We use the word love so very often in our society and culture. We love our spouse, we love that TV show, and we love our cat and so on. Many times I think we over use the word. The same is true of the word hate. We hate that show, we hate that person or we hate cats. We seem to imply more emotion than is really needed to express what we feel. We put a very strong emphasis on the word Love or Hate. In the Christian community, love has everything to do with it. Without love we are clanging symbols and dinging bells. If all we offer those around us are the words of love but have not love we are useless to God, to others and even to ourselves. Other cultures do not use the word love the same way. I remember a missionary whose job it was to translate the Bible into other languages. He had trouble with one because their society had no word for love. Many people use scare tactics in an attempt to win people to Christ. Although there may well be a time and place for that type of fire and brimstone approach, many people do not and will never respond to that. So many more respond to love. I am posting a link to a blog I write some time back. I think the message is still as important now as than. [link= We must first of all love others into the faith. KraftyKatz :coffee:
and that's why Jude said we must have discernment "on some have compassion and on other's snatch as from the flames"
but your point is well made and to be heard, I do preach hell fire and brimstone alot but it's based in love, I don't want people to go there and many times when I preach "live" it's through tears because I believe God breaks me as to not to be heard legalistically or condemning
When Jesus thundered "Repent or Perish" it was "in love"
Jeremiah carried a very heavy heavy message but was called a "weeping Prophet" because he didn't want his hearer's to go through what they were going to go through if they didn't repent
I agree. Speaking in love does not mean you water-down the Gospel, on the other hand... and this is a biggie... while we might start out with love, it is easy to let pride (that I'm right, why aren't you listening to ME, pharisee vs. publican type of thing), quietly slip in unaware. Oh, this is why it is so important for us to lay ourselves down at His feet daily and consciously seek the direction of the Holy Spirit in everything we say, think and do!