What’s Our Motivation?

We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

During the 17th to the 19th centuries many Christians were especially worried that if the fear of hell were reduced, people would have little to constrain their sinful behavior. Thus universalism, they feared, would fuel sin.

But the fear of punishment is not the only motive for avoiding sin. Far more important for holy living—indeed, the only motive for heartfelt holy living—is the positive motivation inspired by love for God.
Who, after all, would reason, “I know that God created me, seeks to do me good, sent his Son to die for me, and that he will always love me—so I must; hate him!”
On the contrary, the revelation of divine love solicits our loving response . (1 John 4:19).
Robin Perry in CWR Magazine Winter 2016.