*Story contains a depiction of Hell and may not be suitable for all readers.
**Story contains the following words which are used in a non-profane, Biblical manner:
The Life of Joe, by Andrew
It was a dim and bleak life for Joe. His love had died and he was fired from his job. Joe was depressed as anyone could be. Not suicidal, but depressed. One day he thought some pie outside might cheer him up. So he went out on his back porch, with a piping hot piece of apple pie on a plate in his right hand. He devoured half the pie and immediately stopped when he heard a sound. It was there for an instant then it disappeared. It sounded like a faint boom or a pop coming from miles away. He decided to ignore it and continue to consume his baked goodness that he bought from Auntie Jimmy’s Bakery the previous night. But immediately after he ate the first bite, he heard the sound again. Except this time it was louder, and seemingly closer. He ate another piece of pie and heard it again, except this time it was even louder than the one before. Then he heard a cacophony of sirens all around his New York apartment. Every possible warning sign was issued, and he decided to go inside. But as he turned to go inside, he saw three fiery red mushroom clouds in the direction he heard the sound from. He was terrified. He bolted inside is room and turned on the TV only to find out that Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. had been attacked by Iranian nuclear bombs, and that Pittsburgh and New York were next on the list of attack. President Barack Obama came on the TV screen with a statement from his Washington bomb shelter. “Iran was closer to a nuclear weapon than we thought,” he said, “the United Nations imposed their sanctions too late. Iran was supposed to halt all nuclear work by next year, but they had already finished their evil work. And on this day, April 24th, 2013, the Congress, The Senate, I, the President, and the United States of America must retaliate. We declare war on the Islamic Republic of Iran effective immediately, and troops have already been deployed to the Middle East to strike back against Iran. Rest assured that we as a Nation will defeat this evil, and that you, the people of the United States of America, will be safe and protected by our troops being deployed, and our troops that are already overseas. Thank you.”
After Joe watched the President’s statement, he decided to run for his dear life. He bolted out of his apartment and sprinted with all he had to get away from New York City. He ran to a Harley-Davidson dealership and stopped. He decided to buy a bike. He went inside, bought a motorcycle and paid with his credit card in full. He hopped on and drove away from the city. He weaved in and out of cars trying to get out, and hit only a few screaming pedestrians. He was almost away from the city when he lost his balance and toppled over, landing in a ditch next to a drug store. He laid in the ditch for five minutes, with deep red blood gushing from his body onto the dirt he landed in. He knew right then that it was over. He was going to be dead. But then he saw a bright white light burning deep into his corneas. “God?” he said, for he thought he had passed away and gone to Heaven. But alas, the blinding light went away as quickly as it came, and he learned that the light he saw was not God, but the bomb that destroyed New York City. The white light came first, then immediately afterwards the bomb was felt from all around the area. It shook the ground and toppled over buildings. Including Auntie Jimmy’s Drug Store, right next to the ditch that Joe knew was his death bed. He watched as the drug store toppled over on top of him. The old brick building toppled in many pieces. The debris covered Joe’s entire body, but he somehow found a way to peek his head out for a final view before death. But this was not a beautiful last sight. It was a fiery red sky highlighted with a gigantic mushroom cloud from where the bomb had hit. The New York skyline he had loved so much was gone. All that he saw was the new World Trade Center Tower One, which somehow survived the blast, or so Joe thought. The glass had been blown out and the building was on fire, but it stood there, standing tall to represent the freedom of America that could never die. Until the building toppled over from the earthquake caused by the bomb. It tilted to the left, then to the right, then the left again, and then it fell to the ground. Anything and everything in New York was gone. Not a single tower standing. As Joe watched, the fiery red sky became even more fierce and terrifying. He looked around in the final seconds of his life, watching as the quaint suburb he crashed in turned from a pleasant little town next to one of the largest cities in the world, to a flaming fireball that resembled the flame of Hell. He wanted to weep and gnash his teeth because of the hellish resemblance the town now bore. But as the remains of the drug store pierced him even harder, he became paralyzed and blind. He could only hear the devastation going on around him. Joe heard the flames and the screaming of others dying around him. He wanted to help, but he was in need of help himself trapped under a motorcycle and the flaming debris of a drug store. His bleeding had worsened a hundredfold and now even breathing was a chore. He was burdened with pain every time he took a breath. He didn’t know how much longer his body could take it. He wanted to be dead and in whatever afterlife was offered to him. Whether it was being in Heaven with God and his deceased lover, Janie, or being reincarnated as a cow in India, he was not sure. He thought he might even just cease to exist or play a harp on a cloud for eternity. Whatever it is, he thought, it’s better than this.
