After living a "decent" life, my time on earth came to an end. The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what looked like a court house. The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat at the defense table. As I looked around I saw the prosecutor - a villainous looking man who snarled as he stared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I had ever seen. I sat down and looked to my left, where, seated, was my lawyer - a kind and gentle looking man whose appearance seemed familiar to me. The corner door flew open and the judge appeared, dressed in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence as he moved across the room. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. As he took his seat behind the bench, he said, "Let us begin."
The prosecutor rose and began his opening statement, "My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this man belongs in hell." He began by describing the lies I had told, things I had stole, and how I had cheated others in the past. Satan told of other horrible perversions that were once in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my chair I sank. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't look at anyone, even my own lawyer, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten. As upset as I was at Satan for revealing all those things about me, I was equally upset at my representative, who sat there silently - not offering any form of defense at all. I knew I was guilty of all those things, but I had done some good in my life - couldn't that at least cancel out part of the bad things I had done? Satan finished with a fury and closed by saying, "This man belongs to me in hell, since he is guilty of all these charges, and there is no person who can prove otherwise."
When it was his turn, my lawyer first asked if he might approach the bench. Satan yelled, "I object!," but the judge remarked, "Overruled," and beckoned my attorney to come forward. As he got up and started walking, I was able to see him in his full splendor and majesty. I realized why he seemed so familiar. My attorney was Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior. He stopped at the bench and softly said to the judge, "Hi Dad," and then he turned to address the court. "Satan was correct in saying that this man has sinned. I won't deny any of these allegations. And yes, the wages of sin is death, and this man deserves to be punished." Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, "However, I died on the cross so that every person might have eternal life. Since this man has accepted me as his Savior, he is mine." My Lord continued, "His name is written in the book of life, and no one can snatch him from me. Satan still does not understand that this man is not to be given justice, but rather mercy." As Jesus sat down, he quietly paused, looked at his Father and replied, "There is nothing else that needs to be done. I've done it all."
The judge lifted his mighty hand, slammed the gavel down, and bellowed from his lips, "This man is free. The penalty for him has already been paid in full. Case dismissed!"
As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan ranting and raving, "I won't give up, I'll win the next one." I asked Jesus as he gave me my instructions where to go next, "Have you ever lost a case?" Christ lovingly smiled and said, "Everyone that has come to me and asked me to represent them has received the same verdict as you, Paid in Full."
- This is a slightly edited version of a popular e-mail sent the summer of 2001. The author is unknown.
We are what we think.
- 03/07/2014 02:30 AM
Quote of the Week: John 15:26
But when the Helper [3rd] comes, whom I [2nd] will send to you from the Father [1st], the Spirit [3rd] of truth, who proceeds from the Father [1st], he will bear witness about me [2nd]. — John 15:26, ESV
- 03/04/2014 02:52 AM
“Son of God:” Representing the Bible on Screen
With the release of the Jesus biopic Son of God in theatres last week, this is a great time to engage in a conversation with others about the historical basis of Jesus. For those of you considering whether to see … Continue reading
- 02/28/2014 02:28 AM
Quote of the Week: St. Augustine
In your great wisdom you, who are our God, speak to us of these things in your Book, the firmament made by you. — St. Augustine, Confessions (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1992), book XIII, section 18, 326.
- 02/25/2014 02:44 AM
Music Points to a Creator
This February marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in America. My article “Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?” explored these musicians’ religious views and how believers can navigate choices in popular entertainment. The Beatles in … Continue reading
- 02/21/2014 03:27 PM
Quote of the Week: Restless Heart
The man doesn’t find the truth the truth finds the man. — Bishop Ambrose to Augustine, from the movie Restless Heart (Ignatius Press, 2013)
- 02/18/2014 02:52 AM
Reflections on a War Movie: Lone Survivor
I’ve seen most of the war movies made over the last seventy years (see “Ken’s Top 50 World War II Films”). I rank Band of Brothers, the 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks about the real-life heroism … Continue reading
- 02/14/2014 02:49 AM
Quote of the Week: Paul Helm
The classical Christian theologians, Augustine of Hippo, say, or Aquinas or John Calvin, each took it for granted that God exists as a timelessly eternal being. They accepted it as an axiom of Christian theology that God has no memory, … Continue reading
- 02/11/2014 02:01 AM
Beatlemania Plus 50: Can Christians Appreciate the Fab Four?
This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first trip to America. I remember how depressed my family was following President Kennedy’s assassination, but how excited my siblings and I were to see The Beatles on our black-and-white television … Continue reading
- 02/07/2014 04:01 PM
Quote of the Week: Louis P. Pojman
In a sense, philosophy is just hard thinking about the important issues of life. — Louis P. Pojman, Philosophy: The Pursuit of Wisdom (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994),12.
- 02/04/2014 02:36 AM
From the Critical Thinker’s Toolbox: How Do Nonrational Factors Impact Thinking?
Various factors influence a person’s beliefs about reality and truth—some of the factors are rational (consistent with reason), some irrational (in conflict with reason), and some nonrational (not based upon reason). Just because a person is not persuaded by a … Continue reading
Last Modified December 24, 2005