I’ll be on vacation and offline for the next six days.
While I’m gone – if you’re not bored to death by this series and are still tracking with it – consider some reasons why the “hellfire & damnation” approach to gospel preaching was popular 100, 200 years ago (and is still rampant in some circles today):
- Immediate results, validation for the preacher
- No depth of study required
- Prospect of falling out of grace brought parishoners back for a moral recharge
You can think of more.
It’s hard to preach, “I don’t know what to make of this. I’ve studied it out. The Bible doesn’t talk about Christians going to heaven, after all. God comes down from heaven to join us on a new earth. Punishment is eternal, but I’m not clear about whether it is ongoing torment or obliteration.”
If you’re an “h & d”-type preacher, all you’re left with is to turn red in the face, bug your eyes out, pound on the pulpit and shout: “So as near as I can tell, we believers will all go to DISNEY WORLD! And the rest of you sorry sinners WILL SPEND ETERNITY IN CLEVELAND!”