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REVIEW: ‘God’s Not Dead’ challenges viewers’ look on faith

By Summer Mcevoy

(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)

When teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) is asked a question about Jesus in her classroom, her answer could cost her everything.

Simply speaking from the truth that she knows and believes, the “God’s Not Dead 2” (2016) character answered a struggling student with an honest answer. Being confronted by authorities, Wesley could have taken the easy route and vowed to never speak of God again with students. However, she knew this wasn’t right. With boldness, and in obedience to God, Wesley took the hard way — the way that would test her faith in the Lord.

“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God,” she states. This choice proves to be a battle, one that not many are willing to make. This sequel to the well-known college classroom debate in “God’s Not Dead” (2014) is expected to bring in $12 million in its first week of release. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as the first film brought in over $9 million during its opening weekend.

With appearances from Sadie Robertson, Lee Strobel, and Maria Canals-Barrera (known for her roles in Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” and “Camp Rock”), watchers of this passionate and intriguing film should not be disappointed. Although this film is based on heavy conflict and struggle, there seems to be a sense of peace and joy. We are shown by the returning actors how God is working in their own lives since the end of “God’s Not Dead” and are reminded that He isn’t dead still.

Grace Wesley’s bold attempts to stand up for her faith in God are challenging, yet encouraging. It challenges Christians to look at their own lives and ask, “Am I willing to lose it all for the sake of Christ? To be different than the world and proclaim his name boldly, no matter what the cost?” It challenges non-Christians to think and ask themselves, “What is different about them? What is so good about this ‘Jesus’ that they are willing to give up everything”? It encourages us all to be bold, to make a stand and to be a part of something that is bigger than us.

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