Are Christians coerced into following Jesus?
1 John 4:17-21 (NLT )And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
John wrote that love empowers us to be confident on the day of judgment. He emphasized that it isn't just our love for God, but God’s love for us that gives us confidence and drives away fear.
This love is made real in our lives as we follow Jesus.
Fear doesn’t transform our lives.
Yes, it might get us started making changes, but that intense fear can't sustain the transformation process.
Only love is able to do that.
As we move from fear to love as the primary motivating factor for following Jesus, we move away from being coerced to being a partner in the work God is doing in the world.