Heaven or Hell

This morning I got an email story from my uncle. Maybe you’ve read it before, I have.  Today,though, I read it through different lenses. The punch line is about voting; but I think it might be more accurate about our spiritual life than we would like to admit. It’ll preach. Here’s the story:

While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator (that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
“Welcome to heaven,” says St.. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in,” says the Senator.
“Well, I’d like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”
“Really?, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the Senator.
“I’m sorry, but we have our rules.” And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, “Now it’s time to visit heaven…
So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
“Well, then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”
The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.”
So, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell…
Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.
“I don’t understand,” stammers the Senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”
The devil smiles at him and says, “Yesterday we were campaigning,
Today, you voted..”
Now I am aware that Jesus can save even corrupt senators. I also don’t believe we choose heaven or hell when we get to the pearly gates. We choose before we ever get there during our lifetimes here.  But honestly, the trick of making hellish, evil things look appealing and attractive so we choose them over the good and best things of God does sound like the devil’s mode of operation. Think about it. Why else would anyone try drugs or alcohol the first time? Because at the party or hanging out with friends, it looks harmless enough and everyone is having a good time. The next day, they may all feel like hell, and they may be looking for the next party pretty quick because parties are better than withdrawal. This may lead to a life of an addict: job loss, relationships destroyed, poverty, criminal activity and jail time, thousands of dollars and precious life minutes wasted. But nobody’s thinking about that during the party. Or why would someone smoke a cigarette for the first time? Our conscious thought at the time is not, “for the next few minutes, instead of  breathing in good, fresh air that my body needs, I’m going to suck in black, poisonous smoke with some addictive chemicals in it and hope I don’t spend the rest of my life forking out considerable sums of money to feed addiction and possibly die a painful death because my lungs are so damaged I’m actually suffocating.” And no, I’m not saying everyone who drinks or smokes is going to hell. My point is that the devil wants to destroy us and he does it by tricking us to think bad, destructive things are not that bad, in fact they may possibly be fun and exciting…for a minute. So we try it, everyone else is. It’s not usually one choice that leads us on a downward spiral towards hell. It’s a series of choices–often in the name of having fun, feeling good, or fitting in, all for a brief moment—that cause us to slide down that slippery slope.
Thankfully, God is familiar with the devil’s tricks and our gullibility. God has provided for our salvation. It begins, and really it ends, too, with one choice: accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Choosing Jesus means, although we may still fall for some of the devil’s tricks, we get forgiven and get heaven. But more than that, we get the strength and wisdom to see the tricks for what they are, if we want to see. The more we walk with the Lord and spend  time with Him, the less we are drawn to the glittering mask.
Have you made the One choice?
What are some other things that may look attractive on the surface, but ultimately lead to destruction?


This entry was posted in A Prodigal's Mom's Perspective, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Heaven or Hell

  1. I had not read this but immediately thought of the application you made. The enemy makes things look so attractive but then slams the door behind us after we are hooked. Good story with a good point (although I am not a political person at all). 🙂 Thanks for visiting my site Tammy

  2. tlhumphries says:

    Thanks for visiting mine, as well, Pastor! I appreciate your comments.

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