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Turn Or Burn In Hell Forever?

March 11, 2016
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
                    One day I saw a very 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 fully surrendered to Christ.  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 alone.  Turn to Jesus 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 to be tormented forever is the best motivation for someone to come to Jesus.  I wholeheartedly and forcefully disagree with their stance.
                    In my nearly 50 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 great 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 freely 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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23 Comments
  1. Once again I apologize for the formatting of this blog post. WordPress would not allow me to publish this post with proper paragraph breaks. However, I was able to use extreme indentations to make this post easier to read.

  2. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    Correct ( I think) preacher ignorance comes from abstract academic faith theories. + years ago I disagreed with one who wanted to start evangelism “program”, who said we NEEDED to push hell angle. I can say with confidence – NO, we dont NEED to – for I am living proof. Believe it are not, he actually said what else would motivate them? And still they wonder why whole system is dying?

  3. Janet permalink

    I am always a big fan of this type of post and encouragement. Thank you Christopher!

  4. Most excellent post brother. I agree heartily. And yet, the same apostle stated, “Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade all men.” But to miss out on all that the Father has for us “in Christ,” is truly terrifying to me. Our eyes have seen, our ears have heard, and what God has planned for us “in Christ,” has truly entered our hearts through the good news of Christ’s full salvation. This is the message we proclaim, that is “the gospel of the glory of Christ.” There is a real lack of preaching what are called, “the Pauline Mysteries.” We are already perfected and glorified in Christ Jesus. We have received all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places “in Christ Jesus.” It is of “God that we are in Christ Jesus who is made unto us wisdom from God, our righteousness, our salvation, our redemption.” It is God’s love for us that is “in Christ Jesus,” of which nothing on earth or in heaven can separate us. “We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” Peter writes that what is waiting for us in the heavenly realms is “incorruptible.” What great news this is! While the corrupt flesh is still in us, Paul writes that we are “not in it, but in Christ, and already seated with Him in heavenly places.” I think this talk of “hell” does have its place, but what needs to be emphasized above everything is what God does have planned for them who trust in Jesus. The Word and The Spirit have been given to us so that we can “freely know the things God has given to us in Christ.” The Father loves us as He loves His Son, and there is not a wit of difference or shadow of turning. “I revealed your name (Abba) so that the love You have for Me would be in them, and that I would be in them.” Sorry for going on and on, but I get really ramped up in talking about “all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms which are ours by virtue of being in Christ Jesus.” “Nearer my God we cannot be, for in the Son, we are as near, and dear, as He.” Extreme privilege! Wondrous position! “Christ in you the hope (anticipation/expectation) of sharing in the very glory of Christ. “And when Christ comes, He will be admired and marveled at in the saints” and “you will be to the praise of His glory!” When the sons of God are revealed, the entire creation will “praise the glory of Christ issuing out of the inner-most being of the saints.” It’s like, so it is “hell” you want to talk about? Really? Come on man! It’s time to leap into what God has declared knowing that “his words are deeds.” “I pray that the eyes of your heart would be enlightened so that you would know what is the hope (anticipation) of His calling and what is the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” God’s calling and the glory of His inheritance in the saints is EVERYTHING! Ok, I’ll stop. But I could go on and on with “such a great salvation we have in Christ.” What a gospel! What Lord! What promises are ours! “Changed into His image from one degree of (His) glory into another degree of (His) glory.”

    • Yes Clark, because “It is finished” we are made whole, complete and mature in Christ. We lack nothing and HIS divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness in this life and the next.

  5. Ramma permalink

    Great post. Amen to all said here. Words cannot describe such a great salvation. Praise Him always in all things!!

  6. "BK" permalink

    I have been under a pretty steady barrage of rebuke the past couple days because a brother very close to us is dismayed we will not concede to the doctrine of eternal torment. My heart hurts just in the division that doctrine can create when it is centered on more than Christ Himeself. I find it interesting that when Jesus appears to the Muslim people in dreams and visions He never says “it’s Me or burn in hell”….in fact I’m pretty sure that’s a concept they would find hard grasping as they discover the true God Who actually LOVES them. Also that Paul never once mentions heaven or hell in his writings (which by the way I LOVED what you said about his ‘in the heavenlies NOW,’ Clark). Just saying all this to say Amen, Christopher. Amen. Love, “BK”

  7. BK, praying for you and your situation with the mislead brother barraging you concerning ET and such. Just keep loving him even though he is wrong.

