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Northside Baptist Church

Elkhart, Indiana


  • Mar25Mon

    Pleasure Island?

    March 25, 2019 Lori Henry


    Recently, I taped the original 1940 children's movie, Pinocchio.  It had been years since I last saw it, so I snuggled in to enjoy it!  As you most likely remember, dear Geppetto was a lonely wood carver who made a wooden boy that he named "Pinocchio."  Throughout the movie, Pinocchio had a conscience named Jiminy Cricket who tried to keep Pinocchio going on the straight and narrow road, but Pinocchio got into some crazy situations from time to time!
          The most notable situation that Pinocchio got himself into was allowing some off-colored boys to influence him, much to the dislike of Jiminy Cricket!  Going down this wrong path eventually led Pinocchio and some of his "friends" to a place called Pleasure Island.  
         At Pleasure Island, the boys were lured into believing that it was the greatest adventure on earth!  The Coachman, who owned Pleasure Island, assured the boys that they could do anything they wanted!  There was a model house, and the boys could utterly destroy it!  The boys shot out the beautiful stained glass windows, they smoked cigars, drank, and played pool until all hours of the night, and they were free from the law and any adults that would try to stop them!  They were a rowdy bunch of boys, laughing and riding carnival rides and doing whatever their hearts desired! 
         You see, Foulfellow and Gideon had beforehand gathered these bad boys up and had promised them the moon, and delivered them to this amazing theme park.  With stars in their eyes, these boys sampled and tasted all that Pleasure Island had to give them.  There were no holds barred.  Whatever they wanted, they could have!  Whatever mischief they wanted to get into, they were welcome to it!  Oh, this was fun!  No stuffy adults scolding them!  No law punishing them!  There was no accountability...or so they thought!
         Jiminy Cricket had been doing some investigating of his own as he searched for Pinocchio.  He couldn't figure out why Pleasure Island suddenly was so vacant.  Where did all the boys go that were brought here?  He searched and searched, and suddenly came upon a terrible sight!  A secret part of the island revealed the terrible truth!  The "boys" apparently were turned into donkeys!  They were being held in crates or behind bars.  Some of them still had the clothes on that they came in!  They were crying, calling out for their mothers.  The cruel and evil Coachman, Foulfellow and Gideon only laughed at their despair and asked them with sneering voices, "Did you think there wouldn't be a pay day?  Did you think you'd go on in this pleasure forever?"  The frightened donkeys were roughly tossed by their ears into crates to be sold to salt mines or to the circus.  
       Completely unaware of this, as Pinocchio and Lampwick were playing pool, smoking cigars and drinking beer, Lampwick suddenly brayed like a donkey!!  He then grew ears and a tail like a donkey's!  His face suddenly turned into the face of a donkey!  He saw himself in a mirror and became frantic!  He kicked and brayed and cried out for his mother!  
        Meanwhile,  Jiminy Cricket frantically ran and found Pinocchio, told him what was happening to the other boys,  and urged him to follow him.  They ran, together, up a rocky mountain, the only way out of Pleasure Island.  Once at the very top, the only way off the rocks was to jump into the vicious, swirling ocean below.  They did just that, and eventually washed up on shore.  After some very frightening encounters with Monstro, the giant whale who swallowed Gepetto, Pinocchio finally ended up back home and turned into a real boy!
         This movie reminds me a lot of how Satan is!  He is just like the cruel Coachman of Pleasure Island!  The Coachman posed as a very nice man...promising fun and pleasure forever more!  2 Cor. 11:14 tells us that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  He, too, promises all the sinful pleasures a man can imagine, but, just like the Coachman, he does not reveal until later, that there is a pay day, and it will not be fun!  Galatians 6:7 tells us, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  
         The boys at Pleasure Island had their "fun."  But the Coachman knew that pay day was about to take place.  They had sown every conceivable pleasure....now they were about to reap!  Before they knew what hit them, they were bound and became slaves to the very things they thought were fun and pleasurable!  And just like Satan does to us when we fall into sin, the Coachman stood and laughed at their terrible plight!  No pity.  No mercy.  
         As a sinner, who does not know Jesus, the end of your earthly "Pleasure Island" is horrible!  Luke 12:19-20 tells us, "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, (by-the-way...In Italy, where Pinocchio was written, the word donkey means fool!), this night thy soul shall be required of thee:"  Thank God, He has made a way of escape, though!  John 3:16 tells us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
         As a Christian, we can fall into Satan's trap of believing sin is fun, in fact, Satan can make sin fun....for a season (Heb. 11:25!)  But, just like the Prodical Son, we will eventually "come to our self" and realize that we are sitting in a pig sty eating husks from corn, when God has given us the banquet table of His goodness to partake of!!  2 Cor. 2:11 tells us that we are not to be ignorant of Satan's devices.  1 Peter 5:8 tells us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" But, instead of being bound as Satan's slaves, we can be forgiven!!  I John 1:9 tells us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Our God is not a cruel taskmaster.  He loves us and wants us to know that we can come to Him for forgiveness when we mess up!
         Pleasure Island or pleasures for evermore? (Psalm 16:11.)  The choice is ours!


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