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The Fear of God

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The Fear of God

by George Bentch

Describing the depraved condition of man, Paul wrote the Romans, "There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Rom. 3:18). What then is before their eyes? Is it not what they see? Is there no fear of God before their eyes because so called Christians don’t demonstrate it? Peter wrote, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear" (1 Pet. 1:17). Do we really fear God?

There should be an attitude of fear and reverence when we pick up the Bible. It is the Word of God! If the voice that thundered down from Sinai spoke to us we would (as Moses did) exceedingly fear and quake. Yet, some pick up the Bible only to dispute the meaning of certain phrases. Others make light of it, saying it is full of contradictions. There are preachers who will tell you it doesn’t mean what it says. Others say, it is old fashioned and not compatible with modern education. Even those who study with hope of eternal life do not fully comprehend Paul’s words; "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12). Jesus said, "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him" (Luke 12:5).

So many people do not admit the existence of hell. We look with wonder at those who were once faithful Christians who have turned back to the ways of sin. We sadly behold those who have embraced digression or denominationalism. Truly the god of this world has blinded their eyes. Many who admit the reality of hell do not recognize the danger of going there. Jesus said, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:22-23).

Folks, these people honestly thought they were serving God! They had no fear! When Jesus described the fate of those who did not obey. He said, "...Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). Remember this, "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).

Those who claim it doesn’t matter how you worship as long as you believe in and worship God, miss the point of the Scriptures. Solomon wrote, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13). Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 7:21).

A holy and just God gave us His Word. It was ratified by the death of His Son. Righteous men gave their lives to preserve and promote it. We have the privilege of possessing the results of their sacrifice. Education has given us the ability to read and understand. Yet, we are as Israel was, "...Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider" (Isa. 1:3).

Did not the Scribes and Pharisees worship God? Was not Caiaphas the high priest? Yes, yet he said of Christ, "It is to our advantage that this man die." God’s accusation against them was, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:8-9).

In Romans 1:23 Paul wrote of those who changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man. Many religious organizations use a man’s name for their identity thus robbing God of the honor due him. Others honor some man in their worship. Do you honor Robert Raikes, who is called the father of Sunday School? Do you honor G. C. Brewer, who polluted the communion with individual cups? Perhaps you honor Addison Clark who divided the church by bringing the instrument of music into the worship. These men demonstrated a lack of the fear of God. How can anyone hope to demonstrate the fear of God before unbelievers when they show, by refusal to obey, that they have no fear. Many people reject the incorruptible God and His Law, to embrace corruptible man and his creeds.

We all live in a temporary house of clay. At any time the voice of God may say, "Thy soul is required of thee." In Luke 23:40 the dying thief asked, "...dost thou fear God?" Then he said, "we receive the due reward of our deeds." Brother, sister, kind and respected friend, SO WILL WE! –PO Box 628, Blum, TX 76627

 

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