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TOO MUCH HELL!
(E-mail recently received)
Subject: I was looking into your group to see if it was a cult
I am a 5th year theology student, that ended up checking out your website to see for a friend that wanted to know about one of your current members who he had lead to Christ (he was the chemist mentioned by the woman from the Dr. Phil show).
Anyway, I have some minor disagreements with your methods, but I find you to be no more unorthodox than any other denomination out there.
I see an over focus on Hell, and yes Hell is real, but really I think it is a grave error to focus on the punishment instead of the worthy God who deserves the obedience. One shouldn't repent because they fear "getting their skin singed" but rather "because they have realized the crime of playing God."
It is the ultimate atrocity almost for someone to repent for the purpose of getting out of Hell, because it is the attempt to use God as corrupt man tries to use everything else in life that God has given him.
We may be different, but I sense that you are martyrs. The Greek word “Marturia” means witness or testify. The martyrs didn't become martyrs by dying, they became martyrs and died because they didn't stop being one when it was time to stop or forfeit ones life.
I think your ministry would greatly benefit from this sermon. Please examine the content of this sermon from a great man of God brother Reidhead, and I pray you will be able to incorporate it into your teachings. I look forward to further dialogue with you, as many of your and my goals are similar, though I don't feel called to join your corner of the Ekklesia, but we are all in the same assembly of Gods citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom. I think the battle imagery is valuable and I am curious to see more about it and how to help people see battle imagery.
Thanks for your letter and your evaluation of our ministry. Thank God that we can trust ourselves to Him. We have been in this battle for souls for thirty six years and we would have to say that we do not emphasize Hell as much as you have assumed. We have over five thousand recorded messages which do not center on Hell. Because the church of this generation is swimming in the false love slime, which has just about killed the church, far too many have given themselves over to the seeker friendly mentality which downplays any reference to the damnation of unrepentant souls. The reality of Hell needs to be presented in order that humanity is reminded that yes, they will perish in their sins if they do not repent of their wickedness and turn to the Lord. Of course God desires obedience, but some people must be shown the consequence of their disobedience before they surrender to the Lord and seek to obey Him. You are saying that it is an atrocity for someone to repent over the fear of going to Hell. We disagree with you. Because God in His mercy would rather a Hell-bound sinner be informed of his future and repent, rather than not be told of his horrid condition and future in Hell and perish in the same. Far too many cover over the sins of the sinner because they want the sinner to have high revelations of God and thereby feel repentant. Some people are not going to be that sensitive to God when they are bound in sin, but it is still our obligation to give even the most wretched of sinners the opportunity to be repentant, even if it is through fear. Besides, what’s wrong with fearing Hell and damnation? Better to fear than go headlong into one's destruction without any warning.
For your information, we distribute literature around the world, and the teachings on Hell are some of the most demanded and requested resources that we have. Could it be that men are wanting to fear God again and that they are wanting to know the consequences of continuing in sin? If God did not want us to declare the reality of Hell it would certainly not have been mentioned so many times in order to warn us what the end of the wicked is.
We recently read a testimony of a Hollywood movie star who went from church to church never hearing anything about Hell. Then he went into a small church where he heard preaching on the Hell-bound sinner. This preaching caused him to repent and turn to the Lord. He has been serving God for ten years because he finally heard that he was going to Hell if he did not repent and turn from his wicked ways.
Now, aside from theory and criticism, how effective are you at personal evangelism? It is very sweet of you to write to us and we appreciate your criticism, but we use the methods God has equipped us with. Remember, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
May we see the Master well-pleased.
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