The auditorium is packed. People are seated elbow to elbow as some distance as you could see to your proper and left. At least twenty rows of seats are before you, and an unknown number lie in again of you. It’s an outstanding collecting.
You observe every person appears to be wearing a few form of name tag with such emblems as FOX, CNN, NBC, CBS, and Associated Press. The crowd is an aggregate of newshounds, journalists, TV anchorwomen and men, and different correspondents.
They are mumbling in an excited way, often glancing up on the podium on the degree. After a few minutes, a huge man wearing a rumpled tweed healthy walks throughout the platform. He steps up to the microphone, and a sudden hush falls over the throng of journalists.
You have a look at the closest big TV display screen which monitors the rostrum. Now you could see the speaker, and on your amazement, you discover your self-looking at a familiar face. “What? But it’s impossible. Isn’t he… ?”
Your words are reduce short as the man speaks. In a wealthy baritone voice which sounds for all of the world like Winston Churchill, Clive Staples Lewis addresses the target market:
“People frequently consider Christian morality as a sort of bargain in which God says, ‘If you maintain a lot of guidelines I’ll praise you, in case you do not, I’ll do the opposite element.’ I do now not assume this is the best manner of looking at it.
“I would a good deal rather say that every time you’re making a preference you are turning the principal part of you, the part that chooses, into something a touch distinct from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all of your innumerable choices, all your lifestyles long you are slowly turning this imperative element either right into a heavenly creature or right into a hellish creature: either right into a creature that is in concord with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, otherwise into one that is in a country of warfare and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself.
“To be one sort of creature is heaven: this is, it’s far joy and peace and understanding, and strength. To be the opposite method madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us every moment is progressing to at least one country or the opposite.”
Lewis pauses, seems over the ocean of newshounds, then continues as even though he had been lecturing his college students.
“Before the days of Christ, our expertise of truth become instead limited. We had been born seemingly via no desire of our personal. We lived a few years. Then we died. Where we went from right here nobody knew. Death became a veil at the back of which we could not see. It’s viable that near-dying experiences gave some historical human beings a short peak at what transpired during and right now after loss of life. But what followed that fleeting glimpse remained a thriller.
“Then Jesus Christ enters the image. He says he’s the Son of God. He claims he has been around because earlier than the creation of the sector. And he tells us he is an professional on humanity. He is aware of why we are right here; what we must do with our lives; and what occurs to us after loss of life.
“This Jesus speaks with authority. He acts like he is aware of what he is talking about, and he does things no normal human can do: things like strolling on water, giving sight to people born blind, and raising the useless lower back to lifestyles. You can not ignore a Man like that.
“Then we find the most first-rate collection of activities in all of recorded records. Jesus tells us he is the Son of God, and he’ll prove it past all doubt. He says he will die, and he’s going to upward push from the grave on the third day. He does die. And he rises from death on the third day. We have seen the proof.
“When Jesus fulfilled that promise, he proved information, strength, and authority far past that of any mortal. Here we see One greater than all the kings, prophets, and philosophers put together.
“Jesus is our closing authority. He is our supply of truth. There is not any different. Why are we here? Jesus offers us the answer. How should we conduct our lives? See what Jesus says and follow it. That is the high-quality advice each person can give. What about loss of life? Jesus knows what lies in the back of that closed door, and he tells us about it. Listen to him.”
Lewis stops. He bows his head. Is he gathering his mind, or praying? I do not know. But in any other second, he speaks once more.
“Some people have the flawed concept that Christ is a benign grandfather kind who will pat you on the pinnacle and say, ‘There, there, it’s pretty all proper,’ no matter what you do. Those humans will be in for an unpleasant surprise.
“Others suppose that Jesus is come what may our same, and he’s open to bargaining. That too is inaccurate. Jesus is not our identical. He is our superior in every experience of the word. His laws aren’t hints. They are orders. He failed to inform us to make up our own policies as we move alongside. He says to follow his commands. He didn’t tell us his views on life and demise are just one manner of searching for things. He says here is truth. This is the way things are. If you need eternal lifestyles, you may do as I say.
“Many do now not need to listen that message today. It cramps their fashion; it limits their independence. It throws cold water on their pleasure and ego. To those human beings, we must say, it’s time to develop up. You aren’t an independent agent; you are a created being. And Christ is the one who breathed existence into you. So forget pride and ego.
