The existence of hell is a legitimate reason to come to the Savior, and it is perhaps why so many profess faith in Christ. Though there are undoubtedly some who, in the name of Christianity, have hung its threat over the masses to keep them and their children in line, the biblical threat of hell is real and fearful. However, God’s offer of heaven is just as real and unspeakably wonderful. The threat without the offer is a horrid thing.
None of the children I know have been psychologically damaged by the fear of hell. In fact, it is just the opposite. They don’t fear hell at all, because they know that they have escaped it through faith in Jesus Christ.
However, I know that many children have been psychologically damaged because of the fear of death. That is another legitimate fear—death is a reality all of us must face. As an atheist, what do you tell your beloved children when they, with fear in their eyes, say, “Daddy, I don’t want to die!”? Do you tell them that it is nature’s way, and that they just have to deal with it? Or do you tell them that they shouldn’t think of negative things and to concentrate on life?
Christians don’t need to cop out when that question is asked. We can tell our children how we were created, why we were created, why we are all going to die, what happens after death, and what we can do about it.
Our society is filled with adults with psychological problems due to a fear of death. It terrorizes them every minute of every day. Millions live in quiet futility as they wait to die, and are driven to drugs, to the psychiatrist’s couch, to alcohol, and to suicide, solely because they fear death.
The tragedy is, that fear could instantly leave them if they repent and place their faith in the One who came to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15).
Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.