Friday, September 7, 2007

"True Meaning of Death" reply to a column of Al Jones in "Here's the Scoop" magazine

Tonight I saw a copy of "Here's the Scoop" magazine that was delivered to my door today. The front page started with a column by Al Jones, entitled "True Meaning of Death". This was a story of a childhood friend of Al's names Paul Spears, in the fifth grade, who struggled with severe diabetes. Al describes very vividly his friend and the 'incidents' where some incidental thing happened to Paul that ended with him being hauled away by parents or medical personel for an extended absence...the last absence being permenant. Al's column caught my attention and imagination....I wrote the following response to him by email:

"I was very interested to read the column by Al Jones, in Issue #305 of Here's the Scoop, entitled "True Meaning of Death". It is sobering, isn't think of death, the suddenness with which it may have to be faced, the certainty that we will have to face it. For every ten people in this great province of Alberta, ten will face death. Ten out of ten people die. When someone around us dies, if we think clearly, the shock really isn't THAT they died, but WHEN they died. We know death is inevitable for all of us, it's the unexpected timing that shocks us must.

It makes one beg the question though, when you die, what will be next? What is out there when you step out of this world into eternity? This is a question that fixates some, scares others and some even dismiss. There is no getting around it though, each of us will have to face whatever it is out there. Sobering still when God states that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). For some this is a shock, that upon their death, they will be standing before God in judgment. There's more; "...he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31). This gives us a hint, not only will we all stand before God on the Day of Judgment, but there is a standard, "righteousness"...God's standard of right & wrong. If you were charged with a crime & had a court date set, you would scurry down to your lawyer & check the law and see how you would do at your day in court. You DO have a court date; God has appointed a just don't know when it is...yet. Should you not check God's Law (the Ten Commandments) and see how you'd do? Let's take a small test. Have you ever told a lie? If I lied to you, what would you call me? A liar! Have you ever stolen anything (regardless of value)? Thief? Have you ever used God's name as a curse word to express disgust? God says he will "not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain"...blasphemy is a very serious crime in God's eyes. The seventh commandment is "Do not commit adultery" case you think you are okay with that one, listen to the words of Jesus Christ "whosoever looketh at a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart". Have YOU looked at someone you're not married to with sexual desire? If you died right now, and stood before God, would he see you as a Lying, Thief and a Blasphemous Adulterer at heart? This is only four of the Ten Commandments. Would he sentence you to Heaven or Hell? Did you know that the Bible says that "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev.21:8). The Bible also explains that NO Thief, NO Blasphemer & NO Adulterer will enter God's Kingdom (I Cor. 6:9-10). Would YOU be sentenced to Hell?

Wow...Hell...does that concern you? It should...concerned me! Remember, being religious or church-going will NOT help you on the Day of Judgment. Your priest or pastor will not be standing with you and talking to God for you...YOU will be on your own! Giving your money, or doing good stuff will NOT help you either. If you committed a serious crime...murder...and were not caught for several years, during which you spent your time volunteering to help the poor, helped little old ladies across the street and filled your days with random acts of kindness, would you still be tried and convicted when you were caught? Of course you would, your good works were never the point, it would be your crime that you would be punished for. The same with God; good works are of course what you should do, it's your crimes before God's Law you will be judged for. God did an amazing thing for you. Something pre-planned to show what an amazingly great and kind God He is. God gave you and I his Law (He even gave us a conscience to know right from wrong..con means "with" and science means "knowledge" are with knowledge of right & wrong). God knew that you and I would blow it & break His Law...I've broken all Ten, how 'bout you? Knowing we would break His Law and be deserving of Hell, he sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus took on a body, was born of a woman, lived a completely sinless life (kept all the commandments). He allowed mere men, to nail his hands and feet to a wooden cross, stick a spear in His side, he bled and died. God His Father, blackened the sun for three hours, and poured out on Him the punishment of Hell that you and I deserve for breaking His Law.

