Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: Before the Throne
By Beckie Stewart
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“Just a few more minutes, Carol.”
“Well, where is his family?”
“Beats me. I called them hours ago to let them know, but they haven’t shown up.”
“They haven’t been here much lately, have they?”
“Not since he went into a comatose state a week ago.”
John listened to the words of Sue and Carol, but he did not know them. “Who are they talking about,” John wondered. Why couldn’t he hear the voice of his wife and kids? Slowly, John realized they were talking about him. He had no sense of time and struggled to open his eyes to ask about his family.
John felt the anger seething within him. How could they leave me alone that long? He never let anyone or anything stand in his way to fulfill their desires. Money had been tight most of the time, but he always managed to somehow get it for them. Yes, time with them had been sparse before he got sick. What did they expect? He worked hard to finally attain this position and was not going to willingly give that up. Certainly, they knew and understood the importance of what he did.
As his fury built within, he felt an odd sensation throughout his body. His pain disappeared. Was he finally receiving the healing from his cancer? Suddenly, his eyes were opened. He realized he wasn’t in the hospital anymore. The talking women were nowhere in sight. Where was he? He stood in a place void of color and dimension. “John,” a voice called. He turned around and saw no one. “What have you done with my Son?”
“Oh, I know this answer,” John said. “I accepted Him as my Savior.”
“Really?” the voice inquired. “Where is the proof?”
“That is easy,” John began his recitation of deeds over his 55 years of life. “In Jesus’ name, I always used my gift of teaching in every church I attended. In fact, in His name, I started a new church that now has 200 people attending it. This church originated in a small store, and I eventually got a building. I achieved all of this with a youth leader, an adult Sunday School teacher, and a children’s program director. I sacrificed my....”
“Enough,” a response came as loud as thunder.
A man now stood before John. John knew that he should know him well, but he realized he did not know him at all.
“I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness,” the man sadly spoke to John.
“Nothing was done in my name,” the man kindly but firmly stated. A deep rage stirred within John's spirit. “You used lies, slander, deception and dissension to convince your followers to divide my church. You ignored my love and forgiveness toward you in those you wounded. You led astray those who had tasted my grace and tickled their ears with your forms of godliness. You may have used my name, but I was never present.”
The man spread His arms, and John saw the nail pierced hands.
“You are Jesus,” John spoke as he turned to leave. Indeed, he never did know Him.
Based on Matthew 7:15-29; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; and Revelation 9:18-21, New American Standard.
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