The following is a little Story my father told me about twenty years ago.
As you might already have noticed, my english is far from being polished, so the translation might be a little rough. Actually, no. It will be a little rough.
Anyway, here’s the Story:
An Atheist dies and finds himself in a dark corridor with a little light in the distance and a big Sign reading “To Hell – This Way” pointing towards it.
„Ok“, he thinks, “I never believed that stuff, so it seems fair that I don’t go to heaven. I’ll be a good sport and face it.”
He walks towards the light and comes to a door, which again has a sign on it. In bright neon Letters he reads again “Hell”.
Reluctantly, he opens the door and behind it, he beholds – a beach scene.
The sun is shining from a blue cloudless heaven onto a nearly white sandy beach. Happy People playing Volleyball, splashing around in the blue water or sitting in wicker chairs, sipping Cocktails.
The Atheist blinks twice, but the scene does not change.
So he starts wandering around the beach and wonders why everyone is in such a good mood.
After a few minutes of wandering around, he spots a red skinned guy with a tail and hooves, siting in a wicker chair. He walks over to the guy and says: “You must be the Devil, I suppose.”
The Devil looks at him and says: “Yeah. Lucifer’s the Name. But you can call me Cifer if you like. Everyone around here does it.” He looks at a clipboard “You must be the new Atheist we are waiting for. You’re right on schedule. So, make yourself at home, grab a chair and help yourself to a Drink. The Bar is right over there. Oh, and if you get acquainted with a girl or two, then remember one more thing – We don’t have celibacy around here.”
With a broad smile on his face, he winks.
“Now go and have fun. You have an afterlife to spent.”
The Atheist is beset by doubts.
“So, where’s the catch?” he asks the Devil.
“Catch? There is none. Look, this is hell, I am Lucifer, I am the Boss around here and I tell you to have fun. That’s the way things work around here. We have fun. Just don’t get on anyone’s nerves. Really, it’s okay. I Promise.”
So the Atheist makes himself at home. Day after Day he’s on the beach, sipping cocktails, smoking cigars and making out with the girls or playing Poker with the guys. And he goes on exploring this strange, new world.
Months later, as he is wandering around, behind a dune he believes to see something glowing. He walks up the dune and behind it he sees a deep chasm with a giant lake of fire at the bottom. In and around the Lake, he sees thousands of People screaming and crying while they get tortured by winged beasts in too horrible to describe ways.
The Atheist froze in Terror but could not look away from this gruesome sight.
He thinks “I knew there was a catch. I knew it!”
He runs back to the beach, spots the Devil and confronts him.
“You said that there was not catch. You said this would be all about fun.”
The Devil looks puzzled.
“What do you mean?” he asks. “Of course it’s all about fun. It’s Drinks, Girls, Games and the Beach. That’s the way it is. It’s been that way thousands of years. I really don’t see where you’re getting at.”
“I came across the Lake of Fire and saw the tortured souls screaming and crying. And I saw the winged beasts torturing them.”
The Devil raises his eyebrows and smiles sheepishly.
“Ah, yes. I see what you mean. I am really Sorry. I forgot to tell you about that.”
The Atheist asks “So you’re going to throw me into that Lake of Fire, right?”
“Are you kidding? Of course not!” the Devil laughs, “It’s solely for Christians.”
“For Christians?” the Atheist asks doubtfully.
“Yes. They want it that way. Just don’t ask me why.”