WORDS    5'?m2f Salvation, faith, will words get you to Heaven?

AMY -- (enters backward, wearing white tunic, pointing broadly
toward audience) And off to your right is the Great Crystal Sea.

LIZ -- (follows, amazed) Wow! It's just like the Book of
Revelation! I never thought Heaven could be so beautiful!

AMY -- (motions) And off to your left is the great throne of

LIZ -- You mean I get to meet Jesus himself?!

AMY -- Of course. That's the purpose of Heaven. (motions to far
exit) Now, I'll show you to your living quarters right over
there and...

LIZ -- Listen, I hate to interrupt the flow of your tour. But,
well, I was kind of hoping to meet up with my friend Susan.

AMY -- Your friend...

LIZ -- Susan... Susan Bascome.

AMY -- (uncomfortable pause)

LIZ -- I understand. You have my itinerary planned out. I'll
link up with Susan later. Let's continue.

AMY -- I'm sorry. You won't be able to see Susan.

LIZ -- No, I mean later. I'll see her later.

AMY -- I'm sorry, Susan didn't make it to Heaven.

LIZ -- That's not possible! Susan and I became Christians on the
same day. I'm sure she's here!

AMY -- I'm sorry. I'm the gate keeper. Noone comes through the
gates of Heaven unless I know about it. Susan didn't make it to

LIZ -- That just can't be. There's been some kind of mistake.
Susan and I said the sinners prayer together.

AMY -- Oh.

LIZ -- What do you mean OH?! Didn't you know that?

AMY -- It's a common misconception.

LIZ -- Misconception?! Either she said the sinner's prayer or
she didn't. I was right there when she said it. What else do you
have to know?! Now, I want you to send somebody to Hades or
Gehenna or wherever you sent her by mistake and you bring her
here where she belongs!

AMY -- I don't know how to tell you this, but you are apparently
under a couple of misconceptions. First of all, Jesus doesn't
delegate the separation of the sheep and goats. If your friend
didn't make it to Heaven, it's because Jesus himself decided she
didn't belong here.

LIZ -- But how can that be?! Susan said the words.

AMY -- What words, "Abra cadabra"?

LIZ -- This is no time to make jokes! My friend's eternity is at
stake here!

AMY -- I'm not making jokes. That's the other misconception I
was talking about. There are no magic words that get you to
Heaven. The words "I accept Jesus" are no more effective than
the words "abra cadabra".

LIZ -- But Susan and I said exactly the same words. How did I
get accepted into Heaven and not Susan?

AMY -- I've been trying to tell you. It's not the words that get
you into Heaven. Can you tell me which verse of the Bible
contains the Sinner's Prayer?

LIZ -- (pause) Well, no. Now that I think about it, I don't
think I've ever seen the sinner's prayer in the Bible.

AMY -- That's because it isn't there. The notion that saying
certain words can get you into Heaven is nothing more than a
Christian superstition.

LIZ -- Then why did I make it to Heaven, but my friend was
turned away?

AMY -- Well, since I didn't make the decision, I can't say. But
I can tell you what two things the Lord looks for.

LIZ -- Two things?

AMY -- Yes. First, he must be sure that you understand that your
own very best efforts can't get you to Heaven. The slogan is,
"the only people who get to Heaven are those who know they don't
belong here".

LIZ -- Well, that was certainly true for me. No way I'd be here
if it wasn't for Jesus....

AMY -- That's the second thing Jesus must be sure of before he
allows you into Heaven.

LIZ -- What's that?

AMY -- You need to trust Jesus to do what you couldn't do on
your own.

LIZ -- Oh. (sighs)

AMY -- Does that tell you anything?

LIZ -- I think so. Susan said the words. But I don't think she
had given up trying to make it here on her own. And I'm not sure
she really trusted Jesus to get her here.

AMY -- I'm sorry.

LIZ -- Me too. I'm sorry she didn't believe her own words. She 
might as well have said "abra cadabra". It was just a ritual, 
just a superstition with Jesus' name attached. (sighs) I hope 
she wasn't relying on a superstition to save her. Do you really 
think she thought the words could save her?

AMY -- People will try ANYTHING to avoid admitting that they
need help. I'm sorry.

LIZ -- You know, when I pictured Heaven, I always pictured a
place where there would be no regret. I didn't think a perfect
place like Heaven would allow regret.

AMY -- On the contrary, regret is a good thing. You learn from
your regrets. It's guilt that's not allowed in Heaven, because
Jesus death on the cross removed all guilt for us.

LIZ -- Yes. Yes, of course. Well, there's nothing I can do about
it now. It's too late for her. (straightens) Listen, I'm sorry I
interrupted your guided tour. You were saying? (follows)

AMY -- (continues to far exit, motions ahead) Oh, yes. I was
talking about your living quarters. And when Jesus promised he
would go and prepare a place for you.... you should see what a
luxurious place he prepared!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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