It was the end of all time. Peyton looked around at his surroundings. A pure white wall with a single door lay ahead. A golden podium stood beside the doorway. The walls stretched to the left and right beyond his sight. The room was so large that the ends could not be seen. And what was all around Peyton? People. Billions of them. As far as he could see, there were people. And they all wore gray clothing.
Everything was confusing to him. What were all these people doing here? What was he doing here? The last thing he remembered was driving down the road, angry after an argument with his wife. Then there was a bright light, a screech, sudden pain, then nothing. Now he stood here, among what seemed to be the entire human population throughout all of time.
As he stared into the faces of those nearby, Peyton watched the emotions. Many looked confused like himself. Others had smiles on their faces and a brightness in their eyes. Others were full of fear, as if they understood what was happening and did not want to be there.
Then he spotted one person he recognized. It was Felicity, the woman that was his wife while he was on earth. She had a huge smile on her face. But when she spotted him, a great sorrow entered her eyes, and a tear rolled down her face. Why did she have that reaction? He was about to try to make his way to her when a loud trumpet sounded. Everyone turned to stare at the door as it opened. Two bright beings which Peyton guessed were angels entered the room, carrying a large book. They placed it on the podium. Then He entered.
I won’t even try to describe Him, for it would be impossible. But the brightest light emanated from Him, so that no matter how far away someone may be in the room, they could see Him. Peyton stared in astonishment. For though he hadn’t believed He existed until now, he knew exactly who He was. It was God: Jesus, the Creator, the Almighty, the One who had died for him. Simultaneously, everyone in the room dropped to their knees and bowed before Him. Not one person was standing. Even the vilest of men to exist bowed before Him. Ahab, Judas, Nero, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Hitler: they all had their faces to the ground in fear.
Memories began to run through Peyton’s mind. Memories of his coworker, Theodore, asking him again and again to go to church. Every week Theodore would ask, and every week Peyton would decline, saying he had no use for religion. Theodore would argue and warn of his impending doom if he failed to turn to Jesus. But he was always too busy to listen.
He thought of Felicity. She had become a Christian shortly after they were married. For the next five years, she prayed for him, wept for him, and tried to tell him about Jesus. But Peyton would have nothing to do with it. He remembered their last argument about it.
“I’m not going to that church of yours. What you believe is all in your head,” he had said. “Its made-up fantasies created by fools.”
“No, it’s not,” Felicity had replied. “It is the truth. Jesus did die for your sins. He has offered you eternal life. And you will realize it sooner or later. Though I pray you do before it’s too late.”
“Too late? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, when the end of time comes, the Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But at that point, you will no longer have a chance to repent; it will be too late.”
“Whatever, I’m not going to bow to a fictitious being. There’s nothing after death. Now stop pestering me about this! I’m going for a ride.
Peyton then stormed out of the house, hopped into his vehicle, and rode away. But ten minutes later, he was still so mad, he didn’t see the red light or the semi that smashed into his vehicle a moment later.
Now the words stuck in his mind. Too late. Was this what Felicity meant? Was it now too late? The trumpets sounded again, then one of the angels spoke.
“Behold! Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!”
Simultaneously, everyone in the room, including Peyton, repeated the angel’s words.
“Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!”
The angel walked over to the podium and opened the book.
“Whoever is found in the Book of Life can enter into Heaven!” he announced, then read off the first name.
A man rose up and walked over to the Jesus. As he did, his gray clothes grew brighter and brighter until they were as white as snow. Jesus smiled, then embraced him, whispering into his ear. Adam smiled from ear to ear. Then the door opened, and he walked through. Peyton caught glimpse of a beautiful city before the door shut. Oh, how he wanted to go through that door!
A woman got up off her knees. Just like the man, her clothes changed to a pure white. Jesus embraced her, whispering once again. Then, she too, walked through the door.
One by one, names were read, and people rose. Peyton watched and waited, hoping his name would be mentioned. But a deep dread grew up within him. A fear crept into his heart. Felicity’s words echoed through his mind again. Was it too late for him? Then people he recognized began to be named. His coworker, Theodore, was called along with a couple others that Peyton did not expect. Yet some who he was sure would be called through were never mentioned.
Peyton watched as she rose from her spot. His heart tore as he watched her go through the door. How much he wanted to join her! But his name was never called. Finally, the angel called out the last name then shut the book. He looked around; so many were still kneeling. What was going to happen to them? Then God spoke.
“Depart from me, for I never knew you.”
The despairing words echoed again and again in Peyton’s mind. Fear and horror filled him as angels descended upon them. He screamed as two angels grabbed his arms and dragged him to a pit, then threw him in.
Down and down, he fell. It was pitch black; nothing could be seen. But the cries and screams of millions could be heard. Then far below, a light could be seen. Slowly, it grew larger and larger until Peyton could see those around him. He stared at his clothes. They were black; blacker than the darkness that he had just been in.
The light that could be seen was not comforting, like the light from the glorious city above. This was a dark light, if there could be such a thing. There was an orange tint to it. Then he could see what it was: fire!
Screaming, Peyton plunged into the flames. A searing pain ripped through his entire body. He expected to be turned to ash in a moment and pain to stop. But it continued, growing with each passing second. The falling never stopped either. He just kept falling and falling. Through the flames, he looked at his skin. It was now black and covered in blisters. But it did not burn away. He screamed in horror as he realized the reality of it all. He was stuck here, forever, in torment. All because he had refused to let Christ pay for his sins. All he could remember were those final words he heard: Depart from me, for I never knew you. Endless tears wouldn’t quench the fire. Cries would never be answered. A billion years would only be the very beginning of his torture. And all around, millions upon millions had the same fate. The flames licked at their bodies, but never consumed them. The pain never dulled, but grew with each passing moment. No comforting memories existed; only those of when they rejected the truth.
Why? Why were so many burning in eternal torment, while others enjoyed the blessings of heaven above? One simple word: Salvation. Jesus Christ died for everyone. From the holiest priest to the most wicked tyrant; Jesus died for them all. Scourged and beaten beyond recognition, Jesus was impaled to a cross of wood by those who hated Him. While He hung there and died, He took the sins of the world upon His shoulders. When He conquered death three days later and rose from the grave, it gave freedom to the world! All one must do is admit of their sins and repent, and ask Christ to forgive them and come into their heart. Those that turn to Christ will enjoy an eternity more wonderful than our wildest imaginations. Those who don’t will burn for eternity with a pain that cannot be described. Why play with your eternity? Why risk being forsaken forever? You have read this story; you have been told the truth. You have no excuse. Don’t be like Peyton. The gift of Salvation is free, all you must do is claim it.