“Fifty years from now, your pleasure and ego may be buried in a box six ft deep together with a skeleton and a bit of dust. By then, if we are nonetheless able to recall our pompous little vanities, we are able to possibly have an awesome chuckle at them.”
Then, to my amazement, C.S. Lewis’ body and clothes start to glow. In a fragment of a 2d, he vanishes into thin air! Many excited whispers run thru the crowd. “What took place?” “Did you see that?” “Where did he cross?”
For an instantaneous the degree is bare. Then a large vibrant sparkling light seems in the back of the podium. In the blink of an eye, the light becomes a figure, a parent in white. His garments glisten like lightning. His pores and skin is white as snow, and his eyes are darkish as coal. Immediately I realize the identification of the Man in white. Standing before us is Jesus Christ.
An excited murmur runs through the auditorium design , however quickly subsides for we see Jesus is ready to speak.
Jesus: “The kingdom of heaven is your one and most effective purpose on this existence. This is your sole reason for being here. The wise amongst you may heed my words. You will make each sacrifice to acquire this praise.
“Here is my command: love one another. Love your neighbor as your self. Forgive people who wrong you, and repay right for evil. Make certain of your salvation. Practice faith, goodness, understanding, the strength of will, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness, and you will acquire a rich welcome into the everlasting country of heaven.
“What can examine together with your soul, your eternal life? Pleasures, riches, or honors inside the international? All of them quick vanish. Your soul is the most effective thing that survives demise. Your each day choices are slowly, bit by bit, turning you into either a heavenly spirit destined for everlasting existence. Or your selections are transforming you into a monster in shape most effective for destruction.”
I couldn’t see her, but from the sound of her voice, a younger woman asks the first query, “When we die, do we go to heaven, Jesus?”
Jesus: “Enter thru the narrow gate. For extensive are the gate and huge the street that ends in destruction, and plenty of entering thru it. But small is the gate and slim the street that leads to existence, and only a few discover it.”
A lady News reporter towards the front of the auditorium design stands up and says: “Today we have any quantity of churches coaching and training a huge type of doctrines. They all claim to be your church. Is one greater genuine than the others?”
Jesus: “My choice has always been that every one who consider in me may be one, without division, and united within the faith, simply as my Father and I are one. I tell you the reality. My church is the church which remains devoted to my gospel. I died bearing the sins of this international. On the 0.33 day I rose from the grave. I am the one and simplest direction to my Father in heaven.
“Those who educate and accept as true with these things are individuals of my church body. Those who deny this doctrine could be denied earlier than my Father on judgment day. I tell you, it might be better for them in the event that they had never heard of my call.”
The subsequent query: “Many nowadays adhere to a ‘social gospel’, one that reflects state-of-the-art attitudes along with identical rights for girls and minorities and social concerns together with: poverty, discrimination, and prejudice.
“What needs to be the church’s function in these subjects?”
“Did you not hear?” replies Jesus. “I threw the money changers out of the temple due to the fact they had been using the residence of God to make a income. The church is not a business organisation for use for making a living. Nor is it a political organisation for use for advancing social causes. It is a body of believers called to worship and glorify God. It is my frame.
“During my lifestyles on the planet, slavery become time-honored during the Roman Empire. Women had practically no rights. And poverty turned into rampant everywhere. Despite these types of flagrant ‘social injustices’, don’t forget this: I did not come into this international to abolish slavery: or to promote same rights for girls; or to remove poverty.
“I died on the cross to present every and every considered one of you an opportunity for everlasting lifestyles. My message is open for all who will obey: black, brown, purple, white, or yellow; male or woman; younger or antique; wealthy or terrible; terrific or small.
“Do now not use my name to sell your personal schedule.
“Women are not similar to guys. Their duties are not the same inside the domestic or in church. As for the bad, did I now not let you know, you would always have the negative with you? Didn’t I urge you to help individuals who want your help? But did not Paul provide you with this rule: ‘If a person will not work, he shall now not eat’?
“I let you know, if all people do now not offer for his relatives, specifically for his on the spot circle of relatives, he has denied the religion and is worse than an unbeliever.
