The Small Town
There once was a boy who lived in a small town of less than a hundred people. This boy grew up in a Christian household with a mother, father, one brother and one sister. This family grew up weary of evil influences, because they understood the value of living their lives free of sin. The town commonly had problems with outsiders, often seeing things vandalized. When the town wasn’t being vandalized by these outsiders, they were being insulted by them. These individuals would snicker at the spiritual beliefs of the town’s residents and argue with everyone they encountered.
Playing in the Park out front
One day, the boy went outside to play and met a new friend. A single mother and her daughter moved into the neighborhood. This daughter was the new friend. The two had very little similarities between them. They had different household sizes, parent situations, experiences growing up. Their appearances were different, one with dark hair, the other with blonde hair. The boy knew about God and would often just blurt things out related to God that he had learned at home and in church. The girl knew nothing about God, but thought the boy was nice and wanted to be friends with him.
After about ten minutes, the boys mother called for him to come inside. The mother told him that he doesn’t know that girl and he needs to stay inside until she leaves. The mother was aware of the circumstances the girl had at home, her parental situation, and that they didn’t go to church. She warned her son that the differences between the two families were too great for him to play outside with her. The boy, without fully understanding why he couldn’t play with the girl said okay and went to play in his room.
The Next Day
The next day the boy went to school and the girl was now a new student in his class. The girl waved at him, but he didn’t wave back and looked away uncomfortably. The girl was disappointed because the boy was the first kid she talked to after the move into town. At recess the girl went and talked to the boy, greeting him with a smile and asking him if he wanted to run around together and play tag. The boy thought that sounded like fun and decided to play tag with her. They spent the entire recess playing tag.
Several Days Later
During a conversation between the mother and the boy’s teacher, it came out that he had developed a friendship with the new girl in town. The teacher told the mother they had been playing together during recess every day. The mother was upset and that night went into the boy’s room to talk with him. She told him that this girl is not a good person because she comes from a broken home. Her mother is an adulterer and Satan lives in that house. He was afraid of the stories he had heard about Satan, so this news really bothered him.
The Next Recess
The girl saw the boy hiding behind a tree next to the school. She went out to talk to him, but he yelled for her to stay away. He told her that she is with Satan and he can’t play with her. She didn’t understand what he was talking about and came close to him to ask a question. The boy pushed her away and she fell down, hurting her leg. The boy felt bad that he hurt her, but he was scared and she shouldn’t have come toward him. The boy and the girl never played together again. After the school year ended, the girl and her mother moved away.
The Years After
The boy often would meet new people who came into town, but he’d always notice the differences between them and remember Satan. Satan lives in the house of those who are different. His fear of Satan made him angry. He no longer wanted to be afraid of Satan, but in order to stop that fear he believed he needed to fight against the people who were different. When new people arrived in town, he did everything he could to make sure they knew they weren’t welcome. He took it upon himself to punish his new neighbors until they moved away.
The Boy Becomes a Man
The man went away to college and eventually started a family of his own. He met a wonderful woman who shared his Christian faith and they had several kids of their own. The man made sure his wife supported his belief about differences bringing Satan into their midst. They spent many exchanges with their neighbors arguing over these differences.
A Stranger Arrives in Town
The man comes home from work one day and is met by a stranger. This stranger introduces himself and warns him about the dangers of differences. The stranger tells the man that Satan is taking over and it must be stopped. They talked more and realized they agreed on a lot. The man thought to himself that this guy is truly a man of God like himself. Together they protested and fought every difference in the town. The stranger yelled to their neighbors to change and be more like them. He called them to Christ and told them of the fires of hell if they did not listen to his words. The man and the stranger formed a close bond.
The Man Meets Jesus
The man dies and sees Jesus standing before him. The man falls face down saying “Hallelujah!” The man says, “I knew I would make it here! Thank you Jesus!”
Jesus told the man to stand and asked him why he acted against him his entire life. The man said, “What do you mean Lord, everything I have done has been for you and to fight your great enemy!” Jesus said, “If you were living for me, how could you have been fooled by Satan?” The man responded “Lord, I have not been fooled. I have fought zealously against Satan all of my life.”
Jesus told the man, “You allowed yourself to be fooled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You did not listen to my Word. You did not try to understand what my Word teaches. You allowed fear to rule your life and you saw evil everywhere.”
The Man Felt Great Shame
“How could I have been fooled this way, my Lord?”, the man said. Jesus responded, “You didn’t heed my warning that evil will come as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You didn’t listen when I said that many false teachers will come in my name. You didn’t try to see the fruit of the trees you cut down, and you didn’t care about the rotten fruit of the tree you did not cut. You stopped growing in your faith in me, and you failed to realize that Satan won’t come pretending to be the enemy and the father of lies. Satan pretends to be your righteous ally.”
The Man’s Sorrow
It was now clear to the man who Jesus was referring to. He said to Jesus, “Lord, I am sorry that I have failed you. I am sorry that I have allowed Satan to trick me into ignoring the good in others. I don’t deserve to be in your presence, please forgive what I have done and do not send me to hell.”
I don’t know how Jesus would respond here. Many people believe the stuff we do in life have to be repented for while in that life. I believe there is no bounds to God’s mercy and grace. I don’t believe there is a limit where he would not offer a repentant heart peace and comfort. This man did many terrible things in the Lord’s name, and he was wrong. He was still a believer in Jesus Christ, our Lord, and he repented in his heart. Our hope is that Jesus has mercy on us for the terrible things we do in this life. Without his mercy, none of us would enter his kingdom.