John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world<sup class="crossreference" value="(AA)”> to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

     How well would the Gospel be received if we started sharing it with the statement; “I’ve got news for you – you’re going to hell.”  This would be believable in some parts of the world where conditions are so horrific that the hearer is partial to thinking he or she is halfway there already.  But in our affluent easy lives living in the safety of our land which was bought with the sacrifice of soldiers long gone or gone far away, news like that isn’t believable.

     Good news isn’t news if it doesn’t  give you help and hope here and now.   If everything is going great and you don’t think you’re in trouble why would you believe you’re going to hell? Jesus knew this.  That’s why he said; “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) 

     Preaching avoidance of hell doesn’t play well with a well fed contented crowd.  Most of the time when I hear hell preached its always the ‘other’ people who are going to hell – not us.  Sadly and all too often,  I hear resentment more than concern coming out those preaching hellfire and damnation.  Hell is real, hell is eternal, and hell is a destination.  But people who are open to the Gospel already know that because they are usually living on hell’s front porch. You’ll find them in the hospital, in prison and in the gutter. You’ll also find them in the board room, in an office or in fancy homes living a quiet kind of desperation.

      You won’t find them with your mouth.  You won’t find them with good intentions.  You’ll find them with your eyes – if you have eyes to see with.  You’ll find them with your ears – if you have ears to hear with.  You’ll find them with your heart – if you have His heart.  Oh yes – you’ll find them with your nose – the situation they are in usually stinks.  Hospitals smell.  Prisons smell.  Gutters smell.  Hopelessness, dying, fear and suffering –  all smell.  When it stinks – you know you’re in the right place for the Gospel to be preached.

     The Gospel is a message of hope not hell.  When people are desperate they’ll listen.  When people are desperate they’ll be looking for hope.  Tell them His name.  Tell them He’s on a mission; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised . . .” (Luke 4:18) 

     Tell them He’s coming for them!!!

     Praise the Lord!

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