I grew up in an era when we heard a lot of “fire and brimstone” preaching on hell — in some cases, too much of it. The backlash in our churches resulted in a lot less preaching on hell — in many cases, too little of it.
But we all know the Bible talks about a fiery lake of burning sulfur that is the “second death.” And we are very familiar with who is headed there: “unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars.” (Revelation 21:8 NLT)
Did you realize that’s not the entire list from that verse? There’s another category of hell-bound people, and it stands out dramatically from the others.
In fact, it actually starts the list.
Would you have to look it up? Do you know who else John the Evangelist says is hell bound?
No. Really. Look it up.
I’ve been at a men’s retreat this weekend. One of our key verses was 1 Corinthians 16:13 — “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (ESV)
I’ve been chewing on what it means to be a Christian man in a society that pushes hard against standing firm in the faith and acting like men. Our culture wants men to accommodate ungodly values. One segment continually derides “toxic masculinity.”
In the midst of the weekend, I was dumbfounded when the Lord brought the Revelation passage to mind. Men know we can’t be unbelievers and expect to go to heaven. We know what fate lies in store for unrepentant murderers.
But cowards? Going to hell? Really?
I’m not big on trying to motivate people with fear, and I’m sure I don’t entirely understand this truth. But I do know this is one thing Christian men need to know:
In this society, you can’t afford to shrink back from Christ’s call to stand firm and act like men.
The stakes are just too high. For you. For your family. Your community. Even our entire society.
Stand firm in the faith. Act like men.