Have you ever stared into the deep, black, empty, bottomless eyes of the Devil himself? I have. And it won’t be the last time. I don’t pretend to think I’ll escape my sins without paying what I owe, no matter how much good I try to accomplish with the remaining years, months, weeks, days, or even hours of my life. So before this life is all over, I believe I will have one last face-to-face stare-down with Satan himself, his black eyes piercing the darkness with a shooting pain that stabs my soul like an ice pick.
I don’t tell many people this, but within the depths of my Christian faith, I believe in the literal definition of Spiritual Warfare. I believe in the literal incarnation of opposing powers described in Ephesians 6:12 — I believe in Angels; I believe in Demons. And because I believe in these, I also (by default) believe in the ultimate representation of these opposing concepts: God and Satan.
It was (and is) a popular opinion on the Internet that I should burn in Hell for my crimes. Perhaps I agree, or at least understand this perspective. And perhaps I will. And if that’s true, regardless of my repentance and my faith, then all I have left that matters is — this. If Hell is my fate — if I must burn for the sins of my past, regardless of my present — what I do now matters more than ever; it is my last and only chance to do the right thing.
I do not believe a person can earn his/her way into Heaven, based on a scripture a bit earlier in Ephesians (verse 2:8-9), so what I do now — trying to prevent others from doing what I’ve done — is what matters most — now.
The day will come when I will have to pay the Devil his due penalty for the choices of my past, and there is no way around that.
Living a better future does not create a better past.
But don’t mock what I do now because of what I did then. I did the wrong thing then, and I am doing the right thing now.
Now is all I have. So I choose to make now matter.
And that’s how it will be until the day I stand face-to-face with the Devil himself, answering for the choices of — then.
I wonder if Christians still believe in Grace…