The Church’s Strange Silence

We claim to preach the whole counsel of God. If so, why is it that one subject is rarely dealt with today? I have a hunch that you may already have an idea of what subject it is that I have in mind. When was the last time you heard a serious message on Hell? Most likely, not recently. For some, it may have been a very long time ago. The world jokes about Hell, uses the word as profanity, tells people to go there, doesn’t believe that there is really such a place and if there is, they don’t believe that God will send them there. They don’t take it seriously! Why should they, if the church doesn’t? Hell can be preached to scare people and for some, it has scared them enough to get their attention and possibly lead them to salvation. However, it should be preached factually, with compassion and concern. We should underscore how Jesus suffered and died to rescue people from such a destiny! We should remind them that it is their refusal to receive Christ as Savior and Lord that seals their fate. Procrastination can contribute to their eternal doom. Add to this, that too many in the church have given way to doubt and unbelief concerning eternal torment. This only strengthens doubt in the minds of unsaved people. If we water down the teaching of God’s Word on this subject, we are accountable for misleading people. Can we overdo preaching on Hell? Yes, but at this point in time, we are on the other end of the spectrum! Remember: “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Jesus, in Matthew 25:41). This passage is but a fraction of Jesus’ teaching on the subject. He taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven! The moment a person dies, his or her eternal destiny cannot be changed! Fanny Crosby understood. In her hymn, “Rescue the Perishing,” she spells out our solemn responsibility: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Tho they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently, He will forgive if they only believe. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.” Selah! Perhaps, if the reality of Hell grips us, we might decide to witness to the lost!   Ron

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