God's Wonderful Plan is the title of the first episode from season two of Way of the Master.
(00:22 - 00:28)
- Ray "welcome to Way of The Master. This episode is called 'God has a Wonderful Plan for your life.'"
(00:29 - 00:59)
- Kirk "Guess where we are? We are in New York City! The Big Apple baby! Star spread in the new. We are just so excited to be here, I mean who wouldn't be excited. This is where dreams are made. We have Wall Street, we have Broadway, this is a place where people are rich, famous, successful live. I mean, who would not want to come here? So we are here for a few days talking to people about God's wonderful plan for their life."
The Into commences of Ray and Kirk addressing several points about Christianity, salvation, etc.
(01:30 - 03:10)
Ray interview two Christian ladies. Ray asks if they often say God has a plan in people lives, and they do say that often. Jump to Ray interviewing three people (two men, one woman, but Ray seems to be mainly addressing the lady) and asks them when people say God has a wonderful plan for you, what does the word "wonderful" bring to your mind? One of the men says joy and happiness. Jump to Ray interviewing a black man, who explains wonderful as not being able to work, beautiful women, and smart people. Jump to interviewing what seems as a family of three, mainly addressing the adult male. The man says total peace, bliss and happiness and love not hate. Jump to Kirk interviewing two people. The tall male replies to Kirk's question about God's plan for him, and that is to stay in school, work, and making it (later talks about his dream car). Next interview with a couple, the lady says she thinks it means that her family stay healthy and happy, the guy says the same with the inclusion that his dreams come true.
(03:11 - 04:01)
- Ray "It's September the tenth, 2001. The day before the attack on the World Trade Center. If you had to speak to a hundred people on the hundredth floor of Tower One. Your message: the gospel of Jesus Christ. As you look at the vast sea of faces before you, you realize that within 24 hours, most of these people would experience a horror most terrifying, so terrible it defies human imagination. many of them will become instant human torches, others will jump a hundred stories to their death rather than face what lies on the other side of the wall. Others remaining in the building will collapse with it and be crushed to the point where their bodies will never be recovered. What are you going to tell these people? God has a wonderful plan for your life?...."
(04:02 - 04:30)
Return to Ray interviewing the two Christian ladies, asking them if they would tell the 9/11 victims that if God had a wonderful plan for their life? or would they change the message to that audience? (Remember, these ladies knows what's coming). They say they would change the message and warn the people.
(04:31 - 04:38)
- Ray "if a wonderful plan does not apply to those people, how then can it be the biblical gospel?"
(04:39 - 05:19)
- Kirk "Jesus Christ never promised that things would get easier if we simply accept it a wonderful plan. He said that actually becoming a Christian would make things harder. He said 'brother will deliver up brother to death, in a father his child, and children will rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And that all men will hate you because of my name sake.' Can you imagine that? People hating you because you're a Christian and your own family members would put you to death. Jesus then said 'there will come a time when people will think they are doing God a favor by putting you to death.' That does not sound like a very wonderful plan."
(05:20 - 05:48)
- Ray "But didn't Jesus promise us an abundant life? Didn't he say that if I hadn't come you might have life and have it more abundantly? Doesn't that mean you are promised a happy life? Well no. The word "abundant" just means "full" and the Apostle Paul DID have an abundant life. His life was full. Stoning, ship wrecked, imprisonment. I mean, it was full but it was not full of things we would call wonderful. Lets now look at the fate of most of the disciples."
(05:51 - 07:03)
WOTM goes through the deaths of the Disciples.
- Philip was crucified.
- Matthew was beheaded.
- Barnabas was burned to death.
- Mark was dragged to death.
- James the Less was clubbed to death.
- Paul was beheaded.
- Peter was crucified (upside-down).
- Andrew was crucified.
- Thomas was speared to death.
- Luke was hanged.
And apparently it didn't stop there.
- Steven was stoned to death.
- Other Christians have been thrown to lions, burned at the stake, and "Foxe's Book of Martyrs tells us that multitudes have been killed for the gospel sake. The Bible says for those who love God, they were stoned, they were tempted, slain by the sword, they wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being destined to torment. Hebrews 11:37. According to Christians in Crisis, in the last 2,000 years, an estimated 43 million Christians have been martyred. Over 50% of these were in the last century alone.