Okay, so Jesus does that help you? Good question! Imagine you are convicted of a very serious crime here in Canada. Standing before the Judge at your sentencing hearing, you are informed that you have two penalty options under the law; $1,000,000 fine or lifetime in prison without possibility of parole. Your heart sinks, you have no money to pay the will never see the light of day again! The judge stands up, steps down off the bench, informs you that he has sold all his earthly possessions and has $1,000,000 to pay your fine. You are free to go. This is exactly what God has done for YOU through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. God simply "commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT"..."REPENTANCE toward God, and FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 17:30 & 20:21). Repentance is an old-fashioned word we don't use much any more. Repentance would be like you going to God in great sorrow for having offended Him, agreeing that is just that you should go to Hell, you deserve it, confessing to Him you sin then turning from your sin, abandoning & hating it...then turning to Jesus Christ in faith...trusting that He has paid the penalty you deserve to have paid for your sin (lawbreaking). If you truly turn to God in repentance and faith, God promises that He will forgive your sin, not because he 'let you off', but because your fine was paid with the blood of Jesus Christ and he will credit to your account the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He will reward you with an eternity in Heaven...not because you are a good person, but because you are a depraved person (like the rest of us) redeemed from sin by the blood of His Son.

Consider seriously what is out there, what is after death. Repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ. Get a Bible, read and obey it. What will you miss out on by doing this?...HELL!

Glenn A. Heslop
Airdrie, Alberta"

Please pray for Al, and others at "Here's the Scoop", that this message of the incredible Gospel of Jesus Christ, would convict of sin and bring some to repentance and faith.


P.S. Have you warned anyone around you today of the coming wrath of God?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Another Red Mile Friday Night

Freakishly tall dude…self-styled ‘thinker’…mostly talker

Approaching a group lounging on and around a bench, in front of Blockbuster video on Calgary’s Red Mile, we found a mixture of folks, talking and playing guitar. Some of them where young and well dressed and others appeared to be living on the streets. Handing them million-dollar bill Gospel tracts I began to elicit some reactions. One refused while another began to read. One began to rip his into little tiny bits…this one I handed a “Ticket to Heaven” tract. He was unable to tear this one, after much effort (as it is printed on untearable paper).

A freakishly tall young man engaged me in conversation. He is quite a friendly young man…we talked at length of whether this is a God, how we can know who He is, could the Bible be true and many other things. Any talk approaching the conscience, guilt before God’s Law (Exodus 20) or the Day of Judgment he quickly diverted. Though this young man appeared on the surface as an academic, a thinker, I quickly realized he is much more of a talker…he refused to honestly think through and of these issues of fact and reason. Pray for God to activate his conscience so he can face his sinful state before a Holy & righteous God…before he must face the horror of Judgment Day.

Leaving this young man, another man from Grace Gospel Church and I walked two of the men living on the street down to a local pizza shop buying them each a slice in the name of Jesus Christ.

Henry from St. Lucia

Further west on the Red Mile, I met a man ‘from da islands mon’. Henry is from St. Lucia. Standing on a street corner in front of a small convenience store, holding his cap out, Henry was politely asking for ‘donations’. Handing him a tract and asking about Heaven, Henry almost immediately commented to me. He gestured toward the people passing by in both directions and emphatically stated that these people where living their lives without thinking of the coming Hellfire.

Henry was concerned about Hell and trying to get to Heaven by good works. We discussed God’s Law and showed how it was too late for him to do good works as he had already broken God’s Law by lying, stealing, blaspheming and lusting…and only looking at four of the Ten Commandments. Henry saw he would be guilty on the Day of Judgment and only Hell lay before him. He was very concerned! Using a court room example I explained to Henry how Jesus Christ (God Himself) paid the ‘fine’ for sin on the cross of Calvary 2000 years ago…and that God “…commandeth all men every where to repent:” (Acts 17:30)…” repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Because the terms ‘repentance’ and ‘faith’ are often misunderstood, I helped Henry to understand their true meaning and talked to him of the brevity of life…where your life is kind of like steam off a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee…appears, but is quickly gone. ” Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14). Past fifty, Henry expects to live for another thirty or forty years. Thirty or forty years of the pleasures of sin vs. eternity in the harsh burning flames of Hell. “You can feel the flames?!” asked Henry. Henry began to talk of death. He mentioned that now that he was past fifty he had realized that people don’t live to be 100…he was at least half-way to death and that didn’t seem very far away. I explained the cost of becoming a Christian…how God’s Word promises hatred & persecution in this world for all who are His disciples. I exhorted with Henry to repent and put his faith in Jesus Christ….to trust his eternal soul in the blood Jesus Christ shed on the cross at Calvary…in our risen saviour. Please pray for Henry. It seems that this gentle soul from the tropical island of St. Lucia may not be far from salvation…or from damnation…I don’t know which.

