The gospel according to Black Sabbath

A word from the masters of metal:

Have you ever thought about your soul – can it be saved?
Or perhaps you think that when you’re dead
you just stay in your grave
Is God just a thought within your head or is he a part of you?
Is Christ just a name that you read in a book
when you were in school?

When you think about death do you lose your breath
or do you keep your cool?
Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope
do you think he’s a fool?
Well I have seen the truth, yes I’ve seen the light
and I’ve changed my ways
And I’ll be prepared when you’re lonely and scared
at the end of our days

Could it be you’re afraid of what your friends might say
If they knew you believed in God above?
They should realize before they criticize
that God is the only way to love

Is your mind so small that you have to fall
In with the pack wherever they run
Will you still sneer when death is near
And say they may as well worship the sun?

I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ
I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
Will you be so sure when your day is near, say you don’t believe?
You had the chance but you turned it down, now you can’t retrieve

Perhaps you’ll think before you say that God is dead and gone
Open your eyes, just realize that he’s the one
The only one who can save you now from all this sin and hate
Or will you jeer at all you hear? Yes! I think it’s too late.

– Black Sabbath, After Forever

Listen to After Forever here.

6 thoughts on “The gospel according to Black Sabbath

  1. Very interesting. I’ve never been a big fan of metal, but I’m impressed by the thought behind the lyrics. And your post got me searching and I found the lyrics to another Black Sabbath song that still has pertinence:
    Children of the Grave
    Revolution in their minds – the children start to march
    Against the world which they have to live in
    Oh! The hate that’s in their hearts
    They’re tired of being pushed around and told just what to do
    They’ll fight the world until they’ve won and love comes flowing through
    Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
    Will the sunrise of tomorrow bring in peace in any way?
    Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear?
    Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?
    So you children of the world, listen to what I say
    If you want a better place to live in, spread the words today
    Show the world that love is still the life you must embrace
    Or you children of today are Children of the Grave, Yeah!


  2. Awesome post! Ever since I found Christ, I’ve had to let go of my metal past – there’s just no way to believe in Jesus and listen to Slayer and feel right about it. But now I can use Sabbath to reach my metal brothers who think I’ve gone insane. God’s way truly are not our ways. Thanks again!


  3. David, yes I had to let go of Slayer too. Irreconcilable differences. But not so with all of them. I find most metal bands aren’t so much anti-Christian as anti-hypocracy.
    “Leper Messiah” by Metallica is a great example of this. It’s not a commentary on Jesus, it’s a commentary on money grabbing televangelists. I see that same attitude reflected in the line from After Forever – “I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ”


  4. Gotta say, I have always loved heavy metal, whether in motorbikes, or rock n roll. But I never read the words of this song by Black Sabbath though its been around a few decades.
    Puts Black Sabbath in a new perspective for me.
    Like the words better than the offerings of some more explicitly “Christian” bands.


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