It lighted upon me a dream that a certain Mr. Magician was entertaining a rather large crowd in the City of Destruction. He was performing his tricks as usual, but someone caught his eye. He wasn’t a terrible, woeful distraction, nor did he draw much of a crowd. But for whatever reason, Mr. Magician could not take his eye off of him. Mr. Magician finished his routine, dismissed the crowd, and joined the crowd of three standing in front of the man yelling with a book held up in his hand.
Evangelist: Your city is headed toward destruction! That is why you must travel to yonder wicket gate!
Mr Magician was taken aback by such words, destruction? he thought, How could this be?
Mr. Magician: Good sir, why is it that this city should be destroyed?
Evangelist: The Good King knows all the evil deeds of you all and cannot let the guilty go unpunished (Ex. 34:7).
Mr. Magician: What must I do to be saved?
Evangelist: See the yonder wicket gate?
Mr. Magician: No.
Evangelist: Do you see the bright light shining on the far hill?
Mr. Magician: Yes!
One man, Repentance, broke down immediately into violent sobs and ran as fast as he could toward that light. Mr. Magician felt as though he should follow but began to grow such a burden for the people still in the city.
Mr. Magician: Good sir, do you have another copy of that book that I might tell other people of this grave yet wonderful news?
Evangelist: I do, but I urge you to set off on your journey right away.
Evangelist handed him a copy of the book, wherefore Mr. Magician began to read through it eagerly.
Mr. Magician: I have a show scheduled for tonight, I will use to to tell others this news before I go my way.
I saw in my dream that very night as his show began, Mr. Magician stood up before the great multitude and held up that book and began to tell them about the destruction to come. At that instant booing and hissing filled the crowd, and they left angry, for they expected to be entertained. A few, however, remained.
Ms. Liberal: Sir, that is a very good book, I’ve read it many times myself, but it certainly isn’t accurate.
Mr. Magician: Certainly it is! It was written by the Good King himself!
Mr. Skeptic: As many mistakes as there are in that book you could hardly call that king, “good.”
Ms. Liberal: I think you’ve missed the good king’s true message in that book. He surely will not destroy anyone, because that would make him not good at all. He merely wants us all to love one another and sometime accomplishes that by hyperbole.
Mr. Simple: Indeed, love is all that matters for the good king is love. Furthermore, the wicket gate you mention, is much to far, and the road too costly to get there. No one in their right mind would make such a journey.
With that the three also left the dejected Magician to himself on his empty stage all alone. Mr. Magician knew what the evangelist said was true. But he also knew what these people had said also convinced him.
Mr. Magician: Perhaps I can combine the two!
Upon this exclamation Evangelist came from ’round the corner with a scowl on his face.
Evangelist: I warned you to travel right away to avoid the destruction to come. How did your preaching go?
Mr. Magician: Quite horrible, but also quite well.
Evangelist: What do you mean by that?
Mr. Magician: Well the crowd left almost immediately once they realized I was just preaching and not going to entertain them.
Evangelist: Indeed, for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing (1 Cor1:18).
Mr. Magician: But I think I know a new way to get people to that wicket gate!
Evangelist: Indeed not! The Good King gave us his way: through the folly of what we preach (1 Cor. 1:21).
Mr. Magician: Good sir, that simply will not do. It was probably just meant as hyperbole.
Evangelist: Do not be a fool! Listen to my counsel (Prov. 12:15). You must not do what you are being tempted to do. If you doubt the Good King is good and cannot trust his word (Ps. 119:68), you will never leave the City of Destruction (2 Pt. 1:3, Rm. 2:4)!
Mr. Magician: That’s it! Perhaps we never have to leave after all!