Ok, let's say you're walking down the street, and then some guy runs up to you and yells, "IF YOU DON'T REPENT, YOU'RE GOIN' TO HELL!!"
Yeah, I'd be a little annoyed. Ok, maybe more than a little. A lot. And you'd be thinking, "Get away, freak!" And I'd probably be stupid and say, "Looks like somebody needs a hug." (And then I'd look even more stupid with a black eye.)
Now, this may seem crazy, but people actually do that. Who are these people? Christians. Christians that are so fired up that they can't contain themselves and they FORCE people to believe instead of offering them the chance. Well, you can't force someone to believe. Even if you threatened to set them on fire, forcing won't work. They could say, "Ok, I believe? Jeez!" But you can't force someone to truly believe the Word of God.
Preaching in Waikiki
In his book How to Share Your Faith, Greg Laurie tells us what happened when he was walking down main street in Hawaii. "I saw a man standing on one of the corners with a rather large sign. Emblazoned on the sign were the words 'The Wages of Sin is Death!' It also had some flames painted on it, no doubt for effect." The man was yelling at the top of his lungs to everyone passing by with shouts of, "You're gonna burn!", "God will judge you, sinner!" and "Repent or perish!" There was no compassion or love in his voice.
So, Laurie walked up and said, "Excuse me--"
And the man continued, "Repent, ye sinners!" Finally, the man barked, "What do you want?"
"I'm a Christian, too, but I was thinking that you are really only giving half of the gospel message out here tonight. It is true that the wages of sin is death, but I'm sure you're aware of the fact that the rest of that very verse says, 'But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.' Why don't you put that message on the other side of your sign and turn it around every now and then so people get the whole picture?" Laurie suggested.
The man screamed at Laurie and told him that he was going to hell, too.
Church is not a Haunted House
You're not trying to scare non-Christians. Do you really want them to think Christians are a bunch of weirdos?
Someone you'll meet one day is going to look at you as the only Christian they know much about, and so you should set an example. How do you want them to see you? How do you want them to see us? How do you want them to see God? You may be their only chance. So let's not creep them out with big flaming signs or harsh words.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." - The Holy Bible