When I was about 5 years old, we were living in the small town of Reedley, California. Dad was working as a youth pastor at the big Reedley MB church, and every Sunday we would go to church and listen to the pastor preach. In my 5 year old mind, the man was amazing. He knew everything in the Bible and never stopped talking about it. He would talk about the life of Jesus and the Ten Commandments. He also preached about things like heaven and hell. I didn't mind hearing about the heaven stuff, but hated listening to sermons where the topic was hell.
Anyways, the preacher must have been preaching something fierce about hell and suffering and being apart from God one night at church, and I started getting really scared. The whole drive home I sat in the back seat, my brain churning with terrible thoughts of the devil, with his pointy three-pronged pitch fork, waving at me from his fiery pit of damnation. It was "scaring the hell out of me", so much that when my mother was tucking me into bed I quickly blurted out, "What do you do if you don't want to go to hell?" My mom smiled, and right there told me about asking Jesus into my heart. It all made sense to me. Jesus = no hell. So that night, I accepted Jesus into my heart.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the best way to get people to come to Jesus is to scare them into a relationship with Christ, but I for one am glad the preacher used a little fire and brimstone talk to grease my wheels. It's just good to know I had "the hell scared out of me" on that late Sunday night in Reedley, California.