TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
“Let me take you into the light,
There’s nowhere to hide,
There’s nothing but darkness left here.
Shake it up and let’s take a ride,
‘Cause Heaven’s not far away,
And I’m not gonna leave you here.”
—Thousand Foot Krutch
When I was 16 years old, I got saved and officially became a member of a Baptist church in my hometown.
I was very involved with my youth group, attending all of the meetings and going on all the trips we planned.
My time in the youth group gave me some of my most fondest memories as a high school student.
I was having such a great time and feeling so blessed by God that I wanted to share all of it with my lost friends.
So whenever I’d run into someone at school or at a ball game that I knew did not have a church home, I would invite them to come check out our youth group sometime.
Occasionally, they would accept my offer, or at least tell me they would think about it.
But more often than not, I was met with some pretty strong resistance.
That church was one of the largest in my hometown, if not the largest, so we had a very large reach for evangelism throughout the city and surrounding areas.
This meant that whenever I talked to someone about the church, they usually had already been invited by someone else, or were at least familiar with the members and programs.
This was a good thing for the most part, but it also resulted in some negativity too.
Whether it was true or not, only the Lord knows, but I would always hear that some church-goers would tell non-Christians they were going straight to Hell.
So every now and then, people would tell me, “I don’t want to go to a church where they tell me I’m going to Hell.”
Fast forward to 2014 — 12 years removed from my days in youth group — and I’m still hearing that from people who don’t go to church.
I’ve since moved away from my hometown and have found a new church home here in Corbin. But from many of my peers who do not attend church regularly, I continue to hear that as a reason they don’t attend.
They don’t want to go to a church where people tell them they are going to Hell.
When I hear this today, a couple of different things always come to mind.
First, did a Christian actually start out a conversation with this person by blatantly saying, “You’re going to Hell?”
And second, was this person exaggerating the truth a little bit to make an excuse for not going to church?
If you are running around telling people they are going to Hell right off the bat, that might not be the most tactful approach to help win lost souls for God. This probably would — in fact — give someone a bad feeling about the church
But maybe those lost souls are bending the truth as well.
At any rate, whether a Christian witness was using tact or not, it’s important for those who don’t know Jesus Christ to understand one thing.
As Christians, we don’t want to see anyone go to Hell. If we had our preference, we would want everyone on God’s green earth to spend eternity with us in Heaven.
If we, as Christians, believe someone we know is living a sinful lifestyle or has never accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, we will have a burden on our hearts for your lost soul.
It’s not out of hate or spite, but out of care and love.
Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Phew! I don’t know about you, but that does not sound like my type of Friday night!
But Hell is a very real place and I don’t want anyone I know or come in contact with to have to spend eternity there.
So if someone has approached you about your lifestyle or going to church, don’t take it the wrong way. They are just looking out for you and want what is best for you — which is Jesus Christ filling your soul up with His love, and everlasting life in Heaven.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com