A sobering drama depicting the reality of hell apparently has been the sparkplug in a citywide awakening in Modesto, California, a Central Valley city of 176,000, where more than 33,000 people have made professions of Christian faith since January.
Many local Christians believe a four-day prayer summit in early 1994, involving 53 pastors, established the foundation for the revival. But the three-night production of Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames in January at the Modesto Assembly of God Calvary Temple Worship Center served as the catalyst for the large-scale revival.
Rudy and Karen Krulik of Reality Outreach Ministries in Niagara Falls, New York, wrote the play and trained Calvary Temple members to act the roles. With costumes and scenery, men, women, and children portrayed those who die and find themselves at heaven's gate. If their names are written in the Book of Life, they are ushered into the arms of Christ by a multitude of angels. Otherwise, a host of Satan's demons drags them into hellfire.
Glen Berteau, Calvary Temple's senior pastor, was taken aback by the size of the crowds. "We can seat 2,400, but we had to turn away thousands," he says. When people began standing in line for four hours before performances, Berteau determined to extend the drama.
After 28 performances, seen by 81,000 viewers, Berteau decided to bring it to a close. "I was concerned we were not going to be able to follow up on that many people," he says. "I have a heart for evangelism, but also for discipleship."
Of the total 33,000 salvation packets distributed during counseling sessions after performances, Calvary Temple received 25,000 response cards. Calvary Temple visitation teams telephoned everyone within two days. The church shared those ...1
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