Christian preachers used to talk about hell a lot more than they do today. They still, rightly so, talk a lot about heaven. My pastor still preaches about hell. I still preach about hell. And I know others who do, too.
Jesus teaches about hell. Even the most (arguably) famous Bible verse, John 3:16, implies hell in context. In that famous verse, Jesus tell Nicodemus that he must believe in Jesus to have eternal life. And those who do not believe? Jesus says they are condemned already (v. 18) in their current state because they do not believe.
But not everyone believes Jesus’ words to Nicodemus. In fact, many unbelievers do not believe in heaven or hell. My pastor recently reminded us in a sermon that some who reject Jesus and any concept of heaven will say something like, “If I believed in heaven, I am sure I would go.”
How odd that someone who has no theology of heaven develops one in their favor if they did happen to believe in heaven. Yet you do not often, if ever, find people outspoken in developing a theology of hell in the same way. I mean – who says, “If I believed in hell, I am sure I would go.”
Talking about heaven, and especially, hell, may not be the easiest conversation. But they are a reality of the Christian faith. The next time an unbeliever mentions going to heaven, it may be a good time to ask about hell and why they think heaven would be their destiny if they believed in it.