I stood at the doorsteps of Heaven in full anticipation. It was not a large Pearly Gate shining brightly as we’ve often been told and is depicted in some pictures; no … this was just a small wooden door. A humble ordinary wooden door with no sign or any distinguishing features foretelling where it led to.
I remembered the quote from the Bible: “Knock and it shall be opened to you …”
I knocked and as my luck would have it the door opened outwards and hit me in the face.
An old bearded man stood there and asked: “Yes … what do you want?”
“I … I … want to enter Heaven …” I mumbled hesitantly.
“Why?” he asked abruptly.
“Because I want to spend eternity with God …” I replied still fumbling for suitable words.
“And what makes you think He wants to spend an eternity with you?” retorted St Peter sternly.
It was a good question. We often assume that because we’re good Christians our entry to Heaven is guaranteed, but are we judging ourselves by our standards or God’s standards? I may believe that I am good to enter Heaven; but am I really?
The Saint noticed my discomfort and asked: “Who are you anyway?”
I gave him my name and he produced an electronic tablet and started punching his finger on the screen. I thought he was quite an up-to-date Saint technologically speaking considering his age.
“Ah yes … your name’s here …” he said finally, “I had to check. You’d be surprised how many people we get here expecting to enter Heaven as if it were a hotel. It isn’t an open house for all and sundry, you know. Just because some people attended church on Sunday and did not eat meat on Friday does not automatically give them free access to Heaven.
“As my friend Matthew quoting Jesus wrote: ‘Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do.’
“Look it up in Matthew’s Gospel at 7:21.
“He always had an affectation of numbering every sentence he wrote, old Matthew did. But don’t tell him I said so!”
I smiled feebly not knowing what to say.
The Saint continued: “The trouble with the world today is that too many people do the bare minimum and expect they are in God’s good book. Over the years they have interpreted the Ten Commandments to be ten suggestions and debating points to discuss and amend as they wish to suit their selfish lifestyles.
“The reason God asked Moses to write them in stone is so that they don’t get altered. Admittedly, Moses broke the first set; but fortunately there was another copy available.
“Over the years people have broken every Commandment even though they were set in stone.
“As I was saying to some of the disciples over tea this morning … people these days are no different to the Pharisees and Sadducees of my time on earth.”
I could see Saint Peter was rather upset which was indicative to what we’d learnt about him in the Gospels. Sometimes outspoken and short-tempered. For he it was who hit a priest’s servant with a sword when Jesus was arrested. I stepped slightly backwards in case he hit me with his electronic tablet.
He looked at me and chuckled, “I see here that you’re due a short spell at the Purification Center” he said, “Some of you lot call it Purgatory … it’s a bit like a car wash where you’re cleaned up and made ready to enter Heaven for eternity. I’ll be seeing you again shortly!”
I woke up with a smile on my face.