…and real people will go there. Bill Hybels
When you think about all the grand standing and boisterous talk that comes out of the television and radio church today you have to wonder if they really believe this. I’m sure if you asked, most of them they would say yes. Each would then turn to the camera and hold up a book you could buy to either assure you hell is real, or help you know you are not going there. But I’m not sure how many of them would take the time to share the genuine love of Christ with me or you.
Jesus believed in a real Hell, he taught about it, thought about it and even dealt with Satan who many believe to be in charge of Hell. Jesus told people Hell was real, but he never used it as a stick the way many pastors do today. In Matthew 5 Jesus teaches that we should do whatever it takes to avoid the punishment for sin in Hell. In Luke 16 Jesus tells the story of the Rich man and Lazarus. Where he explains what it is like in Hell and how we should avoid it. In both instances, Jesus goes on to say that if people sin against us, we should forgive them. If he expects us to forgive, surely we should believe God will forgive us even more. So what do we do with Hell?
First we need to understand that Jesus came into this world to save it, not condemn it. (John 3:17) Many people today use Hell as a scare tactic to get people to come to Jesus and that has ruined the church more than it has helped the cause of Christ. We are quick to condemn and slow to love. We use the excuse of, “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” but that just gives us reason to hate the sinner as well when they do things we don’t believe are right. We need to reverse our teaching and start with the love of Christ instead of the condemnation of not loving him.
Get into the world. Many Christians are so scared of what they may find out there they just hold up in their little corners of the world and hope for the best. It is easy to give money and vote for the political party of your choice. It is hard to engage people who don’t look like you think they should and love them anyway.