It was Judgment Day. I was standing before the Christian God.
He asked me why I had not believed in Him or in His Son.
I said that I used the mind I had and read the Bible twice. I determined that Christian belief made no sense to me.
The Christian belief asked me to believe that the most important thing in life was in believing that the Christian God had a Son who died and came back to life about 2,000 years before I was born. I did not think that any afterlife should depend on whether I accepted this idea.
I also did not accept the concept of sin. I believed that in my life I had developed my own idea of what was right and what was wrong and had done some of both. The costs I have paid for my wrongs were my own and I did not want anyone to save me.
The Christian God said: “I gave you life. You rejected my message of Grace through my Son.”
I said that I was prepared to face the consequences for the life I had lived and for not accepting the story of Christ.
The Christian God then said: You must go to the place of everlasting punishment."
I looked at some distance at the gates of hell.
I told Him I thought there was a fate much worse. It is the fate of those who surrender their integrity for something they do not even believe in.
I told him I decided not to change my beliefs just to gain something, even heaven, or to please someone, even Him.
Then He disappeared.
As I moved toward the gates, I thought about my life.
It had been good. It had its ups and downs. If I could sum it up, I would just say I had been myself.
There was a tap on my shoulder. I looked around and saw three people.
A man told me he lived before the time of Christ.
A woman told me she was a practicing Jew.
I looked closely at the third person, a man who looked familiar from pictures I had once seen. He extended his hand to me and identified himself.
I smiled and shook his hand.
He laughed and said, “And to think, I gave up studying at the seminary for this.”
I asked him, “How many people going to heaven actually read the Bible or understood the Golden Rule?”
By this time, there was a crowd of us near the gates. We commented on how the closer we got to hell, the lower the flames burned.
One person said, “When the Christian preachers spoke of hell, it sounded like an inferno. This fire couldn’t burn a stack of paper.”
I reached out to the fire and touched it. The flame reached my hand but fizzled out.
Many others in the group touched fire and got the same result. We all looked at one another. Suddenly it made sense.
Hell would always exist for people who need an excuse not to reason.