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.
- 02/09/2016 06:28 AM
8 Ways Christians Can Make Sense of Mass Shootings
Today I offer an article by guest author Mark Perez. *** The recent string of mass shootings in the US and worldwide has understandably rattled people’s nerves. Many wonder what they can do to protect themselves and, more importantly, what they can do to make sense of such acts of terror. I spent 36 years in law enforcement, retiring last…
- 02/02/2016 06:26 AM
Do We Derive Pleasure from Sports Violence?
The problem of football is football. Which is to say, it [NFL football] is consciously merchandising violence. — George Will, Fox News Sunday, September 21, 2014 I have been an avid sports fan from the age of nine. Prior to that my interest was presidential politics—I was the only fourth grader in my class who could name all of the…
- 01/26/2016 10:57 AM
7 Common Myths about Old-Earth Creationism
Sometimes being an apologist isn’t just about defending the faith to unbelievers; sometimes it also includes explaining our doctrinal positions to other Christians. When I was homeschooling our children, church friends would often express concern over our family’s belief that the earth was billions—not thousands—of years old. Many had heard some fairly alarming assertions about Hugh Ross, my employer,…
- 01/19/2016 11:14 AM
Ten Reasons for the Rapid Spread of Christianity, Part 3: Religious Factors
How did the tiny and little-known Jesus movement overcome hostilities and persecution within four centuries to become the official religion of the Roman Empire? Christians, of course, believe that God sovereignly arranged the circumstances of history to allow the gospel to go forth with power and great success. Yet God’s providential workings behind the scenes of history do not rule…
- 01/12/2016 11:12 AM
Ten Reasons for the Rapid Spread of Christianity, Part 2: Cultural Factors
The Bible teaches that God is sovereign over all of history (Daniel 4:17, Acts 4:27–28). So when it comes to the origin and development of historic Christianity, believers in Christ undoubtedly accept the words of Galatians 4:4–5: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law,…
- 01/05/2016 02:24 AM
Ten Reasons for the Rapid Spread of Christianity, Part 1: Social Factors
Jesus Christ lived the most consequential life in human history. As Christian theologian Michael Green notes, “His coming split history into two: everything is dated before or after this man.”1 But the religion that bears his name started small and slow in the backwater of the Roman Empire. What factors contributed to its subsequent rapid spread? In this series we’ll…
- 12/29/2015 02:03 AM
Five Movies to Make You Think in 2016
Why do you go to the movies? For many, it’s for entertainment. Movies certainly possess a remarkable ability to make us laugh and cry. Others go to the movies to escape from the pressures and difficulties of daily life. I may be an odd duck, but I enjoy movies that make me think—especially about the deep questions of life. Some…
- 12/22/2015 02:53 AM
How Christ’s Incarnation Differs from the Hindu Idea of Avatar
The doctrine of the Incarnation (God became man in Jesus of Nazareth) lies at the heart of Christianity; it’s a truth-claim celebrated all over the world at Christmastime. Historic Christianity affirms that Jesus Christ is a single person with both a fully divine nature and a fully human nature. As C. S. Lewis aptly put it, “The Son of…
- 12/15/2015 02:16 AM
Star Wars and the Importance of Ideas
Imagination and storytelling are very powerful ways of drawing attention to important ideas and questions. A good book or movie provokes people to think in a way unlike hearing a lecture. This is one reason why Jesus spoke in parables. With a much-anticipated new chapter of the generation-spanning Star Wars saga about to unfold in theaters, RTB editor Maureen Moser…
- 12/08/2015 09:54 AM
The Perfect Storm of Suffering
Upon losing his wife to cancer, C. S. Lewis wrote, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.”1 Life offers no exit from suffering. In fact, the older you get…
Last Modified December 24, 2005