Someday, you will die. (Hopefully, you knew that). Imagine after your death, you’re sitting in a waiting room, waiting to be judged. People come and go. Then, you hear your name.
You walk into the throne room and there’s God.
He says, “Good to see you. Let’s see if your name is in the Book of Life here.” He flips through, page after page, then pauses. “Ah, here it is. Well done. Welcome to Heaven.”
Doors open on your right and the most beautiful creatures walk out, you hear sights and sounds beyond description. As the angels begin to escort you to Heaven, you hear another name.
“Wait a minute, I know him! I want to see what happens.”
You turn around and see your friend, your neighbor, your coworker.
God says, “Alright, let’s see, let’s see.” He flips and flips, then pauses. “I’m sorry, your name is not in this book.”
The door opposite you opens up and you hear the most wretched screams and howls, you see smoke, and you smell the most awful smell imaginable. Two black creatures walk out with hooks on their wings and grab your friend.
As he’s being dragged away, he sees you, and says, “Hold up! Why are you going in that door and I’m going in this one?”
You stutter explaining that you are a Christian, and you went to Mass, and Confession. And believed in the Resurrection.
“You knew about this? And, you didn’t tell me!”
You stumble on your words, “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to impose my beliefs on you. I know you had your own ideas and philosophy. I didn’t want to be politically incorrect or make you uncomfortable.”
The last words you hear from your friend: “You mean you knew, and you didn’t tell me!”
And, you go onto eternal paradise and your friend goes off to Hell.
As Christians, we believe this day will come. It’s not a fairy tale. You, me, our friends, our wives, our children, will face judgment.
This story is a wake up call to all of us that not only are our souls on the line, but those of our family and friends. It’s a reminder of what’s most important and how as men, we are called to be spiritual leaders for our families and friends.
Be the Men.
This story was adapted from a talk given by Stephen Ray called Swimming Upstream. If you can find it online or on CD in the back of church, it’s phenomenal.