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.
- 08/04/2015 12:22 PM
Apologetics Strategies: How to Talk to the Experts, Part 2
In part one of this series, we imagined a scenario where you find yourself on an airplane conversing with a quantum physicist. You want to dialogue about science-faith questions, but the discussion could go several different ways—or even shut down … Continue reading
- 07/28/2015 02:46 AM
Apologetics Strategies: How to Talk to the Experts, Part 1
Imagine you’re on an airplane and in the course of casual introductions, you discover the gentleman sitting next to you is a quantum physicist. You share some thoughts about the compatibility between the record of nature and the words of … Continue reading
- 07/21/2015 02:48 AM
Think Again: Keep Your Arguments Clear!
Jewish scholar and radio talk show host Dennis Prager often says, “Clarity is more important than agreement.” And when it comes to reasoning, clarity carries its own persuasive power. Clutter and excessive complexity in an argument frequently stand in the … Continue reading
- 07/14/2015 11:01 AM
Think Again: What Is a Genuine Education?
Learning to think for oneself is one of the most important intellectual duties in life. Truth needs to be pursued and apprehended by each individual person. And one of the great benefits of being made in the image of God … Continue reading
- 07/07/2015 06:42 PM
Think Again: Questioning Conspiracy Theories
Are professional sports on the up and up? Do the “better” teams win by genuinely defeating the “lesser” teams? With the NBA playoffs having just finished, it’s a good time to mention one of the conspiracy theories that was making … Continue reading
- 06/30/2015 03:18 PM
Eyes Wide Open: Thinking about Worldview in Movies, Part 2
Christian families are constantly interacting with all sorts of entertainment: books, music, video games, television, and movies. In part 1 of this series, we discussed worldview analysis as a foundational principle of evaluating the media we consume. Now we will … Continue reading
- 06/23/2015 10:53 AM
Eyes Wide Open: Thinking about Worldview in Movies, Part 1
When I was in seminary, I had a side job as a movie reviewer for a major Christian periodical. For two years I spent nearly every Friday night sitting in arthouse theaters watching a lot of really bad films. Then, … Continue reading
- 06/16/2015 11:30 AM
Getting to Know Our Emotions from the Inside Out
Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out opens this week. The film’s fanciful premise invites moviegoers to “meet the little voices in your head”—specifically, our emotions, personified as Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. RTB editor Maureen Moser and I sat down to talk … Continue reading
- 06/09/2015 02:06 AM
Thinking Again about Logic
If you want your thoughts on any given subject to be clear and careful, it usually requires engaging the topic more than once. To think again about something means that you want to get it right. Before I came on … Continue reading
- 06/02/2015 02:48 AM
In the Works: Upcoming Book Compares Jesus and Other Religious Leaders
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve reposted several archived articles that compare Jesus Christ to other major religious leaders, specifically Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad. My recently completed book manuscript fleshes out and expands on what … Continue reading
Last Modified December 24, 2005