People come to faith through seemingly numberless avenues. Many come as children. They grew up in a home where matters of faith made sense. They still had to make the belief their own, but it was a natural development.
Others believe as children in spite of their home. What they saw going on between their parents was enough to make them look for something else. Something better.
Others come as a result of their own suffering while still others come as a result of the suffering of others. They are impressed by the calm and confidence and want to know more.
Some come to Christ out of love. They understand what Christ did and why he did it and are overwhelmed. Then there are those that come out of fear.
Many would say this is the weakest reason for coming to faith. Fear is seldom a good motive to do anything. But notice the caveat, “seldom.” When the house is on fire, when the vehicle is coming in your direction, when you will fail if you don’t study. Any time the fear is real it can serve a very good purpose.
In Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C. S. Lewis agrees that fear is not a noble motive. But he also agrees that it can be used for a noble purpose. He writes,
“Servile fear is, to be sure, the lowest form of religion. But a god such that there could never be occasion for even servile fear, a safe god, a tame god, soon proclaims himself to any sound mind as a fantasy. I have met no people who fully disbelieved in Hell and also had a living and life-giving belief in Heaven.”1
I doubt we will ever lack for books and conversations on Heaven. It’s too bad so few of them are living and life-giving by seriously considering the other side.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:46.
- C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012), 76. Italics in original.