A Baptist pastor says Christians must continue talking to their loved ones about Hell, especially those who reject Christianity, but then to also back off and give them space.
Aaron Menikoff, an author and senior pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, wrote on The Gospel Coalition website Monday that when one wrestles “with the persistent unbelief of family and friends,” there will be times when Satan will ask, “Did God really say there is such a thing as Hell?”
“Don’t tolerate this line of thinking. The doctrine of Hell is tempting to abandon yet crucial to embrace,” he advised.
“God used the doctrine of Hell to save me. When I first heard the Gospel from a high school friend, I pushed back. She pushed back even harder and said unless I repented of my sins and put my faith in Christ, I’d go to Hell,” the pastor recalled.
“I couldn’t believe she said this, much less believed it. Thankfully the Holy Spirit used her conviction and boldness to open my eyes. Months later, I trusted in Christ.”
Menikoff also said that believers should avoid “leaning into the ethical teaching of Jesus while dismissing His teaching on eternal punishment.”
“Christ is not just the Savior; He is the Judge. Please don’t abandon good theology because you don’t like the implications. We are either a people of the Book or a people of our own inclinations. There is no in-between,” he continued.
When it comes to reaching out to nonbelieving loved ones, the pastor suggested that Christians should continue praying and grieving for them, but when they are confident that they have shared the Gospel, they can back off.
“They know where you stand. They know where you think they stand. It’s time to be quiet and pray,” he wrote.
“Backing off your family member doesn’t mean ignoring or cutting them out of your life. Rather, it means spending time with them without constantly discussing their spiritual state.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov