Leon Fontaine - Heaven and Hell
When I was 20, about 22 years old. I was in the middle of my paramedic career and we worked at the hospital. So one of the things I would do, would be to assist the nurses if there was something complicated. I was also working in the OR, the Resus rooms. And we would often walk late at night if I was doing the late shift. We'd walk down, and we'd helped them out a little bit. One day I'm walking down the hallway, and the forms that we use we would hang the person's file on the door. And if there was a red star on it, in that hospital it meant that the person wouldn't be resuscitated when they die, but that you let them slip away. And so as I walked by, I heard this kind of a weak voice just call out and say, "Excuse me, excuse me". And so I walked in and I checked his chart and he was red star. And he looked to be about his 80's, somewhere in 80 and 90, very worn-out older man.
So I just said, "Hey, can I help you"? And he said, "Can I get a blanket? I'm cold". And I said, "Sure". So I got him a blanket and as I'm covering him up, he says to me, "They tell me I'm gonna die tonight". I thought, "Who would tell you that"? But I guess he'd over heard it. And I said, "Really"? He goes, "Yeah, I'm scared". He said, "Could you sit with me for a while"? I said, "Yeah, I can do that". So I pulled up a chair and I sat with him. And he began to talk about his life and how many regrets he had. No family. No wife. Lost it all. Lived a really hard life. And so I asked him, I said, "Well, are you prepared for life after death"? And he says, "Who's prepared for that"? Actually, you can be totally prepared. "What do you mean"? So I shared with him what Jesus did on the cross and how that Jesus died and took everybody sins. But the only ones who have them forgiven are the ones who accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord.
He said to me, "Well, He's not gonna forgive me now. I lived my whole life". And he just basically told me. I won't go through the whole conversation but just based on it, he was a jerk. He was an idiot. What he did, how he lived. He said, "Just to call upon on Him on my last hours". He said, "Like seems a little bit a waste of time". I said, "Actually, no it's not". I said, "It's very important because eternity is ahead of you". So I led him into prayer and talked to him about Jesus. That he had to choose Him. He had to believe on Him. Pray the prayer with him and when he talked to me he was very afraid. There was like terror in his eyes when I spoke with him. When I got done, he looked at me and he says, "Wow". He says, "I'm totally forgiven for everything I've done my entire life".
I said, "You're forgiven and your guaranteed heaven. You don't have to be afraid to die". He says, "Would you stay with me? I said, "Yeah". He actually reached over, and he took my hand and then I watched this elderly man die. He died peacefully. I just put his, we're talking a little bit, kind of went to sleep and he just faded away. One of the stories I love. It's hard to tell because when you're there, you remember it so vividly. Let me tell you another story. I was a paramedic. I went out to pick up a man who was in cardiac, not arrest, but he was in heart block. He was in a dying rhythm. His heart was dying, and we were losing him quickly, got him back to the hospital.
And when I picked him up from the home that he was in, I could tell through everything in the house that this guy literally was into the occult off the charts. His jewelry, and this is an elderly man, too, same age. The jewelry, the things he wore, you can just tell this guy was into, whatever you wanna call it. There's lots of different terms that are used for dealing with Satanism, the occult, white witches. There's a ton of names the enemy uses. So we get him in there and while we've got him on the bed, we rushed him into Resus. The doctors come in, we're trying to convert this guy his heart rhythm and get him over to a viable rhythm because he's dropping fast on us. But he was conscious. And he had the rails of the bed were up and he's hanging on to the bed and I'm watching him.
I was still there, and I was standing by incase CPR was needed. And back then we're actually bagging him a little bit in assisting him. But he was staring up into the ceiling as he was hanging on to the bed. And he started to have this horrified look on his face and he's staring up on the ceiling. And all of us noticed this, the doctors, the paramedics, the nurses. We're noticing this, there's this freaky look on his face as he's staring up in to the sky. And he just starts to shake, and the entire bed started vibrating and we couldn't stop it. It was kind of hard to work on him. And then he started to sweat, and you could see the drip coming off his chin. You know, when you are just trying to crack your tap and you get a drip. And then also in that first little stream you get, he actually had it where it was streaming off his chin. And as he's looking up and he's shaking like this and then the rhythms all went crazy and he's gone, and we couldn't bring him back. And the conversation over coffee that day was, what the hell was going on in that room? And I said, "That". And they said, "What"? What you just said.
