Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of Private First-Class Desmond Doss, an Army medic who received the Medal of Honor which is given for “personal acts of valor that are deemed to be above and beyond the call of duty.” What makes the story so interesting is that Doss was a conscientious objector = a person who for reasons of faith/conscience objects to serving in the armed forces.
Desmond Doss as a committed Christian had a personal deeply held biblical conviction not to kill, or even carry a weapon. Nevertheless, he voluntarily enlisted in the Army in 1942 as a combat medic- “I’ll serve my country as a medic,” in his words, “I want to save lives while everyone else is taking lives.” The war scenes are quite realistic and gory, so some of you won’t like the movie, nevertheless, there are 2 great life principles…
1. Develop Biblically Formed Convictions
» “develop” – to grow, mature, advance, elaborate…takes time
» “conviction” – a firmly held belief that results in action
CLIP – Standing up for his Biblically formed convictions
- Value the Bible – Psalm 119:11, 14, 16…the Psalmist is so appreciative and so values the Bible!
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (v.11)
“I have rejoiced in your laws.” (v.14)
“I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” (v.16)
illu. — Columba – Columba was an Irish priest born in 521 that got in a whole lot of trouble-sentenced by the King, his actions caused a battle were 3k lost their lives, exiled-kicked out of his home country, all because he copied a bible manuscript. Priest/Bishop from Rome had visited the monastery/abbey where Columba lived and had brought a manuscript of Psalms and some of the Gospels. Back in these days they of course don’t have printing presses or copy machines…most don’t have copies of the Bible…only the big wigs have the Bible and at that only a portion. SO…Columba decides to copy the manuscript, that way, he’s thinking, I can read it after this priest from Rome leaves. He is so eager for even a piece of the Bible that he’s willing to get up in the middle of the night and copy it by hand. Apparently, he wasn’t allowed to do that, thus the battle and exile. Why his story was convicting/challenging is because his actions made me realize how fortunate you and I really are to have this…(Bible).
- Trust the Bible – I can’t force you to trust the Bible, all I can do is tell you that I have found it to be trustworthy, accurate, true…check it out.
“All Scripture is inspired by God…” 2 Timothy 3:16
“Every word of God proves true.” Proverbs 30:5
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” Psalm 9:10
- Study the Bible – Read Acts 17:11, 2 Tim.2:15.
“The people of Berea were more open-minded…and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” Acts 17:11
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Overcomplicate – “Studying the Bible is just too difficult.” It can be, but sometimes we overcomplicate it.
story…When NASA started sending astronauts into space they discovered that ball point pens would not work in 0 gravity. They spent millions of dollars developing a pen that could write in zero gravity, upside down, and at any temperature. The Russians on the other hand decided to equip their astronauts with pencils. Makes you feel great about paying your taxes doesn’t it? Don’t overcomplicate Bible Study.
What I love about Desmond Doss in this movie is that he stood for his biblical convictions. What’s unfortunate is that most believe he probably got this one principle wrong. When God says in the 10 commandments that we should not kill, it literally means “You must not murder.” (Ex 20:13) But soldiers or police officers…there is a different standard. In that case the greater good of protecting others might include the taking of life. Does that make sense?
- Apply the Bible –
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.” James 1:22-23
Mirrors – 2 purposes for mirrors: protect ourselves (car’s) and improve ourselves (bathroom). How many of you today looked at yourself in a mirror before you came to church? If you who didn’t, we can tell. What is the purpose of looking at yourself in the mirror? The goal is to identify needed improvements.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path” Ps 119:105
Eyesight Near Perfect – Heard of this guy who was standing in front of his full-length mirror in his bedroom and was not happy with what he saw. Says to his wife, “I feel horrible, I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.” She says, “Well your eye sight is near perfect.”
God is hoping we will all do the same with his mirror (bible). The Bible is meant to identify areas of needed improvements.
- The purpose of the Bible is not to inform but to transform.
2. Make it a Priority to Seek & Serve the Lost
CLIP #2 – God’s heartbeat is to save people…he expects us to do the same. Doss saved them physically, what we’re talking about is saving and helping them spiritually-long run is more important.
ONE MORE – “Lord, help me save one more.” When I saw that scene in the theatre I got the chills, thinking of the call God has given us. Impact has done a really good job of reaching unchurched people and helping connect them with God. BUT…do we have the mentality of passionately desperately doing whatever we can to reach out and save one more…pretty certain that’s what God wants from us.
“Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story…” Luke 15
- Priority – “lost” – » The entire chapter focusses on God’s passion and priority for the lost. Lost sheep, lost coin, lost son. Question: How do you feel, what is your demeanor when you’ve lost your keys/phone/wallet? Drives you a bit crazy doesn’t it? You can’t seem to focus on anything else until you find it…same goes for God. Lost people matter to God…came to seek/save lost.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10
- Friendship – “eating with them” – Today we have business lunches, crab-feed fund-raiser for the soccer league, company Christmas parties…in Jesus time eating with someone was a statement of acceptance, intimacy, and desire to establish a friendship.
“They have told the church here of your loving friendship.” 3 John 1:6
“Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” Romans 14:19
- Acceptance – “welcomes sinners” – The Pharisees were so upset that Jesus didn’t go out of his way to condemn them, to point out their sins, preach to them and get them to change their ways. Instead the first thing he did was accept and love them.
“The crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.” Luke 9:11
- How will people get saved if Christians never welcome sinners into their lives and homes?
Grapevine Christian School (Texas) – was scheduled to play a football game against Gainesville State School which happens to be a maximum-security correctional facility. Every player on this HS team had been convicted of something. When the Gainesville players arrive at every game they are not escorted by cheerleaders but by 12 uniformed officers. No one comes to their games, no one cheers for them, at least until they played Grapevine Christian.
The coach had an idea: What if we went out of our way to show the love of God to these guys, so they came up with a plan. When these convicted HS players took the field they ran through a large banner that had been made for them, more than 200 fans sat on their side of the field and cheered for them, half of the cheerleaders stood behind the Gainesville team.
The Gainesville Tornadoes lost the game but at end of the game they reacted as if they’d just won the Superbowl. Jumping up and down, dumped the Gatorade on their coach. The two teams met in the middle of the field at the end of the game and Gainesville middle linebacker asked if he could pray: “Lord I don’t know how this happened, so I don’t know how to say thank-you, but I never would have known there were so many people in the world that care and are willing to accept us.” Do we care for those around us? Are we passionately committed to reach one more? Are we willing to do anything everything possible to help one more person connect with Jesus?
The Real Hacksaw Ridge
Play the Clip please…
Let’s be like Jesus… let’s act like Desmond Doss…
Let’s…VALUE, TRUST, STUDY
& APPLY…The Bible
FRIENDSHIP & ACCEPTANCE
…for the Lost