...we are taught that it is a most dangerous thing to neglect the offers of the Gospel. It will prove "more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment" than for those who have heard Christ's truth, and not received it (verse 15).
This is a doctrine fearfully overlooked, and one that deserves serious consideration. Men are apt to forget that it does not require great open sins to be sinned in order to ruin a soul forever. They have only to go on hearing without believing, listening without repenting, going to church without going to Christ, and by and by they will find themselves in hell! We will all be judged according to our light; we will have to give an account of our use of religious privileges: to hear of the "great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3) and yet neglect it, is one of the worst sins a man can commit (John 16:9).
What are we doing ourselves with the Gospel? This is the question which everyone who reads this passage should put to his conscience. Let us assume that we are decent and respectable in our lives, correct and moral in all the relations of life, regular in our formal attendance on the means of grace. That is all very well so far as it goes, but is this all that can be said of us? Are we really receiving the love of the truth? Is Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith? If not, we are in fearful danger; we are far more guilty than the people of Sodom, who never heard the Gospel at all; we may awake to find that in spite of our regularity and morality and correctness, we have lost our souls to all eternity. It will not save us to have lived in the full sunshine of Christian privileges, and to have heard the Gospel faithfully preached every week. We must experience acquaintance with Christ; we must receive his truth personally; we must be united with him in life; we must become his servants and disciples. Without this, the preaching of the Gospel only adds to our responsibility, increases our guilt, and will at length sink us more deeply into hell. These are hard sayings! But the words of Scripture, which we have read, are plain and unmistakable. They are all true.- J.C. Ryle, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, Matthew, p. 72-73.