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Turn Or Burn

September 3, 2013
Greetings,
 
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”  Romans 2: 4
 
Yesterday I saw a disturbing video on facebook.  It was a street preacher threatening a crowd with hell and eternal torture and damnation if they did not repent of their various sins and follow Jesus.  This preacher when confronted by a young woman defended preaching hell as “THE biblical method” to reach those who had not yet surrendered to Jesus.  He basically said that all Christians are supposed to preach hell and quote the Law in order to convict people of their sins before we ever offer them the freedom and saving grace of Jesus.
 
Now I know that many denominations and “churches” hold to doctrines that fully support preaching hell and eternal damnation as a precursor to sharing redemption through Christ.  Turn to Christ or burn in hell is their primary message to those both in and out of the “church”.  They believe that the threat of going to hell forever is the best motivation for someone to come to Jesus.  I wholeheartedly disagree with their stance.
 
In my over 37 years of following Jesus I have help bring quite a few people to the saving grace of Christ Himself.  However, I have never used hell fire, or anything like it, as a threat or message to scare them into making a decision for Christ.  In fact I strongly declare that using hell or anything else negative as leverage to push people towards Christ is a total work of the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit at all!  God’s wrath is not a tool for true evangelism.
 
Friends, it is His kindness that leads us to repentance.  God is a God of tolerance and great patience.  Love is the greatest motivator any of us can ever have.  Fear of judgment and punishment should never be our message to those who are seeking His truth in love.  If you preach a Gospel of fear the fruit will just be more fear. (And there we have most of the “church” today)  The AWE (it should have never been translated as fear) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  If you desire folks to experience the AWE of the Lord then share with them His love, truth, grace, mercy, and patience.  When I share Jesus with others I treat them with the same great love and care that HE has always shown me.  By His love they will know we are His disciples.  Never forget that His mercy triumphs over judgment EVERY SINGLE TIME.  We love God because He first loved us.  Because of that I am motivated by His great love to continually seek and serve Him.  I will not offer someone else anything less than what I have been given.  For everyone it starts and ends with Love.
 
Love and…..
 
Kirk Out !
 
The following is a link to an excellent Leslie Phillips song that compliments this blog:
 
 
 
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6 Comments
  1. 2trakmind permalink

    Great post, Christopher! Someone on Facebook said the following today, in response to a similar topic:

    “Jesus NEVER used the Law to speak to ordinary people. He used the Law when someone (the Pharisees and Sadducees, scribes, rich young ruler) quoted the Law to him, usually (and the texts say this clearly) as a test – to cause Jesus to go against the Law.

    Jesus used the Sermon on the Mount to raise the bar so high as regards keeping the Law that anyone who honestly listened would realize that there was NO WAY they could keep the Law to the level God required. Part of this was to show everyone that the Law as practiced and preached by the Pharisees and Sadducees was a watered down one so that they could be “seen and heard” as keeping the Law. (Visit Israel today and see this in action!)

    In fact, when the woman caught in adultery (for which the Law demanded her death by stoning) was brought to Jesus, He never mentions the Law, or even that she had broken it – rather He gave her the gift of no condemnation, thus setting her free to “go and sin no more”.”

    • I really appreciate this comment. In my own country many still suffer from a Calvinistic/Puritanical overdose of the law as preparation for the gospel. It has devastating effects, not only on non-believers but even on believers who revert to a works mentality in sanctification. In one of the major denominations, the law is read as part of the liturgy every Sunday morning.

  2. "BK" permalink

    I definitely agree with you, Chris. I’ve said for years, “Go to a bar and tell the folk in there they are going to hell if they don’t leave and receive Jesus and they’ll more than likely throw their arms on each others’ shoulders and said, ‘Yep! Me ‘n all my buddies…..” Go to the same bar and tell them “Hey! Did you know Jesus loves you right where you are and died and gave His life for you so you could have some peace and real life?” and they will most likely be speechless, or stammar at best. I honestly have tried it from time to time and the results really are pretty close to this.
    My experience has been that success in overcoming has come from the awe and wonder of His love. Doesn’t mean He never chastens me or anyone else, but His reason is for my freedom.
    Good post, brother, “BK”

  3. Shelby Shock Marsh permalink

    Ugh! I posted a long comment 2 times & they both disappeared. Meh!

  4. Bummer Shelby! I have lost entire blogs because the computer ate them.

  5. blessings my brother, fear and Love never have mixed, nor will they ever. if the time and effort that is used for striking fear, and preaching the letter was turned into being quite before God, and helping one another just imagine…

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