Is the Mention of Hell Simply a Scare Tactic?

Over the years, some people have accused me of using scare tactics when I warn about hell.

If preaching hell is using scare tactics, then Jesus is guilty. He preached hell more than anyone else in the Bible.

Warning someone of impending danger is a message of love. What lies ahead in the afterlife for those who haven’t repented should scare any rational person. Jude 23 tells us that some will only be saved with fear, pulling them out of the fire. Many people won’t be swayed by just telling them, “Jesus loves you.”

There is arrogance today toward God and a lack of respect for Him and all authority. Some people must be confronted with the severe reality of hell instead.

Jesus said in Luke 12:4-5a, “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that can do no more. But I will warn you whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him.” This is a very clear warning that hell is much worse than being killed, and awaits all those who don’t fear God.

When hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, the headline of a local newspaper and CNN read, “Certain death to those who do not vacate.” You wouldn’t say the writers of that article were mean for issuing that statement or that they were using scare tactics. You would be grateful for the warning. In the same way, God is giving us fair warning. You can heed His warnings and live, or ignore them and die.

Should we avoid warning people about the reality of hell because it will scare them? It is their choice to heed the warning.