This coming Sunday I will be preaching on the subject of judgement, focusing on the doctrine of hell specifically. This isn't the first time I've preached a sermon on hell, but every time I do I am reminded that of all the teaching in the Bible on the subject, Jesus speaks of it more than any Biblical writer, and his words also offer a more vivid and terrifying picture than can be found elsewhere in Scripture. Biblical writers speak of it, but
Hell is a doctrine hated by many. Some reject the idea of hell as nothing more than a primitive way of keeping followers in line with threats of punishment. Others reject hell, believing that it will ultimately lose and God's love will "win" everyone into heaven. Many reject the idea of hell because it is simply too much--too hard a thing to consider seriously. Of course, it is an exceedingly hard truth. In his book, Concise Theology, JI Packer explains that the "New Testament teaching about hell is meant to appall us and strike us dumb with horror, assuring us that, as heaven will be better than we could dream, so hell will be worse than we can conceive." Maybe this is one of the reasons so few Christians today seem to talk about hell. It's just too hard.
I have posted some brief thoughts on hell in the past (here and here), and will do so again throughout this week. But let me encourage you to consider that if you want to give someone the gospel you will first need to give them hell. More on all this to come.