The Two Dreams
One night I dreamed a strange and awful dream. I dreamed that I died and my spirit stood at heaven's gates dressed in a filthy, ragged garment. As I stepped up to the throne of God, I looked down at myself and wondered how I came to be wearing such a disreputable gown. I looked up into God's face with a smile of self-righteousness, fully expecting (in my vanity) to hear the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest, which I have prepared for you from the foundations of the earth." Instead looking up I saw a tear run down His face and heard His sad voice say "Depart from Me, thou wicked and deceitful hypocrite. I never knew you. You called Me 'Lord, Lord' but you worshiped yourself as a god. You are damned to an everlasting death in hell. Many are called but few are chosen. I did not need you to further My kingdom, or to bring Me glory through holiness." I was shocked. I cried out "But Lord! Just think of all the good things I have done! I even brought several people to saving faith! I worked to further your kingdom! How can you say that I never worshiped you, when I went to church every Sunday of my life as far as I can remember?" He shook His head and said "Like I said, you are a deceitful hypocrite. You set yourself up as god and worshiped yourself instead of Me. Depart from Me." Two of His angels came and started to take me away. I screamed and struggled, but to no avail. I was carried far into darkness and dropped into a dark pit whose depths were unfathomable, and then I woke up. In tears of repentance I got on my knees and prayed like I had never prayed before.
Just the other night I dreamed another strange and awful dream. I dreamed I had again died and that my spirit stood at heaven's gates, this time dressed in spotless white robes. As I made my way to the throne of God, I hung my head in shame. Who was I to be standing before God, looking on His beautiful face? I was so unworthy. I didn't deserve this tiny glimpse into paradise. Then I looked up in shock. Are my ears deceiving me? Is this all a joke? Wait! He really is saying this! He says I have been faithful to His love and calling! He is giving me a crown of gold and placing it on my head! Tears of joy ran down my face as I realized that I was forgiven because of the sacrificial Lamb, and that He had clothed me in His righteousness. He was welcoming me into His glorious kingdom with open arms! I cast my crown at His precious feet and thanked Him with tears of joy for His many blessings, and that is when He put His hand on my head and said "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, cleansed through my righteousness. Enter into your rest, which I prepared for you from the foundations of the earth." This time I woke with tears of joy in my eyes, and as I got down on my knees to pray it was a prayer of thankfulness and joy.