#8216;Heaven#039;s Gate, Hell#039;s Flame#039; touches lives

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2006

An opportunity to reconsider &#8220the 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, &#8220Heaven'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.

&#8220Folks 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. &#8220One 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, &#8220Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames,” featured live scenes &#8220that confront people with the reality of eternity,” Simmons said.

&#8220For 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.

&#8220They 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.

&#8220It 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.

&#8220The 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 &#8220one of the most effective outreaches we have had in many years.”

&#8220One 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 &#8220Last Chance,” a production offered by the same ministry, at the church in the not-too-distant future.

&#8220We 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.”