I have recently prodded Vox to tell his readers what he feels the gospel is – to explain what it means to be saved – and I have expressed dissatisfaction with what he’s written to date. And now I’m feeling a little guilty about that – because I have just finished re-reading his first Fantasy novel – The War in Heaven.
Towards the end of it, he pretty much completely lays out for the reader what salvation is. And here’s the good news – I almost completely agree with him. It’s classic Gospel. So I thought I’d share it with you.
Now I don’t want this to be too much of a spoiler, so I’ve edited out some details. To set up the scene – a major character, who has behaved poorly (to say the least) finds himself having a face-to-face conversation with Jesus.
“… I’m pretty much going straight to Hell now, aren’t I? …”
“That depends entirely on you.”
“On me? I’m not… I mean, I’ve done some bad things. Really bad things, you know?”
“Yes, I do. . . you have worshipped at the false idol of your own desires.”
“So, is there really a Hell after all? But you said… well, what do I do now? I suppose I can’t change what I did.”
Lord Jesus smiled.
“Yes, there is a Lake of Fire. And you cannot change what you have done, instead, you must change who you are.”
“Change who I am? What do you mean? How can I do that?”
“Follow you? Where?”
“I speak not of a place, but a Way.”
“A way? What way?”
“The Way to the Father. The Way out of bondage, death and sin. It goes through Me. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
“I don’t understand. How can following your Way change who I am?”
“What is made may be unmade.” His voice was soft and caring. “You see, one day, you will stand before the Throne of My Father’s Judgement. And on that day you will be judged. Every word, every thought, and every deed must be deemed pure and right and holy in order for you to be deemed worthy of entering into the glory of My Father’s House.”
“But I’m already doomed, then.”
“You are, because you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The glory of God is perfect, Christopher, and even one small sin in an otherwise saintly lifetime of righteousness would render one unworthy of His radiant glory.”
“That seems a little harsh.”
“Can you be just a little dead, and yet be alive? Nor can you be a little stained by sin. My Father is pure and holy, and He demands like purity and holiness from all those who would enter into His presence. This is right and just. But My Father is also merciful, and He knows that you are weak. That is why He [sent] Me to your world, to die, so that you may live forever in the Light.”
“Yeah, the cross thing. I’ve heard about that. But even if it were true, I should say, how does Your death help me?”
“Because My Father has promised Me that when He judges those who have pledged themselves to Me, those who have repented of their sin and walk in My Way, that on the Day of Judgement He will look at Me in their place and judge them as if My life had been theirs. And I am without sin, Mine is the only life that can be deemed worthy.”
“So what do I have to do?”
“Give up all that you have and follow Me.”
“Everything? Do you mean even all of… this?”
Isn’t that close to what you think Jesus might say?
You might ask why I say I ‘almost completely agree with it’. My agreement with it would be more full if it weren’t for the second sentence: (“That depends entirely on you.”) But what he writes about what a person must do to be saved is, I think, correct. I’d like any Calvinist reading this to tell me if they agree (or disagree).
In any case, good for you, Vox. My God be glorified by your books.