People Don’t Like Being Told They Are Going To Hell

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Matthew 25:46

We need to think about how we say things to others who disagree with us about God. We need to boldly speak truth but not be surprised when they might want to spit in our face or drop kick us. Truth is uncomfortable to those not ready to receive it.

In speaking often to those who don’t believe in Jesus as the Savior of mankind, My experience is they don’t take kindly to being called lost, ignorant, deceived, or hell-bound. They find it condescending, judgmental, and hateful. If I were a nonbeliever, I would not like it either. As a Christian, we have to understand this. We need to “feel” what they are saying and understand that it’s a strong statement we make when we say they are lost or going to Hell. That kind of pronouncement carries with it a lot of emotion and judgment. It doesn’t mean we don’t speak it but we should try and understand how they are hearing it.

We shouldn’t be flippant with our words if we want to show care for them. If we are offering the grace of Jesus, we can’t do it from the approach that they we are better than them or that they disgust us because if their lifestyle . They are no less human and no more unworthy than you or me. We dehumanize people often with our words, oftentimes in the name of God no less . I have been guilty of this myself but I don’t want to treat people as if I reject them. I am burdened for them and want them to know Christ and the salvation he offers. I want to be nice and not harsh.

That in no way means I don’t believe all people of every race and status are in need of the gospel. Everyone needs to hear about Christ and their desperate need for Him for salvation. My error is not in sharing but in being insensitive. I haven’t been as sensitive to them in the words I have used to convey what I believe to be true. We are fools if we think they are not going to struggle with our belief that they are sinners and will go to Hell for eternity in judgment. I mean who wants to hear that! Yet, if we believe that those without Christ are bound for eternity in Hell, then it is the greatest act of love we can give to do everything we can to help them see the way of salvation. Think about it like this: if another person saw me doing something that was harmful to myself and thy intervened, I might not appreciate it in the moment, but surely it is an act of mercy and care! I often try to help people who don’t want to admit or recognize their issue(s), but to do nothing feels cruel. No one, I mean no one, is going to shake your hand and thank you for telling them they are eternally condemned (Welk i did have a guy in prison tell me he was glad to be going to Hell but that’s a rare exception!). Let’s put ourselves in their shoes. We have to think very carefully how we speak to those who are without a relationship with Christ. I suggest the following:

1) Before you engage them remind yourself that you are no better than them and the same salvation you say they need, you needed yourself. Give grace because you surely needed grace yourself.

2) This goes with the first one but be humble. This is not about your pride, ego, or another notch on your belt, or about winning an argument. You do this because hopefully you care about them and you should prove it in your words and attitude .

3) You should dialogue and debate with them but don’t let emotions or anger influence your words. I have been so guilty of this in my debates. There have been times where my ego got in the way or I let anger cloud my judgment. It undermines everything I am saying when that happens.

4) Be prepared for them to attack you. They are not going to like that you lean on faith and not reason, as they see it. They are going to ridicule it and disrespect you. You need to be honest that you don’t have the proof they want to see and also that you don’t know all the answers. If they don’t believe then give them that right. Respect their decision. Your job is to share and not to convert. You cannot convert people because you do not have the ability to change their heart.

Let’s think through how we engage people with the gospel. Let’s treat them respectfully and lovingly. Let’s be patient with them just as others were patient with us. Hurting people even in the name of truth is dead wrong. We should present the truth, but do it with sensitivity and care.

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

9 thoughts on “People Don’t Like Being Told They Are Going To Hell

  1. I really love this. What is funny is I just asked another child of God How should I handle a situation like this. And wow! God is answering my questions! I thank you for yours post.

    1. I have a question KIA. Do you think you were ever a Christian? Before your BP rises as if I am questioning your integrity think about the question. The Bible teaches that becoming a Christian is being “born again,” a true transformation. You now see that as farce I assume? If so you would say you were merely buying into a man made system and nothing spiritually real at all. I define Christianity like the Bible as transformative. You acknowledge you never experienced a genuine, spiritual transformation?

      1. Do you believe you were filled with the Spirit as you look back? You believe there is a Spirit? Looking back would you say it was never real? Or do you think you actually were born again in a transformative since? If so then you believe spiritual things are real?

      2. I am just saying you couldn’t have truly been transformed and seen the Spirit work in you then it you would need now to say it was all real. I assume you would say you were living based off of fantasy and if so then it was never a real conversion in he way the Bible states it. I have no doubt you were in Christian circles but transformed is something you would deny or if you don’t, then you believe supernatural movements occur. Which is it?

      3. Ha. That comment tells me a lot. Obviously you couldn’t be a true Christian if you don’t believe the Holy Spirit exists or transforms. There is no true faith without the Spirit working. I do think you dressed the part but if none of it is real it never took

      4. It isn’t up to me but the Bible makes it clear what a True Christian is and a true Christian would not ridicule the faith and Christians and deny the existence of all things supernatural

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