This Victory Call is a bit heavy, but I think it’s important to write about. The other day I was in church, and the pastor said these words: “The moment you decide to take the word ‘hell’ from your pulpits, you remove the wind from the sails of grace.” That quote really hit me.
I feel like there is this idea today in many churches and among many Christians that we shouldn’t talk about the hard things to nonbelievers… I guess that’s because people believe that by speaking about hell, we aren’t being effective in our relationship building. Many people speak about the positives of accepting Christ – eternal life in heaven, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, the blessing of prayer and growing closer to Him – but they fail to talk about the negatives of not being a follower of Christ.
I get it – it’s hard. When we share the gospel, we want to talk about God’s mercy and the joys of following Him (and there are many.) But the idea of telling someone that if they don’t accept Christ they are not going to make it into heaven, but instead are headed for destruction… that’s not an easy thing to do. But just as God warned us multiple times in scripture about hell, we should do the same for others (some examples are 2 Thessalonians 1:5-9, John 3:16 & 36, Revelation 20:11-15 & 21:8, and Daniel 12:2). The plain truth is that Christ came from Heaven to Earth to save us from Hell… and that’s good news. The pastor of the church I used to attend said this: “If my friend was planning a beach party, and was bringing a ton of friends and had all of these great plans, but I knew that a hurricane was coming – what would be the loving thing to do? Allow them to have their beach party and experience destruction, or warn them of the danger to come so they can avoid it?”
The truth is that God is merciful and forgiving, but He is also just and will bring wrath. There is an equal balance of both. God would not be a just God if He did not judge and punish sin, and that is a truth we need to clearly communicate to people with whom we are sharing Christ.
I’m not saying it’s easy to do that – Christians have and will continue to meet resistance when speaking about the hard things. However, think about this – aren’t we so glad that our friends and family warned us about the “hard things”?
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. She is so excited that after 5 years on Summer Staff, she now has the opportunity to serve at Keswick year ’round. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!