Jackie Gleason's Worst Fear Was Not Making Heaven

John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Known as “The Great One (a nickname given to him by Orson Welles), famous TV personality Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) made some heartbreaking comments in an October 28, 1984 '60 Minutes' interview...

Jackie Gleason Errantly Says God Won't Send Him To Hell For One Sin

Here is some sad transcript from the interview:

60 Minutes: You did tell an interviewer once that your greatest fear in life was not making Heaven.

Jackie Gleason: Yes, if there is a Heaven and Hell, certainly anybody's fear is not making Heaven. Who wants to go to Hell?

60 Minutes: If you didn't make Heaven, I suspect you could hustle your way in though.

Jackie Gleason: I don't think so, no, that's too much for real to con your way in.

60 Minutes: Do you think you'd deserved it?

Jackie Gleason: Go to Heaven?

60 Minutes: Yeah

Jackie Gleason: If the rules are true of what you have to do to get to Heaven, I certainly don't deserve going there. But if God is what He has been said to be, I'm sure that He isn't vengeful. I'm sure that if you've committed a sin He's not gonna to send you to Hell for eternity.

SOURCE: Jackie Gleason,' 60 Minutes' interview on October 28, 1984; time - 25:01 minutes in video

Oh how wrong he was! Sadly, The Great One (as Gleason was famously nicknamed) didn't know The Great Physician! Although Jackie Gleason correctly understood that he was a sinner who didn't deserve to go to Heaven, he utterly failed to understand that even one sin can indeed send him to Hell for eternity. What saith the Scripture? James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Whether you break all of God's commandments in the Holy Bible, or just one of them, it matters not because you become GUILTY in God's sight!

1st Corinthians 6:9-11, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The two great truths you should take away from the preceding passage of Scripture is: 

  1. Even one sin is enough to keep you out of Heaven.
  2. Your sins must be washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.

You don't have to be good to get to Heaven, you've got to be completely perfect. Obviously no one is perfect. Jackie Gleason got that right. When he speaks of the “rules,” Gleason is talking about the Old testament law. There is actually TWO ways to get to Heaven. The first is to perfectly keep God's laws, never sinning one times, and you will deserve Heaven. But if you cannot live a sinless life (and no one has ever done so except Jesus), then you need someone else to pay your way. That is what Jesus did for you and me dear friend.

Jesus had no sin (Hebrews 4:15). All men are sinners (Romans 3:23). But Jesus was born of a virgin, having no earthly father. Jesus' Father is God in Heaven (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Jesus is the only begotten (biological) Son of God (John 3:16). 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For he [God the Father] hath made him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” To get into Heaven, we need GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is by faith in Jesus Christ.

It broke my heart watching this interview, seeing how ignorant Jackie Gleason was of the light of the truth of the Gospel. The Bible teaches in 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4 that Satan (the god of this world) blinds the minds of men to hinder them from seeing the light of the Gospel, lest they should be saved and go to Heaven. The Devil hates you dear reader, and has no plan for your life except to kill, steal and destroy you (John 8:44; 10:9-10).

Unfortunately, Gleason sincerely believed that God wouldn't cast Him into the Lake of Fire for eternity, taking vengeance upon him for his sins. Proverbs 14:12, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. I don't think any rational person would assume that Gleason truly believed he had only sinned one time in his life. Gleason was just using a figure of speech, expressing his sincere opinion that God only punishes really bad people, not good people who sin here and there. I have no doubt that Mr. Gleason was a good guy, a friend to his friends, and an honest man, but I didn't know him. 

What I do assuredly know if that the Bible says all of our righteousness is as FILTHY RAGS to God. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Why does the Bible say that? Why does the Bible teach that all the good things we do in life are worthless in God's sight. I mean, we know that God is a good, merciful and loving God. So why would He say in the Holy Bible that our best goodness is worthless to Him?

The answer is very simple. It is because no amount of good can make up for the bad we have done. Let's use an earthly example: The infamous gangster Al Capone (1918-1947) was a wicked man. His reign of crime only lasted for 7 short years! He went to prison at age 33, suffering from syphilis which eventually rotted his brain away! Capone was also a generous man. During The Great Depression, Al Capone set up food pantries in Chicago to give free food away to hungry Chicagoans. He distributed clothing and helped the people. 

Unlike most criminal gangsters, Al Capone did a lot of good too, and the people loved him. But dear reader, no matter how much good that Al Capone did, it couldn't compensate for the illegal brothels (prostitutes), speakeasies (illegal saloons), murder of fellow gangsters, and worst of all in the eyes of Uncle Sam... TAX EVASION!!! Capone was arrested, convicted and sent to prison for 10 years for not paying his taxes!!! Go figure!

Likewise, no amount of good that a human being may do can make up for the bad, not even if we had just committed one sin. Yes, God is love, but He is also a holy God, and His holiness absolutely demands justice! All sin must be punished! Someone must pay the price for wrong doing. That penalty is to burn in the fires of Hell forever. That rubs a lot of people the wrong way, because they'd prefer rather only to think about God in terms of His wondrous love. But what saith the Scripture? 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-10, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” Those who BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ have been rescued from Hell.

Jackie Gleason was very wrong, God is a vengeful God, as we just read. God WILL send a person to Hell for eternity for just one sin. Unrighteousness cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Every sinner must have his or her sins WASHED AWAY by the blood of the Lamb of God. 1st John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Dear reader, have your sins been washed in the blood? Mine have, since I got saved at age 13 in 1980. The moment that you put your childlike trust (faith, confidence) in the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross, buried and bodily risen three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-6), you are saved. That is, your sins (past, present and future) have all been cleansed in the blood of the Lamb of God. John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Do you trust Him dear friend? If not, please don't delay another second, because today could be the last day of your life on earth!

I am firmly convinced that Jackie Gleason's worst fear came true, he missed Heaven. I am sad and grieved about that, because it means that he went to the only other place a person can go, which is to Hell forever (Revelation 20:11-15:21:8; Psalms 9:17). The Bible teaches in 2nd Peter 3:9 that God does not want anyone to perish in their sins and go to Hell. Our blessed Creator and Savior desires for all men to repent of their unbelief and come to Christ in faith to be saved. The choice is yours alone to make dear friend. God cannot be blamed if you or anyone else goes to Hell. 2nd Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

The Bible teaches that somehow, someway, everyone gets a chance to get saved during their lifetime. Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, But as we read in the parable of The Sower And The Seeds (Luke 8:11-15), the Devil comes along and captures the seed (the Word of God, the Gospel) from a person's mind and soul, so that they don't get saved. Have you believed a lie dear reader? Satan is a beautiful liar! Just as the conniving serpent beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden, even so does Satan attempt to deceive everyone he can with another gospel, another Jesus and another spirit (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). Please do not be deceived. How do you avoid being conned? Jesus tells us in John 5:39, Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

In 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 the Apostle Paul defines “the gospel,” which he twice mentions is ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES! In John 20:31, the Apostle John says BUT THESE ARE WRITTEN (the entire Gospel of John), to convince the reader that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that we might BELIEVE and be saved. John 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. Again and again, we read that the way to Heaven is ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, and is WRITTEN in God's Word. In other words friend, if it ain't in the Bible it's garbage! Anybody who requires you to do something to get to Heaven, which is not found WRITTEN in the Scriptures, is false and a lie of the Devil!

He Died For Your Righteousness Too!
(a wonderful MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles)

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