Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance….a better resurrection…of whom the world was not worthy (Heb 11:35-39).
I recently had a conversation with some friends about a movie that was recently released. It is an animated film that is based upon a religious holiday in Mexico. That holiday is called the Day of the Dead. The movie is called Coco.
In the movie, a boy from Mexico travels to the land of the dead. In that land, people who have died are either well off or poor depending upon how many people in the land of the living remember them. Once a person in the land of the dead is completely forgotten, he ceases to exist.
You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to realize that the theology of the film is terrible. In the film, everybody goes to the same place when they die. Greatness in the world to come is determined by how many people remember you. Popularity in this world means riches in the world to come. If this were true, rock stars, movie stars, and famous athletes have it made in this life and will have it made forever.
Since I didn’t see the movie, I do not know if it addressed another issue: somebody like Hitler is remembered by millions and millions of people. With this theology, would he be great in the land of the dead?
Whether Hitler would be great in the afterlife is not the question. The Bible tells us who will be great in the Kingdom. It is those who are faithful to the Lord. The vast majority of the time, these kind of people are not famous in this life. They do not have large followings. The author of Hebrews tells us that there are some who will have a “better resurrection” and will be very rich in the Kingdom. We don’t even know their names. He simply identifies them as “others.” We are also reminded that Jesus says it is not a good thing when the world says good things about you.
My guess is that not many of us would accept the theology of Coco. But we are susceptible to its philosophy. With all the social networks out there we can adopt the idea that what is important is how popular we are or how many followers we have. We can look at the Kardashians and desire to be like them.
Coco may be an entertaining movie. I understand it won two Academy Awards and will gross over a billion dollars. However, it reminds us once again that the only thing that matters is what the Lord has to say about our lives. For the believer, that will determine our riches in His Kingdom.