God Loves You and You’re Going To Hell

May 29, 2009

I thought the title of this post would get your attention.  It sounds harsh, but that is the message many Christians send to the unchurched.  Though it is true in many cases, it’s not the way to win friends and influence people.

Many verses in God’s Word have guided Marla and I through the years, but one verse has remained constant as the key to our ministry life.  I Thessalonians 2:8 says, “We were delighted to share with you, not only the Gospel of Christ but our very lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” That pretty much sums up our goal in life.

Friends Drinking Coffee Together photo

My life’s passion is to make it very hard for people around me to go to hell but I believe there is much more to that than simply getting in people’s faces and screaming in their face, “GOD LOVES YOU AND YOU’RE GOING TO HELL”. (That’s one reason some secular people believe “evangelical = Christians who hate people”.)  I believe and have learned that as we get involved in people’s lives and truly love them, they will eventually allow us to Christ with them.

Once I actually told a non-believing friend, “I will always be praying that you will get to know Jesus, but if you never accept Christ, you will always be my friend.”  That statement let my friend know that he meant more to me than just another “notch on my Bible.”  He matters to me.  The old chiche is true:  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Not many Christians would disagree with their lips that reaching people for Christ is important, but their lives speak a different message.  According to Barna, only 12% of Christians will lead someone to Christ in their lives. How can that be if Christ is truly number one in a believer’s life?  Churched people become so involved in their church that they forget that there are people outside the church.

The first step in sharing your life is often becoming friends.  It’s not a forced thing when you really care about those who don’t know Christ.  Just take time to get a cup of coffee, take a walk, or go with them and the kids to a ballgame.  Just live your life with others, be their friend, and share Christ along the way.

In what ways have you met friends outside of the church?  What else comes to mind when you read this?


4 Responses to “God Loves You and You’re Going To Hell”

  1. jimmy said

    Great post. Let’s do lunch soon.

  2. Leanne said

    Eddie & Marla,
    Tonight I took to reading through various friends’ blogs. Your entries were especially thought provoking and, in the bargain, I learned a few things about your years of individual, couple & family ministry. Thanks for sharing.
    Sometime I’ll fill you in on our story of a former neighbor coming back to ask us to pray for her family situation. Her surprise visit was after 18 years of little contact. It was a not so gentle reminder to us that how we live & interact with people is so important. Others need to see Jesus in us. The friend passed into the Lord’s presence 10 days later at age 45.
    Take care. Keep in touch.
    ~Leanne & Ken

  3. Mike & Tootie said

    I’ve often wonder if the kingdom that some of us will be given is a kingdom of the people we lead to believe in Christ?

  4. Rhonda jane said

    Thanks Eddie! And yes, the title did get my attention. Obviously. Enough can’t be said about “people don’t care what you know until they know you care.” That being said…if any teachers (church/school/other) are reading this and you wonder why you can’t reach those you are trying to teach…they don’t know you care! Perhaps they know you care about the material but don’t see that you care about them. It’s all relative in the receiver’s mind/heart. Let me add a little something extra here. Husbands/wives/brothers/sisters/parents/etc. if we don’t show we care about our own family members (those closest to us) and treat them with the love and respect then “Why” would we have any credibility? We wouldn’t. Just my opinion…okay, off the soap box.

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