“Many hypocrites and bigots shout: ‘Discrimination and prejudice’. I let you know, look into your own coronary heart. Expel the detest, pride, anger, envy, and lust you locate therein. For you’ll account for simplest one character when you stand before the Lord your God on judgment day. And this is your self. The different man will answer for his own sins.”
A e-news reporters from the front row asks, “I even have heard it stated that we are saved with the aid of faith alone, now not through works. Would you care to touch upon that?”
Jesus: “You do now not apprehend the Scriptures. Faith with out deeds is useless. Even the demons consider in God; they agree with and shudder. As for works, whose works are excellent sufficient? No one is ideal, not even one. All have sinned and fall brief of the honor of God.
“How then can absolutely everyone be saved? Salvation is handiest possible by means of the grace of God through the death and resurrection of the Son of Man. That is God’s present to mankind. Man have to respond to God’s grace by means of obedience to His will. Your religion is made whole via what you do.
“Do you no longer bear in mind the myth of the sheep and goats? On the day of judgment, I will divide the living and the dead into sheep and goats. The sheep are folks that feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe people who want to clothe, invite within the stranger, contend with the sick, and help individuals who want their assist.
“I tell you the truth; the righteous show their faith thru their true deeds. They are the saved. The goats are the ones who fail to act. They are the damned.”
A woman stands up and says: “Just the other day, proper wing lovers have been picketing abortion clinics again. The courts have dominated that is a contravention of a regulation. Surely, you do not approve of such il… ”
Jesus: “Do not homicide! That is God’s law.”
“But a fetus is not… ”
Jesus: “DO NOT MURDER! Taking innocent lifestyles is the homicide. The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, individuals who exercise magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars – their place could be inside the fiery lake of burning sulfur. That is the second one died.”
The authority and strength of Christ’s voice were not to be wondered. The e news reporters quick takes her seat.
Then a person says to Christ: “Some TV evangelists condemn homosexuals. Are they now not our brothers too?”
Jesus: “Man rejected God and worshiped created things. For this sin, God gave man and female over to shameful lusts for their very own sex. Their indecent acts are perversions, and that they acquire in themselves the due penalty for his or her misdeeds.
“Isn’t it clean? My kingdom does now not belong to the wicked. Homosexuals, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, and the greedy will not inherit the dominion of God.”
A younger lady asks: “Why do appropriate people suffer pain and worry on this existence?”
Jesus: “I field the ones I love, as a father disciplines his son. No discipline appears high-quality on the time, but painful. Later it produces blessings for the ones who’ve been trained by means of it. As hearth tempers metal, so field builds electricity and person.
“However, maximum problems you stumble upon in lifestyles aren’t according with my will. Some come immediately from Satan. He inflicts anything trouble he can on my faithful fans. On the day of judgment, he might be thrown alive into the pit of hell.
“I tell you the reality, lots of life’s sorrows are added on by using guy himself. People are unfastened to choose proper or incorrect, and people picks have real results. Liars, murderers, swindlers, thieves, and bullies spread their distress anywhere they pass. On the day of judgment, the ones who have suffered unjustly will be compensated. As for people who abuse them, I tell you, they’ll be punished maximum critically.”
Someone in the again of the auditorium design yells out: “Can Christians lose their salvation?”
Jesus: “Did I not let you know the parable of the seed? The seed that fell on the rocky soil have been those who obtain my phrase with joy after they hear it, however, in time of testing, they fall away. Is that parable not clear?
“And did I now not warn you that on the quit of the age, many will flip from the religion and will betray and hate each different? How can I say it plainer than that?
“Moreover, failed to I say that because of the growth in immorality, the affection of maximum will develop cold, however, whoever stands firm to the stop could be stored. Surely you apprehend those phrases!
“Again, did I now not tell you: ‘I am the vine; you are the branches? If a man stays in me and I in him, he’s going to endure tons fruit; other than me you can do nothing. If anyone does no longer stay in me, he is sort of a department that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned.’
“Do you find these words ambiguous? Tell me, how would you interpret what I have said?”
“I could say,” replied the journalist, “no one has assured something apart from you may decide them by way of what they do.”
Jesus: “You have spoken back properly. For I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will pay off each of you in keeping with your deeds.”
An older guy rises to his feet and says: “Almost one out of marriages ends in divorce today. What do you suggest us?”
