Top Ten Ways to Work Hell into Everyday Conversations

I thought about being cute with this final post for hell week.
You know, top ten creative ways to work Hell into everyday conversations.
Like:
10.         Wear a button that reads, “I found the way out of Hell. Ask me and I’ll tell you how.”
9.            Walk around humming “I know something you don’t know” under your breath and hope someone asks what it is.
8.            Have your car wrapped with phrases like “Hell is Real – Don’t Go There.” “This car knows the road out of Hell – Follow Me to Jesus.” (Warning: To do this effectively, you must be a good driver who observes the rule of the road, drives the speed limit, and never resorts to using your fingers when communicating with other drivers.)
7.            Turn the office AC off for fifteen minutes at the same time every day and tell people it’s your way of helping them condition for the real heat in their future.
6.            If you have really cute kids, train them to give puppy dog eyes to strangers. When people ask why they’re sad, answer for them that they have special sensitivity to people who are doomed for eternity.
5.            Use eyeliner to write the word Hell on your eyelids. When you’re around people, every time you blink, it will send a subliminal message and they’ll just ask about Hell.
4.            Whenever someone’s discussing a scary movie or TV show, interject “You think THAT’S scary? You should hear about Hell!”
3.            Carry a hand puppet that has the annoying habit of bringing up uncomfortable subjects like Hell. You can reprimand your puppet when she brings them up but when people suggest you leave the puppet at home, say “Oh, my therapist says I’m not ready for that.”
2.            Say to your friends, “You know what Angelina Jolie said about Hell this weekend?” When they say “no,” answer,” I don’t either but I do know what my pastor said” – and then tell them. (You can probably only use this method once.)
So, that’s clever – obnoxious but clever but that doesn’t help us answer the real question.
Christians have been famously bad at discussing hell with others, so, as usual, I look to Jesus for ideas.
One thing I notice is that Jesus only yelled at religious people. They were the only ones who got Jesus’s mad face and colorful directives about avoiding a heated final destiny.
So, from that, I have to say we shouldn’t be discussing Hell with others in any way that implies we’d be happy or particularly satisfied if they end up there
and we shouldn’t be screaming it or announcing it with giant placards and hard faces
unless, maybe, we’re picketing a bunch of phony religious people.
I also think we shouldn’t talk about Hell unless we know what we believe about it.
Jesus always knew what He was talking about so that helped Him avoid defensiveness, lame answers, and those awkward trail offs when people ask a follow-up question.
It wouldn’t kill any of us to look up some Bible verses about Hell, talk to a trusted spiritual leader, read a book, or watch a Youtube sermon on the subject.
We’re called to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, MIND, and strength.
Know what you believe and what you’re encouraging others to avoid.
This won’t hurt – just be sure to stretch your brain before and after learning something true – oh, and pre-hydrate.
Also, I believe that part of the reason Jesus “got away” with being welcome at parties and STILL mentioning  Hell is that He genuinely loved people.
If you don’t genuinely love people or care about their eternal destination then, 1) maybe you shouldn’t be talking with them about Hell, and 2) maybe you should be in your room on your knees asking for God’s heart to fill your heart with genuine love for others.
Something I admire about Jesus is that His conversational style involved engaging questions and stories.
One way to bring up Hell (once you actually care about the people around you) is to tell them you’ve been thinking about Hell lately and ask what they believe about it.
Don’t use this as a trick so they say one sentence and then you give them a sermon. Actually listen to what they believe, ask follow up questions, be genuinely interested.
If the Spirit moves, ask if you can tell them a story Jesus told about Hell to see what they think about that.
If they say no, change the subject.
If they say yes, tell them the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man.
See  where that leads.
That doesn’t sound too scary, does it? Just two people talking about ideas.
What about loved ones? Family members? Those close to us who’ve heard the gospel a million times but seem immune to repentance?
Again, spending time on our knees for them is key. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, those hearts will stay guarded.
But, I think there’s nothing wrong with a heart-to-heart where you tell your loved one,
“Look, I know you’ve heard about Jesus and you’ve chosen not to follow Him and I respect your right to decide what you believe. I love you and will always love you no matter what.
But, this is a very serious subject and it will bother me if I haven’t made sure that you understand the long-term consequence of your choice. Would you give me fifteen minutes to tell you everything I believe about Hell and then I won’t bug you about it again?
Since you don’t believe in it, it shouldn’t bother you but I’ll feel better if I’ve made sure I’ve warned you the best I can.”
The key to them being open to this conversation is that they believe you love them. We need to be loving others – in ways they can see and feel. And laughing with them and listening to them and asking them questions and telling stories
and sometimes, bringing Hell into the conversation.
So, what’s the number one creative way to work Hell into everyday conversations?
1.            Be a person who follows Jesus and listens to the prompting of the Spirit and genuinely loves people and ask Jesus for opportunities  and then – be ready.
Any other ideas out there?


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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Love this post and all of the posts for “Hell Week” I know this topic can be offensive to some, but someone once shared with me that there will be plenty of “un-offended people in hell. Blessings to you!

  2. Judith Robl says:

    “1. Be a person who follows Jesus and listens to the prompting of the Spirit and genuinely loves people and ask Jesus for opportunities and then – be ready.”

    Great summation! It’s the only thing I know that works.

  3. Well at least you resisted the temptation to go with the cute post idea. Give ’em… er, Heaven.

  4. Felicia says:

    Great post, Lori! Working on my hand puppet now…my kids refuse to make puppy dog eyes anymore.
    Felicia

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good summation. God has truly given you insight into His children that not many others have. It’s so true when the bible says, “He called some to be teachers.” I learn from you every day. MOMMA

  6. LOL! Just had to say that I’m mightily tempted to try some of your tongue-in-cheek ideas. Some of those were pretty hilarious!

    On a serious note, this was a great start on answering my question about how did Jesus do things and how could we approach it… A good start!