Devilish Dream

I have had many strange dreams, but I want to record last night’s dream in this article so that I will remember it.  It was different from other dreams because it seemed very real.  In fact when I awakened, it didn’t feel like I had been dreaming, but it was like I had been transported from a strange location back to my bed. All I knew was that it was a devilish dream.

And that strange location was a classroom.  I was surrounded by thousands of people all sitting in metal folding chairs lined up in hundreds of rows, facing a podium with a speaker, who was addressing the class.  We were all sitting upright and offering the greatest degree of attention that we could muster.  The speaker was talking in a monotone voice that had a tendency to lull us to sleep, but we instinctively knew there would be consequences if we closed our eyes.

The topic of the presentation was the poor choices that many in the room had made during their lifetimes.  However, I was surprised when the speaker asked us to raise our hands if we felt like we had to suffer consequences for these poor decisions, that only a handful of us, including me, raised our hands.  The great majority obviously believed that there would be no punishment for their misdeeds.

I didn’t know the reasoning behind that belief, but I assumed that many of them thought that Jesus died for their sins and there would be no consequences because of that.  I am a Christian, but I have read the Bible enough to know that even though our sins are forgiven because of the sacrifices made by Jesus, the Bible clearly states that there still will be a Judgment Day for all of us.

There will be certain consequences for our actions even though we are forgiven by the death of Jesus.  The Bible is very clear on this, but ministers tend to overlook these passages in the good book so as not to alarm their congregations.  You can find passages all through the Bible that warn us that we will suffer consequences for our acts.

It might be more peaceful going into the afterlife, believing that there will be no punishment awaiting.  As an analogy, it’s probably better not knowing that a shot is going to be painful.  The wait before the shot could be more painful than the shot itself.  If you think too much about Judgment Day, you might have a tendency to unnecessarily worry about it.

I believe you must be realistic as you enter the afterlife or you may forget the most important thing:  you must unify with God.  If you are too peaceful, you may find yourself herded in the wrong direction.  Only unification with God will protect you from false prophets, guides, and leaders in the afterworld.

My guess is that God will administer different punishments for different souls.  It would be similar to our criminal law courts.  Somebody who was guilty of shoplifting may have to perform community service for 100 hours, while somebody guilty of murder may get a life sentence.  God will examine all of our sins on Judgment Day holding us all accountable.

But back to my dream.  As all the attendees were asked to raise their hands if they believed that they would be punished for their bad choices, a big search light came on behind us, so that we could see our shadows in front of us.  I noticed that my hand was raised while nobody else in my row or behind me had their hands raised.

However that was not the biggest surprise.  I was shocked when I noticed that all of us had horns on the top of our heads.  Not one soul in the meeting failed to have two horns positioned on the crown of their heads.  But when I looked at my neighbor straight on, there was no set of horns.  The horns could only be detected by the shadows when the light was behind us.

Those of us who understood that we would have consequences for our actions during our lifetimes were summarily whisked out of the room and were taken to a small room with no windows and only one door.  It reminded me of an interrogation room.  After a moment, a man with a long gray beard entered the room and told us that he was always surprised that only a handful out of each class knew that they would be punished in the afterlife.

Some hoped that they would not be punished and would not admit that it was even a possibility.  Some rationalized that they had not done anything wrong.  Others felt that they had been punished enough during their lives.  Others believed Jesus erased all consequences.  Others thought that there was nothing after death.  Others pretended not to care.

In the last part of my dream before I was transported back to my bed, I was informed that there were other tests ahead.  The small handful of us had passed only the first of many tests.  I assumed there were also consequences ahead for other tests, depending on how we did.

I remembered what Jesus said, “… narrow is the way, which leadeth into life, and few there be that find it.”  Matthew 7:14.  Jesus was saying that only a few of us will reach God’s kingdom.  In all my years of attending church, I have never heard a minister explain this statement.  And even though it will be difficult to reach Heaven even if you become one with God, it will be impossible if you do not unify with Him.

 

 

Holy Crap

Holy Crap!

I remember back during the Vietnam War when American soldiers said, “Kill a Gook for God.”  But typically, God is not on anybody’s side during war.  So, God is also not on the side of terrorists when they behead their enemies.  And God was not on the side of Crusaders who tortured their enemies or witch hunters in Salem.

Perhaps these represent extreme fundamentalist activities, but moderate religious adherents also are sinners.  We are all different kinds of sinners.  But when we justify our sins as acting under God’s direction, we are going down the wrong path.  When we rationalize our acts as God’s servants, we are headed through the wrong gate.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

I see many church-going citizens on Sunday mornings with a pious look on their faces.  But I see these same citizens later that evening at bars, hitting on women and looking for love in all the wrong places.  It seems that many believers think that the road to God is a wide road that accepts all sinners, no matter how many times they have sinned.  Jesus clearly stated that it is a very narrow path with only a few finding it.

If Jesus died for our sins, why do we have to worry about our sins at all?  All our past and future sins were or will be erased since Jesus paid our sin debt in full, right?  Well, that answer is not as clear as you might think.  Believing in Jesus as your savior may get you to first base, but it doesn’t get you down the narrow baseline from second and third base and finally to God’s Home.

Free will without consequences would be quite absurd.  We, as sinners, prefer to believe that consequences are for the other sinners.  That is not even logical.  The Bible is very clear about a judgment day, which will examine our deeds and misdeeds during our sinful lives.  “The dead were judged according to what they had done…”  Revelation 20:12.

So, let’s cut through the Holy Crap and get down to the bottom line, which is getting to Home plate.  Since we all will be judged, it is important to minimize your sinning.  You should not justify or rationalize your sins.  You should not expect God to forget your sins.  But you should avoid sinning at all costs.  Because sinning will cost you more than you can imagine.

How do we find the narrow path that Jesus indicated only a few would find?  First, drop the holy crap!  We need to accept our sinful nature and our past failures and allow God into our hearts.  It is only when we become one with God that we can successfully turn ourselves around.  Unification with God leads to the narrow path.  It will be a very difficult path and journey, but you have no chance without the Heavenly pathfinder.