A significant portion of practicing Christians say that evangelism is not a good idea. Could this be because they rejected the existence of hell?
Some statistical information
A report prepared at the request of Alpha USA outlines the evangelistic vision of practicing Christians.
The report defined “practicing Christians” as people who
▪︎ identify themselves as Christians,
▪︎ see faith in the Christ as very important,
▪︎ and have attended church during the last month.
This report shows that:
▪︎ Almost all Christians believe that witnessing Jesus is part of the faith (between 95% and 97% among different generations)
▪︎ Almost all Christians believe that knowing Jesus is the best thing that can happen to anyone (94% to 97%).
▪︎ Almost all Christians (86% to 92%) also say they can get along well when they are questioned by someone about their religion.
▪︎ The majority of each generation (between 56% and 73%) believe they have the gift of being able to put their faith into words in contact with other people.
But despite the fact almost all Christians find it important to tell other people about the Christ,
And almost all Christians claim to know how to discuss their faith,
A significant portion of Christians say it is wrong to actually share your personal faith with someone who believes otherwise, with the aim of ever sharing the same faith together.
▪︎ Nearly half of millennials (between 20 and 34 years old) say it is wrong to share your faith,
• just like a fourth (27%) of the X generation (age between 35 and 53 years),
• as well as a fifth of boomers (54 to 72 years old)
• and the elderly (73 years and older).
A view of an atheist
When an atheist was asked, “How much do you have to hate someone if you believe that people are on their way to hell, but that eternal life in heaven is possible, and you don’t tell, or warn, them?”
The answer was, “I have no respect for people who believe that there is a heaven and a hell, and believe that people are going to hell, and then, because it can get uncomfortable for them if they told that, and therefore don’t warn the others. How much do you have to hate someone not to tell them? “
Perhaps it is true that many Christians are unloving towards their neighbors.
A better explanation seems to be, that, when it comes down to it, they don’t believe in the existence of hell themselves.
We know that hell exists because Jesus – the One by whom everything was created (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16) – says that hell exists.
For example, in Matthew 10:28, Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and cannot kill the soul, but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
In fact, Jesus said more about hell, than about heaven.
Jesus uses the term gehenna (translated: hell) twelve times in the Gospels, and synonyms like fire, about twenty times.
He also describes it in detail.
▪︎ Jesus says it is an “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43),
▪︎ an “outer darkness” (Matthew 25:30)
▪︎ and an eternal punishment (Luke 16:23).
▪︎ He says the worm does not die there (Mark 9:48),
▪︎ where people will grind their teeth wailing (Matthew 13:42),
▪︎ and a place from which it is impossible to escape, not even to warn loved ones (Luke 16:19-31).
More than anyone else in the Bible, Jesus speaks of hell because He wants us to take it seriously.
Jesus must speak of hell because that is the destination of everyone who is not in Him. Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty and deserve the eternal wrath of God.
Contrary to popular belief, hell is not a place where God sends people who have done particularly bad things. It is our natural destination!
That’s why we all need a Savior or we’ll be condemned.
You cannot believe in the Jesus of the Gospels, and then reject His teachings about hell. Nor can you love your neighbors and be numb that they will spend eternity in hell.
If we believe Jesus and we love our neighbors, then we bring the doctrine of hell back into our churches.
“We must tremble for churches that don’t know what it means to tremble about hell,” says Trevin Wax. “I don’t understand how you can take Jesus’ message seriously and completely miss the evil and common theme of His teaching.”
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl