Saturday, October 4, 2008

Do You Know The Door Man?

I used to work as a bartender at one of those clubs where there were a couple guys at the door checking the line of people and deciding who got in and who didn’t. It was always interesting to hear the excuses some people would use to appeal the decision to turn them away. The most frequent would be to describe the close friendship they had with the owner. If their names weren’t written on the clipboard, the owner most certainly didn’t know them and they were asked to leave. Jesus said there will be somewhat the same screening scenario on the day of Judgement.

Imagine a vast crowd of people standing at the gates of eternity. Some are bouncing up and down with excitement. Some are straightening their clothes and combing their hair. Others are arguing with each other. They seem to be blaming or accusing each other about not being prepared for this event. Others have taken out a Bible and appear to be cramming for a final exam. No one is pretending that this isn’t important.

The gates open and there is a great press forward. Let’s listen in.

God: “Good evening young man. What’s your name?”

“Dude! I’m an atheist. I thought a god would know that.”

“Oh yes. So you are. I didn’t actually expect you to show up.” Scanning the crowd and with furrowed brow Creator God says, “Hmm. It looks like you brought your whole family. There’s quite a number of atheists here. Are you all expecting to escape the total absence of My love?”

“What? Oh no. Those aren’t my family. We go by the same name but I’m nothing like those people. In fact, I doubt even you or Zeus or Thor could find any one of them that thinks just like me.”

“Mm hm. Well tell Me, why should you spend eternity in heaven with Me?”

“Well, here’s the thing. I’m really, really smart. I have a terrific education. I was a good dad and I’m a pretty decent individual.”

“You’re a decent individual?”

“Well, I’m a lot better than Osama Bin Laden.”

“You think so?”

“Well, ya! (Jittery laugh) I mean, come on man. you’re making me nervous. I’ve always tried to do the right thing. I thought you were god. you should know that.”

“I remember you saying that I’m Arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. And then you turn around convince your children that I don’t exist. You've turned your very own children into atheists. You've lived one of the most incoherent, contradictory lives possible, and now you tell me that you’ve always been a good person.”

“Well, I . . .”

“Are you telling me that you’ve never told even one lie, never stole even one thing, never once wanted what didn’t belong to you, always honored and respected your parents, never on. . .”

“Whoa, back it up dude! No one’s perfect. Who could ever keep all of those? That’s impossible.”

“For what it's worth son, and it doesn't seem to be worth much to you, I AM PERFECT. You are standing in the presence of Perfection and Holiness. You're right. Those are way beyond your standards of good enough. Aren't they? In fact they’re MY expectations for anyone wanting to spend eternity in the total absence of evil. How about this? There is really only one rule that you had to keep. Only one. Tell me. How did you do with loving Me with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength? If you kept that one, you’re in.”

“Listen, about all that stuff. Ah, I was planning on changing. I really was. This jesus coming back and all, it just happened so suddenly. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t ready.”

“Um hm. Explain this to Me - dude. For the blink of your existence on earth, you wanted absolutely nothing to do with Me. The only time you thought about Me was to write almost daily on a blog trying to convince people that I didn’t exist. And now I’m supposed to believe that you want to spend eternity in My presence. And you want to do this in the presence of those who love Me more than anything else. Do you expect Me to believe that?”

“I know. It seems a little stupid. Look! I’m going to be honest with you. I’m a big fan of jesus. Really! I’ve read his book dozens of times. I think he said some really great stuff. In fact I bet I know that book better than all those people that you’re letting in.”

“Is that so? So why were you caught off guard? My Son taught almost non stop about this day. In fact that was His only reason for coming to earth; to get people ready for this day. What I don’t understand is, Why would you say you’re a big fan of Jesus when I know for a fact jack that you tried to convince people that He doesn’t exist? In fact, you spent a good part of your life telling people that Me and my Kid are mythological. What’s up with that?”

“Ah, that was just goofing around man. Let me talk to jesus. he can straighten this all out. There he is - over there. jesus! Hey jesus! Over here! It’s me, atheist!

Coming over to the gates Jesus asks, “What’s going on here Father? Is this guy giving you a problem?”

“No Son. It’s all good. However he says he knows You. He says I should let him in because you’re close friends.”

Jesus looks the atheist in the eyes and says, “I don’t know you,” and turns to leave.

“No, no, no. that’s not right. jesus it me! I remember hearing you speak to me when I was in university. you were telling me about how I could have my sins forgiven.”

Jesus turns around and says, “Did you ask for forgiveness? Did you allow Me to become Lord of your life?”

“Well, no.”

“Then you didn’t actually hear Me, did you?”

“But, but - .”

“Move him along Dad. I never knew you kid. Somebody get him out of here.”


“Good day Sir.”

“And what’s you name?”

“Christian Sir.”

“And why should you spend eternity absorbed in perfect love?”

“Um, well, I certainly don’t deserve it Sir. I’ve been a liar and a bigot and a hypocrite and an adulterer. I used to covet what other people owned and I’ve been terribly unkind.”

“And you think that I’d like to spend eternity with someone like you?”

“Well, I don’t know why you would Sir. I’m as depraved as any person could be. But one day I met your Son and He just seemed to love me and I wanted to be around that love so badly that I asked if somehow He could let me hang out with Him. He told me how that could be arranged. In fact it was Jesus who gave me a new job. I’ve actually been working for Your Kingdom ever since the day we met.”

“So you know my Boy?”

“Yes Sir. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had.”

“That’s what the last guy said.”

“I don’t know about that Sir. All I know is - Hey Jesus!, Jesus! Over here!”

“Ah Christian. How are you? It’s ok Dad. Let him in.” Putting his arm around Christian’s shoulder, Jesus leads Christian through the Gates. “Let me introduce you to the others. You know, I am very proud of you, Christian. You did a good job on earth. You weren’t fooled by atheist lies about me. You stayed the course, you finished the race. Well done my friend. Hey! Everyone! Let Me introduce our newest arrival.”

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