The Fear of Hell is Not What Leads People to Christ

Some Christian’s idea of sharing the Gospel of Christ is by scaring them with a message of hell and burning for eternity. That method is the equivalent of saying we would desire to love the bully in high school. No. Fear, death, and condemnation are no less than a powerful deterrent, and it is not the means we should use to bring people to Christ.

The motivator is love. The idea that the creator of everything in existence (including us) could love us individually to the point of dying on a cross is, well quite frankly, wildly amazing.

Yes, Hell is real. But there’s not a single story in the Bible where somebody was threatened with hell and the fear was what led them to Christ. No. It’s when we see the believer exude love, grace, kindness, and forgiveness that leads to Christ.

1 John 4:18

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears has not been perfected in love”

Jesus is enough.

Author: Mike Cynar

Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.

It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.


  • Gordon Posted October 5, 2023 12:45 am

    The fear might not lead them, but it will keep them there, because once they tead the Bible, they’ll find that Jesus violently threatened all with judgement into fire and indying worm to the age, and expulsion to weaping and gnashing. The night before he died in the I am the Vine speech, he threatened to cut off and burn his disciples if they don’t get him results. The whole basis of God’s love revolves on forgiving our shortcoings and not sending us to hell. “The fear of hel is the foundation for the Christian faith.
    Christianity doesn’t offer eternal life, but threatens eternal life in hell, otherwise hell wouldn’t be in Jesus’ message.

    • Mike C Posted October 5, 2023 9:15 am

      Jesus never set out to instill fear by making violent threats. If you look closely at His teachings in the Bible, He clearly states in John 3:17, “For God did NOT send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

      Jesus deeply desired to prevent anyone from facing eternal suffering. His primary intent was to guide and offer salvation. The immense sacrifice He made, enduring the pain of crucifixion, was to absolve humanity from the repercussions of their mistakes. It’s truly astonishing to think about such a compassionate act from our Creator.

      Christianity isn’t rooted in fear; it’s built upon salvation, hope, and faith. It’s the profound belief that despite our shortcomings and in spite of not deserving mercy, the divine power assures us of salvation through faith, without demanding anything in return. This salvation is a gracious gift. It’s bewildering to perceive malevolence in a God who willingly forgives our transgressions and bears the consequences on our behalf. Yet, based on your viewpoint, it seems you might struggle to forgive those with differing beliefs. I genuinely hope that one day you’ll recognize the love of God, even if you currently feel otherwise. He’s extended His hand of forgiveness, offering you a lifeline. All you need to do is accept it. Thus, if anyone faces eternal suffering, it’s not God’s doing; He came to provide salvation. God wishes no harm upon anyone. Ultimately, the choice of our final destination lies with us. It’s not about threats but a rescue mission. The true question is, will you decline this offer of grace and total forgiveness? Remember, it’s readily available to you without any conditions. Just believe and trust the Jesus wants you to enjoy eternal life. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

      • Gordon Posted October 7, 2023 8:43 pm

        “”He clearly states in John 3:17,”
        And 3:18 qualifies it to mere technicality: rather; he sent his son, having already condemned us without our knowing.
        Jesus deeply desired to prevent anyone from facing eternal suffering.
        Were that so, the way to life would not be narrow. Jesus made the path of life narrow, and the path to destruction wide.
        “from the repercussions of their mistakes.”
        Who arranged such repercussions? Why would they need to be absolved? Who decided that crucifixion was needed for himself, but eternal life in hell for everyone else? Who created the possibility of eternal suffering? Who forcefeeds his victims the fruit of the tree of life before locking them in hell and refusing to let them out? What purpose does is serve?
        “it’s built upon salvation, hope, and faith.”
        Is it because justice and love are too difficult to work on, that the church is about afterlife real estate instead of God’s Kingdom on earth?
        “in spite of not deserving mercy,”
        who said that we don’t deserve mercy? And who said that ‘mercy’ is deciding not to afflict someone with infinite suffering? This very belief is the keystone for genocide once it is interalized.
        “without demanding anything in return.”
        Except for, you know, faith, which means conforming to a belief without seeing the evidence. That’s a lot of work for some people, and sefish work at that. Some people could spending that energy on caring for divorcees and the homeless and staying out of politics, or, “religion” according to James 1:27, which I know this website isn’t about.
        “bears the consequences on our behalf.”
        No, he bears the consequeces that he selected to bear for 9 hours on behalf of those who are part of your tribe. Again, who invented these consequences?

