Five Minutes After Death
On Wednesday night, July 17th, 1996, at 8:19 P.M., TWA flight 800 took off from JFK International Airport on a flight to Paris. On board were 230 passengers on their way to a vacationers dream. However, at 8:48 P.M., it fell off the radar screen and plunged into a ball of fire into the Atlantic Ocean. All 230 passengers fell to their tragic death.
Of those on board was a mother and her nine-year old son getting ready for their vacation. There was, a couple, that had been married for 50 years. They had given, as their anniversary gift, this trip to Paris. There was, also, sixteen students, from a high school in Pennsylvania, members of a French Club, going on their first international field trip. They boarded that plane in great excitement, and anticipation of fulfilling a lifelong dream. However, in a matter of seconds, they all passed from time to eternity.
The question raised in my mind, as I read of this awful, and tragic event, was, "Where were they, five minutes after death?"
The subject before us, today, is to be honest, not an enjoyable one. I don't know if there's ever been a time that, as a preacher, I've ever enjoyed preaching about Hell. However, in order to preach the complete Word, and whole counsel of God, it must be preached, and it must be dealt with.
Recently, a USA Today poll revealed what our society believes about hell:
---67% of Americans believe in Hell
---35% believe that they'll go there; and,
---25% believe that their friends will be there 1
Cable television billionaire, Ted Turner, recently lashed out at Christianity. Turner told the Dallas Morning News, "Christianity is a religion of losers. I don't want anybody to die for me. I've had a few drinks, and a few girlfriends, and if that's gonna put me in hell, then so be it!" 2
The word "hell" has become a by-word of our societ ...
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