AT THE MOVIE, Week 3, ‘Coco’ on Heaven

I. What is Coco All About?   It’s such a powerful movie!!!

Disney Pixar’s “Coco” won the Thanksgiving weekend box office last year, bringing in $71.2 million and making it the fourth best all-time Thanksgiving opener and by March of this year it has made $750 Million.  One of the biggest selling animated moves of all time. 

In the film, the main character, Miguel, loves music and hopes to be a musician someday, despite his family’s objections. They banned music because Miguel’s great, great grandfather left his family to pursue a music career.

Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events…

  1. Coco is a Powerful Movie about Love for Others and Caring for your Family.
  • The movie has a great feel and some very powerful scenes.  One of my favorite, singing to his Great Grandma…

Miguel hopes to play his music his whole life, but first he must  make it past the Día de Muertos celebration.  He suddenly finds himself transported to the land of the dead.

2. Christian Parents and Kids must be Careful! … before you take your kids to see the animated film,  be careful of the Coco Movies World view.  The “spiritual worldview” depicted in the movie is far from being Christian.  You say Steve, relax its just a kids movie…I have to say that it teaches false things that can cause a person to walk away from the true faith.

II. One magazine article I read said this, ’Coco’ Is a Huge Hit…Why Christians Should Beware!!”

  • Dia de Muertos, is the annual Day of the Dead in Mexico, a religious tradition where relatives honor their deceased ancestors at cemeteries by bringing pictures, gifts and food.   This indigenous belief system plays a central role in everything that happens in Coco.
  • Aztec Beliefs: which goes beyond merely honoring past family members, but actually worshipping them, drawing pictures of them and getting into eternity through them…
  • Annihilation of the Forgotten:  There’s another, deeper and more unsettling layer to these beliefs as well. Once no one alive remembers you anymore, you fade into dust.  Annihilation of yourself and a movement towards your final death. 
  • Coco is no doubt a touching and beautiful movie.  However, the beliefs depicted stand against Christian teaching in a long list of significant ways…there are Spirit creatures who guide souls on their journeys and Someone Must put up a photo for you to enter heaven and heaven is a place where you can come & go as you please…
  • Despite this film’s eye-popping beauty and its heartwarming moments, Pixar’s latest movie illustrates a pagan worldview that’s in conflict with the Scriptures.

So let me ask you…

What is the Christian worldview of Death and the After Life and why am I being so hard on a great movie like Coco?  Look at this clip…

II. What Really Happens at Death?

The Bible does not give a large number of details concerning what happens right after we die. It is certainly safe to say that we will enter a reality that is far beyond anything we could imagine. There are also at least five concrete things the Bible does say about what we should expect at the moment of death and beyond.

1.       Believers will be taken into the presence of Christ in Heaven   .                                                                           

  • Christ is in heaven now (Acts 1:2; 3:21; 1 Thes 1:10; 4:16; 2 Thes 1:7), and believers will go to be with Him. Jesus said to the thief on the cross,

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43). And on two different occasions Paul spoke of death as ushering us into the presence of Christ:

“I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” Philippians 1:23-24

 

2.   Heaven is our Home, our Place for Abiding in Christ.         

“The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:17 ESV

  • Notice that in the passages just listed, Paul says that departing this life to be with Christ “which would be far better for me” (Phil 1:23) and that he would “we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8).   Home with the Lord, Abiding in Christ.

? Heaven will be far superior to our present earthly lives.

“Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 5:8

  • Notice also that being in heaven with the Lord is referred to as being “at home.” One of the things that will make heaven so great is that we will finally feel that we are in our true home.

3.   God is Preparing an Eternal Body for Us in Heaven.         

  • Living without our earthly bodies in heavens not God’s ultimate plan.  As great as it will be to be in heaven after we die, God has something greater in store: being resurrected from the dead so that we will live soul and body forever in the new heavens and new earth. Paul wrote, 

“We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” Romans 8:23

We will live soul and body forever in the new heavens and new earth.

  • This Eager Hope for our resurrection stops not when we die, but when we finally receive the fulfillment of our anticipation in the resurrection of our bodies. Understanding this should greatly increase our desire for the full coming of God’s kingdom.

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands…We want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 5:1-5

4.   At Death Believer’s Will be Made Perfect.                

  • Heaven is fully pure and free from all death and sin, and therefore when God takes us to heaven He makes us fit for the experience of it by making our hearts perfect in holiness.

We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.”                      2 Thessalonians 2:13

? God will Cleanse Us  from all Sin.

  • This accords with His purpose to make us completely like Christ and, at the return of Christ, to present us to Himself without spot or wrinkle or sin,

“May the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:23

5.   Those without Christ will be separated from God                

“Anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life.” John 3:36

Completely devoid of His Grace and Blessing.

  • In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus speaks of Lazarus as being taken to heaven when he dies but the rich man, because he did not heed the Scriptures, immediately entering into great torment and being excluded from the blessing of heaven (Luke 16:22-26).
  • Scripture speaks often of the painful reality that awaits those who do not place their faith in Christ to be rescued from sin. 

“There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on       doing what is evil.” Romans 2:9

(Also in Matt 13:30; 25:41; Luke 12:5; John 3:36; Hebrews 10:29)

6.   Death is not the end of our existence.                

  • When we die our bodies become lifeless and are no longer the place where we “reside,” but we continue to exist as souls, either with Christ in glory or separated from Christ in shame.

?Knowing this…let’s look to Christ as our refuge and salvation…

”Whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

?God is our Rock that we can count on…“Do not tremble; do not be afraid.  Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?  You are my witnesses—is there any other God-No! There is no other Rock—not one!” Isaiah 44:8

? God wants His people to be comforted in the Face of Death

  • Even for believers, the prospect of death is sometimes a fearful thing because death is enshrouded in great mystery.  But we may take courage and lay aside our fears in the confidence that we have a God who time after time says to his people, 

‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’” Matt 14:27

Remember…

1.         Believers will be taken into the presence of Christ in Heaven. 

2.         Heaven is our Home, our Place for Abiding in Christ.            

3.         God is Preparing an Eternal Body for Us in Heaven.           

4.         At Death Believer’s Will be Made Perfect.                         

5.         Those without Christ will be separated from God.          

6.         Death is not the end of our existence.                                                  

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”  Isaiah 43:1-2

 

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