Dial Tone

Dial Tone (directed by Brian Lohr) is one of those films I really had no idea about as I fed it into my DVD player, and I was astonished by the time the credits rolled.  The plot is so suspenseful and frightening, I was afraid to watch what would happen next.  Without giving away the plot, the question throughout the movie is whether the narrator, a young lawyer who just lost is wife, is going to have a chance to change who he is, or whether he is out of time.

All of us, one day, are going to be out of time.  What we don’t know is when our time will be up.  We don’t know when we will have used up our last chance to change.  We don’t know when our life will be over.

Someone could say, “I know my eternity’s safe with Christ.  That doesn’t scare me.”  But the whole point of Dial Tone is that it should.  Because, just as we will one second be alive and the next second dead, so will everyone around us.

Until Christ returns, people will keep dying.  And we don’t know when they will die.  It might be today, it might be tomorrow, it might be fifty years from now.  There is no way I can look at the people around me and put a “death guess” on them: ten years, five days–that’s impossible.

The sixteen-year-old kid who bags my groceries could be killed in a motorcycle accident tonight.  The friend I have struggling with cancer could suddenly be cancer-free.  The dentist I’ve been seeing since childhood could have a stroke next Monday.  The man I saw begging for money on the side of the road could overdose on drugs tonight.  The elderly usher at my church could live another twenty years.  There is no guessing, so presuming to know death dates.

But there is an absolute certainty about death: until Christ returns, we are all going to die.

And when Christ returns, judgment will begin.

Nobody wants to be caught by surprise by a knock at the door from the police with a warrant for their arrest.  Nobody wants to stand before a judge with no alibi and no defense.   Nobody wants to face a verdict of guilty with no more chances.

Judgment is real.  I think we all know that in our hearts.  We will one day have to tell who we are, who we really are, to an all-knowing, all-wise Judge.  The question in our minds should not be When will I be judged? but instead, What can I do before I get there?

The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. (1 Timothy 5:24, NIV)

If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:21c-22, NLT)


Photograph by Flattop341, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/flattop341/

Photograph is under Creative Commons License.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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