(07:05 - 07:44)
- Kirk "So can you see the disconnect with the message? If we are telling people that by coming to Christ will take away their problems and make them happy, that won't make sense when they come to church and see many Christians are having trouble, problems, and even tragedy in their life. Well promises to non-Christians of a better road, and they see that we are sitting on a seat of thorns. The Christian life is full of red seas, firey furnaces, and lions dens. And God is there with us in the midst of those trials to help us through. But to tell a non-Christian that those things won't exist for them is just not being honest."
(07:45 - 08:00)
- Ray "Think of recently, the death of Rachel Scott and Cassie Bernall, they lost their lives because they were Christians. Well if this is true, if what we are saying is true, who is going to come if we offer a wonderful life in Christ? What have we got to offer them?"
(08:01 - 08:48)
- Kirk "But you see, I remember when I was sitting in my dentist's chair not that long ago, and as the dentist was cleaning my teeth (she was a Christian) I had asked her if she had shared the gospel with the dentist who owned the company (because he was not a Christian)? She said 'oh no, he would not be really receptive to the gospel because things are going well for him (business is great, he is really successful, his family is healthy, everything is fine so h is not at that low point where he needs to be so Jesus makes sense to him) and I thought 'That's crazy!' The gospel is not aimed for the down and unhappy and unsuccessful, if that dentist dies without Christ (no matter how successful and happy he is) he'll perish unless he is born-again. He needs the gospel as much as anybody does."
(08:49 - 09:46)
- Ray "When i used to preach that Jesus-will-make-you-happy message, I had the same dilemma. I would preach the gospel, and I would see non-Christian friends laughing and joking and enjoying themselves. I would be sitting there going 'well they don;t have true love and happiness that I've got.' And I thought if I slashed their tires to bring them to Christ, which is the logical conclusion with the happiness gospel. While they are happy, they won't listen to my message. So as soon as a tragedy comes to them, the better. But that does not make any sense. Think back to 9/11 (saying it nine-one-one) at terrible national tragedy came to us. I mean, we weep as a nation, our churches filled up for about a week, we sang Amazing Grace, we recited Psalm 23, I mean most of the world went back to the world of the church. Statistics show there was no increase. So when we preach this happiness gospel, we actually put ourselves into a corner.
(09:47 - 10:09)
- Kirk "Watch this clip of a role play between me and a friend named Todd Friel and we are acting out what it is like when a Christian tries to use the 'God has a wonderful plan' message to someone who is already happy, successful, and does not sense their need for a new plan."
(10:11 - 14:36)
Clip begins with Todd Friel sitting at a desk, then makes a call to Kirk Cameron (who is relaxing, laying next to a pool, with his shades on and smoking a cigar). Kirk tells the pool man to clean the filters, but Todd stress out and tells Kirk there is something really important he needs to tell him (Kirk tells the gardener to trim the rose bushes, and bragging about a good house keeper). Todd moves on and talks about his faith (Kirk is happy for him) and then Todd wants to give Kirk the same happiness that he received, Kirk is like 'hey, I have plenty of happiness in my life. Thanks anyway.' Todd says that there is more to life, to which Kirk says 'I know, I have the love of my life already.' Todd says you may get divorced and then what? Todd tells Kirk of a hole in Kirk's heart, to which Kirk says he does not have a hole and if he did, his children would fill it. On that, Todd says his kids might get sick (Kirk slowly starts to dislike Todd's objections as not being very friendly). Kirk says he is already happy, does not have to work another day in his life, and is perfectly satisfied. All the while Todd says that Kirk does not understand and is missing true happiness. When Todd tells Kirk that god has a wonderful plan for Kirk, Kirk smiles and agrees, saying God can keep it all coming. Then they go down the list of what Jesus could bring: fulfillment, peace, joy, happiness, but Kirk has it all. So Todd gives in and just asks Kirk to give a little prayer. Kirk jokes "and really mean it right?" And with that Todd hangs up on him.
WOTM then quotes Scripture. John 4:14 and John 6:35 that say that those who come unto Jesus shall never thirst or hunger again. next, Matthew 5:6 says blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
(15:04 - 15:22)
- Ray "But why do we need righteousness? Because we have to face God on the Day of Judgment. And on that day, every secret sin we have ever committed will come out as evidence of our guilt. And on that day, we do not need happiness, we need righteousness. We need a right standing with God."
