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Turn Or Burn?

June 30, 2014
“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 40 years of following Jesus I have helped to 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!  It is nothing short of perverted manipulation.  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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  1. 2trakmind permalink

    Amen, brother! So well stated. Jesus’ life and ministry was all about love. There’s a lot wrapped up in how love is manifest in our lives, but preaching hell and damnation isn’t one of them. Jesus did talk about “hell,” but not often (despite what all my Bible teachers told me) and in every case, He is referring to a literal place that all the people were well aware of; Gehenna, the garbage dump outside the city where people could be sentenced to be burned. To my knowledge, Jesus never once referred to Hades, which seems to be the closest thing to how we view “hell,” when talking to people. He never used it as a threat.

    As for the “turn or burn” street preachers; they might be interested to know that Jesus talked about hell as a place for “sinners” as much as for the hyper-religious.

  2. There are several public sermons in the books of Acts, John, Luke, and Matthew. None of them are primarily about hell. How anybody familiar with the scriptures can say that “preaching hell is the biblical way” is beyond me. It is simply not so.

  3. The shortest sermon in the word “turn or burn” was from Jonah to the Ninevites and they repented and Christ came ans said there is one here greater than Jonah
    Imagine for just a minute you are a Ninevite, back then and you worship the great fish, You are on the shore enjoying the day and out of the water comes the great fish you worship and out of the fish comes Jonah?
    I think I would turn and you?
    yet today it is further deeper, wider and complete in it all Thank you Jesus

  4. Jessie barbecho permalink

    Its good to hear,well said…god always wants the best for us,wants us to live in a beautiful place thats why he made his incredible creations but people make their own way to dis obeyed god….thats why god cursed who made mistakes…and the preacher make his own way to get the attention of people,by putting it to their mind about it is not good…it is our own well to choose .have a good day keep posted.

  5. Reminds me of a time I was with a ministry group and we were just out showing the love of Jesus on a collage campus in the free speech area,we were handing out water and just chilling playing guitar and bongos, we must have just looked like hippies, and telling people that Jesus loves them, meanwhile on the other side (less then 10 feet from us) was a baptist group with a megaphone, telling people they were going to hell if they didn’t accept Christ..It was quite interesting as people were completely avoiding them, they were a bit weary of us, but once we smiled, handed them a cold water and invited them to just relax with us, they were much more open and even started asking questions, quite a few were like ” I like your version better”.

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