Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fear or Trembling?

<< Would you please elaborate on the concept of fear in this context? When you speak of fear, do you mean respect/reverence or terror? >>

I can’t separate the two. Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Obviously we are to reverence God. But that verse is speaking of far more than reverence. It’s a trembling at the thought of what God can do to us (this concept of God is contrary to the popular “God is our buddy” of contemporary Christianity). He can cast our body and soul into Hell. That is truly terrifying. Look now at the Psalmist as he says the same thing: “My flesh trembles for fear of you; and I am afraid of your judgments” (Psalm 118:120). Why did he tremble--because he was afraid of God’s judgments. When the Bible spoke of the coming of Jesus as a babe, we are told “He shall save His people from their sins.” Why didn’t the angel say that He would save us from Hell? Because it is sin that will take us to Hell. It is the crime that sends the criminal to prison. If you want to keep a criminal out of prison, keep him out of crime. If I am saved from sin, I am saved from Hell, and it is a healthy fear of God that keeps me away from the pleasures of alluring sins. When sin flutters its seductive eyes, I see only the fear of God, and turn away. It is that fear that keeps me trusting in Christ by the minute and will keep me out of Hell. If I was introduced to the President of the United States, I would have a reverential fear, because of his office (his political position). However, I wouldn’t be afraid of him harming me. Does that mean that as a Christian I live in a state of constant paranoia? Of course not. It actually means I live in a constant sense of love and security. It’s the same kind of “fear” that a child has for his loving father. Why doesn’t the child run with the local gang of kids and create havoc in his neighborhood? Because he knows that if he did, he would be heading for a good whoopin’ in the woodshed. The child knows that his dad loves him enough to set boundaries, and even at his young age, he knows that those boundaries were set for his good. No other reason.