Imagine waking up one day to find the electricity off in your home. You know you are late for work, but the phone doesn’t work either so no one would call you. You know the bills are paid because everything is paid on time. You are meticulous that way. It is getting hard to breathe because the air is stagnant so you open a window only to find out the air outside is hotter still and dry and dusty. You can’t take a shower. The water has no pressure.

You look for something to wear to work, but everything you thought was cleaned and pressed was wadded up in a corner and beginning to smell. Even wearing an old, dirty suit is useless because you can’t iron it without power. You begin to miss your late wife and children now, but even that won’t remedy the situation. You have always been resourceful, so you decide to buy a new suit even if it is untailored and you will call work from a payphone.

You reach in the cupboard for a quick breakfast but everything is stale, or molded, or full of those little bugs and fruit flies. All of the things in the refrigerator has soured and warmed. The freezer is full of melted or thawed food and some of it is rancid and dripping to the bottom.

  You get to your car in the garage and take a moment to think of your late wife. If she hadn’t died you know none of this would be happening. But, the thought is fleeting as you attempt to start the car. Instead of starting, it explodes sending masses of glass and debris into your tired, aching body. You survive the blast, but now you are pinned inside an inferno. You are powerless to stop it because the blast severed both of your arms.

  The heat is beginning to sear what was not ripped apart in your body and the open wounds are infested with engine oil, gasoline, and antifreeze. You try to cry out but the explosion mangled your vocal chords and left your jaw outside on the concrete. You realize also your eyes are melted from their sockets both from lack of sight and the fluid streaming down your face. You doubt if there is much of you left.

As you near the point of death, your life begins to replay in your mind. You remember as a child your seemingly overbearing parents who continually made you go to church and made you pray before going to bed at night. As soon as you could you left anything to do with Jesus and took what the world had to offer. Even to this day you don’t call your parents or send birthday or anniversary cards. You begin to think “It’s sowin’ and reapin’ all right. They shoved church down my throat, so see if I ever do anything nice for them”.

You did just about every drug imaginable and stayed drunk at least a year when you turned twenty- one. You somehow feel good about those experiences. You still hold grudges against the kids who hurt you in school, so you learned about business and finances in college to get ahead of everyone. All you could think about was getting rich.

You came back to the same town where you grew up to show them. You became a  huge financial success and well known as a businessman. You learned how money influences officials, so you weaseled your way into destroying some of your childhood adversaries’ homes to make way for your shopping centers and apartment buildings. Zoning boards have their price too, you thought. You begin to laugh about that one.

  Then you remember your wife and children. You remember how there was always strife in the house, but you took it in stride. All you were thinking was how they always had the newest and best of everything. ” Every family is dysfunctional in some way, you thought.” One day, the police called you out of town to have you identify the bodies of your family after an apparent breaking and entering. You didn’t realize even now they were looking for you. Three of the men you had evicted from their homes hired hit men. They knew killing your family would be far worse than killing you. To this day, you don’t have a clue what you have done to people.

Now, you have become a respected businessman and a member of numerous local lodges and fraternities. This only made you more friends in high places and escalated the ruthless practices you used to get ahead. You learned how to exchange favors and goods in order to influence local legislation in your favor. One lodge brother invited you to his church, but you politely refused to go. When you found out that this society of officials and business all went to the same church, you finally gave in after years of absence. This, too proved to be beneficial to your self interests.

Through the years you learned yoga, and transcendental meditation as well as relying heavily on psychic readings and astrology. Many of your lodge brothers did the same, and were accepted in this church. The bookstore at this church sold books about Christian astrology and using the Bible to bring up dead people. Since your lodge deals in ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses and you felt this church must be good if they embrace these ancient, time honored teachings.

In short order you began to use your wealth to influence the church leadership. The pastor was able to do more than before because of the money you poured into the account. The regular attenders quickly caught on and the attendance was beginning to wane. The Pastor knew you could wipe his ministry out if he did anything to cross you, so he bent to the money instead of shepherding his flock. You were quite content to know that you could control a church the way you thought it should be done. You were on your way to Heaven, you thought. That’s what the Pastor preached. I was saved, and nothing could change that.

Now you are back to the reality you aren’t going to last much longer. You are writhing in agony and powerless to prevent it. Seconds away from death, you are able to see into the spirit realm. The psychics, nor the tarot card readers, nor any of the yogis prepared him for this. You feel a confidence now that everything will be alright. You remember your Pastor telling you that even if you lived a life as a heathen, you will make it to Heaven. He said you would just not be rewarded as well as if you lived your life for Jesus. An angel was standing ready.

  Then the thoughts enter your head. You realize this was no accident. You know that it was your power and wealth that caused everyone to hate you. You think, I am on top and they want me to fall. I am in pain because of them. They killed my family. They ruined my life. I can’t die. I am way too important. I have too much to accomplish. I’m not done with them yet.

  As your brain becomes foggy and your last labored breaths are filled with smoke, you hear a still, small voice in your ear. It simply said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Your heart stops beating. Your last amounts of flesh are melting off of your bones. You can’t speak, but your soul makes one last statement to God…..” God damn them for this”.

  Silence prevails. Darkness is what you see. The angel you saw has disappeared. You are grabbed by unseen hands and hurled forward. You stop abruptly and see a lone light shining from above. You walk into this light and see a Spirit sitting in a huge white throne. There are four strange looking creatures sitting in front of the throne saying “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was, and is, and is to come.” There are a number of people on their face before this Spirit and a number of golden crowns in front of each of them of the ground. There are many more beside you now just like you and unlike anything you are seeing. You then look up.

  The Spirit on the throne has His head cast down and is shaking with tremendous moaning and weeping. The tears fall from His eyes like huge clouds of rain. He looks at you with eyes of flames and motions for the unseen hands to bring you forth. You speak to Him, “ God, is that you?” He replies, “ Be gone from me you worker of iniquity. I never knew you.”

 You are immediately taken away and you are thrown down a seemingly endless pit. More and more are around you in the same predicament. The farther you descend, the hotter you get and the sounds of a multitude of horrendous screaming people becomes louder. You land in fire hotter than the inferno you just left and you cry out for mercy. Your cries go on deaf ears. All you feel is pain and loneliness. It is now you realize, you made this choice.  

  I am not a gloom and doom preacher, nor do I believe God maliciously destroys those who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 6: 9-13. It is the Lord’s Prayer. Now read it and look at verse 15, “ But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” These words are true and just. It makes no provision as to whether you were saved or said a prayer of salvation, or what have you. It is clear cut. Enough said.  

In His service

Tony Crews