        “you might struggle to forgive those with differing beliefs.”
        God doesn’t forgive those with the wrong beliefs. Why should I? God sets an arbitrary deadline to get your metaphysics right or you’ll be an object of merciless endless and unpurposed wrath. Why shouldn’t I imitate that?
        “Thus, if anyone faces eternal suffering, it’s not God’s doing;”
        immortality pertais to God alone (1 Tim. 6:16). Thus God is actively sustaining those in hell every moment for eternity.
        “God wishes no harm upon anyone.”
        Then why are people even capable of entering hell, much less set to go there by default and forced to stay there if they think the wrong thoughts?
        “Ultimately, the choice of our final destination lies with us.” Statistically, no, it is not my choice. It is determined by my place of birth. Why is it final? What makes us have any reason to think this life is the only one where you can change? To change is to live, is it not? If you are not a prime mover, then what makes you different from dirt and stones is that you grow and change.
        Is it perhaps that you’re not really alive on the other side, which is why you are unable to change your mind after you actually know the truth? Maybe that’s how God makes you be conscious forever in abject torment while taking that as license to call it ‘death’ in that instance? maybe there is no life after death if there is no repentance, and the resurrection is false. This adds up if you call eternal life in hell ‘death’.
        “will you decline this offer of grace and total forgiveness?” Why should I need grace in the first place? or even capable of getting into a state where I would ever need it? Why shouldn’t I be given the power to repay my debts myself honorably? Did God create us able to do bad but unable to do good? If I can’t do good deeds, then I can’t be obligated to do them, and should have no obligation to have them imputed to me by a legal fiction. Now if I can only do bad deeds, then it is my maker who does them through me. If I can only do good deeds, likewise.
        If I can do good and bad, then I can pay off my debt to the last farthing with equal and opposite effort before and after I die. That’s justice. That doesn’t even mention love, but is simple justice: repair and restore wrongdoings. Why does God preclude justice?
        “Just believe” just show some results that demostrate that you have God and everyone else doesn’t. What do you have other than rotting regurgitated doctrines that you put glitter on and hope it hides the rotten core of this protection racket? Elijah called fire from heaven, but you won’t call a spade a spade. Verbally reframing evil presuppositions doesn’t work.”

        • Mike C Posted October 10, 2023 4:56 pm

          Re:“without our knowing”?

          It would seem to me that YOU know. Yet even knowing YOU still choose to reject Jesus.

          The scripture says, we will all be with the excuse, because he has made himself known to all of us. By his creation, we all know that God is real. The scripture says, when the son of man is lift it up, he will draw all men unto himself. So, with all due respect, I’m not buying into this “without our knowing” stuff. You know. Your friends and your family know. My friends and family know.

          Re: “ the way to life would not be narrow.”

          My friend, your citing a lot of scripture, which surprises me that you don’t understand the context.

          John 7 is talking about Jewish people who are all chasing after human performance for salvation. The LAW. They are trying to get saved by a perfect and holy law that does not allow you to stumble at one point, or you become guilty of it all. The road was narrow to THEM (Jews) because they were not willing to believe that they could be saved through faith alone. All of the Jewish people are running down the Broad Road. A road of salvation through the law, and through the law everyone will see destruction. However, the road to salvation couldn’t be sweeter. I mean the only thing you have to do is say yes, I receive you Jesus. You literally have the easiest road in front of you. It’s like you’re in a limo on a beautiful spring day. And you’re acting as if somehow it’s hard for you to just say yes.

          In the American court system, we expect judges to be just. Crimes must be paid for or they would be complete chaos. If God is just then there must be payment for sin. The wage of sin is death. You keep going down this road about God wanting to send people to hell, which is so far off base. God, so desperately doesn’t want you to go to hell, that he came in the flesh, and took the just due punishment for YOU. What kind of a person would not see that as an act of love? You can spend your entire life being a drunk, adulterer, lying thief, and if you received, Jesus, you inherit the kingdom. Is that road too hard for you to walk? You’d rather walk down the road that if you just tell one lie, you get the just punishment from me just God? I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I really don’t understand why you would make that choice. Well, I guess I do, what you’re basically saying is that you don’t believe the promise from Jesus is real. That’s why you reject him. You don’t believe in God, so how could you possibly believe that he would love you so much that he would do that for you?

          Do you think sin DESERVES mercy? Do you think murderers and rapist should be free from any punishment? But nonetheless, you don’t see thate mercy that has been freely offered to all of us? The only thing you have to do is be willing to receive it. But yet, even with Mercy handed right to you, you’ve decided to reject it. You’re not looking for mercy. You’re not looking for the free gift that absolve you of all of your sin. You would rather just deny Jesus. My friend, you really should reconsider your refusal to accept this free gift with no conditions other than just believing the offer is real.

          James 1:27. I’ll don’t just talk to Christian life, I live it out. I don’t pretend to know how much you give or what you do for homeless people, etc., and I would be nice if you would assume to know what I do or think others should do. There are many videos I’ve produced to go quite deep into the subject of helping the less fortunate.

