Mark Caserta: Judgment House experiences can change lives

25 Oct

untitledMark Caserta: Judgment House experiences can change lives

Nov. 04, 2010 @ 09:47 PM

This past week, hundreds of lives were changed right here in Huntington.

Judgment House 2010 at Christ Temple Church on Johnstown Road was an extraordinary event put on by extraordinary people.

Powered by hundreds of trained volunteers working tirelessly with a spirit of servitude, the Judgment House “experience” is a dramatic walk-through presentation about the truth of people’s choices and their consequences in this life and the next.

Known as an “agent of change” for communities in which it’s presented, Judgment House has gained recognition across the country as an effective evangelical tool for providing people with a clear understanding of the path from guilt to grace, from sin to salvation and from death to life.

For over 20 years Judgment House drama presentations have been changing people’s lives by helping them realize that life, whether we accept it or not, involves real life choices resulting in real “after-life” consequences.

The script for each Judgment House portrayal is unique in setting, characters and story, but each provides a relevant interpretation of events happening in the world today and asks the important question, “What will you do with God’s offer of salvation and a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.”

During last week’s event, I had the unanticipated privilege of being able to experience the walk-through presentation at Christ Temple Church.

Upon returning late Friday night to Huntington from a trip to Knoxville, I looked to my left from the eastbound lane of I-64 and saw the parking lot of Christ Temple Church completely filled with cars, so I decided to stop to see what kept the attention of hundreds of people at 11 p.m. on a Friday.

As I entered the church’s narthex, I must admit the spirit of excitement and expectancy was a bit overwhelming.

I moved past the activity of people exiting the guided tour, and couldn’t help but notice the wide spectrum of emotion upon their faces. Some were laughing and talking about the experience; most were thoughtful and quiet. Some were crying.

Upon opening the large wooden sanctuary doors, I looked upon hundreds of people being “interactively” entertained from the stage as they patiently waited their turn to experience the group tour.

I decided to join them.

No pre-conceived notion of Judgment House could have prepared me for the heartfelt emotion I would experience along with others in my group as our guide escorted us from scene to scene, prefacing each dramatization with a monologue providing continuity to the experience.

Each scene was portrayed amid an aesthetic sensory impact of sight, sound and olfactory accompaniments. While some of the dramatizations featured consequences which were terrifying and at times surreal, the heavenly scenes depicting rewards for making the “right” decisions were “overwhelmingly” peaceful, comforting and sublime.

Life, at times, administers an epiphany of reality which exalts itself above most others. That’s exactly what hundreds of people received during their tour of Christ Temple’s Judgment House 2010.

I must admit, I needed a tissue to make it through to the end.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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