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Hell, Fire and Brimstone Preaching


Hell fire and brimstone sermons were commonly associated with preachers of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and America. One of the most famous was Jonathan Edwards, whose sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was one of the most widely known. it was commonly described as a style of Christian preaching that uses vivid descriptions of judgment and eternal damnation.

In an early Bible example (Genesis 19:24-28) we see the Lord raining upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire out of heaven; overthrowing those cities, and all the inhabitants of the cities. But Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. When Abraham got up early in the morning and looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, he seen the smoke of the country going up as the smoke of a furnace.

There is wonder if these types of hellfire sermons have a place today or not. Preachers need to be warning their flocks about the realities of hell and not something to be watered or smoothened down to make it sound better. If you look into the New Testiment you will find that Jesus did teach about hell and its consequences; for example, in Mark 9:47-48 Jesus taught, And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 'where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched'. He clearly spoke about hell and its consequences in this and many other passages; in fact He spoke on hell more than heaven.

There needs to be balance in preaching so all the word is preached; but it is important that this topic like many others does not get glanced over, just because it may be unpopular for some to hear. Ministers should focus an effort on preaching on all topics including hellfire preaching, as Jesus did. Ministers are called to proclaim the good news of Jesus as the solution to the eternal hell that awaits unbelievers, just as Jesus spoke of the reality and suffering of hell in combination with the love and grace of God. There needs not to be pounding on the pulpit or displays of anger; just the truth proclaimed in a straight forth and honest endeaver to assure everyone understands the grave importance of this topic just like any other topic of scripture.


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KEY VERSE(S)

Gen. 19:24 Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.

Psalms 11:6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.

Rev. 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."




The Christian Counter
The Christian Counter