Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
When it comes to formulating what we really believe about hell, should we trust the words of atheists like Bertrand Russell, or even theologians like Martin Luther? Or should we trust the words of Jesus Christ? He is the only one who has seen life from the other side of the grave. Even though Jesus had a great deal to say about the reality of hell, people still dismiss His words. But if you believe that Jesus was the Son of God, then you have to accept what He said about heaven and hell–even if the truth about hell makes you uncomfortable.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I do not want to go to a church that preaches hellfire and brimstone”? There are plenty of Christians who do not want to hear that kind of message. But I want you to imagine going to a water safety class and telling the instructor, “Teach me all about water safety, but I do not want to hear anything about drowning.” Or if you are a parent, imagine sending your child to a driver’s ed instructor and saying, “I want you to teach my child how to drive, but don’t you dare mention the word ‘accident.’ I do not want my child exposed to that kind of negativity.” Or imagine searching for a new doctor, and thinking, “I do not want to go to a doctor who mentions cancer or heart disease. I want a doctor who is only positive.” Wouldn’t that be absurd? Friend, the only reason a water instructor talks about drowning, a driver’s ed instructor talks about car crashes, and a doctor mentions cancer and heart disease is because those things are real possibilities. These people are charged with doing everything they can to help you avoid those possibilities.
It is the same way with hellfire and brimstone. Any pastor who does not talk about the reality of hell is being derelict in his duties. Trust me, we take no pleasure in telling people that hell is an actual place of horrendous suffering. The reason we tell people the truth about hell is because we love people. We want to help them escape not just the possibility, but the inevitability, of what happens to those who die without Christ. There is only one way to escape the torment of hell and experience eternity in heaven. Not many ways–one way, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of avoiding the reality of hell, you and I ought to be motivated to share the truth about hell and the good news about Jesus.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Why God Sends Good People To Hell” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.