“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,