One of the most frequent complaints against the church has been about hellfire-and-brimstone preachers. “I don’t like that kind of preaching,” people say.
But my question is where are these preachers? When is the last time you heard a hellfire-and-brimstone preacher? I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen one of them on television, much less heard a mention of Hell. I see messages preached on how to be successful and how to prosper. But we have to tell the whole truth.
We have to look at this topic biblically, not emotionally, and remember that life comes to an end for everyone. One thing is clear: We all will die and enter the afterlife. Ecclesiastes 3:1–2 tells us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.”
Jesus spent more time talking about Hell than anyone else. Of the forty parables He told, more than half of them relate to God’s eternal judgment of sinners. That is because Hell is a real place for real people. J. I. Packer said, “An endless hell can no more be removed from the New Testament than an endless heaven can be.”
Our greatest motive for getting out there to share the gospel should be so people won’t go to Hell. That is the bottom line. If we tell people they will have fulfillment, peace, and joy if they believe in Jesus, that is true. But frankly, those are fringe benefits. The greatest aspect of the gospel, which means “good news,” is that we don’t have to go to Hell. Instead, we can go to Heaven.
If you know people who aren’t Christians, then they are headed to Hell. The question is what are you doing to reach them?