September 20, 2020

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The Love of God or Fear of Hell?

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Love of God or Fear of Hell
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The Love of God or Fear of Hell? This line has sort of been a burden on me for a long time now. The question keeps arising strongly and I tend to wonder why people actually accept Christ as Lord and why people embraced salvation. If there was nothing like hell or heaven, would the message still be preached with so much vigor, and would Christ still be accepted?. If there were no miracles and healings, would people still believe?. Do not be quick to answer.

I remember growing up as a kid, Sundays were my favorite days of the week and the reasons were actually ridiculous you know lol. I loved Sundays because I got to wear really beautiful clothes on Sundays, rocked pretty hairdos and was opportune to see my church friends who were also my gisting buddies, yeah, I know a lot of you can actually relate right now, lol. I am honestly lacking the right words to use right now to curtail the kind of excitement I felt on this day in writing, but I knew it was pure love.

It could be that the sweet songs we sang in the children section with our Off-key voices, the freedom we found and enjoyed did play a vital role in influencing my love for that very day and made it a special day for me. These excitement and joy were however always cut short by the scary stories told to us by our Sunday school teachers, stories about Hell and Heaven. I can literally remember how terrified these stories left our innocent minds each Sunday.

I also can still remember how quickly it made me, alongside the other kids, rededicate our lives to Christ and reaffirm our loves for Him every Sunday, lol, we took these recitations according to how we were being led by our teachers. We did not quickly recite these memorized lines and vows out of our genuine love for God or Heaven, but were uttered out of the immense fear of Hell (of course, who in his right senses would rather prefer being burnt by a fire hotter than that of a stove, lol).  

These stories on our innocent minds and ears were sort of Hell and Satan glorifying as Satan was always made to appear so powerful and everywhere, painting horrible and disturbing pictures of battles between God and Satan to the extent we were always gripped by immense fear and shivers at the hearing and mention of the name Satan.

As an adult today, I’ve come across a lot of preachers and messages that follow that pattern till date. I’ve seen and heard preachers preach the terrors of Hell with so much passion to compel people to accepting Christ and salvation, watering down the real message that is the immeasurable love of God itself, which is the real essence of existence and the only compelling witness to salvation a person needs and not otherwise.

In a sum,  preachers and religious heads should shift the focus of the message from Hell and make the message of the love of Christ the center and focus of it all. Devil or Hell is no comparison to God or Heaven. Darkness only exists due to the absence of light, meaning light and darkness cannot cohabit. Light supersedes darkness.

Understanding the love of Christ should be the compelling force to salvation and not the fear of Hell. Only by dwelling more on the message of the indescribable and uncontainable love of Christ would we have genuine Christians in this our generation.

Love is all that we need, love is all that the world needs. We have lived in fear and bondage for so long, it is time to love and be free, only love can conquer the world because love overcomes all things and there is no love or freedom outside God as God himself is the only true definition of love. God is love. Let’s stop preaching fear and preach LOVE.

Damar Mercy  Nanclin

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