Hell, Fire, and Brimstone

I heard someone over the weekend say something along the lines of, “There’s too much lovie-dovie preaching going on nowadays. They need to get back to the hell, fire, and brimstone, damnation, condemnation style of preaching.” I thought about this statement for a little while and then it seemed to slip my mind, until I started doing my bible study today. I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians and today in chapter 3 I came across a verse that suddenly reminded me of that statement. 2 Corinthians 3:9 NKJV, “For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.” Now, to me this isn’t saying that the preaching style of follow Jesus Christ or you burn in Hell is wrong, to me it’s saying that we can reach far more people with compassion, love, and kindness. It bothers me that so many Christians try to use the “rules” and tell people what they can’t do instead of telling them about the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save ALL sinners, not just the ones whose sins are socially acceptable. I see a lot of the stuff that my friends and family put on Facebook, and I’m not going to lie, my first response in my head is usually like Bobby Boucher’s mom in the Waterboy, It’s the devil!!! But in my heart I know that that kind of reaction is going to push a lot of people away. So far I haven’t found a single time in the New Testament where Jesus Christ has condemned anyone for their sin. Isn’t He supposed to be our all time role model? I know a lot of people will view this approach as “too easy” on sinners, I’m sure there were a lot of people that thought the same thing about Jesus 2000 plus years ago. Personally, I’m beyond grateful that Jesus was “too easy” on sinners, otherwise there’s no way I would ever make it to heaven. Truth be told, I don’t think many would have except for the love, compassion, and unending grace that is Jesus Christ.

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