In the beginning, God created the earth, and everything was perfect. People walked about happy and content, and God saw that it was good. But then the people discovered the delights of sugar, and slowly but surely started rotting their teeth. God came up with a plan – he set up a toothpaste factory. The people thought this was fantastic, and used the toothpaste twice a day to keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh and minty.
However, some people thought “this toothpaste isn’t actually doing very much, I don’t think I’ll bother using it any more”. And due to the nature of plaque build-up, they happily went for days, weeks, months at a time without so much looking at a toothbrush. And when their teeth did get a bit revolting, they went to a dentist to have fillings put in. God was not impressed.
Then some other people started saying “wouldn’t it be great if toothpaste was more exciting? I mean, we have fruity flavoured ice cream, why not have fruity flavoured toothpaste as well?” Quite a commotion started up, and it didn’t escape God’s attention. But God knew that the toothpaste he had provided was good and effective, so kept on producing the same toothpaste.
Not everyone in God’s toothpaste factory agreed with God, however. The company’s Advertising Executive, Satan, came to God and said “Have you heard what people are saying? We need to satisfy their demand, and change the recipe. I’ve got some great ideas on how to improve things…” But God wasn’t interested. God, having been to university and studied these sorts of things, knew for a fact that his toothpaste worked, and that the ideas that Satan was throwing around wouldn’t help people’s teeth at all, in fact it would probably make them worse. Satan kept on badgering God about it, until God had no option but to fire Satan.
Satan, undeterred from his plan, went along the road and set up his own toothpaste factory, making toothpaste the way he and the people wanted it to be made. The people loved it! Chocolate flavour, strawberry flavour, lemon flavour, fudge flavour, marzipan flavour, anything and everything! But, as God had known all along, people’s teeth started to rot. Of course there was much discussion amongst the people about which toothpaste was the best, quoting facts and figures and statistics and opinions at each other all day long.
Eventually, God put into action his ultimate plan to stop Satan’s toothpaste influence. He sent his son out into the world on a three year advertising campaign. Jesus went round to lots of different towns and villages in the area, telling them all about how good God’s toothpaste was, and how much tooth decay you’d get if you used Satan’s. Many people listened, others didn’t.
All this did not pass Satan by, of course, and he came up with his counter-plan. He found Jesus and offered him a job at his factory. To everyone’s surprise, Jesus actually went to the interview! The local press got hold of it, and started ridiculing Jesus for being a traitor, and mocking him for being fickle and weak. The reports were cruel, and the crowds jeered and shouted at him. Even Jesus’s friends, his fellow campaigners, started to wonder if it had all been for nothing, and that Satan’s toothpaste would outlast God’s after all.
Then, as God watched silently from his office window, Jesus accepted the job, and the crowds that had gathered shouted and jeered all the louder. Satan smiled in victory, and welcomed Jesus into his factory. Once inside, Jesus was given the hardest, most gruelling jobs to do, like mopping the floors and screwing the tops on the tubes of toothpaste. Outside the factory, everyone wondered what would become of Jesus and the two toothpaste factories.
On the third day, the second phase of God’s plan came into action. This was the part that only Jesus and his father knew about, and Satan never saw it coming. Jesus started undoing bolts in the machinery. Things started to rattle, oil started to leak into the toothpaste, strawberry and chocolate flavouring started leaking out all over the floor and mixing together, the toothpaste went sour, mechanical arms get misaligned and started dropping the empty tubes on the floor. And finally, the valve in the toothpaste pump malfunctioned, the pressure grew and grew and grew, until the whole factory exploded, sending toothpaste flying into the air.
Jesus went back to work in God’s factory, but Satan’s business was ruined, bankrupted, destroyed. However, because of the amount of toothpaste Satan had produced, the people still had to decide which toothpaste to use. God’s toothpaste now had a buy-on-get-one-free offer on it, but the people still had to choose. Some people still preferred the fruity flavoured toothpaste, and claimed it to be far better because it was rarer and more expensive. But God still knew that his toothpaste was the best, and kept quietly making it.
When God brings all things to an end, what state will your teeth be in?