Pristine Grace
[Home] [Featured] [Authors] [Search] [New] [SermonAudio] [Facebook]

A Shut-door Methodist Sage Enters the Lord's Presence
by Bob Higby

Introductory Note: This story is parabolic in character. It expresses truth that represents the final reality, according to the Christian scriptures. Bible references are selective and by no means exhaustive.

     Jim was absolutely drained! He had been in meetings all afternoon and evening with the conference president, explaining why the number of baptisms on his quarterly statistical report had been lower than expected. He sighed in frustration at the apparent lack of appreciation for his good record of the past 16 years! After all, he was one of the most successful pastors in the history of the conference. Yet one low quarter was causing the leadership to question his methodology and perseverance! How unfair and judgmental this seemed.

     Jim had done everything right, externally speaking. He was one of the most known and respected sages in the church organization. His wife was a loyal SDM and excellent mother. She had labored with him faithfully to saturate the children's minds with the Bible AND Testimonies of the Latter Day Prophet. All three of them had remained faithful and loyal to the church, even after leaving home and starting families of their own.

     Well, it was Sabbath now and his sermon was poorly prepared due to the long meeting. Jim soon fell asleep from exhaustion. He was confident that everything would be fine. Certainly he would get through this momentary challenge to his calling and fruitfulness. Then a very strange and overwhelming pain in his chest awoke him! However, before seeing the familiar and comforting presence of the room he was accustomed to, a scene of unimaginable glory dawned upon his senses!

     Jim stood at the door of eternity! He was accompanied with a saint from the past assuring him that everything he was about to see and hear was the eternal truth and Word of the living God! The saint also assured him that he had passed away on earth and entered the actual presence of the Lord.

     "Impossible!" Jim shrugged as he ridiculed the testimony of the saint. "Don't you know the testimony of scripture that the dead know not anything? (Eccl. 9:5) This has to be a dream and you are certainly a messenger of Satan! I stand on the word of God alone."

     The saint replied politely with a smile: "I am not here to debate interpretations of what you think the scriptures taught on earth. This is the Lord's presence, although you have not yet met him face to face. If anything experienced here conflicts with what you have believed or taught, the Lord judges any past belief as a false interpretation of scripture and your past teaching as a lie and a deception."

     Jim, all downcast and angry because of what the saint had told him, was then ushered through the door of paradise. He soon witnessed a feast in progress that would never characterize the purity of what he believed was heaven! The guests were joyfully consuming fatty meat and fermented wine, as all tears had been removed from their faces in the day of glorification (Isa. 25:6-8). The saint mentioned that all of this was taking place on God's holy Sabbath (Heb. 4:9-11)! They praised the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the giver of the feast, in all their conversation. The issue that bothered Jim the most was this: NONE of the guests expressed gratitude for making their own right choices in order to enter the kingdom! They all gave glory to God the Father for their election, who had appointed them to salvation through faith in Christ's blood before history had begun (Eph. 1:3-12, Rom. 8:28-9:26, 1 Pet. 1:2-12).

     Jim was considered an extremely wise philosopher and respected sage on earth. The whole association of clergy revered him as an exceptional man of God. In his mind, this strange saint had no right whatsoever to give him--the most holy of men--a carnival freak show and disgraceful picture of heaven! He was very offended at such nonsense and expressed the same disgust he had always shouted at those who taught the 'monstrous doctrine' of predestination. "Let me teach you a thing or two," Jim preached at the top of his voice. "Firstly, the flesh pots of Egypt and wine of Babylon have no place in God's holy presence. Especially on the Sabbath! Secondly, each person is absolutely the master of his or her own fate. Any idiot knows that! What kind of stupid God would get pleasure in determining who is saved? He respects our choices. That only is why I choose to worship him. I won't live in heaven unless I might have also chosen to go to hell!"

     The saint, smiling to conceal his laughter, did not say much in response. He only reminded Jim that the guests had eternal gratitude to Christ alone as the author of their salvation and perfector of their faith (Rom. 8:28-30, Eph. 1:4-14, John 10:27-29, Phil. 1:6, Heb. 12:2). They were his possession, purchased with the blood of atonement. The saint also replied that alcoholism is impossible for perfected saints; that it is most wise to be grateful for whatever food the Lord provides--like the few faithful who didn't complain about the manna in the desert.

