Preaching Connection: Hell

Reading for Preaching

“Sin, Salvation, Service”

Alluding to statements of Jesus that picture hell as “the outer darkness,” and then, a few verses later, as “the eternal fire” (Matt. 25:30, 41), Stob suggests that these images reflect the natural outcome of the sinner’s posture toward God.  “Hell in the Bible . . . is wither very hot or very cold, depending...

The Problem of Pain

Lewis explains retributive justice, the very idea of it. You need the concept of just desert or ill-desert. You need the concept that an evil man must never be allowed to remain ignorant of his evil, or satisfied with it. “Pain plants the flag of truth within a rebel fortress.” And it may lead to...

Institutes of the Christian Religion

Calvin expressly says that “eternal fire” in hell must not be taken literally. Darkness, weeping, gnashing, fire, worms, etc. are all figurative expressions, “intended to confound all our senses with dread.” Calvin adds that “we ought especially to fix our thought upon this: how wretched it is to be cut off from all fellowship with...

Additional content related to Hell

Jeremiah 18:1-11

The image of a potter at a wheel molding a wet lump of clay into various shapes is both a vivid image and one that most people can picture easily in their minds—it even cuts across multiple cultures seeing as the art of pottery making is quite ancient.   Skilled potters are downright amazing in their…


Psalm 30

A friend of mine who passed away last year on Easter used to respond to life’s oft-difficult circumstances by saying, “Ah well, joy cometh in the morning.”  Or at least joy may come in the morning but most of us know altogether too well that sometimes it doesn’t.  Or the “morning” in question ends up…


Mark 9:38-50

The challenge of this lectionary text is that it reads like a hodgepodge of Jesus’ sayings, something like the book of Proverbs with its often unconnected string of wisdom sayings. Because of its lack of apparent cohesion, it would be difficult to build a coherent sermon by moving though the entire text. So, the text…


2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12

“To that end . . .” begins 2 Thessalonians 1:11.   Ah, but inquiring minds want to know to WHICH end and why?  What is the antecedent to this?  The Revised Common Lectionary would have you remain ignorant of that by suggesting that you politely skip over verses 5-10 so that you are left only with…