You may not have heard that expression, but if you imagine the basic shape of a hockey stick, you can figure out that it is a lighthearted way to try to spell “Hell.”

People have varying reactions to the idea of Hell. For me, as a kid, I was raised in a church that was strong on legalism, and as a youth, I found myself scared to death that I would mess up my life and end up there.

For others, and perhaps for most people today, Hell isn’t even an idea that crosses their mind. For those who don’t claim to be Christians, this absence of concern makes some sense (they don’t know any better). However, for those of us who claim to be Christ Followers, the whole “H-E-Double Hockey Sticks” idea totally misses the mark.

There isn’t anything all that light-hearted about Hell. While many Christians want to avoid thinking about it, if they really want to be in touch with Jesus, it is important to know that no other Bible personality talked about Hell more than He did.

Why? I’d suggest two reasons; first, Jesus preached about Hell to create a driving awareness of this place of horrors to motivate people to avoid it at all costs. Hell is real, and an eternal destination for far more people than who realize it. Jesus warned us about the dangers of sin that can lead to eternity in Hell; perhaps the compromising disposition of today’s Christians would be less so, if we lived like we want to be sure to avoid Hell ourselves.

Second, I suspect Jesus preached on the reality of Hell to be a motivator for those who know Jesus to do all we can to share this good news (Jesus came to be our savior) with people who are otherwise damned to spend eternity in that place Jesus described as a place of “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25: 45-46).

Sadly, the ‘evangelistic temperature’ of far too many Christians is ‘cool’ at best. Where our friends, neighbors and coworkers will spend eternity rarely crosses our minds, much less influences our behavior.

The Bible tells us that “all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23). Thankfully, we can escape the fate we deserve through putting our hope in Jesus, “For the wages if sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you haven’t asked Jesus to be your Lord and savior, prayerfully do so today…if you have, let your light shine to encourage others in your life to accept Him as well.