Today you're in for a special treat! I personally have invented an imaginary virtual tour of hell itself! There you will see people you love and admire. You'll see what your loved ones go through each day; a hellish routine if you will. My special lenses are fitted to the eyes and the camera is mounted to a head-like automaton traveling through the chasm into the vilest of climates and will move through the most hated people from history! Put on your glasses, sit back in your recliner and ready yourself for a real treat! We will start on the death bed of someone who you loved and respected.
To protect the identity of your loved one, his (or her real name) will not be used. Anonymity is important to allow real events to be as actually experienced. Your loved one will make no effort to over dramatize or minimize the death experience nor the trip to the eternal home! Now relax and pay attention.
Scene 1 - No Act (On the Deathbed):
Pride (not his real name) has cancer. It came on for awhile and got more painful as time went on. Today is the day for which Pride was born. Yes, the minute Pride was born his destiny was death. Throughout life Pride was dying, even as he grew from a toddler, to a middle-school student, on to college and finally, throughout his adult working years. Death was imminent at his birth, when he had a bicycle crash, his first car wreck, the first date, his marriage, his first child and even doing what he loved to do most! Death was with him as he listened to bands play, watched parades, fished, golfed and even as he begot children! Death spied on Pride all his life... waiting... just waiting. Death's chance was coming!
Death considered for quite a while what means of dying to use on Pride. Normally the worst death is readied for the worst sinner, or the most obedient to Satan if you wish; but Pride was sort of in the middle of the road. He believed in God, but never really submitted. You see, Pride thought it was weak to admit dependency, and he had a mild secret relationship with God. The deal was that if God allowed Pride to pleasure, have wealth, his health and power; then someday Pride would follow Jesus. Pride always intended to submit someday, but someday was never convenient! There was always some other thing that appeared more fun or interesting.
In this case Death chose cancer - not just a mild case, but the worst lymphoma the devils could conjure. This cancer not only stole Prides health, but made him nauseous and Pride itched constantly. He thought himself to be in a living hell! Not so!
Every day in the beginning the Holy Spirit beckoned Pride. That's what God's Spirit is primarily to do:
John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me (Jesus) draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."While Jesus was here, he was the one who drew men to God. In his absence in heaven, the Holy Spirit was left behind to draw men. Being the Comforter, part of his comfort is providing hope. He convinces us, if we listen, that we shall have eternal life, if we choose, through Christ.
Pride got really good at pushing the Holy Spirit away! He told himself "Someday, but not now!" Pride got good at isolating God. He could sit in church and not even consider God! "Perhaps", he thought, "I'll get some credits for just being here!" Besides that, his family wanted him to be a Christian and he certainly didn't want to disappoint them! He could act the part as good as anybody else and he did just that!
Now, here lies Pride on his death bed and Death stands by patiently waiting. There is no hurry! Death has waited more than fifty years. What's a few more minutes?
"Oh, no!" thought Death. "Here comes that do-gooder preacher with the fat man." "I'll just wait while they try once more."
"Will you go to heaven if you die right now?" asked the preacher as the fat man wiped sweat from his brow.
"I don't know preacher. I expect to be here tomorrow." he started to say, but he decided to lie his way out again! "Pray for me if you will. I'll appreciate it." he feigned, but as the preacher prayed he knew "Pride's heart is too hard. He'll never submit!" And submission he faked.
Just as the preacher and the impatient fat man were leaving, Death had had enough. He conjured a demon to come in and weaken the heart. He was getting a little impatient with Pride so Death decided to speed up the process. The heart died first, but Pride's brain still lived for a short spell. Pride panicked! "I'm dead!" he thought and there's no turning back." Pride's body leaped in agony as he felt Death hover over him and smother. He felt an elephantine pressure on his chest and a hot knife pierce his heart. A surge of boiling blood sped to his brain and then Death smiled. It was over! Death was the winner. Pride now belonged to him!
Scene 2 - No Act (At the Grave):
"I'm in a coffin!" thought Pride. "It's cold! Somethings missing!" Pride's soul had fled. His body was alone. He was only vaguely aware of his once stately body. Now it was cold and lifeless, but from a vantage point above the grave his soul could "see" his lifeless body!
I must admit, it took much thinking to figure out how to view the soul leaving the body. Within the virtual imaging software, I installed an ultra-sensitive aura meter. It worked by a disturbance of the wavelengths of light. The sensors, using an algorithm complied by me, took the soul-shaped disturbances and created a "picture" of the soul. It wasn't a true picture, but it did surprise me how much it resembled ghost pictures I had seen. At any rate, the image appeared in my virtual imaging glasses (VIG's) and I could actually see the soul rising from the body!
I suppose that Death played along with me! I wasn't ready to catch this on camera and I believe Death stalled the separation until the grave so that the public could see the consequences of Pride!
Luke 16:22 "And it came to pass, that the beggar (Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."The pyrotechnics were remarkable! Just as the soul left the body there was an intense heat. A bluish flame immediately enveloped Pride just as his soul emerged from his body. It hovered wistfully for just a moment, for any time at all is a "moment" in eternity! Pride, just as the rich man, was cognizant of everything. His body was dead and lifeless, but his soul suddenly "knew". All Pride's life flashed into his mind's eye for he still had a spiritual mind. He saw every chance now blown, where he successfully rejected the Holy Spirit. He wasn't aware yet that for eternity, this vision would be repeated and repeated time after time for eons and eons!
Pride now had a new view of himself. Looking at himself from above, he hated what he once loved. He remembered how he'd comb his wavy hair and dress fit to kill and how he'd flex his muscles. He once lived for those things! Now he despised his own body. It looked so pale and weak as he hovered above it, hating his own self... the Self that he worshiped just a few days ago! Pride once lived in this body; now Pride had nothing! He remembered:
Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Yes, "dust to dust and ashes to ashes" as they say! Pride, as he looked down, could see Death grinning in expectation. "In only a short time your 'self' will become dust again! Your body will fertilize the fields if the rodents don't get there first! It's a shame! What once you preened and worshiped will shortly become mere dung in a buzzard's feces! However, you still have your soul!"
"That's true!" thought Pride. "I've still got my soul!" Pride's soul, unknown to him, is a mere cup. It has form, but it is the container for one of two things: The Holy Spirit (for Christians) or it's filled with evil (for those who belong to the devil). The "Prince of the Air", Satan resides in the soul of the unbeliever. The soul lives on until the second death. We don't know much about the "waiting place" Hades, where the soul resides until the judgment day, but it, according to the rich man, is just a little taste of hell!
Luke 16:24 "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."Pride thought "I'm in the Devil's bosom! Me, Pride, is getting initiated. I'm in hell, but not the eternal hell yet! Is there another chance!" I'm afraid not Pride. Purgatory is a myth! You had your chances.
We'll have to close the curtains so to speak for a time. Tomorrow we will actually take our cameras into hell. We'll see what everyday "life" is about and what "friends" do for damned amigos. For now, though, we'll let Pride consider his life for a spell. We'll let him think about his children and how he misled them; how he failed to set an example and punish and teach. If only he could go back and warn people! The rich man preceded him with those thoughts:
Luke 16:27 "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."But that was not meant to be!