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Hellfire, Brimstone and Youth Ministry

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I’ll never forget when a teenage girl came up to me after a Dare 2 Share conference and asked me two hard questions:

The first question was this, “Do you mean to tell me that my friends who don’t know Jesus will die and spend an eternity in hell forever?

This earnest high school girl approached me after a drama we did that dealt head on with the subject of hell. After the drama I challenged the teenagers in the auditorium with the urgency of sharing the Gospel with their friends.

When it was all over and the crowd started leaving, this very somber teenager asked me her hard, but heartfelt, question. Over the next few minutes I shared with her a few verses like 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 where Paul wrote bluntly on the subject,

when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.

She was stunned by the Biblical rawness of the theology of hell. She just stood their in shock.

But her second question was even more stunning to me.

She asked, “Why has my youth leader never told me about hell?” With tears in her eyes she told me that she had never heard about the theology of hell and the urgency and responsibility of rescuing her friends from this coming judgment. She was upset that her youth leader never told her about it.

I couldn’t answer her question. I had no idea why her youth leader never talked about the subject of hell and the urgency of saving others from its eternal torment.

Maybe it was because her youth leader didn’t want to be accused of scare tactics. But is it scare tactics to yell “STOP!” at a little kid running toward a busy intersection? Is it scare tactics to warn a generation headed toward the edge of hell to “STOP!” before it’s too late?

Maybe this youth leader had a weak theology of hell. Perhaps he didn’t really believe that people who die without Jesus spend a Christless eternity in the Lake of Fire…like Revelation 20:11-15 and many other passages in the Bible say they will.

Maybe this youth leader didn’t want too much “Hellfire and Brimstone” preaching to be crammed down his teenagers throats. But, by and large, Generation Z has not been exposed to the theology of hell.

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Hi, I'm Greg Stier, CEO and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries. On this blog I share personal experiences about life, ministry, and how we are mobilizing teenagers across America to share their faith. I would love to connect with you. Follow me on TwitterFacebook or join a move of God at Dare 2 Share.