Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Are you in the “Self-preservation society”?


What is the “Italian Job”?

John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Anyone who knows me well will know that as a young adult, one of my favourite movies was the 1969 version of “The Italian Job”. (Famous for the Mini chase scenes) I loved the movie as a British classic movie. It is a very strange movie where the “good guys” are actually a band of petty thieves, controlled by a crime lord who is still in jail and aided by a computer genius who are attempting to rob an armoured truck and steal millions of $ worth of gold bars on the day after England play Italy at football.

The “bad guys” are the guys who are trying to stop them. These consist of The Mafia who do not want a crime on Italian soil done by foreign criminals and the Italian police who just don’t want crime happening at all. The film was filmed using real people in the city of Turin in a real traffic jam. (Saved on extras I suppose)

If you were planning on watching the movie then please look away, I may spoil some things for you. The film was filmed prior to the EU being formed so the premise was that if they made it over the alps into Switzerland and deposited the money in a Geneva bank, they would have got away with it.

I liken this to the Christian life a little, we have committed crimes against God, it is called sin, and in our own little way, we are going on a dangerous journey (not in a speeding bus heading over the Swiss Alps) but if we are still without securing our eternal salvation, we are heading to the lesser of two possible outcomes.

You see, when we pass from this earth, there is one of two outcomes for us, we have an eternity with God, or an eternity separated from God in the lake of fire. This is where the Italian Job comes in.

The theme song of the Italian Job was “This is the Self Preservation Society” and this is what I urge you to do my friend and my reader. I urge you to secure your eternal destination. Because I can assure you, if you do not commit, if you don’t join a holier version of the “Self-preservation society” it will be decided for you.

There is no sitting on the fence, this may be hard to read, but if you are not with God, you are against him. We have the same choice as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, we can choose to go with God or go against him. Should we choose the latter, we also choose what eternal future goes with that!

We have to do what is stated in Acts 16:31, and “believe in the LORD Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (paraphrase) begin on that day to day walk with Jesus Christ and live for him. Going out and telling the world about his good news and how he died for your sins.

The Italian Job (the film) finishes with the “good guys” getting cocky and the driver begins to take chances on the road, mis-times a turn and the bus goes into a tailspin. The bus is left hanging over the end with the people at the font of the bus and the gold pulling the bus over the edge. In the last scene, the main character instructs the men not to leave the bus and he tries to drag the gold towards the centre. This leaves the bus balancing scarily on the edge.

Are you like that today? Life is pulling you over the edge? Something in your life is weighing you down, chasing after what you value is leading to your doom. The people you need to help balance your life are all looking to exit out the door leaving you to fall. Are you at rock bottom? Cry out to Jesus! He is the great healer.

You may still have the consequences of your sin. I do! I am overweight! However you can be forgiven and start to live your life with meaning and purpose that goes beyond your own life. I recently heard a sermon based on a father of the Antioch church whose legacy has lasted over 2000 years.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, an exhortation and a challenge

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