Weak preaching on the wrath of God equals weak preaching on the on the cross of Christ, and weak preaching of the cross leaves the convicted sinner wondering if he can find salvation. I walked out of that gathering with joy in my heart. God had lifted my head through his word. I knew what my sins deserved, and what I deserved found its answer in Jesus.
Contrary to the popular notion, as the pastor preached on hell, instead of pushing me away, he drew me into the grace of God. As I sat there, the preacher was scriptural, somber, and approached the subject with a reverence that made us all sit up and pay attention. I was at one of the lowest places I had ever been spiritually, and even before I walked into the building, the heavy hand of God was already on me. My life had wandered off course spiritually, and I had come to sit under the preaching of the word because I needed God to be the lifter of my head, and the sermon topic presented that day was eternal punishment.
Little did I know, that topic was exactly what I needed to hear. It is all too common for preachers to avoid the issue of hell, and those who do, do not know the disservice they are doing to the convicted sinner sitting in their midst.
As I sat there with the guilt of my sinfulness nearly crushing me, I knew what I deserved. If the preacher had stood and proclaimed a watered-down version of the wrath of God, it would not have comforted me. Had he brushed off the idea of hell by highlighting the love of God, I would have had only two options. Either this man is a false teacher, or God is unjust for not properly punishing sin.
The Holy Spirit had shown me the darkness of my soul, and the everlasting torment proclaimed by the pastor was the only proper response of a just God. I had sinned against him, and when a finite creature sins against an infinite God, only an infinite punishment will suffice.