Sermons on Hell and the Lake of Fire

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    All my life I have listened to sermons on hell. They are very descriptive, and do what they were designed to do, wake a person up or put fear into a person.

    As I get older, I have found myself resenting these sermons very much. This is my reasoning. Our primary motivation for looking forward to eternity is to be with the Lord forever, to be able to see the face of Jesus, and to worship and honor Him for the love He showed us. There could be no deeper experience or love in existence. We serve Him now on this earth for the exact same reason. We are His, and He is our Savior.

    Now, the sermons on hell approach salvation from a totally different angle. It is designed for a person to see the need of salvation out of fear. The motivation focuses on the well being of the person instead of focusing on the Lord.

    The kindest thing that could be said about such sermons is that they are shallow, totally devoid of any mention of love for the Lord, and quite frankly, paint a picture of the Lord that is inaccurate.

    It is a fact all lost will be in the Lake of Fire. That should not be hidden or minimized. But why on earth, would that be the first message someone hears about the Gospel.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,967
    Likes Received:
    371
    I’ve wondered the same. It seems that many in the church loves to hear “Hell fire and brimstone” sermons…but I think much of this is because it does not apply to the believer. But it does teach of God’s justice and perhaps illustrates the great love that God has demonstrated towards us (propitiation, after all, implies the turning of God’s wrath).


    I think that a more important concern that you point out is the message in terms of evangelism. I do not know that one is saved out of a fear of Hell – it seems that this would be a self-centered love and a salvation of self-preservation.
     
  3. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the response. I almost did not post this because someone will say that people who think like me are the same ones that "sugar coat" the Gospel, and leave out God's justice. That could not be further from the truth. Hell should be included, but it is certainly not the total message.
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    The gospel that is preached needs to be a complete and balanced gospel or it is not a gospel at all. All of it needs to be preached. If we are going to preach on hell then we should also at the same time preach on heaven. As Sag38 once said don't just preach on hell and leave your listeners there. Give the people the alternative and the good news.


    Romans 6:23 has both the bad news and the good news. Not just or the other.
     
  5. pk4life

    pk4life
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    I like that quote, "don't just preach on hell, and leave your listeners there".
     
  6. Judith

    Judith
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    10
    Interesting because I cannot tell you when or if I have ever heard a sermon on hell in church. I would say we need more of them and if it scares someone into repentance and faith praise the Lord.
     
  7. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is the whole point. Why should someone be scared into salvation? How about a love for the Lord? Sermons on hell are quite common in the churches I have served in.
     
  8. Judith

    Judith
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    10
    You nor anyone comes to the Lord because they love Him. We come because we are guilty of sin headed for hell and we are scared of that place and needed saved.

    Being scared makes a hard heart examine what awaits for them and if they really want to chance that fate. I see no problem with being scared, but like I said I have never heard a sermon on hell in church as far as I remember. While I would not want a regular diet if such preaching it should be done. Evidently we attend very different churches if it is a regular diet where you attend.
     
  9. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just normal run of the mill Baptist churches. Maybe its the area of the country. We cannot love the Lord until we have been convicted by Him and touched by the Holy Spirit, but at that point, we realize we are in need of a Savior, and realize Jesus Christ is our only hope. At that point, we recognize His love for us, and put our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I really doubt that many are thinking of the flames of hell at that point. As has been pointed out by several posters, to preach the Gospel, an accurate, balanced picture must be painted.

    I do not think Christ would appreciate "Lord, save me, because the fires of hell terrify me." Maybe He would prefer worship, honor and adoration.
     
  10. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    You see a house on fire, you pound on the door and when they answer, "hey that is a gorgeous pair of elm trees out there, won't you come stand under them" and turn and leave.

    Uum, yep. The whole is needed not just a part.

    "The kindest thing that could be said about such sermons is that they are shallow, totally devoid of any mention of love for the Lord, and quite frankly, paint a picture of the Lord that is inaccurate."

    Why shallow, if they are meant to tell of hell, they tell of hell, if they are on some other subject they will be on that subject. I've heard very few on hell but ALL end in showing the love of the LORD and His salvation. Of course they paint a poor picture of the Lord till the invitation because they paint a picture of the alternative, hell.
     