          You honestly wrote so much, I don’t want to go on and on and on. To wrap up, while I don’t think you actually understand the context of most of the Scriptures, I don’t think this is about you not liking what you read in the Bible. I’m fairly convinced you simply have heard this message, and decided that it’s simply not true.. For that I’m sad. But I also fully respect your freedom to make that choice. This is one decision we all need to make for ourselves and not have someone cream theirs down our throat.

          I honestly don’t want to get into a long drawn out debate with you. However, if you’re ever seeking and have a question about a specific verse or story, I would love to chat about it.

          • Gordon Posted October 12, 2023 7:15 pm

            I had much to say about all of the evil things you have said about justice, but I’ll discard them all if you can answer plainly: Do you believe that the one shoplifting bubblegum should be punished for rape?

    • Mike C Posted October 13, 2023 12:21 pm

      You asked why I believe that somebody shoplifting bubblegum should be punished for rape?
      First, if you’re referring to humans punishing them under human law, my answer is absolutely not. That would be ridiculous.
      If you’re talking about spiritual punishment, from God, it doesn’t matter what I believe. I don’t write the rules. Do I believe that there is eternal punishment for any kind of sin, including stealing bubble gum? The answer is yes. There is absolutely zero reason that I should have to justify why God responds this way. I am not God. My opinion means absolutely nothing. I have no idea why the wage of sin is death. I did not write the rules, and I refused to defend it. But do I believe that’s the case? I absolutely do.
      I don’t know why people obsess over hell. Every single one of us have a simple solution to avoid it. It’s free. It’s a gift. Not a single human being has to fear this punishment that you’re debating over. Why would we spend so much energy debating over something when it’s something none of us have to face if we don’t want to? Can we just call it like it is Gordon? You don’t believe in the identity of Jesus, so you would rather debate me over something that I have no control over. It is a senseless discussion. The only discussed I’m concerned about is do you believe or don’t you? And if you don’t, you’re free to do so. But please do not use your lack of faith as a logical reason to debate me over decisions that God made.

      • Gordon Posted October 30, 2023 11:24 am

        “There is absolutely zero reason that I should have to justify why God responds this way.” 1 Peter 3:15 commands you to. There is absolutely no reason you should have to think that God responds that way either. You blaspheme God, accusing him of evil, and deny doing so by declaring it good, when we both know as an absolute truth that it is evil.
        Absurdity is not a fruit of the Spirit, nor blindness a in a guide a beatitude of the Son, nor eternal consciousness an innate part of humanity from the Father.

        • Mike C Posted October 30, 2023 6:01 pm

          On one hand, you’re quoting Bible verses, and then, on the other hand, you’re arguing with me because it appears you don’t believe that someone shoplifting is a big enough sin worthy of death.

          And while all who are in Christ would not be punished for shoplifting, that did not appear to be your question. It appears you’re asking if an unbeliever is guilty of shoplifting, do I think that person should be punished for rape?

          I simply said I do not write the rules. That’s what God said.

          “Whoever keeps the entire law, and stumbles at ONE point has become guilty of it ALL – James 2:10.

          So we are going to quote scripture, we all either need to believe it or avoid quoting it.

          1 Peter 3:15 is talking about us sharing the gospel with each other. It’s basically telling us not to be nasty about it. But instead, when someone is asking about the hope that we have in us, to be ready to tell them about it, but be gentle and respectful about it. There’s no shortage of Christians that can be pretty mean as well, even when they’re talking about Jesus.

          My friend, to be honest, I’m struggling to determine if you are a believer or an unbeliever. You seem to be all over the place and I apologize, but it is very difficult to follow where you’re trying to go with this.

          You accuse me of blaspheming God. It seems unlikely that an atheist would do that. But it also seems like you’re not even clear on what the term Blaspheme means. Blaspheme is simply rejecting Jesus. You and I disagreement on God’s viewpoint on items like this is far from blasphemy.

          I accuse God of doing evil? Well, then, it sounds like you have a distorted view of God. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. He’s literally trying to rescue people. Explain to me how that’s evil? Now, to be clear, if you have a problem that the scripture says, i.e. that unbelievers will be condemned on the day of judgment day, your problem is not with me. You can yell at me, and scream at me, and jump up and down, but at the end of the day, your problem is with God. So maybe you need to have a little debate with Him. And I will again circle back and say I do not need to defend what God has said. I am not God. Exactly what do you hope to accomplish by debating with me about what GOD HAS SAID?

          Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does NOT BELIEVE stands CONDEMNED already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. – John 3:18

          Who is the liar? It is whoever DENIES that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. NO ONE who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 1 JOHN 2:22-23

          Paul declares: “If we deny Him, He also will deny us” – 2 TIMOTHY 2:12

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *