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.
- 03/24/2015 02:27 AM
The Resurrection: Christianity’s Most Dangerous Idea
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 3 (2010) “Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”1 This line—from my favorite book in … Continue reading
- 03/17/2015 02:55 AM
More Deaths in the Name of God—or No Gods?
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 1 (2010) Great evil has been done in the name of Christ. This charge, a frequent objection to historic Christianity raised especially by the new atheist … Continue reading
- 03/10/2015 02:02 AM
God as the Source of Knowledge
Originally published in RTB’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 1, no. 1 (2009) Does the Bible indicate where knowledge comes from? Since evolutionary processes can’t guarantee true beliefs naturalism as a worldview faces insurmountable problems. For its part, the … Continue reading
- 03/03/2015 02:08 AM
World Religions: The Sage and the Savior
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two became far-reaching moral instructors of humanity. Confucius (the sage) laid down the ethical foundation for much of Asian civilization. Jesus of Nazareth (the Savior) taught moral lessons that distinctly shaped the ethical nature … Continue reading
- 02/24/2015 02:31 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 3
This week we’ll be finishing up a series on the biblical canon, a topic that has been a source of discussion, debate, and controversy since the beginning of Christianity. We’ve covered the doctrine of divine inspiration and standards for recognizing … Continue reading
- 02/18/2015 12:07 PM
How We Got the Bible, Part 2
Last week RTB editor Maureen Moser and I began a discussion of the biblical canon, including the doctrine of inspiration and the criteria for recognizing canon, particularly for the New Testament. But as we noted, the branches of Christendom view … Continue reading
- 02/10/2015 02:22 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 1
Earlier this year, scholars announced the discovery of what might be the oldest known copy of the Gospel of Mark (see here and here). A fragment of Mark’s book was found on ancient papyrus used to create a mummy mask. … Continue reading
- 02/03/2015 02:14 AM
World Religions: The Prince and the Lord
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two came to be viewed as representing almighty God in human form. In traditional Hinduism, the god Vishnu appeared or descended into human form as Krishna. In historic Christianity, Jesus Christ entered human history … Continue reading
- 01/27/2015 02:22 AM
From the Archives: Understanding Islam in the Twenty-First Century
It’s one of the fastest growing religions in the world, it’s been around since the seventh century, and it is regularly in the news—often associated with atrocities committed by its most militant members (the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the Boko … Continue reading
- 01/20/2015 02:23 AM
An Elephant in the Resurrection Skeptic’s Room
Today, Reflections offers a guest article by Milt Chamberlain **** Skeptic Richard Carrier writes, “Many things could be said which cast doubt on the story of the Resurrection of Jesus by God…since I cannot rationally bring myself to believe this … Continue reading
Last Modified December 24, 2005