have one life, man. That’s all we get, that’s how it works.”
Of course, Moose knows exactly what Dr. Bravestone means. However, this thought-provoking statement is meant to encourage and remind him that in the real world all we have is one life and that taking risks is part of our survival.
From the moment we are born, we face life-threatening challenges. In or out of our homes, we all live taking chances every day. In fact, most of us don’t even think twice before engaging in certain high-risk activities. There are times, however, when we are confronted with unexpected situations that demand making choices that produce fear, anxiety, and doubt within us. Nevertheless, as children of the Most High God, we have been blessed with an unfathomable hope that sustains us and carries us through the most difficult of times. This hope is based on faith in a loving, faithful, and All-powerful God. A faith that is not blind but experiential. That is why, in light of His promises, even death is welcomed as the beginning of the eternal reward that awaits those who have surrendered their lives to Christ.
Unlike the fantasy world of video games and contrary to concept of reincarnation, the Bible makes it clear that we have but one life on earth. At the end of it, there awaits us a judgment that will decide where we spend all of eternity, and the location will depend on whether we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
We don’t get several lives to come back and change the outcome of our bad choices; we have only the one, then it is “game over.” So, choosing to live prudently and wisely does not only benefit us in the here and now, but also in the eternal hereafter.
Every day we wake up we are given a new opportunity to change, to make a difference, and to advance to “the next level” in our psychological, relational, and more importantly, spiritual journey here on earth. That is why making the right choices can mean the difference between fulfillment and emptiness, success and failure, thankfulness and regret, victory and defeat! As long as we live and breath, we have a chance to try again, and again, and again. However, we are not all given the same amount of time. “Game over” will happen sooner for some than for others.
With that in mind, what decision(s) should you be solidifying right now? I hope and pray that it includes taking care of your eternal destiny. If it does, and you are sure it’s with your Maker, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if it doesn’t and you are not 100% sure where that will be, I urge you not to wait any longer. Remember, in life’s adventure, you only get one life bar and it can be erased at any given moment.
We live in unpredictable times in a very unpredictable world. It would behoove us to:
- Get our priorities in order
- Take care of our bodies
- Mend broken relationships and build on those we cherish
- Finish important projects we’ve put on hold
- Commit to spiritual growth
- Show more kindness, generosity, and hospitality
- Promote God’s kingdom by sharing the Gospel
- Get plugged into a church family where we can serve
And while we are it, we must remember that, whatever we do, we are to work at it with our whole being as unto the Lord and not man, because we know that we will receive an inheritance from the Lord as our reward. (Colossians 3:23,24 BSB).
In the video game world, “game over” can also occur when one finishes all the levels. However, after we experience our own “game over” in this life, there is one more level the awaits us. For those who have been saved by grace, through faith in Jesus, the next level is eternal life with God. For those who have rejected God’s salvation plan, the next level is eternal separation from Him in a place known as hell. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15 NASB).
Do you want to secure your eternal destiny before it’s your “game over”? Follow this link.