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Church purchases 3,500 tickets for people to see 'Son of God'

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According to the Christian Post on Feb. 25, a church is offering free screening of "Son of God" a day before the film is released in theaters nationwide on Friday, Feb. 28.

To promote the Gospel and the message behind the movie, the Mars Hill Church has purchased over 3,500 seats in movies theaters near 15 of its locations throughout five states.

The intent of the megachurch is to show the film free of charge to individuals who are encouraged to take a nonbeliever with them.

A posting on Mars Hills website reads:

"This isn't just a pass to a free movie; this is an opportunity to bring a friend, a few friends, who would never otherwise hear the story of Jesus. What we don't want are theaters packed with people who attend Mars Hill. We want theaters packed full of people from Mars Hill with their un-churched friends."

The film focuses on the life of Christ from birth to crucifixion to resurrection. "Son of God" is the first major feature film portraying Christ's entire life in nearly 50 years, since "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was released in the 1960s.

Husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey said they went on faith to produce the movie without knowing if it would be in a theater. Now it is in theaters nationwide, not only in English but also in Spainish.

The producers decided to share the Gospel on the big screen after airing the highly successful "The Bible" mini-series on the History Channel last spring.

Burnett and Downey have been on several television talk shows this week promoting the movie, including being on the "Steve Harvey" show on Feb. 26.

Mars Hill joins a number of other churches and faith leaders who are promoting the film this week as an opportunity to share God's Word.

Among one of the many church leaders helping to promote the film is Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church who also bought out at least eight different theaters throughout Orange County, California, for screenings.

Warren will also launch a six-week study curriculum for Saddleback Church's small groups, called "Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You," beginning with the movie's release and ending on Easter.

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