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Back in my early years it seemed that every other Sermon was about staying out of Hell. Now it seems that you never hear any Sermons about how terrible it is there.

As a young child that scared me and began my quest to find Salvation.

At a recent Sermon the minister even said that the result of sin was eternal separation from God. And while I agree that that is a part of the punishment, I do not feel that it is any more horrendous than burning for eternity in the lake of fire and not being able to die.

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Our sermon was precisely on that this morning. –  Affable Geek Nov 24 '13 at 20:46
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Short answer: Things are different than when we were kids, in our current society, most pastors have figured out that they will "catch more flies with honey than vinegar". –  RBarryYoung Nov 24 '13 at 21:25
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Perhaps liberal theology being taught in seminaries relegate hell to an abstract. I picked up this vibe from a Christian author who has experienced this. –  Steve Nov 25 '13 at 0:40
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Ray Comfort calls this phenomena "The modern gospel", and has an interesting take on it and the effects of it.. –  David Stratton Nov 25 '13 at 1:58
    
Most Christian Churches preach on the last things in the weeks runnig up to advent –  Peter Turner Nov 25 '13 at 14:07

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My answer? Churches nowadays are unfortunately often focused on quantity. "We have X churchgoers" or "Our denomination has X followers". They preach in order to get more people to attend and come back for the next seremon.

Preaching about "controversal" subjects loses followers, as we can clearly see from the Gospel itself - John 6 from 53 on, where Jesus talks about eating flesh and drinking blood, which resulted in 66 "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." By the way, Jesus was not about quantity - his reaction was in 67 "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?"

You can also recount the fate of John the Baptist. He preached to Herod about his unethical sexual relationships, and where did it got him?

I'm from Russia, and we had a similar case recently. A priest Daniel Sysoev http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Sysoyev (arcticle is short, if you want to know more, better read its russian version through google translator, since it's got more content).

He preached very radically and with disregard towards how people will take his word or be offended by it. He was not shy to speak about hell, and how muslims and atheists and gay people will suffer eternal damnation if they do not repent, he was not shy to state boldly that Christianity is the only true religion, and the only one that leads to salvation, he was not shy to state that God does punish sinners. He made huge missionary effort, he converted many muslims to Christianity.

What happened to him in the end? He was assasinated, shot in the chest in his own church building by a radical muslim. Many people regard him as a martyr.

I think this answers your question very well. Preaching about controversal subjects is hard, and requires a certain degree of selfishness. And gets you in trouble.

PS: Finally, Hell is a hard subject to talk about because it has so many meanings entwined and attached to it. The term may very well be misunderstood by the modern society as some sort of prison for sinners, made by God to punish them, which it is not. So it may be a good idea to explain the concept without using the word.

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Like any topic, if a person thinks it is important, they will talk about it. You may draw your own conclusions as to why some Pastors do not teach on Hell therefore.

Jesus spoke a lot about Hell. Guess He thought it was important to do so.

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The world is so full of suffering and pain these days, the last thing we need to hear is that we are going to burn in hell. I think that pastors and spiritual leaders recognize this. Maybe they are trying to give encouragement and hope to their sheep instead of more fear?

I'm not sure if that is why they don't grill people with that anymore. It seemed to work. I can see previous generations before me, have a stronger moral compass. This could be that they are so afraid of god they won't even think twice of doing something wrong.

I myself don't believe in hell. It doesn't make sense that a god of love, peace, justice, and righteousness would watch something he created suffer like that. That combined with the accounts of Gods punishment. Whenever God punished people, their deaths where quick and they didn't suffer long. Deuteronomy 11:6:

"Or what he did to Da′than and A·bi′ram, the sons of E·li′ab the son of Reu′ben, when the earth opened and swallowed them up, along with their households and their tents and every living thing that followed them, before the eyes of all Israel.

Genesis 19:24-26

"Then Jehovah made it rain sulfur and fire on Sod′om and Go·mor′rah—it came from Jehovah, from the heavens. 25 So he overthrew these cities, yes, the entire district, including all the inhabitants of the cities and the plants of the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, who was behind him, began to look back, and she became a pillar of salt."

Even that aside, once we die our sins are paid in full. Romans 6:6-7:

"For we know that our old personality was nailed to the stake along with him in order for our sinful body to be made powerless, so that we should no longer go on being slaves to sin. 7 For the one who has died has been acquitted from his sin."

So if God views our sins paid for by death, then why would he punish us after our sin debt is paid?

I think if someone's love for God is strong enough, they don't need to learn punishments. To illustrate the point, your father teaches you not to do something because it is wrong. If you love your father, you care enough that you don't want to disappoint him by doing something he told you not to. I don't think of the punishment for something I've done wrong. Instead I think about how much I've hurt someone who loves me, so much that he sacrificed his son, so that I could have a chance to live.

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@ Jeremy good answer and I agree up to the point that Hell doesn't exist. If not why would God send his only son to save us? –  Bye Nov 25 '13 at 13:07
    
Well Cecil I would have to go way off topic to answer that one lol. Great question! Even though I don't believe in the teaching of hell, I think my generations needs something to scare them into maturity. The way people act today reminds me of people of Noah's day, pre-flood. –  Jeremy Nov 25 '13 at 16:02
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Many different scriptures reference the existence of hell, and Jesus Himself spoke of it several times. –  Panzercrisis Nov 25 '13 at 23:34
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TBH, suffering was there all the time. Our present is no different than that of 0AD palestine. If anything, we've come quite far to combat suffering (considering the level of medicine, health care, human rights and so on)... –  Istrebitel Nov 26 '13 at 13:27
    
I'm not saying out suffering today is any worse than times past. I am saying that people are suffering and don't need anything else to worry about. If someone is grieving, do you not comfort them? Would you take that time instead to tell them about something else depressing? –  Jeremy Nov 27 '13 at 15:00

Well, I think that may be a blanket statement and not necessarily universally so, but maybe the pastors/teachers that you have encountered have woken to this truth:

Romans 2:4 - Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

While it's true that if you reject Jesus then there is no salvation left for you and you will not spend eternity with him in fullness of Joy, it's not the Gospel. The Gospel is literally Good news. The nearly too good to be true news.

I'm not sure if you've noticed that if you try to teach your children how bad something is if they do something you don't want them to do it actually has the reverse effect and they do it anyway.

The bible says in

1 Cor 15:56 - "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. "

Preaching hell isn't the Gospel and isn't going to save anyone. We need to be sharing the good news.

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This is a very good question. The hell concept looks and/or sounds complicated, bet it actually is easy to understand. The reason most preachers do not preach on hell may simply be because it is not of interest to them. Most preachers are now preaching on things that will bring their churches money such as tights and other related stuff. As a Christian, you must not focus on your religious leaders. The path to everlasting life must be followed by only you and only you will be judged. Reading the bible is the best solution. Do not try to understand the hell concept at this time, but just know that, the wages of in is death and when you die in sin you belong to the devil and he can do anything to you. I believe that when the right time comes, you will understand this perfectly.

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Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. This seems more like a comment than an actual answer to the question - I agree with your guidance, but it doesn't really answer the question asked. –  Affable Geek Nov 24 '13 at 23:16

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