Film Review: Expectation — Six Obstacles on the Path of Christians’ Expectation
Today I’ll talk with you about a gospel film Expectation. Seeing this title, I created my bountiful imagination: What’s their expectation? Is it good health? Their children entering key universities or finding good jobs? It’s about getting peace or blessing in a family? … In fact, it doesn’t go as I imagined. The expectation in this film is the earnest expectation of all the Christians — being able to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. The Lord Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jhn 14:2–3). The Lord’s promise brings the expectation to all the believers in the Lord. And this gospel film expresses the voice of all the Christians’ heart. It’s worth watching.
In this film, the hero explains his tortuous journey of welcoming the return of the Lord in flashback and the way of narration. The hero Chen Xiangguang was expelled from his public office by his school because of his believing in God and spreading the gospel. Under the threats and inducements of the school leaders, Chen Xiangguang made a firm resolution to choose his belief. This is his inflexible conviction of belief, and the first obstacle on the path of his expectation.
Having been discharged from public office, Chen Xiangguang feels a sharp pang of remorse at home when faced with his mother’s blame and his wife’s inconsiderateness. Although he comforts them: The Lord’s grace is enough for us to use. Depend on the Lord. I believe there being the Lord’s pity and guidance, we can overcome any difficulty. However, when he is alone, facing the future life and the path of faith full of persecutions everywhere, he cries out to the Lord: It’s too hard to believe in God in China. Without the leadership of Your words, I really don’t know how I should progress forward. This is the second obstacle on the path of his expectation.
The interlude “Expectation” of the same name, echoes Chen Xiangguang’s expectation of being raptured when the Lord comes back. Accompanied by the music, the film shows scenes of Chen Xiangguang taking a group of believers to preach everywhere and pray, climbing mountains and wading rivers to realize his expectation. Later, in order to flee the arrest of the CCP government, they run hither and thither to hide themselves. On the mountains, by the sea and in the fields all remained their figures of longing for the return of the Lord. Especially during the recent years, the new state leaders persecute the religious belief more seriously, with quantities of churches and crosses having been demolished. The harsher the environment is, the stronger their sense of longing for the return of the Lord is. Various prophecies about the Lord’s return have come true, but they have not meet the Lord so far. The inner confusion and the harsh environment are the third obstacle on the path of his expectation.
Just when all the believers are warmly discussing that they should search for God’s work actively, Eastern Lightning witnesses that the Lord has returned and they should seek and investigate seek and investigate it, the CCP police kick the door of the meeting place open. After breaking into the house, they not only turn the house in into a great mess, but also say ferociously, “You several ‘godized men’ have been warned many times not to believe in God or organize meetings privately. You are stubborn. This time we’ll imprison you.” In this case, without being showed a search warrant or an arrest warrant, Chen Xiangguang and the others are taken away. Chen Xiangguang is sentenced to four years because he is a leader. This is the fourth obstacle on the path of his expectation.
Within everyone’s imagination, in the jails of the CCP, the Chinese Christians will suffer what sorts of treatment: the beatings and humiliation from the prison guards and criminals, the endless heavy labor and a pitiful shortage of food, and so forth. Chen Xiangguang is just a delicate scholar and has never endured such pain. To him, the everyday life in the jail is affliction and torture. This is the fifth obstacle on the path of his expectation. In this film, the actor acts out the patient forbearance of a Christian. The image of Chen Xiangguang, a pious Christian, becomes so alive in the dark jail. It is exactly his true heart to and faith in the Lord that attract the attention of Zhao Zhiming from the Church of Almighty God.
After Zhao Zhiming is certain that Chen Xiangguang is a true believer in God, he, reckless of his own safety, against so many dangers and through one obstacle after another, conveys God’s words to Chen Xiangguang. At the darkest and most helpless night, Chen Xiangguang gets comfort and encouragement from God’s words. The two short passages of God’s words moisten his eyes. After reading Almighty God’s words, he is moved and comforted, feeling comfort and power from God. This is the first time for him to read Almighty God’s words. The authority and power of Almighty God’s words urge him to get close to Zhao Zhiming step by step at the risk of the surveillance and report of the criminals in this dark jail. The information brought by Zhao Zhiming shocked him. He believes it is because of the Lord’s wondrous arrangement that he can meet the believer from the Church of Almighty God in the jail. Therefore, whatever risk he takes in the jail, he will make it clear whether Almighty God is the returned Lord. However, in the jail of CCP, how can it come according to what a Christian wants? Then, there is the sixth obstacle on the path of his expectation.
The major highlight of the films of Christianity is that Christians are always able to finish the impossible tasks under the impossible circumstances. Despite countless obstacles in the jail, they two break through the obstacles in one accord under the help of God, making the impossible possible. With the explanation of Zhao Zhiming, Chen Xiangguang finally understands the mystery of the Lord’s return. God’s words and the facts break apart his many years of notions and imaginations. He finally believes that God has become incarnated and returned. He, however, becomes the one who longs for the Lord but denies and rejects Him. The great guilt and self-blame make him lead other believers to study the true way as soon as he goes out of the jail.
Although Christians are monitored everywhere in the atheist state controlled by the CCP, yet with God’s guidance, no matter how many the CCP’s informers there are, the courage and discretion the Christians get from God emerge in an endless stream. In the end, under the leadership of Almighty God’s words, all the believers recognize that Almighty God’s words are God’s voice and the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches. It is certain that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord. They open the door of their heart joyfully and blissfully to welcome the return of the Lord. Accompanied by a song “The Call of God”, the expectation of Christians eventually comes to fruition.
The film Expectation tells of the story of Chen Xiangguang, but it expresses the mind of all the Christians by insinuation. During the two thousand years, every Christian has been praying for the return of the Lord and yearning for the appearance of Him. Expectation shows more the obstacles of Christians on the path of their expectation. Simultaneously, it passes on a very important message: Don’t hold onto our own conceptions and imagination on the path of expectations. Conceptions and imagination are so easy to block people from seeking and investigating God’s work, and so are they easy to cause people to miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s appearance.
From: Grow in Christ
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