God the great and powerful (and warm and wonderful)
Thu Dec 05, 2013
by Marsha Michaelis
The top 5 posts of November
Wed Dec 04, 2013
5 reasons to open your blinds
Tue Dec 03, 2013
by Andrew Lisi
6 simple ways to write better blog posts
Mon Dec 02, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Joy in service
Sat Nov 30, 2013
by Andrew Weiseth
How We Preach on Hell
Hell has been a popular topic in the press lately. Mostly because of a new book. If indeed love wins, then we must talk about hell. Two reasons make this necessary:
#1 We love Jesus and wish to represent him accurately.
Jesus spoke often about the horrible reality of eternal punishment. He used the word “Gehenna” to make hell familiar for his audience. Gehenna was the name of a valley outside the gates of Jerusalem where rubbish perpetually burned. Jesus even used the idea of hell to motivate people towards repentance. As those on mission with Jesus, we wish to do the same today.
#2 We love you and want nothing more for you than to spend eternity with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven.
The thought of people we love missing out on worshiping Jesus, whom we love forever, saddens us. The thought of those same people suffering eternally, in a place where in the words of Jesus, “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48), devastates us.
So when we talk about hell, we do so with urgency and heaviness. We speak as those who have escaped a flaming apartment building through the valiant and ultimate sacrifice of a hero. We speak as we would to family members still trapped inside: firmly, lovingly, and broken-heartedly aware of the grim outcome apart from rescue.
How we teach about hell
For the last year and a half at Mars Hill we’ve been preaching through the book of Luke, and this last week providentially ended up being a very timely text of “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” With the weighty topic of heaven and hell, it’s so important to thread the needle of being theologically precise, pastorally sincere, and prophetically persuasive. Here is one example from Pastor Mark Driscoll of how you can preach hell to your people: