A recent survey showed that nearly three-quarters of Christians in the UK believe in hell.
In a survey of 5,000 UK Christians conducted by Resonate, 74% believed in the existence of hell, 10% did not, and while 16% said they were uncertain, reports Premier.
In addition, 15% claimed that the issue of hell is not relevant in today’s world, and almost two-thirds of respondents said their church rarely or never teach the topic of hell.
I thought hell perhaps was even less of an issue for people now. It seems like a very harsh doctrine. —Matt Adcock, Author
Author Matt Adcock commissioned the study for his debut novel, Complete Darkness. He also doesn’t believe in hell and was surprised about the outcome of the survey. “I thought hell perhaps was even less of an issue for people now. It seems like a very harsh doctrine.”
Adcock explained that the concept of hell is difficult to discuss among churchgoers who want to believe in heaven and an all-loving God. “I think it’s a harder doctrine to say, you know, you’ll be judged and accountable for everything you’ve done on Earth.”
The findings of the survey suggested younger Christians, between 16-24 years old, were certain about the reality of heaven and hell. It also showed that the belief in hell varied among certain Christian denominations. Among Pentecostal Christians, 98% believe in hell and 100% believe in heaven, while among liberal Methodists, 56% believe in hell and 90% believe in heaven.
Further, data from the survey showed that 43% of church teachings is about heaven, and only 8% is about hell. In an article on Premier Christianity, Chris Kilby wrote that it is easier to talk about heaven than hell but, he pointed out that churches should teach both concepts in equal weight.
“In preaching the gospel, we must hold out both light and dark, both death and life, both heaven and hell. This news is too important not to share,” Kilby wrote.
He hoped that the survey would serve as a wake up call to churches. “Hopefully today’s survey will give us the confidence to preach the whole gospel, with love and grace as well as with warning and sometimes uncomfortable truth, and in our day see heaven increasingly breaking out on planet earth.”