“If God uses kindness to lead people to repentance, why do we resort to harshness & fear to ‘help’ friends repent?” Phil Drysdale
One of my favourite verses is Romans 2:4 – “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
We would do well to remember this truth on a daily basis. That it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Repentance, and let’s remember that true repentance (from the Greek “metanoia”) means “to change ones mind”, comes about from a revelation of God’s goodness.
So if God’s goodness leads people to repentance why is it that so much of the church today is trying to cause people to repent by scaring them? There is an idea that scaring people out of Hell is more powerful than inviting them into Heaven. Is Hell really more scary than Heaven is attractive?
The truth is that God does not want to use fear tactics or manipulation to cause you to change the way you think, rather He wants to show you His love for you, His goodness, His grace and His kindness. Seeing this side of God can only lead to a dramatic response.
Being terrified of punishment may cause you to change your mind but it’s never going to fully renew your mind because you will be fixated on a God who wanted to punish you. God doesn’t want to be surrounded in Heaven for eternity by people who chose Heaven as an alternate to Hell. That’s not much of a statement. That’s like choosing McDonald’s as an alternate to a poop sandwich. It doesn’t say anything about McDonald’s really! Rather what if we started revealing just how good God is! He’s like a Michelin star steakhouse! We choose Him because He is irresistible and everything else is a ridiculous alternative in light of Him and His presence.
Prayer for the day
Father, thank you so much for your goodness. I pray that you would show me your goodness to a whole new level today and that I would be transformed by the renewal of my mind to your goodness. Forgive me for when I’ve made the gospel about the bad news rather than the good news and let me trust in the irresistible nature of who you are to lead others to you today!