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THE BEGINNING OF FOREVER
By Jenni Crolius

I woke up one night from the heat in my room,
I felt an unexplainable, deep sense of gloom.
Slowly my eyes opened up to see
Something strange had happened to me.

No longer was I lying safely in bed,
But was standing among many I knew to be dead.
I recognized friends and neighbors around
And there was an old woman in a heap on the ground.

I felt my fear begin to rise
As I looked into a pair of sad eyes.
The eyes belonged to a man in white,
His face was shining with an excellent light.

I could see the long scar on His side from the knife;
And in His scarred hands was the book titled “Life”.
As He turned the page I approached His throne
And I tried to recall the truth I’d once known.

I was taught as a child to love God and obey
But once on my own, I wandered away.
The Lord’s heart broke as He brushed a tear with His hand
And He said to me simply, “I don’t understand.

“Once you loved My word and kept my laws,
Now you’re in the world’s hands – what’s the cause?”
I cried aloud and tried to pray
But my Savior’s hand motioned me away.

I knew what He’d say and I cringed at the thought –
But still the words came, “I know ye not.”
I begged for a chance my story to tell
Before the Great Judge sentenced me to hell.

“I would’ve attended Thy worship more
If only the preacher hadn’t been such a bore.
The singing was almost always off key;
And the public prayers did nothing for me.

Why, once I shook a visitor’s hand,
Introduced myself and acted quite grand;
But one brother who had observed the scene
Had nothing to say of my being so keen.

So, you see, Lord, right then I made up my mind
On all these hypocrites I’d not waste my time.
But all along I’ve loved you in my heart –
And after all, that’s the most important part.”

When I’d finished my speech, the Lord hung His head
And I could tell He hadn’t liked what I said.
With tears in His eyes, He looked up at me
And said, “I never asked much of thee.

“I offered my life on Calvary’s hill
I died for you as was My Father’s will.
If you had loved Me like you say,
You would’ve been faithful – a small price to pay.

“But you chose to walk in the way that’s wide;
You straddled the fence, never choosing a side.
Now you beg mercy, yet it’s too late –
You’ll never pass through the beautiful gate.”

I could see on His face that His heart broke for me
And I opened my mouth for one last feeble plea.
He wouldn’t listen, He had closed His ears;
I knew now how worthless were my wasted years.

I had no choice but to part from my Lord
And I turned to His left without one more word.
I stood amidst many I’d known on this earth
Who all now felt their great lack of worth.

The wailing and crying was impossible to bear;
The darkness was thick and hot was the air.
We walked down a path that was very wide –
Me and all others who in sin had died.

I looked over my shoulder when we were almost there
And I saw the Great Lord rise into the air.
He took with Him the few who faithful had been
And I cried to know I’d never see Him again.

My body was different and yet I felt pain –
I heard myself scream again and again.
At last we were in the devil’s den –
The place of torment our eternity to spend.

I thought of my life and the things I had done.
I relived in my mind each sin one by one.
The gift of life that once had been mine,
I trampled under foot time after time.

I sat among those who on earth I would flee –
I’d be with them forever, what cruel irony.
As I wandered the fiery streets of hell,
I knew the truth only too well.

I couldn’t blame my brothers in the Lord
For they often tried to teach me the word.
It wasn’t the fault of my family –
In fact, the entire blame lay all on me.

“Let me try again” I heard myself shout;
I searched and searched but there was no way out.
As I saw pain and fear in my companions’ eyes
The panic within me started to rise.

I had to get out. I wanted to be free –
I started to run. I tried to flee.
There was no escape and then suddenly
Satan himself stood looking at me.

I offered an excuse on my behalf
But he cared not to hear it; he started to laugh
I hated him so and I hated myself
As he added my soul to his victory shelf.

My mind was weary from my futile endeavor;
Crying, I sat down . . . the beginning of forever.

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