(15:23 - 16:20)
- Kirk "You have heard the phrase, 'you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.' Well, that's true. But you can salt the oats. And what I mean by that if you salt the horses oats, when he eats it it will cause him to thirst, and then he will go to the water and drink it deeply. Now God has given you and I a tool that will make a sin-loving sinner thirst for righteousness. Not for happiness, but to be made right with God and that thing is the moral law of God. Jesus used it all the time, all throughout Scripture, look at Mark 10 where Jesus used the moral law to show a man that he desperately needed God's forgiveness. And that is what you and I need to do. Don't tell people that Jesus will make you happy, but rather that Jesus can give you the righteousness that they need to be saved."
(16:21 - 18:54)
- Ray "Now that is the case for my own Christian lore. Before I was a Christian, I had no desire for righteousness. But when I was confronted with that salt (the law of God) and i began to realize that god requires truth in the inward part, he saw my thought life, and he gave an account for every idol in the world, he said that lust is the same as adultery, I began to see my danger and say 'what should I do be made right?' For the first time in my life I began to thirst after righteousness because the law and its work in my heart."
Street Interview: One 2 one
(17:10 - 20:02)
Kirk interviews a man. Kirk takes him down the old are you a good person? routine (Kirk stilling getting the 10 Commandments wrong). At the end, when Kirk finds the man guilty, Kirk give the guy a scenario that after ten years a murder is caught and brought before the judge. The murder says the incident was a long time ago, I am a good person now, so Kirk asks should the judge let him go? The man says no. Then Kirk begins to talk about how Jesus paid for his penalty by dying on the cross, and then the scene cuts there.
(20:03 - 20:32)
- Kirk "Can you believe it, the camera ran out of batteries in the middle of that interview. But I did take the time to explain that Jesus took the punishment unto himself when he died on the Cross then he rose from the grave. I didn't tell him about a wonderful plan, I simply told him that he could be made righteous in God's sight by trusting in the savior. The guy shook my hand and thanked me, telling me how appreciative he was and taking the time to talk with me."
(20:33 - 21:52)
- Kirk "maybe we can pull this teaching together with this final story. A young boy and his father are out camping in the woods, having a great time, running through the forest, when all of the sudden the boy tripped over a fallen log and fallen onto the ground, and a broken branched stabbed him through his neck. It pierced his jugular vein and he was bleeding profusely. The father put his hand over his neck to stop the bleeding and save the suns life, rushing him to the hospital and putting him into the hands of a surgeon. Just as he did that, the little boy reaches up to the doctor and says 'doctor, my finger hurts. I have a splinter, please help me.' The doctor pushes his finger aside because he knew he had to address the wound that draining his life's energy. The jugular vein was pierced and he addressed that first, not the splinter. Now you and I have got many things in out lives that may seem painful (broken marriages, health problems, financial problems) but God is going to push aside the splinters of those types of things and address the thing that is draining our life's blood: our sin. God is concerned with saving our soul, not just fixing up some of the things in our lives, and that is what you and I must do. Speak of the issue of sin and of righteousness and the need of forgiveness.
(21:53 - 22:47)
- Ray "You know when Kirk and I ride through the night to do this shoot, we looked at the skyline behind us and we were so impressed. We said 'wow' but take a look at the skyline (showing the scene behind them). Can you see what is missing? (the camera shows a highlight of the Twin Towers) If you have ever visited or are somewhat familiar with the New york skyline, you will say 'wow, the World Trade Center is missing.' The two towers are not there. And it is the same with Scripture. If you are not familiar with Scripture, you will look at the works of modern evangelism, you will look at mega churches and millions being saved around the world and you will be impressed. But if you are familiar with Scripture, you say 'oh, something is missing.' That is the two tablets of God's law: the 10 Commandments that Jesus used to bring the knowledge of sin. That showed men they need the righteousness of God to drive them to the blood-stained Cross. And that is what we must do if we want to see some genuine results. True repentance, people coming to knowledge of eternal salvation."
The rest of the episode consists of a female Way of the Master member interviewing a lady at the Hollywood Kodak Theater. She begins by taking the woman down the are you a good person? routine and the usual old stuff.
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