Do you believe in hell? Can you accept the idea that some people will go to heaven and some people will go to hell? What about you? Where are you going?
In Christendom today, it seems like this topic has gone by the wayside. The word might come up every so often when someone hits his/her thumb with a hammer or tells you where to go in the heat of an argument. But overall, any other discussion about hell seems to be avoided. In fact, if you want to talk about eternity, heaven is often the only focus, avoiding hell altogether. Why?
Did you know that Jesus didn’t avoid the topic of hell and often referenced it when He preached? If Jesus didn’t avoid the topic, why do we?
Here are three reasons why you should talk more about it:
1. Hell is the Reason Jesus Came! (John 3:16-18)
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Because our sin separates us from a holy God both now and eternally, we need a solution. That is why Jesus came! The central message of The Gospel is that Jesus came to save us from perishing (hell) and give us eternal life (heaven). He came to die on a cross and pay for our sins, so we can be forgiven and spend eternity with God in heaven. Jesus was more than a prophet, wise sage, or Rabbi. He is our Savior.
2. Hell Makes The Gospel “Good” News! (Luke 2:10-11)
Luke 2:10-11 – The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
So often when we share the Gospel, we focus on the love of God. But without our need to be saved from hell, the love of God falls flat. Think about it – Who really cares if God loves me? If my wife loves me, my kids love me, and my friends love me, I’m good.
But when you tell people God loves them and He came to save them from hell, that is Good News! Now His love matters! Now I worship Him for His love! Now I love others because he first loved me! This is what makes the Gospel “Good” News and not just news.
3. Hell is Torment Forever! Yikes! (Luke 16:19-31)
When Jesus described hell it was very sobering. Luke 13:28 – “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth”.
Hell will not be a big party with drinking buddies all having a good time. It will be a place void of God, filled with pain, fear, and suffering, forever. The last I checked, forever is a long time! This is crazy! I can’t think of anything more important to talk about than hell, can you?
Lastly, I’m not suggesting we hit people over the head with the topic of hell, but I am suggesting we don’t avoid it. If it is going to be a tough topic today, better to work it out now than risk eternity later. Let’s love people enough to discuss it, think about it, and even debate it in order to bring what has been hidden out into the light!
That is living out your Faith in the Real World!
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