In the beginning, God did not create Pokémon!

In the beginning, God did not create Pokémon!

Lately, “Pokémon Go” has captured the hearts (and minds) of children (and adults) around the world. In just the first 30 days since its release, the Pokémon Company has garnered approximately $250,000,000 in gross revenue.* With its first 30 days behind it, Pokémon Go is now bringing in almost $2,000,000/day, with an additional 170,000 app downloads daily (more players = more revenue).*

How does that happen? Almost 30% of players (and some businesses) have spent money on in-app purchases to either gain weapons, store “inventory,” or attract other players (companies can pay to be a Pokémon stop, hide-out, or to house rare Pokémon in an effort to attract people to their business).

As an avid i-phone game player, I don’t get the attraction of Pokémon Go – an “augmented reality game.” However, it is apparently an attraction to almost 10 million people who are active daily in the app.*

My question, or challenge to all of us then, is how do we attract this kind of following to God?

I’ve done a lot of research on Bible Apps and religious games that are available, and have never found one that is as engrossing as Pokémon Go is to the general public. You may not be an app developer, but if you can come up with an idea for a “Jesus-mon Go!” app, there are enough people out there that have the resources and expertise to support it.

It’s our job, as given by Jesus in the Great Commission to bring people to Jesus. Somehow the Pokémon Company has done it. Let’s learn from what they did, and create something for Jesus. Let’s get people out there looking for Jesus, and not Pokémon.

*Data taken from a variety of un-verified (but trusted) internet sources.  Pokémon, Pokémon Go, and The Pokémon Company are probably all registered trademarks or some other legal term of the respective owners, … and other legal jargon required…

Have ye any doubt?

Many times throughout our lives, our beliefs in certain things can change.

For example, I once believed the grass was green and the sky blue. Over time, I came to realize that the opposite was true. The grass is actually every color except green (which it reflects); and the sky is every color except blue.

I once thought that my Dad could do anything; he was my hero and I looked up to him. Then I grew up, and I realized he had done anything and everything he thought was necessary for me to be a better person.

For years, 12 disciples spent their time with Jesus, day in and day out. They spent hours listening to his preaching and teaching. They observed probably hundreds or thousands of miracles, most of which were never documented in the Bible. Still, by the end of Jesus’ life, they had beliefs and doubts that would change.

At some point, each disciple had to come to the personal knowledge of “who Jesus was.” We don’t know how and when each disciple considered the reality that Jesus truly: 1) was the Son of God, 2) able to do anything, and 3) was foretelling the future.

In the end however, the Bible documents the doubt that Thomas had. Despite years of instruction and proof after proof of Jesus’ ability, Thomas had to see with his own eyes and touch with his own hands to believe that Jesus was truly resurrected from the dead.*

What about you? Do you have any doubt about Jesus? Do you have any doubt that what you’ve learned is true?

Did you know that the wise men never actually visited Jesus in the manger, despite widely distributed pictures and displayed nativities?** …and there were not necessarily three of them.** This is one reason that I like pastors who clearly ask their church members to bring their own Bible and read along with them as they quote Scripture.

I don’t want your beliefs to be swayed by people who mis-quote or mis-teach the Bible. If you have any doubt, look it up. Another reference many people don’t believe, but is true is that atheists claim the Bible says “There is no God.” Their statement is actually TRUE! The Bible does say this, BUT READ CAREFULLY the FULL text: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1)

Read it for yourself – the Bible that is. And allow God to teach you one on one what you need to know. I have no doubt you’ll be better off if you do.

*In John 20:25, Thomas stated he had to see and touch Jesus personally. In John 20:28, it is not clear whether Thomas physically touched Jesus during their encounter.
** Matthew 2: 11 states “And going into the house, [the Magi] saw [Jesus] with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” References to Magi at the nativity are prominent everywhere, and despite the inaccuracy of them, don’t let this knowledge detract from the powerful message that Jesus came to earth to be born and die – so that we can be born again in His righteousness.