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Summary: What’s the fuss about? If it’s just a novel that Hollywood turned into a movie, nobody’s going to Hell over it -- are they? ARE THEY?

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Most of the time on Sunday mornings I “teach” through a sermon. Today I will preach this sermon. Teaching is an indirect way to your heart through your head. When the logic and information go through the filter of the brain, God’s Spirit molds it, shapes it into an inspirational reality and pierces your heart. Seeing as His Spirit has already gripped all of us, I am going right for the heart today!

What I say today is aimed at your heart. If it hits its target, I invite you to grab a copy of the sermon on the way out today and take it home for later on this evening – or whenever it hits you this week – that you must review…must drag it out of your heart and let it filter upward to your mind.

This morning I want to aim directly at your heart and ask you to not slow-up, to go forward. God started the bush burning here at Bethany. He is giving us the opportunity to join with Him. And I want to tell you why we should do that. I want to tell you what’s at stake – what hangs in the balance.

So, hang-on, dig-in and open your hearts today.

We are going to see the trailer of a movie being released next month, The DaVinci Code. The basic message of this Hollywood production is a powerful indication of where our culture is right now. Here is the story line:

Harvard scholar Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is drawn into an investigation of the murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. Langdon is a symbols expert, and together with Saunière’s code-breaking granddaughter Sophie Neveu sets out to decipher various clues Saunière has left to discover the identity of his killer. What the pair gradually realise is that Saunière was the Grand Master of an ancient secret society, the Priory of Sion. The Priory holds documents inherited from the Knights Templar which reveal an astonishing secret: that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and fathered a child by her, whose blood line [became] the early medieval rulers of France, the Merovingians. The Catholic church has consistently suppressed Jesus’ original teaching - that woman is sacred and that it was Mary Magdalene whom Jesus intended to take the Church forward…Grand Master…Leonardo da Vinci…concealed coded messages in a number of his paintings - hence the title of the book. The DaVinci Code…[an] extreme Catholic movement Opus Dei, killed Saunière and is now trying to silence Langdon and Sophie too.

The DaVinci Code is an exciting book. The movie promises to be just as entertaining. Watch closely:

If you watched the movie trailer closely, you may have noticed that, after all the action shots, fast-paced music and intentionally-exciting dramatic effects, the screen shows the words which unlock the sole key to the success of the novel and the expected success of the movie: a Biblical truth is used to disguise falsehood.

Look at the three words: SEEK THE TRUTH. Do you note how the word “seek” was highlighted…as if in the process of seeking you are bound to find truth? Now this is a little bit of Biblical truth. Jesus said to seek and you will find. Jesus called himself the truth. His meaning was, seek Truth and you will find ME!

Dan Brown is a master at combining a lot of falsehood with a little truth in such a way as to present it as absolute truth. His message is, seek the truth and you’ll find whatever makes you happy. To quote just about everybody’s grandmother, a HALF truth is a WHOLE LIE!

This morning’s message is part 1 of 4 messages I plan to present on this topic, and the reasonable question is:

• Preacher, why all the fuss? If it’s just a novel that Hollywood made into a movie, well, nobody will really go to Hell over it. What’s the big deal?

And what does that have to do with Bethany and our mission?

The main reason for all the fuss is two-fold in my estimation:

1. A lot of people do believe it – as if it is fact.

2. Even though I don’t believe what Dan Brown has written, I do believe what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse about the age we’re living in, and the kind of stuff all the Dan Browns write. Note what Jesus said when His disciples asked Him about the how the end times would play out:

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24 (NRSVA)

What Jesus said means that Satanically-inspired people will show up in whatever places they can have an impact. Their main purpose will be to lead astray anyone they can…even God’s blood-bought family…IF it were possible…to take us away from His keeping grace.

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