     Next Jim started to observe WHO was celebrating the feast among those he knew had passed away. He noticed two individuals in particular that really upset him. One was a former pastor of the very congregation he was now shepherd of! The man had been defrocked from the shut-door ministry for teaching views on Christ and salvation that were contrary to 'fundamental beliefs.' He had later resigned membership in the denomination. After his untimely death from a massive stroke, he was rumored among all the 'faithful' to be a lost man. They believed God had cursed his ruined soul and killed him early. The other person was a well-known teenage youth from a nearby Baptist church. After his conversion to Christ, he had been an enthusiastic young evangelist and proclaimed the gospel all over town. However, two wicked girls plotted his downfall and had apparently succeeded. After the suffering and death of his mother from cancer, the boy had a period of discouragement. The girls asked to go out with him one night, got him drunk, and seduced him. All three of them were killed in a van that same evening. One girl was driving drunk. The other was having relations with the boy in the back of the van at the time of the accident. The local news made much of the autopsy results that the boy's semen had been detected in BOTH girls. The media used the occasion to ridicule Christians as hypocrites and many wise sages, including Jim, had preached that the boy was condemned.

     "What kind of horrible nonsense is this," Jim retorted. "Nothing that defiles shall enter heaven. These men clearly died without confessing their sins. God will surely deny them eternal life by his own word and promise!"

     The saint smiled again and replied, "God took both of these men home in order to make fools of those who were wise in their own eyes (1 Cor. 1:18-25). Have you noticed the insignia on Pastor Bill's forehead?" Jim noticed that it read GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. "And as for Johnnie, well, have you not read the scriptures (1 John 2:1,2)? Like Peter who cursed our Lord three times, he loved Jesus with all his heart--but suffered a weak moment in his faith."

     "STUPID!, STUPID!, STUPID!," Jim shouted. "Bill was nothing but a wretched coal miner after he left the truth. He was even seen in public smoking cigars." Jim was white hot with anger at the notion that God would save and call GREAT a teacher who should be called LEAST; after all, Bill had once kept the Sabbath and later turned others against it. Also, Jim was absolutely confident that a just and holy God would never admit someone into heaven who died while whoring in a bed of adultery.

     Lastly, Jim noticed a strange scene not far away on the other side of an invisible chasm (Luke 16:26). Persons with a strange yellow dot on their foreheads (Rev. 13:16) were expressing extreme anguish at the prospect of having to endure a shameful, contemptuous, and eternal existence (Dan. 12:2). All of this was happening in a place where the Lord was present continuously (Rev. 14:10)! They cried for a mountain to fall on them and annihilate their very persons (Rev. 6:16,17)! A few individuals having very large dots were pressing their hands hard against their ears. One of these, easy to single out due to notoriety, was a woman who banged her forehead relentlessly on the ground. Also, the two girls who had seduced Johnnie were there--screaming obscenities at the top of their lungs. They cursed God and demanded that John be sent over to suffer with them, since they believed they had succeeded in their mission to destroy him! The guests at the feast ignored all of this as they currently had the sound and vision of hell turned off.

     In his smirking smarts Jim knew that this couldn't be the truth. He felt better now very assured that all he was seeing was a crazy joke his mind was playing on him. Perhaps he was near death and his brain was deprived of oxygen. Whatever caused him to witness this bizarre and awful place, he now felt peace in his soul. One fact that always comforted him was this: a God of love would never send created beings to eternal punishment. The clergy association had always praised his messages on this subject! If anyone missed heaven due to the wrong choices, at least there was absolute confidence and security in the truth of final extinction.

     Jim, now laughing within himself, asked the saint to explain the meaning of the yellow dots and covered ears. The saint would not reply. He only stated that it was time to meet the Lord of Glory in person. He asked Jim if he wanted to wear a garment to honor the Christ whose presence he was about to enter. Jim confidently replied: "NO! I cannot worship a God who predestines souls to heaven or hell, disrespects the wills of creatures, ignores the Sabbath commandment in salvation criteria, serves meat and alcohol at his table, admits those who died while committing grievous sin, and makes the wicked suffer eternally in his presence." Jim was sure that God would reward him on judgment day for his bold stance in favor of truth.

     Suddenly, Jim's confidence and serenity turned to horror and dismay! He realized that the place where he dwelt was not an illusion! His life on earth really had ended; he was in God's awful and glorious presence! The scene had changed suddenly. A door was in front of him with light and glory shining within as bright as the sun! The appearance of his accompanying saint had changed also; his form was immersed in brilliance and a gold crown of justification (2 Tim. 4:8) appeared on his head. "It is time for me to introduce myself." The words from the saint sounded musical and strange. "I am the greatest of teachers from among men, God's chosen apostle of eternal Grace in Jesus Christ. You have rejected my testimony from God and accepted in its place the testimony of a false prophet. She was the woman you saw hitting her head upon the ground. Her earthly vision of heaven and salvation was the same as yours. She will desire for eternity to go back and experience the false comfort and joy of that deluded vision once again, but will not be able."

