God has confirmed that Judgment Day will take approximately the same format as your recent performance appraisal at work. The only difference, He added, is the outcome: rather than being given a worthless grade signifying a zero pay rise, you are likely to suffer a just and righteous punishment in the unquenchable flames of hellfire. Promotion to Heaven is rare, and the majority of candidates are sentenced to everlasting torture amongst the wicked souls of the damned.
‘We usually start with a bit of small talk,’ said the Almighty Lord, after delivering a mass of reprobate sinners to experience the infinite torments promised by Scripture. ‘Still or sparkling? How exactly did you die? Was it any good down there? What do you think happens to sodomites? That kind of thing. Of course I know the answers, but it helps to break the ice. Then we move straight into 360 reviews from deceased friends and enemies.’
The Lord Creator will then compare His divine plan for your life with the harsh realities of what you failed to achieve. This will be a feedback-only session, where DVD playback is used to highlight the number of times you have violated God’s laws. The meeting usually finishes with a final judgment and some brief words on development areas.
‘I thought my appraisal started well,’ said 34 year-old Peter Staunton, who had recently choked to death during a fairy cake-eating contest. ‘360 reviews were fine, apart from Uncle George. He could be such a prick – sorry, I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. But then I spilt a cup of a holy water and took the name of Jesus in vain. After that, I knew was destined to spend the rest of eternity being disembowelled by demons in oceans of boiling blood. If I’m honest, I didn’t really want the promotion.’
Vehement atheist Richard Dawkins added: ‘As I wrote in my book, The God Delusion (Black Swan Books, £8.99), “The God of the Old Testament is one of the most unpleasant characters in all fiction: a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”. Almost as bad as the average British manager, in fact.’