I am writing this on an airplane flying home from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Toronto, Canada, after three weeks of filming this supernatural thriller movie. It was incredible. Once again, I'm playing Buck and my wife, Chelsea, plays Hattie. This time, the Trib Force is doing all they can to slow down the plans of the Nicholae Carpathia to annihilate Christians from the planet and bring in his new, one-world government and religion.
While there are many BIG scenes (exploding limousines, the White House engulfed in flames, demonic deception special effects, etc.), my favorite scene was when Buck witnesses to the president of the United Sates. Well-known actor Lou Gossett Jr. plays President Fitzhugh, and he did an incredible job. With the air thick with smoke and flames burning outside the windows of the Oval Office, I was able to share the gospel biblically (mentioning sin, righteousness, judgment to come, grace, repentance, and faith) on-camera. Lou so threw himself into the role that he began to weep as he prayed to receive the Lord and ask for forgiveness. To think that Sony will be distributing this movie-with its clear gospel content-in Wal-Marts is mind-boggling.
During one scene Buck bursts into the President's office and stands in the doorway, silhouetted by the flames and surrounded by white smoke. I thought it would be funny to "strike a pose" and have the photographer grab the shot. Well, he did, and it turned into a humorous promotional poster for the movie! "Behind Buck is a Disco-Duck!" If you want to see this history-making photo, click here, but don't forget to come back and read about another exciting thing that happened on the set.
While I (and Ray Comfort and other friends) had many opportunities to share the gospel with unsaved cast and crew members, including Gordon Currie (Nicholae), Brad Johnson (Rayford Steele), the make-up artist, and several transportation drivers, I still hadn't witnessed to the director and most of the crew. I had one last opportunity to do something for eternity. I knew what I wanted to do; I had been thinking about it for two days. I was rehearsing it in my mind over and over. I was very nervous.
On my final day, after shooting my last scene, we broke for lunch. Most of the crew, the producers, and some cast (about 50 people) were gathered in the lunchroom eating. I prayed that God would help me "open my mouth boldly as I ought to speak," swallowed the rhinoceros-sized ball of fear in my throat, stood in the middle of the room and said, "Excuse me, everyone. Could I have your attention for a moment?" Everyone stopped eating and looked up at me. I just about passed out. My ears turned red, my mouth went dry, but I couldn't turn back. I can perform or preach in front of thousands, but when it comes to opening my mouth for the gospel, all courage flies out the window.
I could hear a pin drop. I thanked them all for being so kind to me and my wife during the filming, and for working so hard in the cold without complaining (sometimes until 6:30 a.m., outside, in sub-zero temperatures). Then I said, "People often ask me on the streets about the spiritual conversations that must have taken place on the set of a movie like Left Behind-after all, it's all about God and faith in Jesus Christ. Well, the truth is, I haven't heard many people talking about spiritual things on this set, so I'd like to share something very personal with you."
By this time, I think I had everyone's attention-the Jewish photographer, the French Canadian atheists, the New Age hairdressers, the Catholic make-up artist, some foul-mouthed production crew members, and even a couple of the producers. I told them about my background as an atheist and how I was captured by the love of Christ 14 years ago. I told them, "This may be the last time I get to talk with you, so I'd appreciate it if you would consider what I'm about to say." I told them that many people grow up with religion and knew about the cross, but have never understood the love of God displayed in the cross. "They don't see the love of God because they don't see their sin. They don't see their sin because they have never looked into the mirror of God's Commandments to see themselves clearly. So let's have a look."
I spoke about sin, God's righteous standards by which He will judge them on Judgment Day, the penalty of Hell, and then about grace, the sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, and the need for "repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ." I then told them that I realized I had just made myself a fool in the eyes of some, but that I didn't have a choice because I so cared about them and where they spend eternity. I thanked them for listening and sat down at an empty table to eat my lunch.
There I sat for five long minutes. No applause. No "thank yous" or "attaboys." Just people going back to their meals and conversations. One producer later commented, "It takes a lot of [testosterone] to do what you did," and the Jewish photographer said, "While I don't agree with you, that took a lot of courage. Kudos to you."
I slept sweetly that night. My confidence was in the power of the gospel and in God's faithfulness to watch over those who would come to believe in the Lord Jesus. Only Heaven knows exactly what happened in the spiritual realm that evening. I'm glad it's over, and I'm on my way back to see my family.
The man seated next to me on the plane right now doesn't believe there is a God. I'm going to try my best to help him see the truth before we land. Maybe I'll break the ice by asking him if he's interested in seeing a poster for a new movie called Left Behind III: The Disco Version.
Incidentally, I later received this email from one of the Left Behind movie producers:
It was great working with you once again and I know you'll be pleased with the finished film. Your talk at lunchtime to the crew the other day certainly stirred many people up. I had more people to talk to and answer questions about faith and sin and Jesus Christ than ever before.
Two crew members told me they thought your talk was great and they were amazed at how upset some people were that you did that. They noted that if you had told an awful story or dirty joke, nobody would have said anything. But since you shared something wholesome and uplifting, you made many angry.
Thanks for sharing, Kirk... many have been affected. Oh, and Krysta was especially touched and will be heading to church this weekend with Sue. The Spirit is definitely working on her.
Thought you'd want to know. God bless, Andre'
Left Behind: World at War will be released in churches nationwide on October 21. To have your church host it as an outreach opportunity, see www.leftbehind-worldatwar.com. The DVD will be available
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