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Just wondering… We hardly hear about hell anymore in the Christian Church. It’s unfashionable, uncomfortable, un-politically correct. It’s fine and well to teach the other major doctrines of the Church. They’re good and solid.
-“God is love” 1 John 4:8
-We should love God. “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind “ Mark 12:30
-God loves us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
-Of course we should teach that Jesus died for our sins. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:9, 10
-It’s also good to teach people they need to read their Bibles. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17
-It’s both needful and wonderful to teach people how to live the Christian life well and successfully. (I’ll spare you the several hundred Scriptures covering that one.)
-And the big one, of course, we should be teaching people how to be saved! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31
It’s all good, all necessary, all must be taught. But…why aren’t we teaching about hell?
-How can God be love and still send people to hell?
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
-What did Jesus save us from, when he died for our sins?
The Bible says it’s better lop off your own body parts than to wind up in hell! Matthew 18:9, Mark 9:43, 45, 47
Luke’s description of the rich man in hell might give one pause. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:23, 24
-Mathew lets us know this is no place for a party. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Mathew 25:30
-So does John. “and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,” Revelation 14:10,11
It’s no wonder there are so many “luke-warm” Christians in the world today. How can we be truly grateful to Jesus Christ if we don’t know what it is He saved us from? Won’t we love our God, that much more, of we really understand and take to heart the horrible fate He spared us? What effect would that have on our obedience to Him? Wouldn’t we be more likely to share the Gospel, if we really believed in the future of those we love, who are unsaved? If we allowed the awful truth to move us, could we stand the thought of even one person being lost?
It’s easier not to think about hell. It’s much nicer to teach on the Love of God, and leave out the hard stuff. It’s certainly less controversial, and many Churches wouldn’t stand for such teaching. Makes this preacher think maybe the Apostles and possibly Jesus, Himself wouldn’t be too welcome in those Churches. They taught the hard stuff.
If we want true revival, if we want to see Christians on fire for God, and working the harvest with all their hearts, we have to start teaching the hard stuff. We’re going to have to teach hell.