The answer is “no”. This is a marvellous sermon about hell and how it relates to the Great Commission. Bruxy Cavey does a wonderful job in explaining, among other great facts about hell, the explanation that the practice of many evangelists of using fire and brimstone to inspire people to come to Jesus is a recent phenomenon. This was quite refreshing to me.
Bruxy asks the question, “How many times does Paul use hell as a motivator both to potential evangelists and to non-believers?” The answer: “Not one time.
something that I value highly about Bruxy and other teachers at The Meeting House where Bruxy is teaching pastor, is their commitment to learning from the whole counsel of the Bible. I have a very hard time studying the bible. But I love to hear scripture read and expounded upon. I believe that through thousands of hours of reading and listening, I have a pretty good grasp on the big picture of the bible. So when I hear Bruxy and friends share, my sense is that they really have a grasp on what is going on in terms of patterns.
One thing that I enjoy is to hear things like, “not one time does Paul threaten non-believers with hell.” I never really thought about that–but now when I read the Bible, it will be interesting to explore that fact.
I want to emphasize that Bruxy never says, “there is no hell”. He just emphasizes that this is not used as a motivator in the early church.
That is something else I really appreciate. The denomination The Meeting House is a part of, Brethren in Christ, has a huge commitment to discerning the scriptures and how they then can be translated into following Jesus. They are conservative in approach, but not legalistic. Kind of hard to explain–but a great balance in my opinion.
Well, this is yet another wonderful sermon that I have enjoyed immensely. Oh, near the end, Bruxy does a great dramatic, tragically comical rendition of a man proposing to a woman. He draws a parallel between the idea that if we present Jesus to people and say, “if you don’t believe, you will go to hell,” it would be like telling the woman you want to propose to, “marry me, or I’ll shoot you.”
The motivation for following Jesus–is Jesus. The reality is that authority over heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. And when we surrender our lives to him, we have an identity in Him. We are part of a community of believers working with compassion to bring the kingdom of God on earth. He comes and makes our heart his dwelling place, and we are em[powered to do more than we could ever do on our own both because of the community and the power of the holy spirit.
You know, if someone had been waiting outside of the theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka where I watched the musical Godspell seven times in seven days, sharing the message that the folks at the Meeting House share, I would have given my life to Jesus for sure at age nineteen when I was so down and out. Watching Godspell gave me hope. The gospel was shared in an uplifting way that drew me into God’s love. But for some reason I had to wait almost three more decades to give my life to Christ.