There's a big question in the world today. Is there a hell? And a lot of new pastors, and there's lot of new denominations rising up. They tend to believe that God is a God of love. That God would never send anybody to hell. Everything's gonna be okay. Well, if that's the truth, I'm really wasting my time. Sally and I hitting up all these churches and TV stations and private schools and things were doing to help people. Why? If it's all gonna work out in the end, what's the big deal? But, the Bible, I wanna give you some of the principles from the Bible. But I wanna encourage you that how important it is to know principles even if they're not fun. You know, Sally and I have four daughters and a son. And we knew they were dreaming about getting married and dating someone.
And you know, we didn't just teach them the good stuff. Ah, guys are incredible, guys are wonderful. You're gonna meet the prince charming. He's gonna walk in and kiss you. You're gonna be, for life it's gonna be -, We also taught them about the jerks that were out there. The van pulls over to you and a guy wants directions. Walk away. Why? Because girls get kidnap. "Well, you don't want that kind of comment that just wrecks the whole dating thing Leon, if you get negative on them". Oh, really? I'm not gonna teach them how to recognize the jerks? What not to do when you're by yourself walking down. No. Every mom and dad, they're gonna teach them how to do that and your kids etcetera. So today, although it sounds negative, listen closely, because I believe it will inspire you as to the purpose for your life.
See, the Bible's very clear in Hebrews 2:3, it says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him". There's a line in here that I love. It says how can we neglect so great a salvation. For those who are here who have discovered Jesus and given Him your life. You have discovered a peace that passes understanding, a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. You'd just gotten used to it and you've forgotten how gorgeous it is. For those who like baths. I love baths. Whenever I'm traveling if you get me a room, get me a bathtub. Because now all these hotels all I get is a shower. I wanna soak in a bathtub. And when I soak in a bathtub, even though you can put it hot. You climb in, but in two minutes it's not hot anymore. Actually, the temperature is the same. You're just used to it.
So I just keep cranking the hot water and steaming it up. I have to crank it again, a few minutes crank it again. By the time you get out and, you know, you're wrinkled, but 'cause you're getting used to it. And sometimes we forget how beautiful the peace we have is. You've gotten used to it and you don't realize that people out there, they don't have that peace. Now, they'll fake it. They look cool. But that deep inside peace, that everything's gonna be okay. They don't have it. In 1 John 4:17, it says, "By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment". Let's just stop right there. You know what change my life when I found Jesus, was this confidence I have, that eternity after death I'm gonna be okay.
As a paramedic for 7 years I found out that people aren't like that. I watched lots of people die accidents scenes, heart attacks. Then back at the hospital, I was one of the Resus teams, 99 teams. I saw a lot of people die. And when they could talk, you could see the terror and the horror as they had no idea what was going on. But yet, I was with many people who knew Christ and although they were concerned. They don't wanna die because, you know, a little bit quick for them. There wasn't this horror, this terrifying fear that gripped them. And I realized that we can have confidence in the day of judgment. That's just means that when you die, you're gonna be judge where do you get to go. People say, "God is a good of love. He would never create. He would never send people to hell". God doesn't.
Matthew says He created hell for the devil and his angels. When we die, whoever we served comes for us. As you could see in my two stories. Jesus loves us. And He's made a way for us to enjoy life and be guaranteed heaven. It's just accepting this gift called salvation. So for those of us who are walking the streets and we know Him. And you're talking to a salesgirl or someone pumping gas. Wherever you go, did you know that Holy Spirit's job is to open up opportunities for you or show you what to say to people so that you can share the faith, the beautiful story of your life? That you can share it with people? People are hungry. People know there's something missing. People late at night when they go home after all their drinking and carousing. Whatever they're trying to do to get a little bit of pleasure to take them through their week. They just know, there's got to be something more. They know that they are special. They know they're created for significance. They're created for greatness. They just don't know how to get there. And it's Jesus that is the answer.
Why are you as a Christian neglecting this great salvation and to share it with the people around you? "Well, you know, Leon, I just don't wanna push my religion on people". Have you noticed that everybody else out there, they're gonna tell you what they believe anytime, anywhere, so there. They don't care what it is. And every other religion, they'll tell you and they'll kill you and they'll do whatever they wanna do if you knock their religion. Except for Christians. It happened a conversation about religion and the Christian goes -, "I don't wanna, you know, create conflict". You know, they say silence is golden. I think it's yellow. And I think that you, if you will share. "Leon, I can't answer all their questions about dinosaurs, and why that person's kid died, and why this happened". Nobody can.
