I am a firm believer the key to leading people to Jesus is through building relationships with them so we might be able to demonstrate God’s love and character to them. At the same time, we must never lose the urgency caused by the reality of Hell.
Despite the modern propensity to focus only on the more pleasant parts of Christ’s teaching – namely Heaven –we do a great disservice to the world if we don’t at least occasionally remind them Hell is real. It’s not popular, but it is necessary to talk about this. Otherwise we risk delivering only half the story and distorting the Gospel of Jesus.
Modern Christians have gotten really good at being busy for Christ. There are more churches than ever before. In my city alone it seems as if a new church springs up every couple of weeks. All of these churches try to entice people to attend through various programs they put in place. I have no doubt church goers could be engaged in “doing” ministry every night of the week. But I wonder to what end?
As A.W. Tozer said many years ago, “Are they too well satisfied with religious frolic and froth even to recognize their sad departure from the New Testament faith? …My plea is we will not be satisfied to continue on as ‘external’ Christians. I believe our Lord wants us to learn more of Him in worship before we become busy for Him.” Our busyness keeps us from doing what truly matters. It restricts the time we have to be telling people what they must know. Hell is real, but many will never know because we’re too busy painting the walls of the church kitchen.
What we should be busy doing is building relationships with those in the world who do not know Christ. We do this because we love them and are desperately concerned about their future. By building these relationships we develop the right to speak into their lives and to model the character of Christ to them. In this way, some might come to know Him and be saved for all eternity. What could be better than that?
In I John 3, the apostle tells us plainly anyone who lives in sin is of the devil; those who live in righteousness are of God (I John 3:4-10). Elsewhere in Scripture we see those who belong to God will spend eternity with Him (Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 23:42-43). Those who are of the devil will spend eternity in hell, forever separated from God (Luke 16:20-26; Matthew 7:21-23). That should significantly shake us from our stupor. It should profoundly affect the way we live our lives and what we spend our time doing. Heaven is real and there is no more glorious gift. But Hell is also real, and nothing should terrify us more. Nothing should propel us to action faster. Friends, family, neighbors, and those we have yet to meet are in danger of going to a very real hell while we hide behind our “Christian activity”. We must never be too busy to share the good news of Jesus or the warning of Hell. Hell is real. Let’s behave as if we actually believe this to be true.