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The Mason Jar

The old mountaineer had lived a full but not exactly saintly life and now was on his deathbed. He summoned his weeping wife. “Sara,” he said, “go to the fireplace and take out the third stone from the top.”

She did as instructed.

“Reach in there,” said her husband, “and bring out what you find.” Her fingers touched a large Mason jar, and with some effort she pulled it up. The jar was full of cash.

“Sara,” said the old man, “when I go, I’m going to take all that money with me. I want you to put that jar up in the attic by the window. I’ll get it as I go by on my way to heaven.”

His wife followed his instructions. That night the old mountaineer died. After the funeral his wife remembered the Mason jar and went to the attic. There was the jar still full of money and by the window.

“Oh,” the widow sighed. “I knew I should have put it in the basement.”

Source unknown

How deeply has the tendency to deny hell penetrated evangelicalism? One survey of evangelical seminary students revealed that:

  • Nearly half—46 percent—felt preaching about hell to unbelievers is in “poor taste.”
  • Worse yet, three out of every ten self-professed “born again” people surveyed believe “good” people will go to heaven when they die—even if they’ve never trusted Christ.
  • One in every ten evangelicals say they believe the concept of sin is outmoded.

Ashamed of the Gospel, John F. MacArthur, Jr., 1993, Crossway Books, p. 65