Bradley Jersak: Fear-based faith is the ultimate deception

“If my faith depends on fear of punishment, what will happen to my faith when perfect love (Jesus) comes to cast it out? (1 John 4: 18)  If God thinks that fear of punishment is something to be “cast out” like a demon, then our Gospel and our preaching better not rest on that foundation!

Fear-based faith (a paradox) is the ultimate deception.  We need to examine closely whether the devil has been hiding in plain sight – squatting within the very message that we’ve preached.  Parasite and deceiver that he is, he found the ultimate host to help disseminate his terror campaign – the Church!  If our faith message begins in fear, as it did for many evangelicals like me, it’s in trouble.  I am reminded of Jesus’ warning, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are” (Matt 23:15).

The negation of negation.  Does preaching on hell produce converts?  Oh yes!  But if in the process it also saddles someone with fear of punishment, then it has simultaneously reproduced a ‘son of hell.’”

― Bradley Jersak, Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem

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