Hell Week

Just a few reflections from teaching on hell this past Sunday…

1.  I’m glad we did it.  As agonizing as it is to teach on and to listen to, it is worth it.  It’s worth it because we have a responsibility to teach “the whole counsel of God”; and becauseit has a profound potential to change us.  And I, for one, want to be used by God to change lives.

2.  I’m glad it’s over.  It had been 6 years since we had a Sunday morning message devoted to hell.  I’m not sure we’ll wait that long again, but it will be a while.  It has come up in different studies we have done (non-Sunday morning).  There is an endless supply of other necessary topics, many of which the Bible speaks about much more often than hell.

3.  Teaching on it affected me in a unique way.  After the 2nd service, I just walked to my office to avoid talking to people.  I never do that, but I was drained and depressed.  But I sat at the table in my office and just wanted to wait until I could hear the music start for 3rd service so I could go out and not have to talk to anyone.  Interestingly, after 3rd service, I felt the same way and tried to go to my office again, but someone stopped me to talk.  After I talked to a few people, I actually started to feel a lot better.  God used those people in my life.

4.  There is old thinking that we should avoid tough subject like this to be sensitive to unchurched people.  I think that’s wrong.  The feedback I got on Sunday from newcomers and people who attend that are not Christ-followers was positive.  In today’s world, I think people are looking for authenticity and conviction, not a “soft sell”.

5.  I’m glad we decided not to use the Culps (see previous posts).  At first it seemed like it would add some comic relief to a heavy day, but the more we thought about it (and had some great insight from one of our elders), we decided this wasn’t a day to make light of hell or use it to generate laughs in any way.

5.  I lived differently this week.  There has been a increased sensitivity to considering the spiritual condition of everyone I encounter, remembering and being motivated by Romans 8:1…there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

~ by Greg Lee on June 5, 2008.

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