Every once in a while, don’t you wish your life had a 30 second reverse feature? Like for when you spill a cup of coffee on your laptop. Or blurt out something offensive. Or cause an accident while driving. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? A way to deal with those moments when you want to yell “do over!” and try it again – only without the split second screw-up. Now, imagine dying and discovering that your entire life has been one long “I’d like a do-over” experience. That would really, really suck, wouldn’t it?
A lot of Christians like to talk about judgment or judgment day as if they had the slightest idea what happens during judgment. Many seem to think St. Peter’s going to meet us at the pearly gates where he’ll check to see if your names on the list of people who have had a born-again conversion moment like a celestial bouncer. Or there will be a pop quiz: “it’s all or nothing – by whose name are you saved?” Others basically figure it will be like the ancient Egyptians taught with your good deeds and religious devotion on one side of a scale and your sins on the other. A lot of people seem to think that judgment is going to be a simple matter of declaring yes or no on the person being judged. But really, the bible tells us practically nothing about what happens when we die much less the actual procedure for passing judgment on a soul. Which is pretty unfair, really. Shouldn’t we know what the deal is ahead of time so we can dot our i’s and cross out t’s?
Myself, I have my own theory about what happens at judgment. It’s pretty simple: I think that when you die, you get to experience a sort of playback of your life in which you are able to understand everything you did and everything which happened to you and during which you experience exactly how you and your actions affected the people around you. Every time you caused joy and every time you caused pain, you will have that same experience of joy and pain which you set into motion. If you brought joy to people, this will be a wonderful experience. If you spread pain and misery, it will be it’s own torturous experience. If you hurt a child, it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and be cast into the sea than to have to experience the repercussions of that act. Continue reading