Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Guess who's in Heaven?

Johnny said to Father Ignatius, “Father, I had a funny dream the other day!”

“I could do with a good laugh,” replied the priest, “tell me about it.”

“Father, I dreamt I was in Heaven and Graham, my worst enemy, was there too!”

“What’s so funny about that?” asked the priest.

“Father, you don’t understand,” continued Johnny, “Graham is an evil conniving cheat who’d sell his own mother if he could make a fast buck! He’s the last person I’d expect to see in Heaven.”

“Well, let’s assume this is not a dream,” continued Father Ignatius as the two men walked round the church grounds, “Let’s say it’s for real.

“You died and went to Heaven, and there, sitting on a cloud playing the harp is your old nemesis, Graham.

“What do you feel about it?”

“As I said,” protested Johnny, “the man is evil. I’d probably warn St Peter in case Graham cheats him out of his catch of fish!”

Father Ignatius smiled. “Would you think that God made a mistake in letting him in?” he asked.

Johnny hesitated and did not answer.

“Do you remember the parable about the rich man who had a vineyard?” asked the priest. “The rich man hired some people early in the day to work in the field. Then again he hired more people a bit later on. And again in the afternoon, and also one hour before the end of the working day.

“The rich man in this parable represents God and the vineyard is Heaven. God is the only one who decides who is to enter Heaven.

“We have no say in the matter. Although we often pretend to know more than we actually do. You’d be surprised how many people there are ready to serve God in an advisory capacity.

“The different times of the day represent when certain people get to know God and to follow His word.

“Some people do so early in their lives and get to love Him and obey Him throughout their lives. Others get to know God later in their lives; and some only get to know God at the end of their lives just before dying.

“Of course, the temptation is there to ask why should I be good all my life when I can suddenly say sorry and accept God at the end. But there is no guarantee that this will happen is there? And God knows whether a final acceptance and repentance is genuine or not. Or just an insurance policy cashed in at the last minute to avoid the other place.”

“Does it matter?” interrupted Johnny, “Does it matter if the final repentance is genuine and the individual is truly sorry for what he has done, or whether it is a final act of despair to avoid going to hell?”

“Good point,” replied the priest wisely, “but one best left for God to decide since He owns the vineyard and we have no say in the matter.

“The fact remains, that when you see Graham in Heaven you should rejoice that at some stage in his life he found God and was deemed worthy by the Almighty to enter Paradise.

“As for you, who has been called to work in the vineyard early in your life, your job here on earth is to be an example to others so that they may see in you something worth following, worth knowing and worth loving. As a good Christian, you should be the recruitment officer for God and lead others to Him”.

14 comments:

  1. I need all the prayers I can get. Thanks Victoria. A good but true reflection.

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    1. Thank you John. Praying for you.

      God bless.

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    2. He called you Victoria. Did you have some sort of change? You know they can do that now. Actually there was a show called Victor/Victoria! LOL.

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    3. "Did you have some sort of change?"

      I hope it's a miss-type, Manny. But I'd better check just in case!

      God bless.

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  2. Love this story. It shows how much God loves all of us the same. I hope my adopted father gave his heart to Christ before he succumbed to heart & liver disease. He was such a vile, cruel, unpleasant man. He openly hated God. Every time I witnessed or was kind to him, he would curse at me. He finally disowned me over it. I would be thrilled if he was in Heaven after all.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

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    1. Thank you Sparky for sharing this with us. All I can suggest is that, as best you can, forgive your adopted father, and pray for him; as I shall do right now.

      God bless you, Sparky.

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  3. When I consider this--I always first think of my loved ones who I pray will come to know Jesus. My heart's desire if for them to profess His Name--even in their last breath. Therefore--those I am sure deserve to enjoy the heat eternally, also deserve the same opportunity. I struggle with my human desire for consequences, but my heart knows--I am not the judge--and if I were--how would I view my own life?

    Blessings, Friend!

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    1. Good point Lulu. We all know people who just do not want to believe and we hope that one day they will. All we can do is pray.

      It's great to see you visiting me again. Thanx Lulu.

      God bless you.

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  4. Oh my what a wonderful post! You offer such words of wisdom! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Cathy.

      God bless you.

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  5. You're all gonna hate me in heaven since I'm getting in late. :-P (I'm kidding. Who knows. I just hope I can make it at any time.

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    1. Hope we all meet in Heaven some day, Manny.

      God bless you.

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  6. Hi Victor! I think we'll all be surprised, but very happy to see who's in heaven. I had a spiritual director tell me that we are told our sins again so that we can be thankful and joyful that Jesus is so merciful. I really like that idea.
    Thursday blessings my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Ceil, you must have read my post for tomorrow. You'd be surprised how close it is to what you've just said. I write posts a few days in advance to be published at certain dates.

      God bless.

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