Friday, July 13, 2007

Jump or Perish!

Here is the artwork for my soon-to-be published gospel tract, "Jump or Perish." Special thanks to artist Maurice Morgan II for his beautiful, original design*.

For those of you who have not read the text for this tract, here it is.

It was shortly after 2:00 p.m. on December 1, 1958. More than 1,700 children were attending classes at Our Lady of Angels School on Chicago’s west side. Three girls returning from an errand encountered smoke in a stairwell, and rushed to their classroom to tell their teacher. At about the same time, a janitor walking by the building looked in the window of the furnace room and saw a reddish glow.

The school was on fire. The flames quickly spread, trapping 329 children and five nuns on the second floor. Among the trapped children was nine-year-old Mark Stachura.

As people noticed smoke rising from the area of the school and saw fire trucks racing in that direction, parents rushed to the school, hoping and praying that their children were safe. One of those parents was Mark Stachura’s dad, Max.

Max arrived at the school to find a scene of chaos and panic. Children were frantically fleeing the building, their skin dirtied by smoke and soot. Other students, with their clothes on fire, were making the deadly 25' jump from second-floor windows to the concrete below.

Max looked upward. To his horror, he saw his son, Mark, standing at a window with flames roaring behind him.

Max begged his son to jump. He assured his beloved child that he would catch him. Seeing Max below the window, twelve other children saw their means of rescue from the flames. They jumped into Max’s arms and survived what would have been a fiery death. But Mark refused to jump. He refused to take the only way of escape from the fire. Unlike twelve of his classmates, Mark did not trust his father to save him. Young Mark Stachura, along with 94 others, perished in the flames.

If you found yourself in this tragic situation, what would you do? Would you try to save yourself, if the only thing to break your fall was solid concrete, 25 feet below? Would you refuse to jump into someone’s arms because you didn’t trust the word or the ability of the person beneath the window? Would you choose a fiery death over rescue? Or would you entrust your life to someone who offered you the only way of escape? What would you do?

While you may never find yourself trapped in a burning building, is it possible you will one-day face an even more horrific fiery fate? To find out, honestly answer the following questions.

Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you, no matter how insignificant it may be? Have you ever hated anyone? The Bible says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). Have you ever look at another person with lust? Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). If you answered honestly, then according to God’s holy Moral Law, and by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, murdering, adulterer at heart. And these are only four of the Ten Commandments.

If you have broken God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, the just penalty for your sins against God is eternity in hell--a very real place of everlasting flames and torment.

But God doesn’t want you to perish. He doesn’t want you to go to hell. So, He sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ--God in the flesh&mdashto pay the penalty for your sins. He did this by taking your place of punishment when He shed His innocent blood and died on the cross. Three days later, He defeated death when He rose from the grave. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

So, what must you do to be saved? You must recognize that you cannot save yourself. To jump into eternity, trusting in your own abilities (good deeds, spirituality, etc.), will lead to certain death. Instead, you must confess your sins against God, repent (turn away from your sins), and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.

You must either jump or perish. You will either spend eternity in the lake of fire or entrust your life into the arms of the only One who can save you--Jesus Christ. Please, repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, right now. When you do you will pass from death into life and receive the free gift of eternal life. What will you do? Will you jump or perish?

* (C) 2007, Maurice Morgan II


Anonymous said...

That's really great art work, but a very sad story. I like this tract.

Rob said...

Hey, Tony. I really like this one. It should really "turn up the heat" Okay. That was bad. Really though, good work!

Mom said...

Tony the artwork is great and it tells the story so well. I am sure it will open many hearts to Our Lords message and Turn them towards Christ. I keep you in my Prayer always. Much Love Mom