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Weekly Commentary
17537
“The Fear of God”
by Art Sadlier   
October 28th, 2012

The Fear of the Lord

Satan is the great deceiver who is determined to deceive men. He seeks to draw men away from God. His greatest fraud is his deception concerning God. He has successfully deceived the whole world about the character and nature of God. In so doing he has removed the fear of God from the eyes of men.

Satan does not concentrate his attacks on the mercy and grace and love of God. If men know of nothing but the love of God it will take away the fear of God from their eyes.

Scripture clearly teaches about the infinite love and mercy of God. We learn from scripture that there is mercy toward those who fear God, but there is an eternal lake of fire prepared for those who refuse to honour God and obey Him. David said in Psalm 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” The true character of God has been hidden from the eyes of men.

The Bible is God’s message to man. There are three major themes in the scriptures; they are man’s sinfulness and rebellion against God, God’s anger against man for his rebellion against God, and finally, God’s love and mercy in providing a remedy for man’s sin.

1 – Man’s sin and rebellion against God

God created Adam and fellowshipped with him, actually God created Adam for that purpose. God made Adam in God’s image in the sense that he had the capacity to think and comprehend and make decisions. This involved a free will which Adam needed in order to enter into fellowship with God. Adam proceeded to use to his free will to rebel against the will and word of God. Adam immediately became the possessor of a fallen sin nature and was estranged from God.

The Bible contains the record of man’s sin and depravity expressed in his disobedience to God. This defiance of God fills the scriptures from cover to cover.

2 – God’s anger against man because of man’s sin and rebellion

This is the area where mankind has been greatly deceived. The scriptural record reveals the depth of God’s hatred for sin and His anger against sin. Many have come to think of God as a benevolent being who would not punish well meaning individuals. If we can come to some realization of God’s anger against sin and sinful men, there is hope that we can begin to understand something of the fear of God that can lead us to salvation and a relationship with God. Do not create a god of your own imagination. Recognize the true and living God and fear Him. Understand that He has provided a way for you to enter into a loving personal relationship with Him.

We learn something about the fear of God in Genesis 2:17, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." This is the first recorded word of God to Adam’s race. The first thing God did was to try to instill the fear of God into their hearts. Man’s greatest loss is his loss of the fear of God. The Lord said to Israel in Leviticus 19:14, “...fear thy God: I am the LORD.” That phrase and similar ones occur over and over in scripture. In Jeremiah 32:40 we read, "....but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me."

Later Jesus would attempt to instill the fear of God in human hearts when He 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). The thought of Hell ought to terrorize the unsaved person and fill him or her with the fear of God.  An unsaved person should not give sleep to his or her eyes until they gain the assurance of salvation.

The Bible is literally filled with reasons why we should fear God. Let me give you an insight into the severity of God with regard to His attitude toward sin. I give you these in order assist you to fear the lord.

Prior to the flood, man’s rebellion against God reached a peak. God sent a flood in which the whole human race, with exception of Noah's eight family members, perished in deluge. That represented millions or perhaps billions of men and women; we see something of the fierceness of God’s anger against sin.

At Sodom we saw God send fire and brimstone upon the cities of the plain, utterly destroying the entire population because of sin.

When God promised the land of Canaan to Israel He instructed them to kill all the inhabitants of the land. “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth” (Deuteronomy 20:16). We have here another example of God’s anger at sin. These Canaanites had given themselves over to all kinds of wickedness and abominations which angered God. God ordered Israel to utterly destroy them; we see here an example of God’s hatred of sin. God hates sin with an infinite hatred.

These Canaanites were without excuse, they had a knowledge of God’s requirements according to Romans 1:21, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” And in verse 28, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” God has given all men an inner realization of Himself, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them” (Verse 19).

At Calvary we see the greatest demonstration of God’s anger against sin as He pours out His Wrath against sin upon His own dear Son who bore our sins on the cross. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.... He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:10-11).

This message of God’s anger against sin fills the entire Bible.

There are no exceptions to God’s anger against sin, except those repent and turn from their sin. When Israel turned away from God in disobedience, God brought judgement upon them. We read about that judgement in Jeremiah 19:6, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.” God slaughtered Israel because of their sin. Verse 11 expands on this situation, “And shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be made whole again: and they shall bury them in Tophet, till there be no place to bury.” God brought such death and destruction on Israel that there was no place left to bury the dead.

The reason for this destruction is given in verse 15, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.” Because Israel refused to hear and obey God’s Word He killed them. We are blinded by deception about this aspect of God’s nature. There is no fear of God before the eyes of our generation. Those who refuse to hear and obey God’s Word should tremble in fear.

We see the extent of God’s anger against the sinner, “....for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever” (Jeremiah 17:4). Hell is forever because God’s anger against sin is forever. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). If you are not under the blood of Christ by faith, the wrath of God abides upon you, even though He has provided a way for you to escape from His wrath.

God gives an exhortation in His Word to the whole earth to fear Him. “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9). “O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD” (Jeremiah 22:29). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom....” (Proverbs 9:10).

If you are the object of God’s wrath you will burn in the fires of Hell forever. Once you arrive in Hell there is no way of escape. If you were to die unsaved at this time you would burn in the fires of Hell forever.

Listen to the words of Jesus, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark  9:43-48).

John gives a warning to all unsaved people in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

3 – God’s remedy for man’s sin

God has provided for your sin, you do not have to go to Hell and God does not want you to go there. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is the key that opens the door to the salvation that God graciously provides.

The choice is yours. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

The way of salvation has been laid out plainly in the scriptures; there is no need to ponder it. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:14-18).

Right now, you can come to Christ in repentance and faith and be saved, or you can choose through rejection, to be plunged into the eternal fires of Hell forever. The choice is yours, but if you harden your heart you may never have another opportunity. “.....behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Dear unsaved person, I am the best friend you have, because I am daring to tell you the truth. I plead with you, do not to die and go to Hell.

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