I have often wondered why there is not so much mentioning of the reality of hell in modern preaching. But then I remember what I learned in seminary, we where not to mention things that could offend or turn people away from the church. So instead we where taught how to preach sermons that would attract people, sermons that would answer lives question without offending. I tried practicing this for some time, but then I suddenly realized its unbiblical. Jesus would never ever have taught His disciples to preach sermons that did not offend people. So why should we do what Jesus would never do? Preaching sermons that would attract people and not offend them is actually a sin. Its like a doctor refusing to help the cancer patient. Or even worse, a doctor who knew you had cancer but never told you about it. Such a doctor would loose his job and we would label him as a dangerous man not worthy of practicing his profession. Why then do we so easily allow preachers to do this, to hide important truth from us because they "dont want to offend"? We should label them as dangerous preachers and not worthy of their profession. 

 
To some, hell is just a curse word. But to the rich man in Luk 16:19-31 it is a very real place. The rich man has been in hell now for a little more then 2000 years, and he is still being tormented 24 hours with real flames. When he awoke in hell and found himself in torment he begged Abraham to warn his family that was still alive on earth. But Abraham refused, he said they had preachers who would warn them. How many are in hell today because of preachers reluctance to warn about hell? How many of your loved ones are in hell right now because they refused to accept Gods offer of reconciliation through faith in Jesus? Right now, there is a good possibility you have loved ones in hell and they are hoping you will never join them. If they could, they would go back in time and change their mind. They would go back in time to that day when somebody told them about Jesus, but they just laughed and walked away. But they cant go back in time, its impossible. They are stuck there in hell for an eternity. 
 
Right now there are billions of people in hell who thought they had one more day to live. They thought they could be saved later, when they got older, tomorrow, but tomorrow never came. They knew they where sinners, criminals in the eyes of God in need of reconciliation. But they laughed, they mocked it and walked away and the next day God took their life and it was to late for them. 
 
God does not want anybody to end up in hell. I know hell has been portrayed as a creation of satan, almost as a torture chamber where demons are free to torture humans. But that is not biblical, because hell was never created by satan. Hell was created by God, and God is in hell. He is the master, the Lord over hell just as much as He is the Lord over earth and heaven. And in hell it is God who is doing the torture. 
 
Hell was never created by God for humans. God created hell as a punishment for the angels who followed in lucifers rebellion before Adam and Eve was created. But because Adam and Eve decided to follow lucifer they and their descendants (all of us) became destined for hell. Hell is the prison for all who are guilty of breaking Gods laws. And if we are honest with our own lives, we will soon see we are just as guilty. We have lied, hated, stolen things regardless of its value and committed adultery in our hearts. So even though hell was created for the fallen angels, and not for man, we deserve hell because we are criminals. 
 
When it is so obvious we are criminals it is not easy to see why preachers chooses not to warn against hell. But then again, maybe it is. Criminals who enjoy a life of crime never enjoys talking to loud about the law and the police. 
 
Hell was never created for us humans, but God as the lawgiver has no choice. He has to make sure there is a punishment for breaking His law. A long time ago He decided the punishment for the fallen angels would be hell, they broke His law. So then it is only natural how everybody who decides to follow these fallen angels get to share in hell. But it is not Gods will for anybody to end up in hell, so He made a way. But He will never force you to choose that way, He will never force you to choose Jesus instead of being judged for your own crimes. 
 
When Jesus spoke about hell He described it in a way that should make all of us tremble in fear. Hell is a place where the fire never burns out. Have you ever touched a hot surface and burned yourself? It is painful, but imagine being burned all over your body 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? That is the reality of hell. The rich man says in Luk 16:19-31 he is thirsty because of the heat, the pain and the fire. But there is no water in hell, there is no fire brigade. There is only fire, constant burning fire burning your body. 
 
Jesus makes one important point in Luk 16:19-31. The rich man is conscious. He is able to feel, see, hear, taste, so he has all his feelings intact. But more than that, he has his memory intact. He knows his identity and his family relations. So hell is a place where you are fully conscious, you know who you are, you remember your life on earth and you are able to feel the pain of being burned 24 hours, 7 days a week. But the biggest pain would be to remember your life on earth. 
 
Have you ever felt regret, regretted doing something you should never have done? You have felt ashamed, and you have felt a desperate need to go back in time to change your decision. 
 