  11. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is not a bad comparison, but still does not answer the question, what is the reason we want to spend eternity with the Lord. If the answer is to escape the fires of hell, what has one accomplished?

    I think this has already been mentioned several times, but hell is a part of an entire picture of the love of Christ. Any sermon could include that and is necessary why we all need a Savior. For example, I once heard a sermon called "If You Could Spend Five Minutes In Hell." The sermon went on and on about the fire, brimstone, thirst that is not quenched, evil, the length of eternity, etc. The one thing that was left out of the total feeling of hell is eternal separation from the Lord. The results of the sermon was designed to get folks to be concerned for the lost, and get off their lazy butts and get out and knock on doors.

    Romans 6:23 is the perfect verse for the Gospel, both sides. Most of the sermons are like saying "the wages of sin is death...........end"

    We are changed by the Lord to accept His gift of eternal life. No person that was ever chosen for salvation was motivated by the fires of hell. If one reads Paul's salvation experience in Acts, do you recall a verse about the fires of hell?
     
  12. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've been waiting since 2007 for you to have your first original one...:smilewinkgrin::flower::flower:
     
  13. exscentric

    exscentric
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    16
    "We are changed by the Lord to accept His gift of eternal life. No person that was ever chosen for salvation was motivated by the fires of hell."

    You can wash that in the cal/armen area.

    "If one reads Paul's salvation experience in Acts, do you recall a verse about the fires of hell?"

    With his education he probably didn't need it, he would have known it.
     
  14. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will fix your little red wagon at the DOG house.
     
  15. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    Preaching on hell is one thing. Scaring the hell out of them is something entirely different. A few years back a group came to a church in my community and presented a drama called "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames." There were many so called conversions and rededications. I even got some cards stating that some of my church members had rededicated their lives. Funny thing is that they were wayward ones and sad that things did not change. They still very seldom came to church and in no way participated. I got some cards of folks who had supposedly made salvation decisions. Never saw any of them make a change either. All "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames" did was to scare people and then present an opportunity to say a canned, repeat after me fire insurance prayer. I am not saying that some were not saved because the gospel was presented but I am afraid that most just had an emotional experience from the frightening scenes presented during the drama of some going to hell.
     
  16. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is a fair response. Honestly, I was not thinking of the cal/free will issue when I posted that, but understand your point. You and I want the same thing, lost folks to come to Jesus Christ. If you and I were to write a sermon on the subject, the order of wording would be different, but we would proclaim the same message. I am not in any way minimizing the consequences of being lost. It is a awesome responsibility for we that are saved to tell others the Gospel. I have been on many visitations, too many to count, and I have never said something about fire insurance as an opening line.

    Really, the first thing is to make folks aware of the gap that exists between our state and a Holy God.
     
  17. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    So I guess "Sinner's in the Hand's of an Angry God" was not really used of God to lead anyone to salvation. If I recall correctly very vivid descriptions of hell were used by Edwards (a darling of Calvinists) and people were literally gripping the pews to avoid being like the spider dangling over the pit.

    Hell can be used to get people's attention as to their disposition after death and need for repentance. Did Jesus not say, "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."NASB

    Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
     
  18. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    Let'er rip on...I live in WV ya know...
     
  19. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    My pastor is in the midst of a year-long series on the Gospel of John, attuned to one of our five points the follower of Christ does, this year's theme being "Surrender." (The others are Sacrifice, Sustain, Share, and Shine.)

    In this series, he has often touched on the fact that many sitting in our church, and the churches across the nation, are not truly "in Christ," but have adopted a form of godliness and have deceived themselves in the process. He warns, briefly, of the eternal consequences of such a life, but I believe it is far more effective for him to remind us of what form true godliness, holiness, obedience, and faithfulness takes, which is the subject matter of the balance of these sermons.
     
  20. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    There is nothing wrong with fear go God.

    Scripture tells us:

    Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Hosea 4:17. Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

    Hebrews 10:31. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


    That being said I believe if the Bible is truly preached, with emphases on the Grace of God which is clearly demonstrated after the rebellion of Adam and Eve and throughout Scripture, God will use it to the benefit of His people.
     

Share This Page

Loading...