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Hell: The Ballast of Our Mission

September 20, 2010

Kevin DeYoung is a pastor I “listen to” frequently at his blog, DeYoung, Restless and Reformed. He’s written two excellent books on the state of the church today that I heartily recommend. He’s also a young pastor who preaches the whole of the Word of God, including the painful subject of hell:

However unpopular it may be and however much we may wish to soften its hard edges, the doctrine of hell is essential for faithful Christian witness. The belief that there is something worse than death is, to recall John Piper’s imagery, ballast for our ministry boats.

Hell is not the North Star. That is, divine wrath is not our guiding light. It does not set the direction for everything in the Christian faith like, say, the glory of God in the face of Christ. Neither is hell the faith-wheel which steers the ship, nor the wind that powers us along, nor the sails that capture the Spirit’s breeze. Yet hell is not incidental to this vessel we call the church. It’s our ballast, and we throw it overboard at great peril to ourselves and to everyone drowning far out at sea.

You may read the whole thing at DeYoung, Restless, Reformed.

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