Evangelical theologian John Piper has told parents that they need to teach their children about the horrors of hell, as a way to show God’s glory and the coming final judgment. Piper, who is the former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, took a question Wednesday on his Desiring God website from a parent concerned about what he should tell his child, who has “extreme anxiety” about death, about the topic of hell.
The theologian told the parent, Michael, that it is better that his son is afraid of hell, than not be afraid at all. “God does not intend for His children to experience hell as an end, but to experience the warning of hell as a means of clarifying and establishing these five great realities. This is true for a 6-year-old and it’s true for a 60-year-old. Look at this moment, Michael, in the child’s life as a golden opportunity for teaching him many wonderful things,” Piper said. He then listed five “great realities” about hell, firstly pointing out that the fear of hell “is a golden opportunity for treating God as big and glorious and utterly real.” FULL REPORT