In hell you remember the day you turned down Gods offer of reconciliation, you are constantly plagued with regret, constantly the same idea runs through your mind "if I only had accepted what that preacher said that day". But it will be to late, you will never see your loved ones again, and you will never get out of hell. It will be an eternity of regret, and guilt. Because you will remember why you are in hell, because you chose to lie, you chose to hate, not to forgive, to steal something and to worship idols. 
 
In hell it is God, not demons who is doing the punishment. In  hell you are experiencing the full force of Gods wrath and we all deserve Gods wrath. We have all lied, we have all hated and we have all stolen things regardless of its value. We have all broken the law of God, but God does not want you to end up in hell. So He made a way for you to be reconciled to Him. He gave you Jesus. 
 
When Jesus was born He lived a perfect life. He never violated the law of God, so when the day came and He died on the cross, His blood was sinless blood. Sinless human blood was the only payment God would accept for the sins of humanity. By dying on a cross, Gods justice would be served. The crimes of humanity would be payed for and God could reconcile everybody who would accept this for them to Him. The only thing you need to do is to believe this was done on your behalf, and at that moment, you are reconciled to God. Your guilt is payed, and you will never see hell as long as you keep your faith in the cross of Christ. 
 
But God will never force you, you have a choice between serving your own sentence in hell or accepting what Jesus did. There is no point in claiming to be non guilty, God is God and He has seen your every thought word and deed. He sees your thought life, so He knows every little sin you have ever done, even those you are afraid to think about yourself. All of those and more will be payed for the moment you accept what Jesus did for you. But all of those, and more can also give you an eternity in hell. 
 
Have you ever seen a corpse? No neither have I, but in todays day and age most of us have seen a dead body on tv. When death sets the physical body starts to rot away and maggots take over. Thats the way God created it, maggots have their "job" and one of their "jobs" is to eat away the flesh of what was once alive. In Mark 9:48 Jesus says something about hell that should make us think. In hell your are constantly burned and your are conscious. You are totally aware of the pain of being burned, but there are maggots and worms in hell as well. The difference between the maggots and worms on earth and in hell are not much. They are designed to eat away the flesh both on the earth and in hell. But the difference is yourself. 
 
When you die on this earth you will leave your physical body and it will eventually be eaten up by maggots. When that happens you will not be there to see it, because you will either be in hell or heaven. But if you are in hell, your body will be eaten by maggots and worms. And this time you will be inside of your body when that happens. That will never stop, that will never end. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will be burned and eaten alive by maggots and worms. I know this sounds terrible, and yes hell is a terrible place. And this is not something out of my imagination, these are the words of Jesus Himself in Mark 9:48. 
 
So why then would anybody deny Gods offer to be reconciled to Him? Or more important, why then would any preacher refuse to warn his listeners about hell, the wrath to come, and their need to accept what Jesus did for them? 
 
Why are we so quick to label a doctor as being incompetent who would not tell his patient about the patients cancer, but when it comes to preachers we accept it when they do not tell us about our guilt and the fact we are headed to hell? They know the Bible, they know what it says. If they do not warn about hell, and show the way to avoid hell, they are incompetent preachers and not worthy of their calling. They should never be behind a pulpit, in fact they are dangerous preachers who are guilty in leading people astray. 
And right now, there are millions in hell who believed a message that said "God loves you, nothing to worry about, just accept His love". Right now there are millions in hell who has set under preaching who gave them false assurance that everything was ok, because everything is grace and there is no law. Right now there are millions in hell who are victims of the grace revolution and purpose driven life, people who deserved to be warned about their guilt, the impending jugdment and wrath to come and how they deserved hell. 
 
These people who where led astray still deserve hell because they had still broken Gods law. But the preachers who led them astray deserve to be there right next along side of them. 
 
Why would anybody choose not to warn about hell, choose not to show their listeners their guilt and their need for reconciliation, choose not to preach the cross as the only way to salvation and sanctification? Why would anybody who is saved choose not to share their faith? You know where those around you who dont share your faith will end up. 
 
Is it because of fear? Or could it be that their salvation is not a true salvation?
 
The Bible says a true salvation shows itself in its fruits. One of those fruits is the desire to see other saved. So if there is no desire to see others saved, there can be no true salvation. (James 2:14-26)
 
So what it all comes down to is this, without the cross of Christ and His blood we are lost. It is only the blood and the cross which is standing between us and hell. So if we cling to the cross each and every day of our lifes we will be safe. And if we have the cross and the blood we have it all, we are the most wealthiest people alive if we have the cross and the blood. 
 
So make sure you do not end up in hell, accept what Jesus did for you. If you already have accepted that, make sure to share your faith. Make sure your faith is a true faith that shows itself in works.