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.
- 11/24/2015 02:54 AM
The Benefits of Giving Thanks
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- 11/17/2015 05:40 PM
A Church’s Hospitality Has Power to Persuade
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- 11/10/2015 02:33 AM
How Christianity Influenced the World’s Law Systems
Today I offer an article by guest author Andrew Stebbins. **** Christianity has had a profound impact on Western culture. Rule of law in particular has deeply influenced virtually everything that makes the West unique. From the early stages of Western civilization, through America’s founding fathers, and up until recently, the Christian foundations of rule of law have been acknowledged.…
- 11/03/2015 05:48 PM
The Many Faces of Courage
I have heard it said that the only thing warriors fear more than death is cowardice. I have been thinking about the meaning of courage for a long time. When I was a boy I wondered how my ordinary father was able to do extraordinary things as an American combat soldier in World War II and receive the Bronze Star…
- 10/27/2015 05:06 PM
Finding Humor and Hope in the Graveyard
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- 10/20/2015 04:00 PM
Memento Mori: Facing Our Mortality
As a child, the first time death hit home for me was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. And even though more than 50 years have passed, I still distinctly remember two things about the event. First, I remember the shock and sadness expressed by my parents when they heard of the president’s death. My parents were…
- 10/13/2015 01:26 PM
New Podcast Provides Antidote for Christian “Nonthinkers”
Many of today’s critics of Christianity view believers in Christ as feelers instead of thinkers. The skeptical charge is often that the faith of most Christians is grounded more in emotional experience than rational considerations. Christians are viewed as people who follow their hearts instead of their heads. Unfortunately, too many evangelical churchgoers today lend validation to the allegation that…
- 10/06/2015 03:29 PM
Think Again: The Danger of Preferential Reasoning
There seems to be a tendency in human beings to draw the logical conclusion that each of us prefers to be true. So when it comes to evaluating arguments for reasonableness and explanatory power, preference tends to weigh heavily in our final assessment. Preference can even at times trump solid evidence that points to the truth of an alternative conclusion.…
- 09/29/2015 02:10 AM
“The Martian”: The Ultimate Rescue Mission
This Friday, the film adaptation of Andy Weir’s highly successful debut novel The Martian hits theaters. In anticipation of the film’s release, I met with editor Sandra Dimas to discuss how The Martian might help remind others of a different kind of rescue mission. Sandra: In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is stranded on Mars by his crewmates…
- 09/22/2015 02:10 AM
Adaptation: A Story of Brilliant Design
This is an article from guest writer Dr. Anjeanette Roberts. In storytelling, every tale is told within an overarching framework. Settings, events, characters are critical in storytelling and plot development. The best writers create tension, foreshadowing, plot twists, and characterizations that not only entertain, but also make sense within the world the writer has established. It’s how it all fits…
Last Modified December 24, 2005