The Weekly Epistle 4/6/22

Can someone be scared into heaven?  In other words, can someone be truly saved in order to escape hell?  Is fear of hell a proper motivation to come to Christ?  
 
The more important issue is not the motivating factor, but what it is that you do with Jesus when you come to Him.  Or as John Piper puts it, “What drives us there is not what saves us.  What saves us is what happens when we get there.”
 
There are many motivations that can drive us to Jesus. Personally, I was partly motivated by a beautiful young lady who captured my heart and partly by a car wreck that woke me up to the terrible direction my life was headed.  There are numerous reasons people come to Christ.  I led a man to Christ who was motivated by his terminal cancer.  My aunt came to faith late in life because she knew her time was short.  I have seen people motivated by a painful break-up, or loss of a loved one or being overcome with guilt and regret or the many other experiences in life that can lead someone to Christ.  
 
Obviously, these motivations aren’t wrong.  But what do you make of Jesus when you come to him is the question?  He wants you to have a relationship with Him and not simply be in love with his gifts.  If we just love the benefits and not the God who provides those gifts for us, then do we really understand the true nature of salvation?  Do we have any sense of what we have been saved from and saved to?
 
God can and does use many experiences to motivate us to come to Christ- fear, escape hell, hitting rock bottom, being in love, the hope of being free from sickness and disease.  None of those experiences save us.  But they can cause us to consider the person and work of Jesus and lead us to repentance and belief.  
 
Fear of hell is insufficient to save anybody.  Fear of hell is no proof of love for God.  As it has been said, “Desiring to be rescued by the lifeboats before you drown, does not prove that you love the captain.”  But I would add, if you were saved from drowning, wouldn’t you be open to meeting the one who was responsible?  Wouldn’t you want to know more about the person who saved you?  
 
Fear of hell alone cannot change the heart.  But it can transform your life when you understand the extent Jesus went to keep you out.  As I said on Sunday, unless we come to grips with the stark reality of hell, we will not fully appreciate the depths of what Jesus did for us.  Jesus experienced hell on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to.  He went through hell himself rather than lose us.  What love!  What sacrifice!  
 
What motivated you to come to Jesus?  What experiences did He use to drive you to Him?  What experiences has He been using lately in your life as motivation to know Him better?  
 
Pause for passion week!  Let it drive you to know in a greater way how much Jesus loves and values you.  Don’t forget about two key events that week at EBC.  There is prayer 30 on Wednesday (4/13) from 7:00-7:30 in the sanctuary and seder service on Good Friday (4/15) at 7:00.  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Get On A Donkey To God In Tears
Luke 19:28-44

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Looking ahead to Passion Week:
Prayer 30 on Wednesday April 13
Seder Service on Friday April 15
Resurrection Sunday on 4/17

Looking ahead

April 7th will be the annual business meeting tomorrow night at  7PM in the fellowship hall.  Mark your calendars to attend.  It is important to know what is happening within our church.  We will be electing a new elder.  
 
This Sunday, April 10th, will be a newcomer’s luncheon following the second service.  If you have started attending in the last two years, you are invited to attend.

Momentum Youth Ministry Is Back

Momentum is kicking back up Tuesday, April 12th, from 7-9pm.  All students from 6th – 12th grades are welcome to come.

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA With Sam Huggard

Sam Huggard, District Superintendent of the Evangelical Free Church of America, will be joining us for a special informational night on Sunday, May 15, 2022.  Sam will present and unpack the five benefits of joining the EFCA.  For a preview of the five benefits, please check out this resource: http://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits.

Giving and Online Giving

There is the option of online giving.  Go to the website (laconiachurch.com) and click on “give” and proceed from there.  If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 524-2277 or office@ebclaconia.com.