In the movie, “Man For All Seasons”, the Duke of Norfolk says, “Why can’t you do as I did and come with us for fellowship! Thomas Moore replies, “And when we die and you are sent to heaven for following your conscience and I am sent to hell for not following mine, will you come with me for fellowship?”
That scene reminds me of the fact that we will stand in judgement alone. I won’t be able to bring any friends, any “partners in crime with me. I won’t be telling God, ” Joe and Herb told me it would be okay if I followed the ways of the world instead of the ways of God…..we got together and decided that we didn’t need to follow Christ…. go ahead Joe, tell God that you said it would be okay…. remember when you said we don’t need to worry…. Herb, you remember don’t you?”
On earth, we can banter about with a friend about our own personal philosophies. We can feel reassured because our friends don’t believe in God and they are really smart and accomplished and maybe have some advanced degrees. Well, we’ve all heard the expression that “talk is cheap”. We can blab all we want about life and death, but ultimately the truth will have the final say.
It’s important that I base my decisions about eternal realities on more that just the bantering of my friends or the opinions of my barber or the guy at the local bar. I need to devote my full energies and prayers and mind to determining what happens at death. We are encouraged by the saints to focus on the “Four Last Things…. death, judgement, heaven, or hell.”
“Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32) We can know the truth. We don’t have to rely on the casual comments of my acquaintances or the Duke of Norfolk. And if you find yourself unsure, than simply ask Jesus to help you, or ask one of his friends. God wants us to be confident.