     Jim, his soul filled with fear and anguish, felt his feet lift from the ground. Tears of disappointment and hopeless frustration began to flow out of his eyes. He and Paul immediately moved in the door to face the Lord Jesus Christ. As soon as Jim experienced the angry and piercing gaze of the eternal God, he knew the condition of his soul was hopeless. The Lord said to him, "I am the judge of all mankind (John 5:22,23). How dare you enter my presence without a garment honoring me? (Mt. 22:12)! You have no real interest in a savior. Your life was devoted to teaching the false gospel of auto salvation (Gal. 1:6-9), using the sacred blood of my atonement to attempt a vindication of your lies. You taught that I might have sinned in my incarnation, even though I am eternal God! You taught that final salvation is by character development instead of by grace through faith (Rom. 3:28, 4:16, Gal. 2:21). You denied the perfection and completion of my atonement for the elect (John 10:15, Heb. 10:14). I never prayed for nor desired your salvation (John 17:9), since you were not of my sheep (John 5:37-40, 10:25,26). For my glory, I created and appointed you for the day of destruction (Prov. 16:4, Jude 4), as an instrument of false teaching, and hardened your heart against me (Rom. 9:18). I appointed my word to be confused in your thinking, in order to keep those whom you taught in darkness. This was done to insure that they would not turn to me and believe (Mark 4:10-12). My hatred of you is everlasting (Ps. 5:5, 7:11, 11:5). Like Judas, I chose you to be a devil and accomplish the purposes of a reprobate man (John 6:70, 71). As with him, you would be far better off to have never been born!"

     "I came into the world to divide families (Mt. 10:34-37). After experiencing the sorrow of your own death and funeral, one of your daughters will find friendship with Bill's wife still on earth. She will turn to me and leave the shut-door Methodist whorehouse (Rev. 17,18). Her entire family will convert to the true gospel. The event will be the most sorrowful in your wife's earthly existence. She will bear this temporal sorrow unceasingly, until the day she passes away and joins you in eternal sorrow. In the future you will behold your daughter and her family feasting at my table."

     Jesus then began laughing at Jim's stupidity and resultant misfortune (Prov. 1:26,27). He raised his iron rod (Rev. 19:15) and a large mirror was revealed on its end. Jim saw his pathetic face in the mirror with a large yellow dot on his forehead, the same size of dot appearing on those who were covering their ears (Ezek. 34:2-10, James 3:1). The Lord then spoke his final and awful words. "The yellow dot of cowardice and unbelief (Rev. 21:8) represents my everlasting contempt for you. You will wear it unceasingly. You now know how jealous I am for the truth of my word. Your pathetic orations, so admired and praised by men, were a screech in my ears and ascended unto me as a stink in my nostrils. They will be your shame for eternity." A strange sound began to play in Jim's own ears; the rehearsing of all the sermons in his life that had taught against the gospel of Grace. Like those he had seen across the gulf, Jim tightly covered his ears with his hands, but to no avail. The sound of those wretched messages got louder and louder. Jim started to convulse and weep uncontrollably (Mt. 13:42,50). He was lost and would experience eternity in hell. Angels appeared and carried away his person to be placed next to the false woman teacher who had deceived his soul. Jim blasphemed God and the Lord Jesus Christ with cursing and profanity far worse than any he had ever witnessed on earth (Rev. 16:21); so awful was his fate. Still, after all the proof of his errors, he would not repent of his evil works and state of rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 9:20,21).

FINAL NOTE:

     For a reason, this story does not end as if it were a dream. It's purpose is to impress the reality (not probability or threat) of a conscious, Christless eternity for those who laugh at the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fictional character Jim did not receive a second probation; he was unable to repent. Many who presently follow Jim's false religion will end up in hell, rejecting salvation and eternal life as God has ordained it. Many who have followed it in the past are now already in hell.

     The identity of the false prophet is implied though not named. Though her testimony has led many souls into damnation, the final state of her soul is not known. However, since there is no known evidence that she renounced her false prophecies and believed the true gospel, the parable is written as if she clung to her fables as did Jim.

     The revelation of the true gospel was given in its fullness only to Paul, God's chosen apostle of Grace. As a sign of this unique revelation, he was baptized in suffering more than other men (2 Cor. 12:6-10). Readers are encouraged to prayerfully study HIS testimony (the real Spirit of Prophecy) and the gospel of John until the eternal prize of knowing the true God and his only Son (John 17:3) is obtained.

Note: Inclusion of an author on this website does not constitute an endorsement of said author.
More information about the articles on Pristine Grace.

Create | Edit