Comment: Well-said...

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Well-said...

I John 4:18

'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.'

Because God is Love, as He draws people to Him, such fears will be dissolved -- but not the reverence, which is a different kind of 'fear', as you said.

It would be a whole long discussion which you probably wouldn't want to have here, but I am more optimistic about even those who will face the second death. I believe God's Love is bigger even than that and will never give up until every lost sheep is found. Even if the sentence is eternal (debatable about what the Greek 'aionion' means there), He who holds the keys to hell would yet have the authority to commute such sentence. Otherwise sin and evil is merely swept under the rug and contained, not really dealt with, for most of Creation. I can't see a loving God just throwing up His hands and saying 'oh well' at that point.

The presence of God will be a fearsome thing for those who have tried their best to put up barriers between Him and themselves. Our God is 'a consuming fire.' But when the Truth is revealed, and a prodigal cries out with longing to be restored to Love and grows to hate that which has led them away from Light and Love, I believe they will then see that the purifying 'fire' of justice (however that will be made manifest to each individual) is actually healing mercy which refuses to abandon them until they are restored and reconciled. I don't believe in punishment just for the sake of punishment -- restorative justice, not just retributive.

With that view, I don't embrace the Gospel so much out of fear of hell, as out of a desire not to grieve the heart of the Good Shepherd, Whose Love for us is undying and unquenchable.