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From:  Make Love Not War

Dear Liberal Preacher,

Is fear of hell and damnation still a relevant message that Christians should be using to bring others to Christ?
 
Signed,
Make Love Not War!

 

Dear Make Love Not War!,

Please don’t send me to hell, but I don’t believe there is a hell which is an eternal destination.  So to answer you question, I don’t think the fear of hell should be used to bring people to Christ.

You may be surprised to find out some early Christians were universalists or had universalistic tendencies. 

Take St. Jerome (331-420), for example.

“In the end and consummation of the Universe all are to be restored into their original harmonious state, and we all shall be made one body and be united once more into a perfect man, and the prayer of our Savior shall be fulfilled that all may be one.”

How’s that for make love, not war!

Of course, some could argue that God could use the sight of hell fires to quickly convince the deceased to pony up. 

Personally, I think the love of God, not the fear of God, in this life and the next will be so appealing that hell fires will not be needed.  And I don’t think our great God is a hell fire type of God.

I recommend Phillip Gulley and James Mulholland’s If Grace Is True:  Why God Will Save Every Person.

I’m glad you want to share the love of God.  Be a loving person with loving deeds and loving words and you’ll change the world; and with Christians like you in the world more folk will consider signing up to follow Jesus.

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