Son of God
The Angel stood up, stared pointedly at Pete with his hands on his hips; then he took another deep breath, formed an operatic pose and began.
Just because things seem to happen and you can't see why
You assume it's all by chance, and let these things pass by.
Yet you know that all effects must have a cause to be.
Well, the cause is God, but you're so blind you cannot see.
Apples always fall to earth; two and two make four.
Frozen water hardens, yet with heat as steam it soars.
You can live because you know that you can trust these laws.
Well, these laws are God, whom you would rather just ignore.
Planets orbit round the sun and each maintains its place.
All the universe obeys the laws of time and space.
But you are too 'wise' to look and see what all things show.
Well, they show it's God who holds all things, as all things know.
"I suppose you've not got a bad voice for an angel," Pete grudgingly admitted.
"Do you really think so? They wouldn't let me in the choir for a long time, you know."
"How long?" asked Pete curiously, in spite of himself.
"Well, I put my application in long before the universe was created, you know. In earth time I suppose it must have been about 32 million years."
"Oh come on!" Pete groaned in exasperation. "This is ridiculous. I don't believe you're an angel. I don't believe in God; and even if you believe all that rot about all of creation revealing God, I don't. So you might as well push off and practice your singing somewhere else, and let me get some sleep." He lay back down, turned over with his back to the angel and pulled the covers over his head.
"Aha!" said the angel after a moment’s reflection. No response. "Aha!" he said again loudly. Still nothing. So he pulled the covers back and shouted "Aha!" into Pete's ear.
Pete sat up. "What do you mean, 'Aha'?"
"You said, 'all of creation'. CREATION! You called it ‘creation’; so you do believe it after all!"
"No I don't. It's just a manner of speaking. I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!"
"Well, I'm here to tell you that whether you believe it or not, it makes no difference to the truth. I know it's true because I live in the spiritual realm and I've seen it for myself. You can only speak from your own experience, and that is far too limited to be accurate. But while your beliefs don't have any effect on the truth, they certainly have an effect on you, and it makes the difference between heaven and hell."
"Heaven and hell?" Pete growled. "Now I do know you're a fake. Everyone knows that was just a story made up by the religious bigots of the day to scare the masses into doing what they were told."
"Sure of that, are you?"
"Of course. In any case, if God was a God of love He would never send anyone to hell for eternity."
The angel gasped in shock. "God sends no human to hell. Hell is for the devil and all his demonic hordes. It's not God who sends people to hell: they send themselves!"
"What do you mean by that?"
"God has given you the freedom to choose whether you want to live with Him or not; and plenty of opportunity while living on earth to do it. But if you choose not, well there is only one place where God is not present in all His glory, and that is hell. If you choose to go your own way in life instead of His, that is what you are choosing. Hell! It's your choice, not His. If you pick up that book by your bed, you'll see it says that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should have eternal life."
"That's hardly a choice, is it? Saying you can freely choose, but if your choice doesn't suit God He blasts you into Hell!"
The angel shrugged. "Even heaven would be like hell for anyone who chooses to live apart from God, because His presence fills it. Hell is the only place where they could exist if they want to follow their own desires, because for the whole of eternity future it is only there where His presence will not be able to be felt. What makes it such a terrible place is that it will be populated only by those who want their own way and who are prepared to do anything to others to get it." He shuddered at the thought.
"Yes, but why does it have to be that way? God is the one making the rules, so why doesn't He change them and allow folk to live the kind of lives they choose -
"You humans are so illogical it's not true! You invent your own ideas about what God is like, then use your illusions to criticise Him with! God makes no rules. He simply acts according to His own nature, which never changes. And His nature is love, and justice. He made you in His image, and even though you've marred your nature with your sin, it can still respond to its maker. Your own instincts tell you that wrong-
"If God was a God of love He would find some way to keep people out of hell."
The angel finally lost patience with Pete. "If God was a God of love? IF GOD WAS A GOD OF LOVE?" he shouted. "I'll show you if God is a God of love or not. You come with me."
The angel grabbed Pete by the lapels of his pyjamas, dragged him out of bed, and then took hold of both his hands. The room seemed to shimmer for a moment, and Pete suddenly felt dizzy. Without the angel's strong grip he would have fallen over.
When the dizziness had gone, Pete opened his eyes, having closed them to try to stop everything spinning round. He gasped, when he saw that not only was he no longer in his bedroom, he was no longer even in Britain. The air was hot, and from the style of the buildings, he could see that no modern architect had played any part in their formation. They walked on the rough street, into the little town. There was no lighting of any kind, but thankfully it was a clear night and the moon was shining brightly.
Just ahead of them was a small group of men, excitedly talking to each other, but in a language Pete could not understand. However, something strange then happened, and while Pete could still hear them talking, in his mind appeared the thoughts they were thinking.
‘What an amazing experience’, thought one of the men.
“Such a bright light and the most beautiful beings I have ever seen’, thought another.
‘I wonder what he’ll look like?’, thought the third.
‘I’m still surprised it didn’t scare the sheep into running away’, thought the fourth.
Pete turned to the angel. “What’s going on? Can I really hear their thoughts?”
“You’re in the spirit realm now,” he replied. “Thoughts are heard as easily as speech here, and you can understand it because there’s no such thing as different languages in thought. Your mind translates your thoughts into English so quickly you might think you are thinking in English, but you aren’t.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” retorted Pete, feeling over his body with his hands. “I feel just the same as I always do.“
“Of course, you do,” he replied, “the spirit realm is just as real as your physical one. But I can assure you your body is a long way away from here. Humans call it ‘an out of the body experience’, although most of their ideas about that are wrong, of course. Astral projection and all that sort of thing is usually illusion and lies of the enemy. The only time it is acceptable to God is when I or my colleagues are given an assignment like this; and as I said earlier, it is fairly rare for that to happen.”
“So they can’t see or hear us, then,” asked Pete, pointing at the men in front of them.
“Physical humans have all their senses in the physical realm, so they can usually only see, feel and hear physical things.”
The men had been moving quite quickly, and the angel made Pete keep pace just behind behind them while they were talking, until they turned off the street. They entered a rough looking building, and from inside Pete could hear the sounds of animals moving around. They slipped in, behind the men. When they moved to one side, he saw a young man and woman, tenderly looking into a feeding trough.