Yesterday, we had Jerry Thorpe preaching at Atlantic Shores. His sermon was on Hell, and how we, as Christians have trivialized it by ignoring the reality of Hell. This was not a "fire and brimstone" sermon, but it certainly was a public shaming. Sometimes churches need that. There was a line in the Screwtape letters that essentially stated that making the word "Puritan" a bad word was one of the greatest achievements of Satan. Hell is too familiar on our lips: How the hell are you? What the Hell? I am gonna raise some Hell today! It goes on. It becomes so familiar that it maintains all of the impact that an exclamation mark has on a sentence.
This trivialization dumbs down what Hell is. I know it brings up questions (how can a good God send people to Hell, etc), but to go as far as to think that Hell does not exists, is to remove the need for Jesus. Or, maybe you are like me, and treat Hell like some crazy relative that you don't like to talk about. There is a penalty for breaking the law: get caught speeding, and you pay a penalty. Unforgiven sin reaps a terrible reward, and many Christians forget about this.
If you were at a lake, and there were drowning people in that lake, and you were part of a rescue team , you would use any means at your disposal to save the drowning victims. Unfortunately, if we (Christians) were as concerned with rescuing people from that lake as we are concerned about rescuing souls, what would we see? We would see a nicely cultivated shore line where we have built us a really nice place to enjoy the lake. Meanwhile, we were simply told to rescue the people. That's all. Rescue the people.