Even though the subject of Hell is not a pleasant topic to think about, street evangelist Ray Comfort says Christians must use it as part of their evangelism efforts so their pleas to skeptics have urgency.
"The accusation of the skeptic is that we use the threat of Hell to control the weak-minded. That may be true of some religions that hold their power because they control the masses, but the second the skeptic finds himself in Hell he will know that we only warned of it because we loved him," Comfort wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.
He asked: "Do we ever weep as we pray for the lost? Dry eyes and hard hearts go hand in hand. How can we profess to have the love of God in our hearts if we don't plead with the unsaved to repent and turn to the Savior? And how can we do that with any passion if we don't care?"
Comfort reflected that while it is pleasant to think about Heaven, the subject of Hell isn't at all desirable.
"But we must force ourselves to think of it. Without such unpleasant thoughts we will never plead with any urgency," he emphasized.
The New Zealand-born evangelist has spoken out about his thoughts on the afterlife on several occasions, and back in January shared with his followers that if eternity consisted of sitting on clouds playing harps, he would not be a Christian.
"God will replace this cursed and fallen creation with a new Heavens and a new Earth, and God's will, will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. We not only escape Hell, but, by God's grace, we get Heaven on Earth. What an unspeakably incredible future we have," he wrote at the time.
Comfort has focused a large portion of his ministry on reaching out to skeptics and other non-believers. Over 1,000 Christians registered to join him earlier in June in outreach to atheists attending the "Reason Rally" in Washington D.C., before those plans were canceled by police over safety reasons.
He has insisted, however, that he maintains a good relationship with non-believers.
"To authorities, Christians and atheists are enemies. So they want to keep us apart for the sake of peace, especially with more serious threats facing America. That's understandable. But at the same time I'm a little frustrated because I have a very good relationship with atheists," he wrote before the rally.
He later revealed that he had conversations with atheist author Lawrence Krauss and Las Vegas entertainer Penn Jillette following the Washington, D.C. event, and described both men as "likable" and "polite," despite their conflicting worldviews.
"Listening to them and sharing with them was the highlight of the weekend for me," Comfort wrote.