H/t Let’s Get It Right! The following article is by Ufuomaee, a Nigerian sister in the Lord, which so spoke to my heart that I encourage EZC readers to follow the link and be blessed.
I have felt this way too. At times. However, in all honesty, you cannot preach the love of God without preaching the justice of God, and hell! Jesus didn’t go about preaching, “God loves you. Believe and you will go to Heaven.” He said “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15, Matt 4:17) And in other places, He taught them that if they would not repent, they would perish! (Luke 13:1-9).
Whatever gave us the impression that hell is not central to the message we preach, when God’s judgment of our sin is what made Jesus’ sacrifice ESSENTIAL for our salvation (John 3:16, Rom 6:23)? If our belief is that the existence and terror of hell is not a central doctrine in Christianity, it shows that we do not understand the Gospel (the GOOD NEWS that we have been SAVED from hell!). I believe, however, that emphasizing the love of God and His grace is important for us to have HOLY fear, and not torment (1 John 4:18). There is definitely a need for preaching hell. Not only to the unbelieving, but to Believers too.
Being conscious of hell is a very good thing. It is very wise indeed. The Bible tells us severally that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 1:7; Prov 9:10, Psa 111:10). It is right, good and holy for us to have the fear of God’s wrath: Jesus recommended it (Matt 10:28)! It saves us from a lot of stupidity and short-sighted reasoning.