So what do you share? The Bible says be a witness. The word "witness" means you simply share what He's done for you. People say, "Well, Leon, you're the pastor, you know the Bible. You've been preaching that for 35 years, so you just have every -," Actually, I have never found, when I win someone to Christ, I have never found them go through the why's. When someone begins to talk to me, which happens all the time. "Yeah, can I talk to you pastor? Yeah, I got a couple of questions". I can sense right away. This guy's gonna try to convince me that I'm wrong and I'm preaching false doctrines. I'm the false prophet. I get those, too. But when someone's hungry for Jesus, I never taken them the doctrine. I just tell them my story. I just say, "You know, I discovered Jesus in the confidence, the peace that I have. That regardless of what I walk through, regardless of what goes on, He'll never leave me. He'll never forsake me".
And I can have confidence in the day of judgment. The day that I die, I can have confidence. That I have got heaven forever. But that's not enough for me to selfishly just go, "I'm not gonna worry about you guys. I don't wanna waste my time preaching. You know how hard preaching is? Trying to raise money for buildings and missionary. I just gonna get a job, that let me make a whole heck a lot of money just getting a career somewhere and go enjoy the planet. But God's put something in us. That we love people. That people need to know the Lord. And that the difference is, there's confidence that only Jesus can bring. It says in Psalm 9:17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God". And Proverbs 27:20, "Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of a man are never satisfied". Hell, and destruction. Isaiah 5:14 says, "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure, and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it".
He's talking here that hell, it's there for every person that dies. It just can't wait to grab him. Satan hates God. When you study Lucifer, he was kicked out of heaven because he tried to overthrow God. And he hates every person that's created on the planet, because you are made in God's likeness and image, and you are a part of God's family. But until you receive Him, you don't have that authority, that power. In Isaiah chapter 14, if you want to read about Lucifer and the fact that hell was made for him. Go to Isaiah 14:9-17 and it will teach us really clearly there, that there is a place called hell. That life doesn't just seize to exist and when you die, that's it. There is a hell. My question though to the believers that are here today is, what are you doing to share your message with the people that are around you? Or are you so focus on your career, your family, the things you need, God's promises for you, and the money you want, and the holidays you want. The Bible says in Matthew 6:33, says, "Seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added to you".
I remember as a paramedic in the hospital. There's just this one nurse, that's just a sweetheart. She was probably 30 years older than me and just one of this mom figure that just, you know, and they're just great at what they did and was nice to everyone. And I remember walking down, and I would look for opportunities to share my faith with people. I would never do it in public because usually people are embarrassed to be talked to with others around. So often when you had a chance to grab a coffee, you get a chance to talk about your life. And I remember coming to work one morning and finding out she died in a fire. I said to myself, "Oh, I wanted to get to her. I wanted her to know this Jesus. Why did I wait"? There has to be within us a sense of the fact that lives are coming to an end and God needs you. "So Leon, God could just send an angel".
Actually, when you read the Bible, He can't. The Bible says He uses people to share the gospel and He wants to use you. And I have to tell you that the enemy wants you to be afraid to share your faith. You're gonna looked stupid. You're gonna looked like a loser. I have not found that. Everywhere I go, I'll just chat a little bit with someone. And we're on a plane, I just talk a little bit or coffee somewhere. And if I sense an opening like they're going through something or they open it wide-open. I'll just, I'll always try to get there, and I'll probe gently with my words. And if I just find, oh, I let them go, unless I feel a real, you know. I just, I don't, I'm not aggressive. I'm not condescending. I value them. I love them. But everywhere I go, I just find everybody is open. I could literally spend 5 minutes with almost anybody and in no time just turn the conversation around. Hey, how are you doing? What have you been up to? "Oh, you know". It's okay. "It's actually, you know what, my job, man. My job I lost it". And I'm looking at him and say, "Hey, cool. It's not cool. Do you mind if I pray for you"? What?
Well, in my life, I've been through things like that. I just found that God's cool and He'll guide you to a great job. "I don't believe that stuff". Okay, would you mind if I pray anyway? "Yeah, go ahead". I just go and say, "Father, you hear us talking. I'm asking you to find him a great job and to let him know, it's because you love him, amen". I don't go, "Let's kneel. Let's take our hands. Let's bow down in front -," No. I'm just sharing my faith. And I don't know how many times people come back to me. That guy who says ago, "Okay, you. You're not gonna believe this". I say, "I already believed that you got a job". Yes, but do you know where? Why? Because God loves to do miracles for people to show them He loves them. Religion is always saying, "God's gonna get you, gonna get you, gonna get you, gonna get you. He's mad at you. Don't ever fall into the hands of an angry God".
