Is the Hell gospel the Gospel of Christ?
"Hey Mr. Sinner, want to come out to church tonight to hear the true Gospel of God's Grace and Love."
"Do you believe that God loves me?"
"Yes my friend, He loved you enough to die for you." (John 3:16) (Romans 5:8)
"OK, I would like to hear how I am loved by your God of love. God knows I need love."
Below are excerpts of the sermon the "sinner" heard.
...There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.—He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it....There is no fortress that is any defense from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell....They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell....
...The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely...There is no other reason to be given
why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by
your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given
as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell....
...O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment...." (End of excerpts)
What do you think, does this fear-mongering, hell festering presentation of Gospel preaching have any place in the Good News of Christ's Love and Grace?
Is that the way Jesus and Paul preached? Did Jesus talk more about hell than He did heaven?
According to hell fire breathing preacher's that I have heard or read their sermons...the answer is yes. Some have gone on to say that hell is an evangelizing tool that should not be left out of the gospel. Some proponents of an everlasting hell have told me directly that if I do not believe in an everlasting hell I will be a believer after I am dead because upon my death I will end up there. Once I get there one pastor wants me to let him know how hot it is!
Is the "Everlasting Hell Gospel" that is preached in the religious denominated churches...really the Gospel that Jesus taught or the Gospel He gave to Paul to preach?
Did Jesus “scare the hell out of people” to win them to His side. Did He threaten people with punishment in hell flames if they didn’t believe in Him? Is it justified and sanctioned by God to fear-monger people with threats of burning forever in hell's flames to get people into the Kingdom of God?
Preachers preach that God is holy, righteous, and good, but since sin is so bad, it is enough to for God to condemn people to hell and God is justified in sending people there if they don’t say the "sinner's prayer in order to gain eternal life.
To justify such an abhorrent gospel we are told...and believe...that Jesus preached a lot more about hell than he did heaven, and so should we.
But Is it true that Jesus talks about hell more than heaven?
According to one computer search calculation there are 1,944 verses in the four gospels that contain Jesus’ words.
There are about 60 of those verses comprising about 3%...that could be construed as either directly or indirectly referring to hell.
On the other hand, there is better than three times as many verses in the gospels in which Jesus references heaven, eternal life, or his coming kingdom: 192 verses in all, comprising about 10%.
Therefore, Jesus did not speak more about hell than He did heaven. But many people who should know better are hell-bent on preaching that He did. As such, I think their hell gospel that sends people to hell fire for not siding (no matter the reason) with Jesus is NOT the Gospel of Christ. Warning people, as Jesus did, about the temporal consequences of sin, is not the same as threatening people with eternal torment in the flames of hell...neither is it Christlike or Biblically correct.
Jesus, throughout the gospels did speak about judgement, and yes, he also spoke a handful of times about places such as Gehenna and Hades, words often translated as “hell” in the KJV of the Bible. But those instances do not stand as justification for the promulgation of the myth that Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven. Continuing the promote that falsehood severely undermines Christ’s true message...which is the love of God and people, that Jesus himself called "The Greatest Commandment."
The religious traditional view of hell as a place of eternal suffering where "unbelieving sinners and saints" spend eternity in undying flames contradicts the image of God as merciful, forgiving, compassionate and loving. The traditional focus on hell as an evangelistic tool does not genuinely communicate the very heart of God or His gospel. If we receive Jesus as Savior merely to escape hell, we miss the entire point of the Gospel. The Good News of Jesus Christ is not “turn to me or squirm and burn in the torture chamber of hell.” That is condemnation and punishment. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that He came to free us from the spiritual captivity of sin and religion, so we would see and understand that God is good, that God is loving and forgiving, and that God desires nothing more than to be in loving relationship with each one of us.
No man...no man has the right to say you are going to HELL!
The justice of God is about the reconciliation of people...not the damnation of people!