This story is for allegory only and is not meant to be an accurate representation of actual future judgment day events.
The last thing I remembered was watching the large truck as we were approaching the intersection. After that, a ripping of the soul from the body, as a bandage is ripped from a wound, except at its fiercest level. It was then that I realized that this was it, my time on this earth had concluded, the final chapter had been written.
The next thing I knew, we were in a line and approaching a large table filled with books on it. As I came up to the table, an angel, strong and towering, handed me a book. “Take this,” he said, depositing the gilded artifact into my arms. I nearly sank with the shear weight of the object. It wasn’t heavy like we understand mass on earth. Sure the book was large in scale, but weight took on a different form in this new spiritual realm. Instead, what made it heavy was its significance.
“What is it?” I dared to ask.
“These are the entire recorded works of your life, good and bad, to be judged for admittance into the Kingdom,” boomed the angel. “At the gate, this book will be open, and the contents read aloud.”
Oh. I held the book in front of me. I was curious about what might be inside. Maybe I should open up to a page and read what it said. Perhaps I could open up to the part where I helped out at the homeless shelter, once, in 1997. Those were good times.
I inserted my fingers someplace toward the center of the golden pages and started to pull back just a little bit. But then I stopped. I realized that this line of people approaching the throne was thick. Even a casual glance my direction would easily read whatever contents happened to be on the page that I opened up. What made this thought worse was that I recognized some of the people I was in line with. Folks I had gone to church with, folks I knew growing up. What if I happened to open up to that one time I did… ?
As I stood there, it started to become quite obvious to me that there were quite a few moments of my life that were downright shameful. What made it worse is that these were moments that I had labored to keep hidden. You see, I had grown up in a Christian family, lived a Christian life. I worked hard at creating a polished Christian image for the outside world to see. I had built a reputation based upon spin and positioning. It wasn’t easy to maintain this image.
But now, in the presence of glory, I began to remember all of hidden thoughts of hate, of disgust, of impatience with people. How many times had I gossiped behind somebody’s back, as a form of revenge? How many times had I lusted with my heart and my eyes? What about the secret sins, committed in the darkest moments of my life? It seemed as though these were far more in number than any “good works” I performed. And what of the good works? Did I not do them for my own glory? Did I not do good works for the sake of tooting my own horn and shining the spotlight on my own life?
I pulled my fingers back out of the book. I became sick to my stomach. My goodness, the contents of this book point to only one conclusion about who I was.
Up ahead, were massive gates, sparkling with radiant beauty. I might have noticed them more, if I hadn’t been so preoccupied with my current situation. We were approaching what looked to be like a man behind a lectern. I assumed him to be St. Peter. A thin, knobby man approached the lectern. “Hand me your book,” St. Peter said. The thin, knobby man hoisted his book onto the wooden surface. It landed and made a heavy sounding “thump!” St. Peter opened to the first page and started reading.
Not even getting halfway through the second page, Peter looked grimly at the man and said, “I’m sorry, but this is unacceptable, and cannot be allowed into the Kingdom. Be off.” With that, I watched as the book was suddenly chained to the man, his works bound to him for eternity and with that, he was gone.
Soon it was my turn. “Yes, my book, I know, you want it, here you go,” I humbly said. But as I lifted the book up, it oddly appeared as though it was much lighter than when I had first started carrying it. A bit bizarre, I noted. Then Peter started to open the pages and read.
I sat with my head bowed, but to my surprise, the reading was quick, and was filled with good works. I opened my eyes quizzically and peered onto the pages of my book. It was filled with a script that I could not recognize. But I did recognize that many sections were crossed out with red ink. It appeared as if Peter was skipping over the crossed out sections and reading on. He flipped from page to page, continuing to read, and continuing to skip over the red ink. “Excuse me, sir,” I interrupted, “Why aren’t you reading these parts right here?” I asked, pointing to the crossed out sections. “Because you gave your life to Christ, “ Peter replied, “the book has been in His possession ever since. These are just the sections He chose to edit out.”
St. Peter, knowing the long line behind me, quickly finished, and handed me my book back. “Well done, sir, take your book with you and enter the Kingdom.” My hands trembled as I gingerly took back the book, with tears in my eyes, and gratitude in my heart. I put my hand on the handle of the massive gate and felt a beautiful warmth fill my body. I turned and looked back at Peter. “I’m curious,” I called back to him, “the red ink that He used…?”
Peter turned and smiled back. “His Blood.”