God told many of us to go to a place of everlasting fire because we did not believe in his son. We got close to hell and discovered that the fire was only an appearance. We were the people that overcame the threat of hell and lived our lives in accordance with our own principles instead of expecting a reward.
Now I turn to those in the other line. St. Peter is standing in front of heaven calling out names from the "Book of Life." It looks like (after hundreds of years) that he is just about finished. Let's listen in:
St. Peter: I call the name John Doe.
John: That's me!
St. Peter: So what have you got to say about your life?
John: I believe in Jesus.
St. Peter: You do?
John: Yes, sir! I am saved! May I go in now?
St. Peter: Just a minute. You are going to get an eternity in there. What's the hurry?
St. Peter: What caused you to believe in Jesus?
John: I was in prison.
St. Peter: What for?
St. Peter: Were you guilty?
St. Peter: You know I can call God and ask him.
John: Well, yes, I was.
St. Peter: So what are you anxious about?
John: Uhh, I just saw one of my victims in there.
St. Peter: OK, John. I have nowhere else to send you. God says you are allowed in, so go on.
John Doe walks through the pearly gates and makes a sharp right turn.
St. Peter: I call the name Sally Doe
Sally: Here I am!
St. Peter: How was your life?
Sally: I did it all for Christ!
St. Peter: How did you do that?
Sally: I called people out for being sinners?
St. Peter: Who were these sinners?
Sally: Liberals, homosexuals, and other Bible-hating heathens who are burning in hell now.
St. Peter: How do you know this?
Sally: It says God hates them in the Bible.
St. Peter (pulls out a Bible): Show me where in here.
St. Peter: Was it the New Testament or the Old?
Sally: What do you mean?
St. Peter: Have you ever read the Bible?
Sally: Well, no...Is God mad at me?
St. Peter: I don't know. But you can go through the gates to heaven now.
Sally wanders through the pearly gates.
St. Peter: I call the name Richard Rich.
Richard: That's me.
St. Peter: How did life go for you?
Richard: I am blessed.
St. Peter: How so?
Richard: God gave me such a wonderful life.
St. Peter: What made it wonderful?
Richard: He showed me how to make money using Christian principles.
St. Peter: Did you help the poor with any of that money?
Richard: The poor? Who cares about them?
St. Peter: Well, Jesus did. Surely you have read the "Sermon on the Mount."
Richard: Yeah. I read that. But the Bible says that people should not be lazy, too.
St. Peter: But not all poor people are lazy.
Richard: St. Peter, I've had enough of this socialist talk. May I go now?
St. Peter: Sure. But you know you can't take it with you.
Richard laughs and goes through the pearly gates.
God returns from sending people to hell. St. Peter drops the "Book of Life" and looks away from God.
God: Peter, you've got one more name on that list.
St. Peter: Yes. Of course you know it is mine.
God: So why don't you read it and enjoy your reward?
St. Peter: God, I can't believe some of the people who just went to heaven.
God: They all believe in my son and that is what matters.
St. Peter: You know I like your son and many of the people in heaven were good people, but...
God: But what?
St. Peter: But I want to go talk to the people you sent to hell.
St. Peter: I want to ask them why they rejected heaven. They must have had their reasons.
Suddenly God disappeared and St. Peter was walking toward hell. He had one thought on his mind that he believes those in heaven never considered:
"What is the point of going to heaven if you lose your soul along the way?"