My Musings

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Original Tale Of Two Cities

In 1859, Charles Dickens penned the classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. In that work, he drew a beautiful picture of the situation in prosperous London and compared it to the circumstances of Paris during the French Revolution. On one hand, you had London, a city booming with growth and economic surplus, and on the other you had Paris, a city torn apart through revolutionary war, plagued with mass political executions, and terrorized with famine. These two cities were perfect opposites. With this understanding, its famous opening words seem to create a perfect snapshot of what was taking place during that time.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”

A Weak Comparison to the Original Work

The book certainly creates a bold contrast between a real-life paradise and anti-paradise. Yet as drastic as this contrast is it doesn’t begin to compare to The Original Tale of Two Cities as was authored nearly two thousand years ago in the gospel of Luke.
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…” ~ Luke 16:22-23
The contrast between heaven and hell is more drastic than an earthly novel can illustrate and yet, even though this contrast is not a work of fiction, it is seldom studied and often misunderstood. Christians live in their redeemed ignorance, blissfully ignoring the fate of those who will die without Christ.

Christians spend far too little time meditating on the fate of the lost. If Christians truly believed the doctrines taught in this chapter, they would be much more fervent about their service for Christ and their outreach for lost souls. Consider this poem that I wrote entitled ‘Heaven and Hell: The Road to Paradise.’ It portrays the Original Tale of Two Cities.

Heaven and Hell: The Road to Paradise


I dare not speak, I cannot tell,
The way of man that leads to Hell.
The flames so fierce with such great woe,
To such a place why would one go?
In that wretched place there is no light,
'Tis forever trapped in eternal night.
Where one is bound with fetter and chain,
Engulfed in fire that brings such pain.
Where in the distance one may ream,
The undying mobs unending scream.

I dare to speak, I can but tell,
The way of man that leads to Hell.
The path of a man that leads this way,
Is a life of sin, many people say.
A life of murder, lies, and rape,
As a child of some prehistoric ape,
Of life like this surely one will pay,
But 'tis not all that leads this way!
But 'tis the path of a life that's trod,
Alone! Alone! Apart from God!

I dare to speak, I'm compelled to tell,
The way of man that leads from Hell.
A place called heaven with a golden shore,
To such a place with wonder galore.
In that great place 'tis forever light,
Where I'll see my Christ with perfect sight.
Where one is free from sickness and pain,
Engulfed in wonder and eternal gain.
Where one may hear throughout the days,
The undying saints unending praise.

I dare to speak, I'm compelled to tell,
The way of man that leads from Hell.
The path of a man that leads this way,
Is a life of goodness, many people say.
A life of service, love, and prayer,
A saintly life that's filled with care.
Of life like this surely one will thrive,
But will not cause us in Heaven to arrive.
But 'tis the path of a life that's trod,
Saved! Saved! With a trust in God!


Nick

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