Brimstone and Fire
I have often heard of the ‘brimstone and fire’ preachers. Definition:- “an idiomatic expression of signs of God’s wrath in the Old and New Testament. In the Bible, they often appear in reference to the fate of the unfaithful. This term is also used to describe a style of Christian preaching that uses vivid descriptions of judgement and eternal damnation to encourage repentance.” Brimstone is the archaic name for sulphur. I have also often heard people say that we need more of the brimstone and fire preachers today so that the people can repent of their evil and turn to God. I beg to disagree. I don’t think that telling someone how bad he is will make him change his ways. One reason for that is because he already knows he is doing things which aren’t right. Even if a person grows up with the Bible and biblical principles, or parents who teach right from wrong, he grows up in a country with certain rules and laws. These laws are there to protect the citizens and normally reflect the norms and culture of the people of that country. And then also every person is born with something called a conscience. There are a few people who have psychological problems, whose conscience apparently doesn’t function as it should, but they are a very small minority.
Romans 2:14 and 15 puts it into a nutshell: “for the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law unto themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…”
Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” To me that means that people do know when they are doing things that are wrong, and the God’s goodness (love) will cause them to repent. Preachers or people who tell others how bad they are and condemn them are not going to make much of an impression. If we love people we will be reflecting the nature of God and we will attract people instead of pushing them away with judgemental attitudes. I don’t think we pray for people because we feel sorry for them. We pray for them so that God can work in their lives. If you are perfect you don’t need anyone to pray for you. Jesus uttered some very profound words
in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”
I don’t think fire and brimstone or even brimstone and fire are going to get us anywhere. You catch many more flies with honey than with vinegar.