I am reading a new book called “He Loves Me! – learning to live in the Father’s affection” by Wayne Jacobsen (http://www.amazon.com/Loves-Learning-Live-Fathers-Affection/dp/0964729253). I am really enjoying the book so far. One very profound lesson was how we are threatened with hell as a way to make us follow God. It seems to me it such a wrong way introduce people to a Father who truly loves them and wants a relationship with them. Here is a great story from the book:
“Can a true friendship blossom under so grave a threat? Let’s say I approach a recent acquaintance of mine, hoping to deepen our friendship. I say to him, “I have really appreciated the time we’ve been able to spend together. In fact, I’d like to see our relationship grow and maybe even become best friends. How would you like to spend some time together over the next few months and see if that friendship develops?” --- So far, so good! But what if I added one more sentence: “I hope you do, because if you don’t, I’m going to hunt you down and torture you for the rest of your life.” Hasn’t the invitation just taken an ominous turn? Even if he wanted to explore the potential of a friendship with me, it has now been twisted by my threat. What does that say about me? How will he ever feel safe in a friendship cultivated on fear?”
Isn’t that a powerful picture of how we try to introduce God to people? It is heart breaking. So many people only fear God and never experience living in His love (living loved).