What Kind of Christian Are You?
In my freshman year of high school, I attended a talk hosted by an evangelical youth group. The topic was about “almost-ers”—people who weren’t quite good enough to get into heaven and who would therefore burn in hell forever.
I was fourteen! It terrified me! Who is ever good enough?
Unfortunately, Christians often default to fear tactics in trying to spread the Gospel. Fire and brimstone can shock the complacent into an examination of conscience. What we do with that self-knowledge, however, is another matter. If our motivation for change is based on the fear of hell, it’s not likely to withstand the test of time. A quick tour of the Old Testament makes that clear. When Israel was afraid, the people turned to God. When the danger passed, the best intentions couldn’t keep them on track.
God wanted more for us. As John 3:17 says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” Jesus came to show us what God’s love really looks like when it mixes with frail humanity. It looks like the cross—like torture and suffering and self-emptying. But it also looks like resurrection.
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