The Hellevator

Marco looked across the bay. He loved watching the ocean from his office window. Today, there was no fog and he felt like he could see forever. The blue of the Pacific Ocean was stunning as it glistened in the full sun. It was late Friday afternoon and he was calling it quits for the week. He turned around and looked at his office. He smiled as he saw all of the awards he had received throughout his career as a real estate broker. It had been quite a ride and he was still enjoying the thrill as each sale closed and his company received its commission.

Tomorrow was his 50th birthday and he and his family were going to spend the weekend at his parent’s winery in Napa. He loved his parents but had chosen not to stay in Napa and work with his dad and brothers. Growing grapes and making wine did not compare to the thrill of making thousands of dollars from just one real estate transaction.

Marco walked out the door of his office and headed for the elevator. As he started to reach for the button, everything went black and he collapsed on the floor. He woke up as his spirit left his body and traveled upwards. In a few moments, he was in a room filled with light and millions of books. He looked around and saw what he believed were two angels. They looked at him and then turned and opened a gigantic door. A being filled with light entered and when his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see the most beautiful being he had ever seen. Not only was this person filled with light, he could feel love emanating from his every pore. He could see the scars on his hands and feet and he knew instantly who he was. This was Jesus, the Son of God that his parents had taught him about when he was little.

Marco could do nothing else but fall on his face and worship Him. Jesus came forward and lifted him up. As He touched Marco, love filled Marco’s being. He knew he was loved completely at that moment. A flash of fear coursed through Marco’s mind. What was he doing here? Had he died? What about his life? As those thoughts went through his mind, Marco began to see his life pass before him.

He saw the things he had done as a child and as a teenager. He saw his rejection of God in his college years and his obsession with money and his career in his twenties, thirties and forties. His life looked oh so shallow and self-centered. Had he done any good? He saw how he loved his wife and kids and how his company contributed every year to the homeless shelter near his office. He wondered, was that enough to get him into heaven?

No words were spoken as Jesus looked into the Book of Life that one of the angels held in his hand. He searched for Marco’s name but could not find it. “I’m sorry Marco. I created you to spend eternity with me, but you rejected every advance I made to offer you my love.” Marco then saw the hundreds of times that Jesus had protected him and spoken to him in a still small voice. He watched himself ignore those moments as he hurried on about his life, anxious to cut another deal and make another great commission.

Jesus turned and left the room. One of the angels pointed to the Hellevator and Marco knew that he was going to have to take it and live in a Christless eternity. He began weeping as he was escorted to the Hellevator. The door opened and he saw a demon waiting to take him to Hell. He tried to back up but a force just kept drawing him forward into the Hellevator. He started screaming, “No, No, I am so sorry.” He heard his voice echo off the walls in the Hellevator and the demon smile a wicked smile. Just as the door began to close, everything went dark again.

“One, Two, Clear.” A bolt of electricity shocked his heart. His heart began to beat and he heard, “He’s back. Let’s get him down the elevator and to SF General.” He could feel them lift him onto the gurney and he heard the elevator door open as they rushed him inside. In just a few moments, he was on the street and they were loading him into the ambulance. Someone was talking to him, “We’ve got ya buddy, just hang on. You’re going to be okay.”

Marco felt the weight of his body and knew he was back in it. His chest hurt and he felt weak, so weak he could hardly talk. He looked up at the paramedic and whispered, “Thank you.” He then looked up through the roof of the ambulance into heaven, “Thank you Jesus, for a second chance. I won’t let you down.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17.

Image by Gerd Altman. Courtesy of Pixabay

Torn Between Two Countries

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I was born the child of parents from two different countries. My father met my mother while he was overseas in the service. She was Italian and her family lived in Milan. They were married and returned to the States to live. From the time I was little, I would hear stories about Italy and have letters read to me from my Italian family. I would look at the pictures they sent and long to meet them. 

Growing up, I never quite felt at home in the States. There seemed to be a part of me that was longing for another country, another family, another culture. When I got older my father decided I should go to Italy and get to know my Italian family.

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I began learning the language, made arrangements to go to school over there and flew to Milan. I met my family and spent several months with them. It was an experience I will never forget. They showered me with love and took me around to different cities and taught me about the history and culture of the country. Even though I loved my new family, the people and that country, there was a part of me that still didn’t quite fit in there completely. 

Eventually, I moved back to the States and married. I still kept in touch with my family in Italy and my heart was always torn between the two countries. I had people I loved in two different places and for better or worse I was now part of two different cultures. Since that time, I have never completely fit in the country I am living in because there are always people I love and want to be near living elsewhere.

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During this time I became a Christian so I began learning about another culture. I read the Bible and began to experience an entirely different kind of  life. I heard about a place where there was no violence, murder, or crime of any kind. I learned of a place where peace reigned because God reigned there. Again, my heart became divided. There were people I loved here on Earth, but I longed to be with my Heavenly Father in Heaven. There was a better place to live and more and more my heart longed to be there.

So again, I am torn between two countries, two cultures, two peoples, two places. There are people I love here on Earth but I hate the crime, division and the lack of love people have for one another. I long for that place where people will treat each other kindly and where love will reign supreme. 

I know that I am not alone. Most people sense that there is something not right here on the earth. We look around and know instinctively that there is not supposed to be hunger, thirst, disease, war, poverty, greed and all the other kinds of evil there is here. We were made for something different and we all have a deep longing for a better place, a better life. 

What about you? Are you torn between two countries also? Do you long for a better life and a better place? It’s available to you, all you have to do is ask for it.

“Then he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 42 – 43.