When we shirk our biblical obligation to speak of hell to this world, we not only dishonor God, we take off the table one of the chief means God uses to convert sinners. In our age of quivering consciences and ginger conversations, we have forgotten that speaking of hell does not hinder people from coming to Christ–it brings them to Him! It was intended to be so. The news of hell makes the gospel, the truth of Christ’s atoning work, good. It also makes it necessary.
We do this often today, I think. We think that it will be bad if we speak of hell because people will be afraid and offended and hate us. Well, there’s some truth in such thinking. Those who are not elected to eternal life will likely respond with vitriol. But this is their response not simply to hell but to most everything Christian. They don’t like much of anything about Christianity, and hell is no exception to that rule. But those whom God intends to be saved will respond to the news of hell with soberness, fear, and repentance–exactly as God intended it. God is not all smiles and sunsets and roses. He is Love, surely, and that is beautiful. But He is also Justice. He is wrathful, and man needs to be afraid of His justice. We need to see that our sin and His wrath are not disconnected but are linked by a cord that, we might say, takes the shape of a noose around our neck. Our sin begets His wrath, and that means an eternity in hell for us. Makes you jerk back a bit, doesn’t it? It’s such a forceful doctrine, and it needs to be. Otherwise, would any of us really notice the gospel, or treasure it, or respond to it? I doubt it.
So in your own life, Christian, speak of hell. Don’t go around trumpeting it, don’t overemphasize it, and don’t speak callously of it. Be sensitive and wise in delivering the news of it’s existence. That said, speak of it. God has intended that news this bad would push us to consider our fate and to turn from our sin to Christ. Do not be afraid, and do not rob your evangelism of biblical strength. Be faithful to the Bible, declare the fullness of the gospel message, and leave the rest to God. Hell, you see, is meant to be evangelistic.