The Last Trial

March 13, 2010

The Last Trial

You sit in silence contemplating what has just taken place. Only moments ago you were alive and well, relaxing at home with friends. Then there was a deep crushing pain in your chest that brought you crashing to the floor. The pain has now gone, but you are no longer in your home. Instead, you find yourself standing on the other side of death waiting to stand before the judgement seat and discover where you will spend eternity. As you reflect upon your life your name is called, and you are led down a long corridor into a majestic sanctuary with a throne located in its center. Sitting on this throne is a huge, breathtaking being who looks up at you and begins to speak.

“My name is Lucifer, and I am the angel of light.”

You are immediately filled with fear and trembling as you realize that you are face to face with the enemy of all that is true and good. Then the angel continue: “I have cast God down from his throne and banished Christ to the realm of eternal death. It is I who hold the keys to the kingdom. It is I who am the gatekeeper of paradise, and it is for me alone to decide who shall enter eternal joy and who shall be forsaken.”

After saying these words, he sits up and stretches out his vast arms. “In my right hand I hold eternal life and in my left hand eternal death. THose who would bow down and acknowledge me as their god shall pass through to the gates of paradise and experience an eternity of bliss, but all those who refuse will be vanquished to the second death with their Christ.”

After a long pause he bends toward you and speaks, “Which will you choose?”

————————————–

I talked about “Fire Insurance” the other day, but this one turns it around on its head. I suppose a person who converted to Christianity so as to experience eternal life in heaven might not have such a problem with this hypothetical coming true. “I wanted heaven, and even if Satan’s running heaven I still want heaven.” Fair enough. There’s a degree of honesty in that stance.

But the question remains: Is that what following Jesus means? Or more to the point, is that what Jesus means to you when it comes to the brass tacks? When I was younger, I was definitely more along the “Fire Insurance” line of thought. I wanted to have a personal relationship with Jesus so that when I died I didn’t go to hell. Except I’m not sure how much a relationship that would have really been if I’d stuck with that line of thought. This whole “I’ll fly away” sort of spirituality ends up making Jesus/God instrumental. The so-called relationship is no such thing, because it only exists to gain reward for the “believer.”

So we’re back to the hypothetical: If you die and Satan’s running the joint, would you rather follow Jesus or go to heaven?

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