Jesus: “I hate divorce. At the start of Advent, God made them male and woman. For this reason, a man will leave his mothers and fathers and be united with his wife, and the 2 shall come to be one flesh. What God has joined collectively, permit nobody separate.”
The subsequent question: “Some government has stated the worst sin is pride, and different failings along with intercourse earlier than or out of doors of marriage are lesser sins. What do you are saying?”
Jesus: “Adulterers and fornicators will now not see heaven.”
A woman voice in the back of me addresses Jesus: “Women have come a long way during the last few generations. We aren’t going to show back now and end up 2nd magnificence residents again. Women are every bit as accurate as guys. Why shouldn’t we be priests, vicars, ministers, preachers, and popes too, if that’s what we want to do?”
A murmur breaks out inside the crowd. I turn in my seat to peer her. She seems like she would really like to feature something to her speech, then thinks higher of it and sits down.
Jesus’ eyes pierce her as though he is looking at her very soul. “You are like a piece of clay which sits up and berates the potter for making it into a bowl as opposed to a plate.
“I am only who designed girl. I did no longer make her as a competitor with man; I made her as an appropriate helpmate. I made the man too. I formed him out of the dirt of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of existence.
“Did no longer my servant Paul tell you that the top of every guy is Christ, and the head of every girl is a man, and the head of Christ is God?
“Moses warned you that a girl should no longer put on guys’ garb, nor a man wears girls’ clothing, for the Lord your God detests everybody who does this.
“And my servant Peter told better halves to be submissive to their husbands. What is a girl’s place inside the church? Paul replied that question: ‘Women ought to continue to be silent inside the churches. They are not allowed to speak, however, need to be in submission.’ Paul concluded his message with this caution: ‘What I am writing you is the Lord’s command.’
“The voices were Paul, Moses, and Peter, however, the phrases are mine. And my words stay forever.”
A young guy with an extended beard stands up and says to Jesus: “Your ideas are obsolete. We have long because passed you. We don’t need you to tell us what’s proper and wrong. Why do not you get out of our face?”
“Your phrases are full of conceitedness and lack of information,” replies Jesus. “Brace your self-guy. I will query you and you’ll solution me.”
I had observed earlier than, whilst Christ spoke, you did not exactly hear it in the ordinary feel. It changed into as although electricity radiated from his body and you “felt” as a great deal as heard what he “stated.” Sometimes this phenomenon was extra obvious than at other instances. Jesus’ words did now not sound lots louder now than before, however my complete body regarded to vibrate in music with his ultimate statement. The effect changed into profound. All murmuring ceases, and all eyes are on Jesus.
Jesus: “Where were you once I formed the earth, the celebs, and the universe? Tell me in case you realize.
“What way of life lives in other galaxies? And where did it come from? What exists outdoor the universe? And how long has it been there? Surely a man like you ought to understand.
“Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the glories of heaven or the souls of the saints in Paradise? Have you witnessed the horrors of hell or the souls of the damned on fire in Hades? Tell me, if you have visible this stuff.”
Jesus paused a moment. Then slowly and exceptionally he starts offevolved to speak: “Where had been you a mere one hundred years in the past? Where will you be 100 years subsequently? Answer me.”
The younger man looks like he would like to move slowly below his seat. Slowly he shakes his head and says, ‘You know I can’t answer that.”
Jesus’ voice is unrelenting: “Brace your self-guy. I will question you and you’ll answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify your self?”
Waves of strength now pulsate from Christ. They strike and shake our bodies of all within the room.
“Do you have got an arm like the Lord’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then heal the ill, provide sight to the blind, and lift the dead.
“Do you have the authority of Christ? Then take the sins of the sector to your shoulders and go through the loss of life on the cross.
“Do you’ve got the energy and glory of God? Then spoil the jaws of demise and upward push from the grave on the third day.
“If you can do all this stuff, then I myself will admit to you that your proper hand can prevent.”
With Christ’s phrases nonetheless vibrating up and down my backbone, I turn and see the young guy. All blood had drained from his face. He sits down.
Jesus appears slowly over the ocean of upturned faces and says: “The god of this age has blinded your minds. You are arrogant, proud, and ruthless. You do no longer even educate and field your personal youngsters. You love pleasure, as opposed to God.