He laid in the ditch and heard flames, screaming people, sirens, and fighter jets that he assumed were on their way to the Middle East to strike back. And suddenly he saw another bright light, millions of times brighter than the last one. At first he thought that they dropped a bomb right on top of him or where he was, but he would’ve instantly died in that scenario. And he had been made blind, so he couldn’t have seen the light from a bomb anyway. The light grew brighter and he tried to shield his eyes from the brightness. He recognized that he was no longer paralyzed or disabled by the debris from the Auntie Jimmy’s Drug Store, but he was still unable to shield himself from the brightness. And suddenly the bright light became clearer to him. He heard a voice that sounded like many rushing waters and was louder than any bomb could ever be saying, “JOSEPH ROBERT SAWYER.” Joe was shocked; he never told a single living soul his real middle name. He hated it for some reason and called himself “Joseph Tyler Sawyer,” but somehow, this mysterious, loud-voiced being knew his real name. He heard the voice again and could only see blinding brightness, “JOSEPH, WHY ARE YOU HERE?” the voice asked, “STATE YOUR BUSINESS!” Joe finally figured out that he was no longer on earth and that the Voice belonged to God, and replied. “Is this the afterlife?” Joe asked. He thought this was WAY better than ceasing to exist or becoming a cow. Now will I be in Heaven, he thought, or become an angel and play a harp on a cloud for all eternity? God knew his thoughts and spoke in His loud voice, “JOSEPH, YOU ARE NOT IN THE AFTERLIFE, AND YOU ARE NOT IN HEAVEN. YOU ARE IN THE PLACE WHERE JEHOVAH JUDGES, AND YOU WILL NOT BE PLAYING ANY HARP.” Joe always thought that if there was a God, He would judge in Heaven and let in the good and cast away the bad. Joe asked Him, “So, what’s the verdict, am I in?” He got no immediate response, but instead saw a man walking towards him in the light. He saw the man’s face, His hair and beard were white as snow and His face shone like the sun. “Are you Jesus?” asked Joe. God spoke again, “THIS IS YOUR JUDGE, JOSEPH, AND MY SON, JESUS, THE CHRIST.” Joe looked in to the shining eyes of Jesus as he was being judged. Jesus told Joe every sin he had ever committed, and because he was with God and outside of time, it only took but a moment. Jesus asked him, “Why do you deserve to go to Heaven?” Joe knew that all his life he was a good guy, and he barely ever did anything bad, “I’m not evil, I never worshipped Satan, I never broke one of Your ten commandments, and in fact, I haven’t even been pulled over in my car once” was Joe’s weak reply.
God spoke again, “IN MY KINGDOM, THERE IS NO EVIL, NO SIN, NO SATAN, NO TRAFFIC LAW, AND YOU, JOSEPH, HAVE BROKEN EVERY COMMANDMENT I PASSED DOWN TO MOSES IN THE DAYS OF OLD.” Joe didn’t know what to say. He never knew that he had broken every commandment, “God,” he said, “You must be mistaken; I have never broken a single commandment.” God rebuked him and said “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GODS BEFORE ME, AND THOU SHALT NOT CREATE IDOLS! YOU HAVE BROKEN BOTH OF THESE LAWS BY PUTTING YOURSELF, OR ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE BEFORE ME. THOU SHALT NOT TAKE MY NAME IN VAIN! YOU HAVE BROKEN THIS LAW BY USING MY NAME IN CURSING AND ANGER,” Joe interrupted, “That’s just an expression, God,” he said, but before he could think about what he just said, God spoke again, “SILENCE,” He said, “YOU HAVE TAKEN MY NAME IN VAIN AGAIN BY TRYING TO INTERRUPT ME!” Joe tried to speak again, but his mouth was sealed closed. “REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY AND KEEP IT HOLY!” God said, “YOU NEVER WORSHIPPED ME ON THE SABBATH, YOU DRANK TO THE POINT OF DRUNKENESS WHILE WATCHING SPORTS EVERY SUNDAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS. HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER! THE ‘HONOR’ YOU GAVE THEM WAS SMALLER THAN THE HEAD OF A PIN! THOU SHALT NOT MURDER! EVERY TIME YOU SPOKE ANGER AGAINST SOMEONE, YOU MURDERED THEM IN YOUR HEART. AND IN YOUR SELFISH AMBITION TO LEAVE NEW YORK BEFORE THE BOMBING, YOU KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE WITH YOUR VEHICLE! THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY!” Joe’s mouth was opened and he spoke immediately, “I may have broken the other commandments, but I NEVER broke that one!” Jesus replied to him with the very words he said long ago in the Bible, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Joe’s mouth was closed again and he knew that he wouldn’t be able to speak again during this judgment. God finished the commandments that Joe broke, “DON’T STEAL,” “DON’T LIE,” and “DON’T COVET.” Joe was able to speak again and he didn’t know what to say. God spoke to him again, “JOSEPH ROBERT ‘TYLER’ SAWYER, YOU ARE SENTENCED TO BURN AND BE TORMENTED FOR ETERNITY IN HELL WITH SATAN, THE BEAST, THE FALSE PROPHET, AND THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE WHEN THEY HAD THE CHANCE.”
