Preaching on hell
by Hugh Fulford
This past Sunday evening I heard a moving sermon on “The Horrors of Hell.” We don’t hear sermons on hell much anymore these days.
One preacher among us used to preach a powerful sermon titled, “What Is Hell Like?” In his autobiography a few years ago, he confessed that he had not preached the sermon in 25 years and no longer believed what he had previously preached about hell.
Jesus talked a lot about hell. In fact, he said more about hell than anyone else in all the New Testament. Just before he ascended back to heaven, he commissioned his apostles to “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16, KJV).
Some folks wonder about the fate of the pious unimmersed. What about the fate of the pious unbeliever? Might as well wonder about the fate of the latter as the fate of the former. Jesus made both belief and baptism (immersion) essential to salvation. I sometimes wonder if some folks believe anybody is going to be lost.
Old brother T. W. Caskey, one of the great advocates of the restoration plea (the plea to return to faithful New Testament teaching and practice), said if nobody is going to be damned, “you may as well convert hell into a calf pasture and be done with it.”
My son, Brett, recently observed that people believe everything on the Internet and question everything about the Bible. He went on to say, “It should be the other way around.” Well said, son.
According to Christ, we all are going to face his word on the day of judgment. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Back to the sermon I heard on hell. The preacher, Don Blackwell of North Charleston, SC, in talking about the rich man’s capacity in torment to remember the situation of his five brothers back on earth (Luke 16:19-31), made the observation: “If live men knew what dead men know, the whole world would be Christian.” I don’t doubt that for a moment.
I mentioned above a preacher who used to preach on hell but no longer does, at least, not in the way he used to. Some would say he has “evolved” to a more “mature” understanding of the subject. “Evolved” is a popular way today for saying that a person no longer believes what he once believed. Another word comes to my mind. When a person abandons biblical truth, he has not “evolved”; he has “devolved”!
Hugh has preached the gospel for more than 50 years. He now lives in Tenn. This article is a selection from his “Hugh’s News and Views.”