Sméagol and Gollum - Dual Natured?
Do you remember the scene when Sméagol is having a conversation with Gollum and Gollum is telling Sméagol how he saved their life when things were bad, how they survived because of Gollum and his wiles? Gollum goes on to tell that Sméagol isn’t so innocent. After all, he is a liar and a thief … murderer! Do you remember what happens next? Sméagol tells Gollum “Leave and NEVER come back!” Sméagol repeats this phrase three times, and then, with a look of wonder, he seems to “realize” that Gollum is actually gone. He jumps for joy and shouts in that squeaky voice “Sméagol is freeeeeeeeee!” Anyone who is as familiar with this story knows that Gollum is really not gone. He comes back and brings doom to himself and Sméagol.
When we first watched this movie with our kids, (yikes!) we had to keep explaining to them that they were wrong about their idea that Sméagol was the good guy and Gollum was the bad guy. We told them, “They are both bad.” Still, since one monster seemed a bit cowering and the other was so fierce, they couldn’t get the good/bad idea out of their minds.
The whole scene reminded me of false religion. If we are not born-again as a result of the saving gospel of Christ who can cleanse us of all the lying, thieving and murdering … but we decide we want to shape up our life and “give religion a try” … we will fail miserably. We are hypocrites in such a state, pretending to be something we are not. We could put off some of our sins and try to “be a better person,” but underneath, skulking in the shadows, is our wicked self, who is much more powerful and sneaky than any attempt we can make at reformation. If this is who we are, we haven’t got a new nature, only a sad attempt at reshaping the old one, which can sometimes leave us in a worse situation than if we would have gone on as we were. Why is it worse? It is worse because we are deceived ... and Gollum will return.
"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:43-45)
Real change must happen from the Spirit of God. By seeing yourself for who you really are … a desperately wicked person who has no right to enter God’s presence, you have hope. Desperately wicked doesn’t mean you catch fish with your bare hands and eat them “raw and wiggling.” It means that you are not perfect. You are selfish, self-absorbed, you lie, you wish evil on others, you desire things that aren’t yours, you’re jealous etc …. For the purpose of entering God’s presence, (eternal life – Heaven) only perfection will do … everything else is desperately wicked. Therefore, as is, we will not be able to enter His presence without burning up (eternal death – hell.) Here enters Christ. He becomes one of us, lives in sinless perfection and then goes to the cross. There, he takes on the sin of the whole world. (That means all your sin and mine too.) If we receive Him by faith, we become born-again, given His life in exchange for our sin that He had taken. Now … we have hope because the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God, comes to live within us, regenerating us into a new man. This new man cannot sin. He is not just a nicer or more timid version of the original you or me. He is a completely new man! Sméagol and Gollum had different dispositions and personalities, but both were wicked. If we are born-again, we have a new nature that is not just a take-off of our old. This is a new man that cannot sin and he will live forever with God! The old man will pass away at our death. Before physical death, we can triumph through the Holy Spirit as we feed the new man with the Word of God, prayer and fellowship with other believers. Upon physical death, the wretched man (sin nature) will indeed leave and NEVER come back!