I saw in a dream that I was in the Celestial City — though when and how I got there I could not tell. I was one of the multitude which no man could number, from all countries, people, times and ages. Somehow I found that the saint who stood next to me had been in Heaven more than 1,860 years.
“Who are you?” I said to him.
“I was a Roman Christian, I lived in the days of the Apostle Paul. I was one of those who died in Nero’s persecutions. I was covered with pitch and fastened to a stake and set on fire to light up Nero’s gardens.”
“How awful!” I exclaimed.
“Oh,” he said, “I was glad to do something for my Lord, Jesus Christ. He suffered and died on a cross for me.”
The man on the other side then spoke; “I have been in Heaven only a few hundred years. I came from an island in the South Seas, Erromanga. John Williams, a missionary, came and told me about Jesus and I, too, learned to love Him. Sadly, my countrymen were hard-hearted, so with fervent anger they beat me and the missionary. The missionary died, but I revived. The next day they knocked me out, cooked and fed me — to each other.”
“How terrible!” I said.
“No,” he answered, “I was glad, I was a Christian — I had given my life to Him. You see, the missionaries told me that Jesus had his beard plucked; that he was beaten, whipped and crowned with thorns for me.”
Then they both turned to me and said, “How about you…?”
I was speechless. While they both were looking at me, I awoke — it was only a dream! But I lay awake in my soft bed for hours thinking of the time and money I had wasted. I realized then I did not know, nor fathom the depth of the words of Christ:
“If any man will come after me. Let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”Author Unknown