Niagara Daredevil Tells Reporter… “You die and that’s it.”
Karel Soucek was a professional stuntman with a flare. For eight years he planned his trip over the Horseshoe Falls in his bright, red, nine-foot barrel bearing the words, “The Last of Niagara’s Daredevils”. If someone followed him, he intended to repeat the act and always be the last.
On July 3, 1984, his barrel was lowered into the river 1000 feet from the cataract. In seconds, it was swept over the brink. Shortly after, Soucek emerged safe but bleeding. Having tasted success, he decided to build a museum at Niagara in which to display his stunting paraphernalia. He convinced a corporation to finance a barrel drop of 180 feet from the top of the Houston Astrodome into a tank of water to pay for his project.
Before the drop, a reporter asked if he believed in an after life. He replied, “There is no heaven or hell; there is no God. It’s all a myth. You’re born, you live, one day you die and that’s it.”
On January 19, 1985, as Soucek was enclosed in his barrel, 180 feet above the floor of the Astrodome, the barrel was released prematurely. Unexpectedly, it began spinning as it fell toward the floor. Instead of landing in the center of the tank of water, his barrel hit the rim. Soucek, severely injured, died the next day. Evel Knevel, the well-known stuntman, called it the most dangerous stunt he had ever seen and said he had tried to persuade Soucek to cancel it, to no avail. Tragically, this young man’s life came unexpectedly to an end. Now he knows that God, heaven, and hell are not a myth. Sadly for Soucek, it is a knowledge that he came by too late.
The Karel Souceks of life are to be found everywhere. Multitudes think that God is a myth, hell is a joke, and that the only thing to do in this life is to “go for the gusto.” But they ignore the clear teaching of the Bible that says, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). They scoff at the Bible’s declaration that “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). They laugh at the numerous warnings of Scripture that tell of the awful wrath of God that will one day separate the godly from the wicked . . . that will cast the wicked into hell where the “worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48).
You might say that they are walking daredevils. They live loosely and carelessly on the edge of eternity. It is only a slender thread that keeps them from slipping into hell. At any moment, their life on this earth, like Soucek’s, could abruptly end. And then what? And then “the judgment.” Immediately they are judged by God and brought to God’s Heaven, or they are sent to their eternal punishment in God’s Hell.
Ask yourself this question: Am I prepared to die? Should your life unexpectedly end tonight, where would you go: heaven or hell? Your eternal destiny depends on whether or not your sins have been forgiven. God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the only One who can pardon your sin and make you acceptable to God on the ground of His death on the Cross. He endured God’s wrath on Calvary so that sinners like you wouldn’t have to endure God’s wrath in hell. Go to Him even now and He will save you. For there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”