When the toast is burned and all the milk is churned
"Fellas, I'm scared. I don't wanna go to [thunderclap]."—Peter Tork
Peter had every right to be scared. Eternal damnation is no laughing matter. Yet some people fail to recognize the seriousness of this problem called sin we all have to deal with. I hope to shed some light on this most terrifying, most uncomfortable subject.
Many people make the same mistake Peter made by saying "I don’t believe in devils" and assuming that that automatically makes the forces of evil nonexistent. They are dead wrong. Metaphysical gobbledygook notwithstanding, Satan is real. The Bible says in no uncertain terms that he exists (Luke 10:18), is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), masquerades as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14), goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8), and is destined for eternal damnation (Revelation 20:10). Likewise, hell is a real place of everlasting torment and total separation from God (Matthew 5:29-30, 8:11-12, 13:40-42, 25:41-46; Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:19-31; John 3:36; II Thessalonians 1:8-9; II Peter 2:4; Revelation 14:9-11, 19:20, 20:10, 15, 21:8).
You don’t have to have a contract with the devil to go to hell. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). The day will come when this prophecy comes true: "If anyone's name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15). You can't talk your way out of it, either, contrary to the picture presented by Mike's insistence on a trial.
So how do we get out of this horrible predicament we find ourselves in? A hint is given by Davy’s attempt to bargain with Mr. Zero so that he would go instead of Peter. While Mr. Zero did not accept this exchange, Someone has died in our stead—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
This last verse brings up an important point. You can never earn your way into heaven. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
So how do you become a Christian? It's as simple as A-B-C:
A—Admit that you are a sinner. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
B—Believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).
C—Confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
Sound too good to be true? These words from the Apostle Paul confirm the simplicity of grace: "That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved... for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’" (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
So what are you waiting for? "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found" (Isaiah 55:6)!
Additional Point: Mike talks around the fact that Peter’s talent for playing the harp is God-given. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). And, as Job so wisely pointed out, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:20). Mr. Zero could never have given Peter the ability to play the harp; however, contrary to Mike’s argument, God can (and sometimes does) take away gifts and talents that are being used in a manner contrary to His will.
(All Scriptures in this article taken from the KJV.)