“Hi, Ed. Long time no see.”

“Hey, Roger, good to see you again. C’mon in.”

“I hope I haven’t come at a bad time. I just felt like dropping in and catching up with you a bit.”

“No problem. Come on in and sit down. Care for a game of checkers while we visit? You want red or black?”

“Doesn’t matter. Red, I guess. I heard you went to Missouri and saw your sister.”

“Yeah, we were there last month. We were down when they had those pretty bad storms and twisters all over the place. It was on the news, remember? We were OK but the town a little to the north of us got slammed pretty good and some folks there were killed, Your move, Rog.”

“I remember hearing about it. It sounded terrible. Not to be morbid or anything Ed, but if those twisters had struck where you were and you had been killed, where do you think you would be today?”

“Heaven, I suppose, like everybody else.”

“I didn’t even know you were a church-goer. On what basis do you think you’d be in heaven?”

“It has nothing to do with church, Rog. I’m a good person and God just doesn’t send good people to hell. Good move.” “So you’ve never lied, or stolen, or looked with lust after other women?”

“Yeah, well, I still have some of those magazines around but that’s as far as that goes. We all have our faults.”

“I remember when we were teens and did some pretty rotten things together; stole stuff and lied about it.”

“Yeah, but that was then. Neither of us do that anymore except, maybe I’m not totally on the up and up with Ellen all the time. Don’t want to upset her sometimes, you know. It’s your move, Rog.”

“Ed, you know, by your own admission, you’ve violated the Ten Commandments. You’re a liar and a thief, and because the Bible says that anyone who lusts after a woman in his heart is committing adultery with her, an adulterer, too, yet you say you’re a good person who’s going to heaven. According to the standard set by God in Scripture, if you are guilty of one transgression, you are guilty of all. You won’t even see heaven let alone get to be there.” “Rog, I guess we have different standards. King me.” “The only standard we should have is God’s.”

“OK, but if that’s His standard, I don’t know anyone who could meet it, including you. Won’t He cut us a break?”

“He has, Ed, and his name is Jesus. God came to earth as Jesus Christ, led a perfect existence, and took on himself the penalty due us for our sinful selves. It’s a gift of forgiveness He freely offers everybody.”

“So it’s taken care of? I don’t get sent to hell?”

“God sends no one to hell, Ed. People choose to go there themselves because they refuse the gift of salvation and redemption that He offers. ‘If thou confess with thy mouth and believe in thine heart thou shalt be saved’ (Romans 10:9) Ed, dear friend, it’s all been done. You just need to acknowledge your sins and accept the gift. No one gets to heaven without Jesus Christ, and when our time on earth here is over, I want to see you there. It’s your move, Ed.”

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