Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Truth About The Walking Dead?

There are times when something you hear about, or are somehow exposed to, will suddenly trigger a response that is odd or unexpected. Such was the case with me just recently. It arose from the finale of a very popular TV show and one that most everyone is aware of by now.

Without question, nearly anything and everything can be found on cable these days. And a good portion of what is available is certainly far from acceptable. This show, for me, fits solidly in that category. Actually, when you get past sports, news, weather, the Food Network and a few decent kids' programs, good material seems to be quite limited depending on your standard of what is fully appropriate. At home, we have just the standard cable features, with nothing extra except Disney and Hallmark. But even so, we have literally blocked 30-40 percent of the regular channels due to the shady and violent content they spew out 24/7. We should probably ask for a discount from the company considering what we feel we cannot watch on their current menu.

But this past week, a very popular program ended its sixth season with its much anticipated finale.  It is a show I do not watch nor care to. "The Walking Dead" premiered in the U.S. on October 31, 2010 on cable television. Nielsen ratings have been unprecedentedly high for a cable series, including averaging the most 18- to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series during its third through sixth seasons. The series has been renewed for a 16-episode seventh season which will debut in October. Sunday’s episode of the drama pulled in an average of 14.2 million viewers and a 6.9 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic.

"The Walking Dead" is an American horror drama based on the comic book series. The show's lead character, sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes, awakens from a months-long coma to find himself in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by flesh-eating zombies. Grimes is reunited with his family and becomes the leader of a group along with other survivors. Together they try to survive against the aggressive monsters and some humans who are nearly as brutal as the zombies themselves. The theme will remind some of the 1968 cult classic movie "Night of The Living Dead" that had much the same plot. Again, the rather gruesome content and repetitious story line creates no interest personally for me.

But as was mentioned at the outset, the recent heavy advertising of the show’s finale somehow reminded my of a spiritual truth – and a very difficult one at that. The title "The Walking Dead" suddenly shifted my focus to what tragically describes a huge segment of humanity – even the majority of it. I was reminded that all who are outside of God’s family of faith are literally dead. They may have physical life for a time. They eat, sleep, breathe, work and walk. But their hearts are spiritually dead even as they go through the motions of this life. It is sometimes hidden on the surface, but it is a horrific, but very real condition none the less!

In 1 Timothy 5:6 the Apostle Paul gave an illustration of the same. “But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.” But a far better example of how this can be true came from the lips of Jesus Himself in Mathew 8:19-22. “Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, 'Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' Then another of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'"

So just who were the "dead" that the Lord spoke of  here? They certainly possessed living and functioning physical bodies if they were capable of burying someone who had died. But because they had no part in Christ, and His great salvation, they were "the walking dead" spiritually speaking. That is a form of death that, if not cured, leads an eternal wrath that is too terrible to be humanly grasped. (Matt 10:28, Heb. 10:31)

But the solitary cure for this deadly disease is described throughout the Scriptures. Verses like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8-9 lay it out precisely well. These reveal how to reverse the curse, by faith in Christ, and thereby take full advantage of God's forgiveness by His redemptive plan. And the end result of how anyone can go from being part of "The Living Dead" to becoming a member of "The Living Alive" is also beautifully depicted in Romans 8:10-11:

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

Bill Breckenridge

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