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5 of the “Scariest” Verses in the Bible (and How To Find Hope)

October 26, 2021

It’s spooky season! Many churches across the world are planning Halloween outreach events, which may involve carnivals, trick-or-treating, costume contests, and even the occasional prank. Halloween is truly one of the most significant times of the year for the church to be a light in a dark world.

In the spirit of the season, allow me to contradict the darkness associated with Halloween by, perhaps counterintuitively, sharing a few of the scariest verses in the Bible. While they are scary and convicting, remember that they come from the Lord Himself, the ultimate Light of the World. I pray that these verses will inspire you to let His light shine through you this year!

A quick note: this list is of my own opinion, in no particular order of “scariness”. Additionally, I am purposefully not going to repost the Scriptures themselves here. Why? So you can go read them yourself! I dare you to get into the Word! ☺

#1. Matthew 7:21-23 — “I never knew you.”

I thought I’d begin with this passage, which is a classic pastor’s choice of the scariest passage in the Bible. It shows how works, even when done in the name of Jesus, amount to nothing. They are only worth anything when they are built on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Otherwise, He simply never knows us! I challenge you today: is your Christian faith primarily built on doing works to impress Jesus, or pursuing Jesus Himself – taking up your cross and laying down your life for Him?

While He does know everything about us – He’s God! – Jesus loves us and longs to truly know us  – as a close, intimate friend. What a great comfort it is that Jesus is always there and is such a reliable friend, ready for us whenever we turn to Him with a pure heart.

#2. Matthew 12:36-37 & 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 — Our Works Judged

I put two different passages in one because they are closely related. Before we get to enjoy our eternal reward in heaven, we will have to stand before Jesus’s throne room. Yes, even us believers will have our works judged. We don’t genuinely know exactly what this process will be like, but these verses seem to indicate that Jesus will be picky with our sins, including “every careless word spoken”. Shudder! It makes sense, because Jesus is perfect – that means He must be perfectly holy, and therefore a perfect judge. As such, we will also be picky with our good works genuinely done for His Name, and we will receive great rewards as well!

The moral: live your life for Jesus! It’s important to be very aware with our sin, but take heart – Jesus is so merciful!

#3. Judges 19 — One of the Most Disturbing Stories in Israel’s History 

I could have chosen any number of disturbing stories in the Bible, but this story is the definition of disturbing, involving the sickening abuse of a Levite’s concubine. It is appropriately placed towards the end of the harrowing book of Judges, showing Israel’s spiral into chaos. 

The cause? Simple: not following the Lord, and the book’s author could not have put it more clearly: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) The fact that Israel forsook not only the Lord but also went this far into sin is astounding, and what concerns me most is that I see similarly disturbing patterns in our world today. We need to be ready. Jesus commands us to let our lights shine, and to take heart – the biggest battle has already been won, and no matter how dark the world gets, He will make everything right in the end. I look forward to that! 

#4. Revelation 21:8 – The Final Judgment

The book of Revelation contains fascinating and Halloween-esque imagery and predictions throughout. In the end though, I had to include this verse, which shows the ultimate destination for all those who choose to reject Jesus. I know that there have been debates on CWCS’s stories regarding exactly what hell will be like, but if the Bible – the only truly reliable source of information on the matter – is any indication, it is far from a pleasant place. Understandably, it is easy to be caught up in fear of hell, but that only makes the Lord’s merciful way out of it even more amazing. He could have chosen to not give us a second chance and would have been perfectly justified in doing so… but He did. Jesus’s sacrifice is incredible. 

Additionally, these kinds of reminders should motivate us believers to spread the Gospel with even more urgency! While, of course, being “wise as serpents” and “innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). 

#5. Luke 12:35-53 — Time, Resources, and Division

This is a big passage deserving of an article of its own. I am once again asking (see what I did there?) for you to go read all these verses yourself if you have not yet. Jesus has several teachings here that are not to be taken lightly:

  • Jesus may come back at any time – no one truly knows when. Are you ready?
  • Jesus’s message divides, particularly among families and friends, as opposed to bringing “peace on earth” like many might assume. He has an ultimately uplifting message, but it is also heavy! 
  • This verse from the passage is so important I chose to include it here: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (v.48b) 
  • Why is the above passage scary, you ask? Let me throw some sub points your way. If you take nothing else from this article, it should be this:
    • We live in an age where, thanks to the Internet, so much valuable Biblical information is available on a very convenient forum to much of the civilized world. We have been entrusted “with much”.
    • The early church and apostles had comparatively limited resources (and so do some Christians in disturbed countries today). They met in secret just to have simple fellowship, to strategize how the spread the Gospel without getting arrested. Many did not even have access to the entire Bible – something we take for granted! Yet, their fire for the Lord was (and is) huge! Many of them proclaimed the faith boldly and died horrible deaths for their relationships with Jesus – I bet He is very proud of them.
    • Meanwhile, in America and many other countries, we have the entire Bible, countless sermons to listen to, Bible commentaries and analyses, freedom of religion (for now), large public church gatherings, small groups, worship concerts, godly YouTube channels, full-on Christian parties, etc. etc. etc…
    • So, if Paul with his limited resources was able to proclaim the Gospel “with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31), imagine the potential of an army of modern-day passionate Christians with all the bountiful blessings we have.
    • We have been given much. In fact, a lot. Accordingly, Jesus says much is required of us. How many of us are reaching those standards? I know I am not. One thing is clear – casual, lukewarm American Christianity should not continue, and we have no excuse!

Hopefully this post has been helpful for you in ascertaining just how serious your Christianity is – I know it has been very helpful for me to write it! Nonetheless, my hope that you don’t listen to the words of some awkward college student from California. Rather, allow the Holy Spirit to convict you. These “scary” verses should be reminders from Him and should redirect us to God’s utterly incredible love and mercy. Keep shining for Jesus – hopefully more boldly than before – and enjoy your Halloween outreaches and activities!

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