This book was mainly written with preachers in mind. It began as a series of messages at the Bala ministers conference, back in 1981. It was put into book form in 1984, but has now been republished with an extra chapter. It seeks to help those who have the responsibility of preaching the gospel, an integral part of which is to warn of the dangers of judgment and eternal punishment.
The book would also be useful to all Christians, as there will be times when issues relating to God’s wrath, judgment and hell will come up in conversations with unbelievers.
Dr Davies helpfully explains the meanings and contexts of the different words used for ‘hell’ in the New Testament. He ably answers the false interpretations of those who espouse the doctrine of annihilationism. He cites a challenging quotation from E. M. Goulbourn, who said, ‘It is a dangerous thing to meddle with the theology of the Bible, because all its doctrines, though many of them soar far beyond us into the region of mystery, are yet so wonderfully coherent that to touch one is to imperil the rest’ (p.80). How that needs to be taken on board by all professing evangelicals today!
Dr Davies also describes something of the awfulness of hell. He gives helpful advice for preachers dealing with this issue, particularly the need for compassion for our hearers. He says, ‘There is no excuse for indifference or cold professionalism amongst preachers. Our hearts need to throb with the love of God’ (p.84).
My only criticism is that the book doesn’t attempt to face the issue of how we are going to tell the overwhelming majority of people in Great Britain, who do not come to our church services, about the grave danger they are in without the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.