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A Sermon from Joel Osteen on hell? Not Likely

joel osteen on hell

Looking to hear a sermon from Pastor Joel Osteen on Hell? Featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, told reporter Tracy Smith why he won’t preach about hell.

“[People] already feel guilty enough. They’re not doing what they should, raising their kids—we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, ‘You know what? I may not be perfect, but I’m moving forward. I’m doing better.’ And I think that motivates you to do better.”

Joel Osteen on hell:

It’s not particularly surprising that Osteen, famous for his self-help pep talk, wouldn’t preach what he calls “fire and brimstone.” His messages frequently focus on the power of positivity and ceasing negative self-talk. He’s sold millions of books preaching a gospel that wants to make you happier and healthier while avoiding meatier subjects, like hell.

However, hell is an integral part of the gospel of Jesus. Jesus frequently talked about hell in many contexts. He condemned cities like Chorazin and Capernaum to hell for not believing in the miracles he did for them. Jesus also paints a picture of what heaven and hell are like in his story of Lazarus and the rich man, with the rich man in Hades looking for water while Lazarus rests in the arms of Abraham.

He also addresses the issue of hell in Matthew 25, in the parable of the wedding supper, Jesus says that those without a wedding garment are cast into outer darkness sand where people weep and gnash their teeth.

Ultimately, Jesus says in Matthew 10:28 that we should not fear those who can kill our bodies, but fear he who can cast both body and soul into hell, a sobering truth that should evoke reverent fear of the Triune God.

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Carrie Kintz is a freelance writer and communication strategist. She works with ministries and individuals across the country, helping them figure out what to say and how to say it in the digital space. Carrie has also spoken at conferences such as the Best of Social Media Summit and That Church Conference. When she's not writing (or tweeting), she enjoys hiking, time with friends and a good cup of coffee