And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Jude v22-23


There are two ways to win a soul. One of the one hand we can use “compassion.”  We can emphasize the mercy of Jesus Christ and reach tender-hearted souls that way. Many have been converted (making a difference) thanks to the preaching of a message of mercy. But that is not the only way to reach a lost soul…

Others save with fear. Others have had great evangelistic success showing people the horribleness of hell. They mentally and emotionally put them to the edge of the flames and and then pull them out of the fire in time to wake them up. It’s the difference between the Ghost of Christmas Present, who was jolly and kind to Scrooge, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who was so cold and terrifying to the old miser.

Both methods work, and Jude used the word “save” in connection with both approaches. As long as the end result is that the sinner finally hates his sin (the garment spotted by the flesh), then it ought not matter how the soul was reached — either by compassion or fear — so long as it was reached on this side of eternity.

The problem is, too many today refuse to try the latter approach and, when preaching mercy does not work, they never bother with the “hellfire and brimstone” approach. We need to be telling people about the Mercy of Jesus.

But sometimes they need to be reminded of the horrors of Hell.