“Wicked and perverse era! You delight your self on no longer knowing right from wrong. You masquerade your lack of know-how and indifference as ‘tolerance’. In your conceitedness and pleasure you raise up your very own twisted preferred of reality. You declare the most effective sins are racism and sexism, the best vice is smoking, and the most effective distinctive feature is ‘tolerance’ closer to all different sins. How a long way from the fact you are. How silly you’re!”
His phrases had constructed as much as a crescendo, then ended. Now the auditorium is dead silent. Slowly and deliberately Jesus maintains, “There isn’t any widespread for excellent or evil but my very own. How ways you’re from the dominion of God. How lengthy will I put up with you?
“Who among you will reproach or accurate me? Who has a claim in opposition to me that I ought to repay? Everything underneath heaven belongs to me. I tell you the reality, except you repent of your sins, and turn and observe me, you may by no means see the dominion of heaven.”
No one cared to contradict him.
The man sitting in the front of me turns to his neighbor and says in a low voice, “The lamb of God has grown horns.”
“Indeed, he has,” replies the neighbor. A few worried chuckles observe.
A plump middle-elderly man then asks Jesus: “Was the sector certainly created in six days again inside the yr 4004 B.C.? And what approximately the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the e book of Job, and the account of Jonah and the whale, or became it a fish? Were those real events or did a person just make them up?”
Jesus’ penetrating gaze appeared to go proper through the man. Then a voice adore it became coming from inner my head says, “What is that to you? You are to follow me.”
Evidently, the man with the query heard it too. He fell lower back into his seat.
I am not sure what happened next. The man subsequent to me more or less whispered in my ear, “Did Jesus say that?” While seeking to communicate to him: “I accept as true with he did,” a more and more large commotion quick unfold at some stage in the auditorium.
I look up and spot Jesus glowing like he is on hearth. (The description is inadequate, but no mere phrases can convey what we witnessed at that second.) Then in an instant he is long gone! The e news reporters are left observing an empty degree.
“Well, it truly is that then,” stated the person sitting in front of me. Turning to the female subsequent to him, he inquires, “What did you observe of it?”
“Not plenty,” she responds. Getting up out of her seat, she provides: “He didn’t say whatever new.”
“You’re proper approximately that,” feedback a voice in front of her. “I marvel why he called this news conference anyway?”
A raspy lady voice in the back of me chimes in: “Did you pay attention what he said about abortion? He as compared it to homicide. Murder of all matters! He might think otherwise if he had been a lady. I let you know. And that awful guy, Paul! His condescending mindset towards women simply makes me sick.”
With a better pitched greater shrill voice she weighs in once more: “And did you pay attention what Jesus said approximately divorce? You would assume his mindset could have matured after thousand years. But Nooo! Who does he assume he’s anyway? Why he is not anything but a male chauvinistic… ”
Her voice drifts off into the general buzz of people clamoring out of the auditorium.
You choose up the tail end of another verbal exchange in which a younger male e news reporters is complaining to a not-so-younger lady reporter, “… However, I’m still disillusioned. He didn’t even mention the surroundings. After all, he made this planet. It does seem like he could show more interest in our smooth air, clean water, and… ”
I lose tune of what he is announcing due to a close-by interruption.
“The whole aspect became a waste of time. I should have covered the battle, but no, CNN sent me right here,” feedback a heavy-set guy with a booming voice. “He stated not anything about the issues of the day: the problem inside the Middle East, gun manipulate, equal-sex marriage, or what we ought to do approximately the homeless. Christ failed to even give us a touch on how the government must take care of those problems.
“All he did become to present us the equal antique noticed approximately how we should ‘love our friends’ and ‘do precise, even to our enemies’.”
His phrases slowed down as he utters the closing word. Then he stops. The big guy has a quizzical appearance in his eyes. After a second, he keeps, “But then, of direction, perhaps… ”
My interest is diverted some other place. A petite female on my proper grabs my arm saying, “I accept as true with Jesus is simply telling us to come lower back to our original faith.” Lowering her voice to just above a whisper, she adds, “Before it’s miles too late.”
I suppose she may have a factor there. What do you suspect? When all is said and executed, there may be no telling when existence goes to tug the plug on you. But while you are at the quit of your rope, the subsequent issue you need to hear is the voice of Jesus Christ.
You need to hear him say: “Well completed, my exact and faithful servant. I’m proud of you. Enter into the joys of my country.”
The opportunity is too terrible to contemplate.