That's how so much of religion teaches. But the Bible teaches the goodness of God, that leads a man to repentance. Just everywhere I go, I'll just talk about, I'll talk about this church and we'll be chatting. Sal and I will be shopping. Sal talks to a ton of people when she's shopping. She'll meet people and in no time at all. They later go, "You were nice". And she starts talking and she just shares, "Yeah, I'm a pastor. I work -," What? You got to be kidding me. Really? Because we're nice and we're cool. We're not, you know, trying to, you know, religiously dominate people. And the opportunities you can get just shopping, just filling up with gas, just talking to your neighbors. But we've got to decide that this is such an important mission. That there's a reason God has that person in your sight or talking to you right now. And the Bible teaches us that you might never close the deal by leading them in a prayer. But you should try if you can.
So I can pray with you right now. "Really"? Yes. It's simple. It's easy. But if you don't, the Bible says one plants, another waters, another comes along and harvest. And so I might chat with them. Then they might run into you somewhere and they go, "I talked to this guy about, he's saying the same thing". Really? What he looks like? That's my pastor! Get out! You should come to our church. You know, how all these little circumstances that are just kind of serendipities. The Holy Spirit is amazing. In fact, when you pray for people that don't know Christ, like your loved ones. The Bible says to pray for laborers to cross their path. You start praying that prayer and your unsaved daughter or husband. You just find everywhere they go they run into people.
The coolest people at the right time and the right place that they need to talk to, people that they will respect and trust. This ability to share our faith with people shouldn't be done in a condescending way. As if you're better, you're smarter. Quit it. As if you're purer, you're more holy. You nothing without Jesus. So don't go there. But, okay give Him a hand. But everywhere you go, you could drop a seed. By that I just mean, let them know that you're a follower of Christ. Let them know it's not about religion. The things you've just learned, share. You might have to do it quickly.
I was talking one time with this tough guy. He was actually a mental health nurse and he was over the whole ward, a big tough guy. He still goes to our church. I've tell a story a lot, his name is Vio. And Vio had a horrible upbringing with his dad. He was a guy filled with anger, filled with hate. And he heard about me and we run each other, and we started chatting over coffee. And I just listen to him talked and he just, there's no way to fix his life. His life was so full of heartache and hurt with a bad dad. So he's sharing and he's talking, "Why would God allow this and why -," All these whys and how's and I just said, "I don't know. When you get to heaven, you could talk to Him". "How do I get to heaven"? I can show you how. "Really"? Yeah, it's a quick prayer. It's your heart decision. You wanna do it? "Well, yeah. I would like to do it". How about right now? "No, no, no. Not here". He looks around the restaurant. We're at the restaurant.
See, no one wants to be embarrassed. Some Christians feel it's their job to make a public declaration of your faith. No, that's for your faith, not for their faith. You're not called to go embarrass people so that you can make sure that's a genuine salvation. Come on! I say, "Well, dude, I just lead you in a prayer eyeballs open and you pray it with me and if you mean it". I say, "Dude, right here, right now. You'd be completely forgiven, a brand new creation". He goes, "Really"? Yeah, don't close your eyes. "We don't have to close our eyes"? No, no. You keep them open. People think we're just talking. All right, so I lead him in a prayer. Dear Jesus, "Dear Jesus," come into my heart. Forgive me. All of a sudden, this waiter came over and she goes, "Can I help you guys with anything"? Yeah, I'll have a diet Coke with a lime. Beau, you want anything? Yeah, I'll have this. Thank you so much. Father, I ask You to be my Lord and Saviour. Father, I ask..., And I just did this quick prayer with him right at that thing and in Jesus' name, amen.
This tough guy, I mean, raised tough, lived a tough life, treated like a tough childhood. Tears started running down his face. Something he's never felt before was this God's love. He looks at me. He's angry. "What you do to me"? Because for him crying was a bad thing. I said, "That's just God loving you, man". Him and his wife, he lead his wife to the Lord. They're coming to our church. It doesn't matter where we go. You don't have to have answers for everybody. They don't have answers. Just share with them your story. That's what a witness is.