In these present days of man-centered dogma delegating what can and cannot be taught or preached in churches in America, I think a little cleansing is due. Let’s look at some teaching that is Biblical but not often taught: The fear of God. J. Randall Easter of Azle, TX brings this brief message about the fear of God. (Thanks to www.apprising.org)
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:5)
Fear is something that mankind deals with on several different levels. Fear causes mankind to hide, rebel, lash out, slander, panic, and to be something that they really are not. The fear of man is a great snare that binds men and constrains them to simply be tossed around by the greatest pressure. Pressure comes from one side and they move the other way and then a greater pressure comes from the other side and they move the other way. Unstable men are unstable in all their ways. Jesus makes it clear who men are to fear. It is not the government, the religious leaders of the day, the employer, or the influential people of the community they Jesus tells us to fear, but rather we are to fear God. It is God and God alone who should cause mankind to tremble. The fear of God is to affect the way that we speak, act, make decision, set priorities, establish goals, love our spouses, train our children, serve our churches, and live in our communities.
A healthy fear of God is what is greatly needed in our churches today and it is the very thing that will bring lost men to repentance. Churches are filled with people pleasing, back patting, high-fiving; emotional babies who seek to make sure that the whole thing is about them. Jesus says, “Fear him!” Jesus says he will tell us who to fear and then he specifically shows that we had better fear the one who holds man’s eternal destiny in his hand. Eternity! Eternity! The word is filled with fear and it is filled with hope. Mankind will have to stand before this God some day. Man will stand before the One who utters his voice and causes the earth to melt, who judges in righteousness and truth and who will not allow anything unclean to enter into his presence.
Dearly beloved, meditate upon the Lord your God today and seek to have a right vision of him. Examine your life and see how it is that you worship, pray, study Scripture, treat your spouse, train your children, and how you live in the world. Are these areas of your life reflections of your fear of God? What is the first thought that comes to your mind when a difficult situation comes your way? What is your first area of refuge when trials come? If you have a healthy fear of God, he will be the one who has the greatest effects upon you daily life in all these areas.
J. Randall Easter, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Briar, Azle, TX.