Brewer: An 'apocalypse' is not what we think

I really like Francis Ford Coppola. The Francis Ford Coppola Winery near Geyserville, California, is one of my favorite places to visit in that part of the world. His movies, such as Patton, The Godfather and The Outsiders, have helped shape American culture, but one of his most successful movies was one of the worst in terms of film-making disasters.  

Apocalypse Now was shot in the Philippines in 1979 as a war film, set during the Vietnam War. Starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen, the film follows the central character, Captain Willard (Sheen), on a secret mission to assassinate the renegade and presumed insane Colonel Kurtz (Brando).

Movies have been made and books have been written about the disastrous affairs regarding the filming of this movie. Brando arrived on the set more than 100 pounds overweight and completely unprepared. Expensive sets were destroyed by severe weather and its lead actor (Martin Sheen) got so stressed out he had a nervous breakdown and suffered a near-fatal heart attack while on location. He was only in his mid 30s.

Problems continued way after production and the premier was postponed several times while Coppola edited thousands of feet of footage, mostly because they really didn't have a story line, and the movie could have been any number of movies.

"We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment and little by little we went insane,” Francis said.

Drugs, alcohol and an entire crew trying to wrap their heads around the insanity of the characters added to the toxic mixture of messed up mindsets and paranoia. It’s a miracle the movie was made, but, none the less, Francis knocked it out of the ballpark and into cinematic history.

Recently, I have been teaching a sermon series called Jesus Unveiled, and we’ve been talking about the power of Apocalypse.

The word Apocalypse has been butchered in our generation to mean the very worst thing that could happen. I remember when Big Tex caught on fire at the State Fair back in October 2012. We all joked about it and claimed it was an ultimate harbinger of evil screaming, “Zombie Apocalypse!” on the graphics we used.

Well, that’s not what apocalypse means. Apocalypse is how we actually see Jesus. The word is translated in Revelation and it actually interprets as unveiling. It’s that light-bulb moment or that supernatural bombshell that happens when God shows us something amazing.

Some people refer to it as a moment of clarity, others would call it an epiphany. A thought, an understanding that comes from heaven and changes everything. Sometimes it’s as powerful as a lightning bolt, and sometimes as soft as a whisper, but it’s always profoundly personal.

That’s God. That’s personal revelation. That’s the still small voice that causes others to say that it’s thunder. It’s Jesus showing up, throwing his arms out and saying, “Tada!”

The Bible says that if we will seek Him, we will find Him. I want to encourage you to go after the heart of Jesus himself, because the best thing that could happen is for you and I to have an apocalypse now.

"Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered. – JOHN 12:28-29

Troy Brewer is the senior pastor of OpenDoor Church in Burleson and can be found at www.troybrewer.com and opendoorexperience.com.

Burleson Star

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