2023 was a breakthrough year for a lot of valuable, faith-based content to not only arrive at the theaters, but to completely captivate audiences with record-breaking charts. While many in the secular media may have been completely confused about what was happening, it’s apparent that God decided to pour out His Spirit in a new way.
The Chosen Season 3 Finale
The Chosen has been absolutely nothing short of a smashing success each time it has come to the box office. Last year’s Christmas special in the theaters not only brought in plenty of fans, but when the show announced that the last two episodes of the season would first be released in theaters, the number of people flocking to the Fathom Events website for tickets actually crashed the site. While many critics of the show have shared their concerns, it has not stopped Jenkins and his team from sharing the gospel through the largest crowd-funded show of all time.
Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist
The year began with the most recent “Left Behind” film that detailed the possibility of what life could be like for those who will be left behind after the rapture. The movie brought a thrilling depiction of the ultimate end times events which we undoubtedly are drawing closer to day after day.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the year was the box office success of “Jesus Revolution,” which documented the story of how Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee reached out to the “hippie” generation which ultimately led to mass salvations and baptisms of young people, including the changed life of now pastor Greg Laurie. The film itself could not have been timed any better as its release came right around the time of the Asbury Revival where many college-aged students were finding freedom in Christ, spreading out to the community and even the nation.
Come Out in Jesus Name
Pastor Greg Locke, Apostle Alexander Pagani and the rest of the “demon slayers” shook theaters with their deliverance-based film, “Come Out in Jesus Name.” The film not only brought the truth of the gospel to people all over the U.S. who otherwise may have never heard about it, but the event also included a livestream deliverance session where people in theaters were being set free from the grips of darkness and miracles abounded. This was completely new territory for movie theaters; the Spirit of the Lord didn’t just stick to the church; He came to the people in the most unlikely of places—in front of the big screen.
The Domino Revival
Come Out in Jesus Name led the path for another movie focused on the Holy Spirit and deliverance to come out later in the year, and that was Mike Signorelli’s “The Domino Revival.” The movie shared the power of revival that is lit when the Holy Spirit is invited into the atmosphere. Just as ‘Come Out in Jesus Name’ paved the way for a livestream deliverance session, “The Domino Revival” also included a livestream time of prayer and an exciting takeover event in Times Square in New York City.
The Sound of Freedom
While not an explicitly Christian film, “The Sound of Freedom” connected with Christian audiences and those who were mortified to learn about the horrors of child trafficking. Racing to become the top film in America, “The Sound of Freedom” saw numerous critics accuse the film of being nothing more than a conspiracy theory. The heinous acts of child trafficking therefore were not only exposed by the film, but the denial of such things by major media was also exposed, too. The film insisted on the fact that we are all God’s children, and as His children these acts are completely unacceptable.
His Only Son
Another Angel Studios film depicted hard realities of what it means to do what God is calling you to do even if it doesn’t make any sense. David Helling’s masterpiece depicting Abraham’s three-day journey to Moriah to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac, which debuted during the Easter season, put this heartbreaking and powerful Bible narrative on full display for those who may have never heard Abraham’s story. Taking third at the box office, the film poignantly depicts what it means to trust God, and how much the Lord ultimately sacrificed when He gave up His only Son for the sake of the world.
A hopeful story of restoration and beauty captured America’s attention as the true story behind Phil and Kay Robertson’s love story was displayed. Demonstrating grace and sacrificial love, the Duck Dynasty clan were able to use this time of familial brokenness to show that God can restore anything, and that there is nothing impossible for Him.
As we wrap up and shift from 2023 to 2024, one more Angel Studios film is gracing the theaters. “The Shift” looks at what might be the most difficult story in the Bible for most of us to grasp—the story of Job. Just as we see these tough stories portrayed on the big screen, they also act as a way for us to see what faith in God can truly do when He is placed first above all else.
With these films that shared God’s hope, truth and goodness we can expect that God has not only entered the film industry, but that He is now using one of the darkest corners of society to transform our world for the glory of His kingdom.
Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator for Charisma Media.