Hieronymus Bosch - Garden Of Earthly Delights
So I says to St. Pete says I to he How come there's no gate to heaven?
St. Pete says, Oh we've got the gate and it works very well.
Understand this life and the previous life are like elevators in a skyscraper.
Down in the lobby level, anybody can walk back and forth, back and forth between the two sides.
One side is the love others side, and the other is the love myself side.
Depending on which side you're on when you die, that's the elevator you take to the penthouse.
Now, those of you on the love others side, when you died you came straight up here non-stop, like a utility elevator: Not exactly plush, but it gets you there.
But if you were on the love myself side, the fancy elevator takes you to a foyer just outside the penthouse.
We have a canned message playing, saying, "Every thing you think you believed was true is false and if you renounce it, you can come in. Take all the time you want in making your decision."
Now here's the thing: If you were on the love myself side, you're not caring about other people, you're wondering how you are going to get into heaven.
You're asking yourself, "Is this a trick? Did I really believe the wrong thing, or are they just testing me?
"If I do renounce my belief, and it was a test, then I'm in hell for all eternity.
"But if they are telling the truth, and I don't renounce my belief, then I'm damning myself to hell."
You, and the others on this side, worried less about getting to heaven than you worried about loving your neighbors, treating people fairly, acting justly and compassionately. You have no belief to renounce because you were doing, not believing.
The other side, they're stewing away, sweating it out, wondering which answer is correct.
And they know they only get one shot at answering it, and that answer will determine where they spend eternity.
Well, what about the ones to choose, one way or another? What do you do when they come through the gate? What do you say about their choice either way?
Never had that problem. They're so anxious for themselves, they never get around to making the final choice. Every time they nearly convince themselves one way, they turn around and argue themselves out of it the other. Lacking love, they possess only fear, and fear is what keeps them from entering.
Seems mighty cruel.
St. Pete shrugs. Keeps the assholes out.
(c) Buzz Dixon