We Mustn’t Shrink from the Dreadful Topic of Hell When We have Such a Tonic of Grace


It is my habit to read J.C. Ryle at the conclusion of sermon prep. This week I came across this quote pertaining to Mark 9.42-50 and Jesus’ persistence on mentioning and teaching on the reality of hell.

There is no mercy in keeping back from men the subject of hell. Fearful and tremendous as it is, it ought to be pressed on all, as one of the great truths of Christianity. Our loving Savior speaks frequently of it. The apostle John, in the book of Revelation, often describes it.

The servants of God in these days must not be ashamed of confessing their belief in it. Were there no boundless mercy in Christ for all that believe in Him, we might well shrink from the dreadful topic. Were there no precious blood of Christ able to cleanse away all sin, we might well keep silence about the wrath to come. But there is mercy for all who ask in Christ’s name. There is a fountain open for all sin.

Let us then boldly and unhesitatingly maintain that there is a hell, and beseech men to flee from it, before it be too late. “Knowing the terrors of the Lord,” the worm, and the fire, let us “persuade men.” (2 Cor. 5:11.) It is not possible to say too much about Christ. But it is quite possible to say too little about hell. -J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, p.193

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