Many of you
will remember a movie that was released some decades ago, but is still
viewed every year around Christmas. It deals with a small, sleepy
little hamlet in upper New York state, but can
be a useful analogy representing our times and the Christian Church today.
In this little town there lived a man who ran a building and loan company.
This small but functional business was the only barrier standing against the
big, bad, greedy, and quite wealthy old ogre living in the town, who, being
filled with hatred for his fellow man, was bent on destroying the lives of
the town folk by running things his own way. Without George Bailey and the
building and loan, old evil Mr. Potter would have corrupted the entire city
and turned it into a den of immorality filled with every kind of vice
setting begins just before the Great Depression here in the U.S. and ends just after WWII. The
small business struggles but through it all does a fine job of
keeping the ogre at bay, until one day that little business underwent
a serious financial crisis. As the story unfolds, George Bailey, the man
running the building and loan, realizes he is unable to save the small
business from ruin and collapse, and comes to a place in his seemingly
insignificant life where he believes his family and friends would be better
off if he had never been born. Of course it would
please old Mr. Potter to no end to finally be rid of this little pebble in
his shoe once and for all.
nowhere appears an angel named Clarence who, after some hair raising and
torturous escapades, convinces this man that his life has value, much more
so than he could ever realize on his own. George Bailey was given a gift by
God to see what his sleepy little town, Bedford Falls, would be like if he had never been
born, and instead it was named Pottersville after the old ogre, Henry F.
George Bailey had grown up in had taken on a completely different
characteristic because George wasn’t there. It was now a den of inequity,
bustling with all forms of perverse pleasure palaces and seething with greed
and malice. His sleepy little hamlet was now completely unrecognizable, and
George himself was a non-entity in Pottersville.
brings George back to reality he starts to realize that he and his ways, his
morals and lifestyle, along with his building and loan business is the only
thing that is restraining evil from taking over his city. He was exuberant
about being returned to face the music of whatever was to happen to him, and
he didn’t even think twice about it. He just knew his place was in that
town, with his family, running that little business and keeping the evil
Potter at bay.
we are that man living in that sleepy little hamlet, and it’s us, the
Church, the body of Christ, who are the only barriers, as was that little
building and loan business, that are to keep evil from completely taking
over our land. We may lose elections, and experience all types of
disappointments, and become discouraged, and like George Bailey being in
such financial turmoil, become so despondent that we feel like giving up. We
might even associate with George in that we come to believe we too have lost
our usefulness. For the Christian, giving up is not an option. We must go
back and face the consequences of our past decisions.
who wins elections, God’s plan is not finished. We are still here and will
remain until He is through with us. Believers are the only thing that is
restraining the pervasiveness of evil from permeating our land and this
world as a whole. Nothing else can do what we are doing and we are only able
to be that restraining force through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
realized his purpose in life he no longer wanted to run from his
responsibilities. We too have responsibilities here on earth. As Christians
we’ve taken on God’s name and are now held accountable to do our part for
His kingdom. We are all in our little hamlets and working at restraining
evil. This isn’t an easy task, and there is almost no glory involved. We
aren’t going to be recognized by man for continuing our steadfastness in our
faith, but God sees all we do and is pleased as we stand firm on His name,
unashamed and relentless in our pursuit of righteousness.
can see things that the unbelieving world is blind to. This phenomenon is
called discernment and it is a great asset to us in our walk with Christ
while we remain here in this world. This phenomenon comes to those of us who
have completely turned our lives over to Christ. The more
give Him the more He’ll give you in the form of discernment. We don’t need
an angel to come and tell us where we’ve gone wrong, or in what direction to
head now, although that would be wonderful. We have God’s word to study; His
word gives us the insight and His Holy Spirit gives us all the power we need
to walk with boldness in the face of adversity.
Bailey experienced a fictional supernatural phenomenon but we believers can
look at the story and we can substitute ourselves in that story. The
supernatural phenomenon we experience will be true and powerful. George was
tempted by old man Potter to come to work for him for a huge amount of
money, but this offer was only a ruse to get rid of what was restraining
evil Mr. Potter from owning and running the town
his way. As George was nearly persuaded to accept Potters offer and was
reaching to seal the deal by shaking old evil Mr. Potter’s hand something
told him he was making a huge mistake, George didn’t fall for Potters
chicanery. This is exactly what happens to believers as we are tempted to
take the easy road that leads to destruction; we are convicted by the Holy
Spirit to say no to the ogre (Satan) and follow God instead.
everyone should know I’m speaking about the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I
watch this movie every year as Christmas approaches, but this year it dawned
on me how similar it was to our own life adventures. I see the enemy
approaching our town with his temptations and trappings, and many of my
unaware of the evil intent in his heart. Unlike George Bailey, the owner of
the building and loan, many of my brethren are falling for the good life
offered by the evil tempter.
comes next for my town and yours? Will we be sucked into the deception as
others who profess to be followers of Christ have been? I hope and pray that
a remnant will stand fast on the faith once and for all delivered to the
all, we must continue steadfast in our prayer life. We must not think for a
moment that God isn’t listening to our prayers. He is listening to them
and answering them as well. We may not take comfort in the majority of
citizens of our town making the choice they did of a new leader, but the
Christian Church is still the restrainer doing its part to uphold God’s laws
and precepts. And as such, He will continue to use us in extraordinary ways.
fooled by all the hoopla from the far left media pundits and activists,
and I know there are many like me who will stand for Jesus. I’m not in any
way advocating revolution or any other type of anarchy. All I’m saying is
use your God given talents to discern the truth of what’s happening now, in
this increasingly foreign country, and stand fast on your faith. I’m
convinced, as I’m sure many of you are, that very soon now God will remove
His Church from this world. When that happens, all Hell will break lose. The
restrainer will accompany us to Heaven and there will be nothing holding
back evil from spreading like wildfire across the late great planet earth.
As the man and his little business temporarily disappeared and was replaced
by Pottersville, so shall the Church temporarily disappear from this world,
being replaced by the antichrist and all forms of evil.
caught up in the excitement of a new leader coming to town and let down your
guard. Stay close to your Savior Jesus and keep reading your Bibles, and
lest ye forget, “…then look up, and lift up your heads; for your
redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.