“I’m sorry; I just can’t do this right now!”

Walking by myself to join some of the others on the way back to our cars, I stopped a young man who seemed to be of Hispanic descent. He admitted his guilt before the Ten Commandments and saw Hell was before him…refused to admit he was concerned but reasoned that because Hell was inevitable for him, he should live to the fullest and enjoy all he could. I asked how long he expected to live and we agreed that if he lived to be 80, he’d have another 58 years or so left to enjoy the pleasures of sin and then an endless eternity of torment under the wrath of God. After less than a minute of pressing him of the reality of judgment and the wrath of God he got agitated and quickly quipped, “I’m sorry, I just can’t do this right now” and hurried off down the street into the night, looking agitated and concerned…I hope so!

Freaky Eyes!

Almost back to where we had parked our cars, handing million-dollar bill tracts to a couple young men, I pointed out the ‘million-dollar question’ as they began to walk away. They stopped to talk. One of these lads had some kind of freaky contacts in giving one of his eyes a very creepy look…maybe I should get one as a conversation starter (just kidding). These lads professed to not believe there is a God, though felt there was some kind of ‘power out there’. Offering to prove God’s existence we talked of how the building in front of us proved the existence of a designer and a builder, of how a painting proved the existence of a painter and the incredibly intricate creation…100-million light-sensitive cells in each of their eyes (even the freaky one) and that each cell of their body stored more information than is contained in an entire set of the Encyclopedia of Britannica…proving the existence of a creator. We talked of proofs to show the God of the Bible is indeed the creator. Transitioning to the conscience, I asked if they would consider themselves a good person. Predictably, they did (“Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6). Opening up the Ten Commandments this was disproven. They argued that this didn’t mean they were not good people still. Explaining that good means ‘moral perfection’ and the Ten Commandments are God’s Moral Law….thus they did NOT qualify as ‘Good’. I left them to think this over, met the others and walked to the cars.

I am never ready to go h0me, but left reluctantly.

Faithful Men of God

Praying together, we prepared to leave for home. Think of this; how many from your church go OUT to preach the Gospel (as we are commanded)? A church of 100’s or even a thousand…I’d guess a number somewhere in the range of 1 to 2. Here, from a church of 50 or so (kids included) 6 men were out on the street in the bar section of town, at night, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Imagine half the men from your larger church where as obedient to the call to preach the Gospel…what impact would this have on your city for Christ? Closer to home, are YOU being obedient to the command of Mark 16:15, of the exhortation of II Timothy 4:2-5? Can you honestly in good conscience repeat the words of Paul from Acts 26:20?


I left for home with two of the others in my van. Slowing to a stop at a red traffic light, we were suddenly and violently struck from the read. A small car had failed to slow and slammed into us very hard. The woman driving the car that hit us seemed cooperative at first but after noticing her stagger, we thought it best to call the police and ask them to attend the scene. Seconds before the police arrived, the woman started her car, and roared away from the scene. Taking her plate number and pointing the police to the fleeing vehicle, they pursued and arrested her…apparently for drunken driving. The LONG delay allowed opportunity to approach and talk of eternity with some folks congregated outside a nearby club. The anti-smoking laws prohibit smoking in bars and clubs so folks stand outside where they can be witnessed to of the Gospel.

Please pray for David and Matthew as they both where experiencing neck pain and headaches at the scene. My back was somewhere sore but I am trusting it is simply from the stress of the accident and will not persist.

These are some of the memorable chats. We talked to many, many more...come along one Friday night!

In Christ,


P.S. Check out our Gospel site at: Your comments are appreciated!