Is it okay for someone to come to Christ because he simply wants “fire insurance”? In short, if a person sincerely believes that there is a hell and sincerely believes only Christ can deliver him from that eternal fire and punishment, then yes. That’s an excellent reason for coming to Christ.
To be honest, that’s the only reason I came to Christ. I was raised in a liberal church. My search for God began through the sport of hunting. I became convinced that there had to be a creator. I decided to study the Bible, and I came to Christ through my own study. I knelt by my bed on the dairy farm as a teenager and told God, “I am trusting Christ to save me.” My life exploded!
Shortly before that moment with God, I had a dream in which I stood on the edge of hell. Christ was about to throw me into an eternal fire. Please know that I do not live my life on the basis of dreams. That dream, though, had an impact upon me. In the dream, Christ never asked to what church I belonged. I was of the understanding that a good life and church attendance earned eternal life. I was perplexed why Christ did not check my church attendance. That dream haunted me. At that time, I did not know anything about discipleship, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the rewards of obedience, or the danger of disobedience as a Christian. I just knew that there was a hell and Christ was the only One who could save me. Since then, in traveling, I have met many who came to Christ for the same reason: the very real fear of hell and damnation.
Christ spoke more about hell than any other character in the Bible. Undoubtedly many in His own day came to Him for the same reason.
With that being said, I do want to offer a caution. If a person walks an aisle, says a prayer, signs a card solely because he thinks that will keep him from hell, I do not believe that that person is saved. Those actions don’t make a person a Christian. A person is saved by believing, trusting Christ alone to save. Going through the motions of saying a prayer without genuine belief never saved anyone. John 3:18 tells us that “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Sometimes believers are hesitant about someone coming to Christ out of the fear of hell because they want the person to see that there is so much more to the Christian life than escaping hell. So do I! Let’s be careful, though, to not impose upon an unbeliever ideas and truths that he is incapable of understanding already; instead, take him one step at a time.