#8216;Heaven#039;s Gate, Hell#039;s Flame#039; touches lives
Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2006
An opportunity to reconsider “the rest of your life” was offered to hundreds of people who came to First Assembly of God in Greenville Nov. 5, 6 and 7.
The church was the setting each night for the one-hour, 20-minute presentation, “Heaven's Gate, Hell's Flame,” mounted by Rick and Joann Dougherty of Reality Ministry. First Assembly's pastor, Lane Simmons, estimated close to 1,200 people attended the production over the three-night period.
“Folks need to realize this life on earth is not the end. Each person has to make a decision about Christ's role in our lives,” Simmons said. “One day we will all stand before God and give account of our lives. We will spend eternity according to the word in either Heaven or Hell.”
The show, “Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames,” featured live scenes “that confront people with the reality of eternity,” Simmons said.
“For example, in one scene, two contractors are eating lunch when a wall falls in and takes them both out. One had just made his decision for Christ a short time before, and he discovers his name has been written in the Book of Life.”
In another scene, a family that is killed in a car crash is reunited in heaven.
“They had each given their lives to Christ. There was a child who had died years earlier. They found her there waiting for them,” Simmons said.
The cast of 35 was drawn from Simmons' church and other congregations in the area, with lighting, sound, costuming and backdrops provided by Reality Ministry.
“It was a very powerful performance as evidence by the lives touched each night.
On Sunday night, 91 people came forward to make a decision for Christ. We had 97 on Monday and another 68 on Tuesday night,” Simmons said.
“The message we wanted to give out to people is this: it's your life. You can live it like you want to live it, but know this is not all there is.”
The pastor described the production as “one of the most effective outreaches we have had in many years.”
“One local pastor said he thought it touched more lives in Butler County than anything he had seen in years, too. We encourage all in the surrounding area, if you ever get to see this production and haven't yet, go and see it,” Simmons said.
The pastor said First Assembly of God hopes to have “Last Chance,” a production offered by the same ministry, at the church in the not-too-distant future.
“We want to encourage folks out there to get involved in a local church and to find a home there. Let's make a positive difference in our community.”