I don’t believe negativity is a strong enough force to motivate a permanent change in someone’s life. Doing something simply because you DON’T want something bad to happen usually doesn’t work, long-term. If, however, there is a positive element to what you do (a true goal to strive for), then you have something to run toward, and not just something to run away from.
I don’t want to go to Hell.
I also–very badly–want to go to Heaven.
So I will run hard and fast away from the gates of condemnation, but as I do my eyes are not looking back; they are pressing on toward the eternal bliss awaiting me.
Peter once asked (likely on behalf of the whole dozen of them) what they would get in return for following Christ:
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t rebuke them for worrying about their reward. He answers them directly that they will be given authority to govern the new church (v28). Then, He expands His thoughts to include us all…
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
If you do the Lord’s work; if you put in the effort and make the sometimes hard choices; if you put God first, then you will be rewarded. You will receive blessings in Heaven that are infinitely greater than any blessing you could find on earth or that Satan could ever promise.
If that’s not a motivator, I don’t know what is!