Why are pastors afraid of preaching about hell? What’s the solution?
- It’s an extreme topic. Wisdom often counsels moderation, but there’s nothing moderate about hell. It’s a difficult reality to contemplate, much less proclaim to a room full of people.
- It’s been used to manipulate people in the past. There’s no doubt that some pastors have preached hell in order to manipulate people into making a hasty decision for Christ, or as a bludgeon to enforce a moralistic agenda.
- Speak about hell as much as Jesus did. Jesus often warns people to fear hell and flee all paths that lead to hell (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 7:21-25 Mark 9:42-48; Luke 12:4-5, Luke 13:5 . So teach what Jesus taught.
- Be faithful to Scripture. If you’re preaching through books of the Bible you will encounter passages that speak plainly about God’s wrath and hell. Don’t skip over or soften these passages. Instead, prayerfully preach them and plead with people to repent of their sin, trust in Christ, and be saved.
- Trust the Holy Spirit. Your job as a pastor is not to make people like you, but to faithfully declare the whole counsel of God. So faithfully proclaim all that God has revealed in his Word and trust that the Holy Spirit will bring good fruit from your preaching.
Find more great resources for church health from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries at www.9marks.org