  8. Love is the Way

  9. daryl permalink

    Was reminded of the story where the wind challenged the sun to a contest to get a man to take off his coat.The wind blew with no results,so tried harder and harder,but the stronger he blew…the tighter the man wrapped his coat around himself. The sun,with no effort at all just shined,and eventually the man got warm and took off his coat.

    • Ramma permalink

      Love that Daryl!! Awesome!

    • daryl, I really see how that story fits our relationship with Jesus and our relationship with one another. The way of Jesus is NOT the way of striving or maximum effort, it is simply about BEING who we are in Christ in the moment. Spiritual success does not come from hard work, it comes from simple surrender.

  10. Beautiful analogy of wind and sun!! How comforting, just like the love of God that draws us…..not the hammer!! Been there. Done that. Yuck.
    Freedom now to love w.o agendas……👍

  11. "BK" permalink

    I love the wind analogy….and yes, I find it is the only way. That and knowing when to just back off, even if someone wants to carry on. You know, kind of like when Paul says to avoid questions that gender strife. Sometimes one is asking questions as in true dialogue; sometimes it just leads down the path of strife and I find the Spirit saying, “Just back off”. It is up to the Spirit to enlighten any eye…including mine. I try to live by the ‘rule’ of because I want to be free to walk in what I feel the Spirit is showing me, I should also allow others to be free to do the same. Also, I find it helps to receive those rebukes in the Spirit of love….the brother LOVES me and he’s worried about me and my damndable doctrine 🙂 So if I receive it in the love he intends it then it’s easier to swallow. He is sick now so today I took some fresh food up to him on the desert and had a good conversation with him. Thank you for all the prayers. Love, “BK”

  12. "BK" permalink

    I do want to add that even though I sound kind of big and brave and ‘all together’ in my post, I do spend my time with heartwrending tears when separation happens over doctrine. It comes with opening your heart and soul and blending and then being cut off. But, then, Jesus wept some tears too so it’s all good. Hugz, “BK”

    • Very understandable BK and we have all been there. Sowing tears reaps a harvest of joy.

  13. Kevin permalink

    I really think Christians prove their lack of belief in the goodness of God when they make the gospel message about the avoidance of hell. What makes God’s love so good? Is His love made good because of what’s not good? Is His love any less good if hell doesn’t exist at all? Of course not! I may be wrong, but I am growing into a space where I sense that the gospel doesn’t really have anything to do with the afterlife. That’s not to say I don’t believe in the “afterlife,” but that our “eternal” destination doesn’t truly hinge on intellectual belief in Jesus. Before anyone stones me, just hear me out.

    Even Jesus didn’t seem to be all that concerned with the afterlife. His primary focus was on this life. He said that His purpose for coming was to bring us life (in the present), and that in abundance. When talking about eternal life and the kingdom of God, He also spoke in terms of the here and now, saying that eternal life was “to KNOW the Father and His son that He sent.” Rather eternal life being a two-dimensional, linear concept, He connected it to a multi-dimensional reality that extends eternally in all directions; The Father. The gospel in my mind is ultimately about an awareness of the Eternal and our own existence as eternal beings, inseparably connected to the eternal God, with Whom we are one.

    It would seem that God’s greatest desire is not that we merely “believe” in Him, as we often say, but that we become FULLY AWARE; aware that not only are we unconditionally loved BY Him, but that we exist AS eternal expressions of His love. This awareness is revealed in Jesus, because mankind had once embraced a belief of separateness from the Eternal. As Paul put it, “you once were separated from God IN YOUR MINDS.” Jesus invites us reconnect with our eternal selves, to reconnect with the Eternal, where life has its purpose and meaning. As it does, we become true expressions of the gospel. Though I think some translations failed to translate it properly, Jeremiah 29:11 sums it up well. “For I know the THOUGHTS (rather than “plans”) that I THINK (rather than “have”) toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” That IS good news!

    OK, you can stone me now! 🙂

  14. No stones here Kevin. Thank you for sharing your portion of the Truth in Love here. I have often contemplated that passage that says we are “separated from God in our minds”, but NOT in the reality of Christ Many times we are our own worst stumbling block. Jesus is REAL, RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW!

  15. Chad permalink

    Most Christians are so devoted to the doctrine of eternal torment. Makes me wonder if they follow Jesus so the can be with Him, or simply to avoid their idea of hell.

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