Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why You Can’t Scare People Into Heaven

I am reading through Matt Chandler’s first book, The Explicit Gospel.  I am almost finished and Lord willing I will post my review on Thursday or Friday.  One particular section that highlights not only Chandler’s writing skills but also his gospel presentation concerns the inadequacy of “scare tactics” in evangelism. 

Knowledge of and belief in hell—as important as they are—are unable to create worshipers.  Yet misunderstanding this reality is historically how the doctrine of hell has been abused and misused by so many men in the name of God.  You cannot scare anyone into heaven.  Heaven is not a place for those who are afraid of hell; it’s a place for those who love God.  You can scare people into coming to your church, you can scare people into trying to be good, you can scare people into giving money, you can even scare them into walking down an aisle and praying a certain prayer, but you cannot scare people into loving God.  You just can’t do it.  You can scare them into moral acts of goodness.  But that’s not salvation.  It’s not even Christian.  (Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel, 49)

If you are familiar with Chandler’s hard-hitting and gospel-centered preaching style that is what you get in this book.  If you do not want to wait for the review you can go ahead and buy yourself a copy today: The Explicit Gospel.

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