Joe burst into tears. He didn’t think he would go to Hell. He always thought he was a good person and that he would be fine when he died. He didn’t think he would go to the same place as the worst of criminals. “Please Jesus!” he shouted, “Please God! I believe! I believe! Why won’t you listen to me!? Why can’t I have another chance!? I believe now! I really do!” he said in a miserable, desperate tone, grabbing onto Jesus trying to avoid eternal torment in Hell. “Get away from Me,” Jesus said, “I never knew you.” And at those words a giant hole opened up in the ground where Jesus was. He flew over to Joe, grabbed him, and before tossing him into the hole/portal to Hell, He spoke to Joe, “Joseph, I have always loved you, and I am not willing that any should perish. I loved you so much that I was pierced for your transgressions, and crushed for your sins. The punishment that brought peace was upon Me, and by My wounds, you could have been healed and forgiven. But you did not accept My love. You have heard My gospel many times, but you dismissed it. I was willing to die for you so that you would be forgiven, and I did. But you never accepted My love. And although I hate to do this, and it burdens Me to do this, I must bring justice, for I am a loving God, but I am also a just God, and you must be brought to justice for your sins, because you have fallen short of My glory, and you never accepted My love, grace and forgiveness.”
After He spoke those words, a huge, blue and white flame came up from the hole and devoured Joe in Jesus’ arms. Jesus was unaffected by the flame, but by that flame, Joe was devoured and cast into Hell for all eternity. And as suddenly as the hole to the Abyss was opened, it was closed up. As Joe was falling into the fire, he looked up and gazed at a sorrowful Jesus through the hole until it went away. Joe landed in the fire, his clothes were burned off, his skin was caught aflame, he was parched and entirely without liquid in his body. Even his blood evaporated. He looked around and saw the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan, and billions of souls that never trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He began to weep without tears and gnashed his teeth as he was being tormented. He saw two angels come towards him with weapons in their hands. The angels rushed him and beat him without mercy. If this was Earth, he would’ve been killed by the angels. But this was not earth. And there could be no death in Hell, for this was death. He laid there in pain, looking around, seeing all the lost and dead souls moaning and desperately crying for help. He looked up and saw the hole open again as another soul was condemned into the fire. All around him was pain and misery. And it could only get worse. Every second there was another nuclear-like explosion from every corner of the place, causing even more torment and misery. He cried and cried and cried but no tears came. His entire body had melted and all that was left of him was a skeleton. A skeleton that would be tortured and tormented forever and ever. Yes, forever and ever. He was in so much pain after only a few seconds of eternal torment, but at that moment, he found himself in his bed in his New York apartment. It had all been a terrible nightmare. There was no bombing, no motorcycle, no death, and no Hell for Joe. He immediately got on his knees and accepted Jesus’ forgiveness. He went to his book shelf and got out his old, hardly used Bible and read it all night. He knew he was blessed and that he was forgiven. He then decided to go somewhere he hadn’t been since childhood. Church. He went to the nearest church and heard more and more of the Word of God. He went home and studied even more. Every day of his life became devoted to God. He was a new man. The old is gone and the new has come! Joe was made perfect and new through the blood of Jesus Christ, and will live with him forever and ever. Yes, forever and ever.
Copyright ©2012, The Life of Joe. All rights reserved. No part of this may be used without the consent of the author. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ®, NIV ®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblia Inc.™ Used by permission, all rights reserved worldwide.
About the Author: I am homeschooled via Arkansas Virtual Academy. I am 13 years old and live in Central Arkansas. I have been homeschooled all my life. And I sometimes put the words on the screen for my church’s Sunday morning services.