In the late 1980s, TV commercials in the U.S. asked, “What goes through the mind of a driver who is not wearing a seat belt in a head-on collision?” Then they showed a crash dummy having its head crushed by a steering wheel in a collision, and said, “The steering wheel!” Those were scare tactics, but no one complained because they were legitimate scare tactics. We should fear what happens in a head-on collision if we are foolish enough to not put on a seat belt.
Fear itself is not a bad thing. Fear stops us from stepping off a 500-foot cliff. It keeps us away from fire. It holds us back from sticking a fork into a live power outlet. These types of fear are self-preserving, but the ultimate self-preserving fear is the fear of the Lord. That fear is called “the beginning of wisdom,” and because of it, the Bible says men “depart from sin.”
To warn of hell is fearful, but it is absolutely legitimate, because the Bible says that it is a fearful thing for a sinner to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.