I received an email Saturday night from the producers of the new movie, “Machine Gun Preacher.” They asked me if Sam Childers (The man whose life was the basis for the film) could come and share 5 minutes about the movie at church. I told them yes.
The “Machine Gun Preacher” showed up at church 30 minutes early with his bushy mustache, Harley Davidson Shirt, and so much love in his heart. This is a man who has battled militias in Sudan to rescue children, been to the darkest places of the world, and ministered to the ONE PERCENTERS of life that we will never see.
He spoke of people he had killed in his past through dealing drugs and crimes he had committed before his radical conversion.
One day, he was walking through a cemetery reading the tombstones of people whose lives were taken through his past transgressions. Full of self-condemnation, God commissioned him in the cemetery to use the pain of his past to save the lives of thousands.
GOD WILL NOT THROW YOU AWAY BECAUSE OF YOUR PAST BUT WILL USE IT TO SAVE SO MANY MORE LIVES THAN YOU HAVE TAKEN.
Since his conversion, he has been on a mission to wage war against warlords in Sudan who hold children in slavery and has gone on other dangerous missions as well. (Won’t give away the movies content)
He spoke of so much hope for even the darkest of sinners. There wasn’t one syllable of condemnation. Even his wife was a former stripper now turned preacher.
Listening to this man you could only draw one conclusion. God doesn’t just save people. He does it for a radical, dynamic purpose. He said, “God just doesn’t want to save your heart, He wants to save your feet and every other part of your body.” The service was all about God forgiving the worst sinners and then sending then on a life changing adventure that would make Indiana Jones seem pretty ordinary.
He gave an old-fashioned “Come to Jesus” altar call and hundreds flooded the front. He left the building, jumped on his motorcycle, and took off. Somehow, I think he was off to another mission full of adventure, full of risk, and full of love. The “Machine Gun Preacher” taught me never to forget the most broken people (The one percenters) in our world and that serving God is the most exciting adventure ever. Grace was given so we would live on the edge.
Note: Go see “Machine Gun Preacher” in selected theaters now and soon everywhere.