Opinions on faith and life

Resurrection Day

2008-03-23

Today the Christian community celebrates the risen Jesus, the only religious figure to ever have come back from the dead. There are many unique things about Jesus, but this is the main one.

In fact, if Christians would have always been preaching this fact in their evangelism, instead of trying to scare people into heaven, I think there’d have been a lot more truly saved Christians in the world. Yes, hell is a real place of eternal conscious torment, but it should never be the reason anyone becomes a Christian. It should be because of Jesus, his deity, death, and resurrection.

When Paul stood on Mars Hill and witnessed to the Greeks, he used this approach. He began with Genesis and ended with the Resurrection. If fear of hell had been what should motivate people to believe in Jesus, surely Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, would have shown us by example. Instead, he appealed to reason, to verifiable evidence. And so should we.

Where does hell fit into all this? At the very least, it should be our motivation-- to spread the gospel. Knowing people could wind up in hell for eternity should literally be the fire lit under us that compels us to stop sitting on our “blessed assurance” and get the Word out. That is, the fires of hell are to motivate us to preach, not the lost to believe.

A faith in a Person, the one who conquered death, is a real and lasting faith. It is about the love of God, and “perfect love drives away fear” (1 John 4:18). We should emphasize what the original witnesses attested to: that Jesus was dead but is alive! And if they ask why they should believe in this risen Jesus or what it does for them, that’s the time to bring up heaven and hell. But again, the crux of the gospel is the risen Jesus.

But get busy! The time is very short.

3 Comments

Lin

Yes, It is not fire insurance. We are saved UNTO Christ. We want to go to heaven because HE IS THERE.

Martin Willemoes Hansen

Well, Paul may not have been preaching on Hell, but he preached about the Wrath of God and the coming judgment, and Jesus surely talked about Hell, warning people about it. So I still see Hell, and Gods Wrath to be subjects to be put fort in evangelization.

In His amazing grace, Martin

Paula Fether

All he really mentioned at Mars Hill was judgment; hell is not recorded as being something he talked about. But the point is that he did not use fear as motivation for convincing the people to become Christians. He appealed to evidence.