By Ed Elliott
I have heard it said by some very well-known preachers that Jesus spoke more about Hell than He did about Heaven but what are the facts? As a young minister, I had heard this so-called fact repeated many times but every time I heard it repeated something didn’t sit right with me. Many years ago, I decided to do some research to find out for myself if this was true. What I discovered was there are 1900 plus verses in the four Gospels that contain Jesus’ words. Surprisingly, only about 60 of those verses, or just three percent of them, might be construed as either directly or indirectly referring to Hell.
On the other hand, there are more than three times as many verses in the Gospels in which Jesus references Heaven, eternal life, or his coming kingdom: 192 verses in all, or almost 10%.
So, the evidence suggests that Jesus didn’t speak about Hell more than Heaven. In truth, he talked about Heaven three times more than He did about Hell!
What I find sad is these are people who really should know better, they seem hell-bent on insisting He did. We do a tremendous disservice to people when we make the gospel only about Heaven and Hell and not about life and death.
So, Jesus spoke about Hell three percent of His messages and Heaven ten percent. I believe that makes it safe to say that the other 87% of the time He spoke about life, relationships with God and people and how to navigate this life in victory. Jesus wasn’t obsessed with people knowing about Hell, His goal was for them to know His father. It isn’t the fear of Hell that saves you, it is knowing Jesus that saves you!
So, if I were to follow Jesus’ example, then three percent of my messages would contain a reference to Hell, ten percent would talk about Heaven and the rest would be related to living life in harmony with God and loving people which is what Jesus majored on.
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