Verdict

1. The Final Verdict 3

2. In The Ultimate Beginning 7

3. How Would God Respond

To Rebellion 10

4. The Crucial Demonstration 15

5. Why Are We Still Here? 17

6. Phase 1 - Judgment

In Heaven 23

7. Phase 2 - Demonstration

On Earth 25

8. Phase 3 - The Ultimate End

Of Rebellion 31

The Final Verdict

Why are we alive? What is the meaning of life? Listen to one man's attempt to define our existence: "For what are we, brother? We are but a phantom flare of grieved desire, the ghostly and phosphoric flicker of immortal time. We are an unspeakable utterance, an insatiable hunger, an unquenchable thirst, a lust that bursts our sinews, explodes our brains and rips our hearts asunder. We are a twist of passion, a moment's flame of love and ecstasy, a sinew of bright blood and agony, a lost cry, a haunting of brief sharp hours, an almost-captured beauty, a demon's whisper of unbodied memory. We are the dupes of time" (Thomas Wolfe).

Can we glibly shrug off his lament as the raving of a madman, or is there some logic to his plea? Is there any evidence for his claim that we are simply dupes of time? Let's be honest. The scandal of Christianity is the existence of a world where violence, greed and pain rule; where brute strength and national wealth determine the destiny of nations; where an accident of birthplace determines whether one will grow up free or enslaved, comfortable or starving.

Christians insist that God rules over all and that He both cares about His creation and intervenes in it to accomplish His will. But the evidence cries out, No! Where was this loving God when millions were being slaughtered in the earthen pits and gas chambers of Nazi Germany? Where is He now while starvation puts an end to the wretched existence of untold thousands of helpless children? How can we possibly square theology with reality; a loving God with the horrors of existence?

We cannot solve this dilemma by the evidence of our senses. The scientific methods we commonly use to understand the world and our place in it will simply not work to bring together these opposite poles of good and evil. The only possible way to escape despair is by the most monumental leap of faith imaginable. We must believe in a story told us by a Being we cannot even prove exists. To make it even more difficult, this story insists that our dilemma can only be resolved if we recognize the existence of billions of unseen beings throughout the universe. The census has yet to be taken which conclusively proves the existence of even one of these beings. And yet if we reject all of this we will be forced to echo the words I began with. What a monumental leap of faith! Let us now regard the story told in a 3500-year-old Book, not as a folk tale or legend, but as reliable history, for which life itself is well worth risking.

I am asking you to believe this marvelous story, not because I can prove it to be true, but simply because this Book says it is true. I am asking you to order all your perceptions to be in harmony with the world-view outlined in its pages. I furthermore maintain that this approach, and only this approach, will allow us to avoid the ultimate scandal of Christianity—a good God who allows unconscionable evil to run rampant over this planet.

Yes, we do have an answer, but the answer humbles our intellect and confounds rational analysis, for it lies in the realm of faith. Do you understand clearly how things got from eternity to here, and more importantly, how things will proceed from here to eternity? We will now attempt, in highly condensed format, to scan the storyline, in hope that we can find exactly how our existence in an evil world makes sense in God's universe.

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