If you don't wake up and start believing now, this fiery pit will be your eternity!Well now, that just makes me want to pick up my cross and follow Christ. I'm suddenly overwhelmed with love for Him. I have this incredible desire now to embrace our Lord and Savior; and to go out into the world and proclaim all He has done for me.
Wait... what has He done for me? Oh yes... He hasn't done anything. I have. By fearing Him so immensely, I have saved myself from that fiery pit. Thank Me!
Fear as a motivator
I don't think too many people would argue that fear can be a great motivator. We fear prison, so we don't break the law; we fear punishment from parents, so we don't break their rules; we fear death, so we avoid stupid, dangerous activities.
Fear has it's good points, although, I could argue that we shouldn't be using fear as our motivator for some of this. We shouldn't break the law - not out of fear, but out of love for others. We shouldn't break our parents' rules - not out of fear, but out of love for them. And well, we just should avoid stupid, dangerous activities because they're stupid and dangerous (this, I'd say is one where fear comes in pretty handy - and some people should probably have a bit more of it...).
There is nothing wrong with fear as a motivator in some cases. However, fear should never be a motivator when it comes to loving others or loving God. It cannot be a motivator in these cases.
You cannot scare someone to love!You can scare someone to stick around. You can scare someone to "follow" you. You can scare someone to obedience. You can scare someone into claiming to be a follower of Christ.
You cannot scare someone to truly love you. Love leaves no room for fear - and fear leaves no room for love. They cannot coexist. I can't say I love you because I am afraid you'll beat me. I can't say I am afraid you'll beat me, therefore I love you.
You cannot fully embrace and love God if you're doing so because of a fear of hell, or His wrath. I can't say I truly love and embrace God because He'll make me suffer for eternity if I don't. That isn't love.
I don't love God because I fear Him. I love God because He first loved me.