I don't see it coming. There's a loud, deafening crash. The excruciating pain I feel upon impact only lasts a second.
I float upward and hover. I see two mangled cars. Is the dark one mine?
I see a man partially hanging out the door. He looks dead. He's wearing my clothes. Is it me? Am I dead? I can't be dead--I'm only twenty years old!
Another man is slumped over in the other car. He looks dead, too. I don't know him.
Someone is hovering next to me. It's the man from the other car. We watch together as onlookers gather. A woman is wailing, "Lord, have mercy!" Sirens are screaming, lights are flashing.
Creatures appear. Three approach me. They are very gruesome. They surround me. I'm so afraid--more afraid than I've ever been. Two of them grab me. I struggle desperately to get away, but can't; they laugh a horrible, evil laugh. The third one goes toward the other man and says, "We'll take him, too."
Three more creatures surround the man, but they look different. They are extraordinary, but not gruesome. When the gruesome creature reaches for the man, the extraordinary creatures intervene. "This man is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; in the name of Jesus, depart, demon!" they exhort.
A bright light shines down on the man and the three extraordinary creatures. Angels, yes, they are angels, I realize. The man and three angels disappear into the light.
The demons carried me away. I'm put into a sinister, dark place. I can't see anyone or anything; I hear the screams and wails of countless others.
I weep, scream, and gnash my teeth. I know I can never leave this place. I am in Hell.
Why am I here? I'm not so bad. I believe in God. I go to church. I'm basically a good person. I was baptized as a baby--didn't that count for something?
It's all coming back to me now: 'for all have sinned,' 'not by works...,' 'For God so loved the world,' 'I am the way...,' Believe in the name of the Lord Jesus.' How many times did I hear Christians say these things? But I spurned them.
I remember all the times I mocked Jesus. His name is nothing but a curse word to me. I think of my countless excuses: Who needs Jesus? What's he going to save me from? I believe in God, so why do I need Jesus? Isn't it narrow minded to think Jesus is the only way? So many times I refused to believe--now it's too late.
All the sinful things I did in life come to mind. Shame, regret, and sadness consume me; I know I deserve to be here--I am guilty of so much. But I know just one sin would have brought me here, this place of torment, away from Holy God. Now I am paying my sin debt--forever.
There's fire. It's so hot--I'm so hot... I'm burning. I'm tormented! It doesn't stop! "Help me, save me, Jesus. I'm so sorry, so very sorry."
I awaken. I'm in my bed. It was only a dream--a horrible nightmare! Or was it a vision?
A flood of relief envelops me.
Humbled, broken, and repentant, I get down on my knees and pray. "God, I have sinned against you. Forgive me for all the times I mocked and rejected your Son, Jesus. Now I understand why Jesus died on the cross, it was to save me from the penalty of my sins. And the penalty of sin is to spend eternity separated from you--in Hell. But Jesus paid my penalty so I don't have to. All you require is for me to put my faith and trust in Him. Thank you for revealing your truth to me. I know I can do nothing to save myself. Trying to be a good person, doing good works, baptism--nothing can save me. Only Jesus can save me and give me eternal life. Jesus, the sinless, perfect sacrifice, I receive you as my Savior and Lord of my life. Amen